Since then, I’ve discovered our neighborhood is full of these Little Free Libraries, and it does help to build a sense of community in the neighborhood.
Gem was particularly fond of this lighthouse themed library. She brought her mermaid so she could check it out, too.
Another of our favorite libraries is actually two Little Free Libraries: one for kids and one for adults.
There is quite an active community around these book exchanges. There is a facebook page for local fans and Architects without Borders is sponsoring a design competition for the structures that house these libraries.
Gem decided she would like to donate some of her books to one of the little libraries.
Gem: I want to give these books to other kids who don't have any books.
Me: That's a very nice thing to do.
Gem: Well, these books are bad
Me: why are they bad?
Gem: Well it's not nice to hop on people, its not nice to mess up people's houses, and kids should never cross the street without holding a grownup's hand
When Gilda Radner was diagnosed with cancer, she learned first hand how lonely cancer can be. Gilda’s Club was created so no one else would have to go through the cancer experience alone.
Gilda’s Club is not just for the cancer patient, but their family members and close friends as well. A cancer diagnosis impacts the whole family. We all need a place where we can be ourselves, and it feels good to have a place where we feel normal, where others understand what we are going through. Gilda’s Club does this with support groups, lectures, and other helpful events for people with cancer and their loved ones.
Camp Sparkle is one of the ways that Gilda’s Club helps the children of cancer patients.
Sometimes, the world turns upside down when Mom or Dad is diagnosed with cancer, or even dies from cancer. This is complicated when adults reflexively avoid conversations about cancer, life and death, or deep issues are distilled into platitudes that are more dismissive than helpful.
Camp Sparkle provides a safe environment for kids to talk about cancer, and helps provide kids with a toolbox of skills to name and discuss their feelings and to deal with this and other challenges life will throw at them.
And Camp Sparkle is FUN!
My girl turned 5 a few months ago, so this year she was old enough to go to Camp Sparkle. She had so much fun. She came home with piles of artwork each day of the week, and at the end of the week she brought home a journal. She went on a field trip every day. She made new friends, learned about compassion, and respect, and self care. And I am so impressed with the questions she’s been asking since camp. Thoughtful questions about things it never occurred to me to bring up with her.
She’s a happy camper, and I’m so glad she got to go to Camp Sparkle.
Gilda’s Club has clubhouses across the country, and Camp Sparkle is free for the children of all Gilda’s Club members, ages 5-18.
The day started out with a plan, and it was all Gem’s idea. We were going to go on a walking tour of all the beautiful flowers in our new neighborhood. And, I would bring my camera, so we could take pictures and use them for a blog post.
My little unpaid intern is really starting to pay off.
We got off to a good start.
But, after a while we came across this:
And inside, they had this:
They also had books.
The walls were lined with old classics
and my little girl was entranced
We spent hours in the doughnut shop, and I got to share with her some of my childhood favorites.
The garden tour / photo walk can wait for another day.