Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Pencil to Paper

Those of you who keep tabs on things over at the Charley's Heart website or Facebook page may already know about Charley's Random Acts of Kindness, but I wanted to take the opportunity to tell all of you at Little Miss Ritchie about it as well.  This past Christmas I reached out to friends and family to help me put together a very special gift for Matt.  I came up with an idea just shortly after Thanksgiving and quickly put together the following letter.

"Well, it’s officially that time of year again.  Halloween has come and gone, yummy spreads of turkey, stuffing and pie have been consumed.  Next up…Christmas!  As the holiday is rapidly approaching, I find myself torn between emotions--overjoyed at the thought of celebrating our first Christmas with Harrison, yet full of heartache as we celebrate a second without his sister Charlotte.  I’ve come to the conclusion that Christmas will always be hard, and once again, I am looking for a way to help our family through very difficult times. 

With all that we have had going on lately (new baby, new house, new jobs), Matt and I have decided not to buy each other gifts this year.  That being said, I still want to do something special for him. After lots of thought, I think that I have come up with a way to kill two birds with one stone this holiday season…and I’m hoping that you will consider helping!  Introducing….

Charley’s Random Acts of Kindness

1.  This holiday season, commit to doing something nice for someone…it’s really as simple as that.  Seek out opportunities, become aware of the needs of those around you and open your hearts.  It doesn’t have to be anything BIG…even the tiniest gestures can have tremendous effects. Leave treats in your mailbox for a postal worker, remove the snow from a neighbor’s sidewalk, hold a door open for a stranger…

2.  Dedicate your Random Act of Kindness to our baby girl.  What does that mean?  Well, all that I really ask is that you think of Miss Charlotte while carrying out your Act.  Remember her.  Continue to give her purpose here on Earth.  Share her story.

3.  Document your Acts and share them with me!  It can be a short sentence or two in an email, a long detailed explanation or even a simple picture…just something to let us know how you chose to brighten someone’s day this holiday season. 

Snail mail:  2730 NW Dahlia Drive, Lincoln, NE 68524

4.  SHARE this email with friends and family.  Help me spread the word about Charley’s Random Acts of Kindness and encourage others to participate.  The more the merrier!

You may be asking yourself what this has to do with Matt’s Christmas gift.  Well…. #1 He doesn’t know any of this is happening.  TOP SECRET, PEOPLE!  That means no Facebook posts, no blog comments, no asking how things are going if he is within earshot.  #2 All emails that I receive will be compiled into a book of sorts that will serve as Matt’s gift.  Anything that comes via “snail mail” will be placed (unopened) into Charlotte’s stocking for us to open together on Christmas morning.  Just thinking of her stocking full of tributes to her is enough to bring me to tears.  I am so in love with this idea and hope that we can make it a part of our family’s Christmas tradition for years to come.    

So there you have it!  I hope that you will consider helping with the first-ever Charley’s Random Acts of Kindness event.  I pray that all of us will be struck by inspiration and find it within ourselves to do for others this holiday season. 

Love, hugs and happy holidays!

I was blown away at the response that this letter generated, and in the end, I was able to put together an awesome scrapbook filled with stories of LOVE and KINDNESS inspired by sweet Charlotte.  You can read examples over at, but there is one in particular that I thought was fitting to share as a part of my Month of Chuck posts.  It is a story of someone who took it upon themself to make Matt and I the recipients of an incredible act of kindness.

On Christmas day, as we were wrapping up our celebration at my mom's house, my sister Angie handed Matt and me a flat cardboard package.  She said that the package was given to them (her and her hubby) by a friend of theirs...and that the package was given to him by his brother, Kurtis.  (Got that?  Angie/Doug-->Friend-->Friend's brother, Kurtis!)  More simply put, it was a package from someone who is a total stranger to Matt and I. 

Inside the package Matt and I found a letter that gave some background on, Kurtis.  I won't share all of the details, but the long and short of it is that life hasn't always been sunshine and roses for Kurtis, and he hasn't always made the best decisions.  It went on to say that despite it all, Kurtis has a huge heart.  He has 2 children of his own who he would do absolutely anything for...and he thinks what happened to Charlotte *%#@&@ sucks (I couldn't agree more...but had to laugh as I was reading this out loud to my family!).  The letter also eluded to the fact that Kurtis has a special talent, and that as a part of Charley's RAK, he wanted to share that talent with the two of us.

I wasn't prepared for what I saw next...

Our sweet little girl.  Her perfect little face.  Her crazy hair.  Her toothless grin. 
One of our favorite pictures, translated on to a plain white sheet of paper by Kurtis's pencil.

Kurtis, I have never met you, I probably never will, but I need you to know how much this picture means to Matt and me.  You have an amazing talent, and we are so honored that you chose to share it with us.  Saying thank you just doesn't feel like enough...

...but thank you.  From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

1 comment:

  1. Tears and smiles in South Dakota for this amazing picture!