Varsity FBC is in year two of advanced friendship bracelet making. Our team includes 44 girls from around HSE and across the Midwest. One of my goals for this year is to provide opportunities for these girls to partner together to do small things with great love. Each month I'm going to give them a project where they can make bracelets for a cause. Together we can make a bigger impact than if we were tying to do it on our own.
This past month I invited the Varsity girls to make bracelets for kids at Riley Children's Hospital. I'm great friends with the Andritsch family after having both Grace and Audrey in class years ago, leading bible studies at their house, cheering at cross country meeting, running the Geist 5K and Bop To The Top together and hanging out at Young Life. I love this family.
Part of their story is that two of their kids, Luke and Ava, have both been patients at Riley. That hospital and community have become a huge part of their life and they want to give back. The family now runs Team Luke, a non-profit organization that does so many different things. I knew I'd be able to partner with the Andritsch family to bring the bracelets to Riley kids.
Bracelets for the October Project were donated by Emily Randall, Ellen Baker, Sarah WRight, Elise Ruby, Brooklyn Seagrave, Grace Freund, Mollie Krone, Maggie Lorenz, Liv Andrews, Rachel Kent, Liv Capuano, Tori Elliott, Lexie Parrott, Erin Williams, Nicole Burjek, Hannah Lyon, Taylor Pozzebon and Caroline Shumaker.
Thursday I left school early and met up with Luke, Grace and Vicky to drive downtown to Riley. There we met Lisa and Ed from Bongo Boy Music. They bring the drums and run the show once we got the groove going. They were both so kind and obviously passionate about what they do.
Soon kids started coming down and joining in the circle to play with us. I loved that while some of them were tentative at first, soon they were smiling and joining in the music.
I'm so glad that after all these years I got to finally be part of this with Grace, Vicky and Luke today. As the kids left to head back up to the rooms I got to give them one of the bracelets from the Varsity girls. They would look through the whole pile and pick out one that grabbed their eye with their favorite colors. Each of them-- whether they were a boy or girl, older or younger-- was so excited to have it tied on their wrist. We still had a handful of bracelets left over so I gave them to a Child Life Specialist to distribute to other patients to brighten their day. I think they'll end up with just the right kids.
Curious George even ended up with a bracelet by the end of the drum circle. Small things with great love. It's what we're all about.