Thursday, July 31, 2008

Stuff the Bus!

This past weekend, it was time to deliver the diapers that were so generously donated by friends and family (in lieu of gifts) at Lukas' first birthday party. Stuff the Bus was an event sponsored by WestSide Baby, a local charity which helps out local families in need, and it was a huge success. We collected about 500 diapers (plus a large box of wipes). Costco generously agreed to match diaper donations, so along with that matching donation the drive collected over 40,000 diapers! Given the matching gift we are proud that our friends and family donated 1000 diapers to the cause. This will be a terrific story to relate back to Lukas as he gets older and can appreciate the spirit of giving and helping others.

I have been holding off on posting about this until I could upload a picture of the wagonful of diapers in route to the bus, but due to technical difficulties with the photo card that was just not happening. So I am simply including a picture of the diapers from the day of the party (with our little cloth-diapered dude). The actual diaper delivery was an experience that we won't soon forget. We loaded the diapers into Luke's red wagon, put him on Mrs. LIAYF's back in our Ergo carrier, and headed out for a stroll to the local Sunday Farmers Market, where the big yellow school bus (donation central) was parked and accepting the donations.

We were hardly prepared for the reception we received. As we crossed the street and approached the bus, we were spotted by a throng of yellow-shirted volunteers (perhaps 2o or so) who immediately began to let out a chorus of cheers and applause, joined then by dozens of bystanders, that escorted us the remainder of the way to the steps of the bus. We couldn't help but feel more than a bit proud at that moment as a smile cracked my face and I noticed a small tear fill Mrs. LIAYF's eye. Indeed, this was a very good thing! The organizers asked us to pose for pictures before unloading our wagon, and once we had related to them the story of how we had gathered our diapers, they all broke out and sang Happy Birthday to Lukas. Then, Lukas got to sit at the wheel of the shiny yellow bus and honk the horn!

It was one of those moments that stick. It was much more valuable than Lukas receiving several extra toys that might be played with just a few times and then forgotten. We plan on trying this again next year, but realize our window for substituting donations for gifts is probably about as small as our generous little guy. This time was not difficult, or particularly generous of us really. It took just a bit of extra thought and work to pull this together. We are just grateful it will help out some people who are having a tough time right now.

Thanks so much to all of our thoughtful family and friends who helped make this a reality! I will upload the picture as soon as we receive it from Westside Baby.

6 comments:

SciFi Dad said...

That, quite frankly, is fucking awesome. Good on you, and your wife for doing it. (And for your friends for listening... I don't think mine would honour that request.)

Posh Totty said...

Well done such a wonderful thing to do :o) Xxx

DCUrbanDad said...

You are a badass daddy.

iVegasFamily said...

You are so much better than me. Instead of donating all of the extra diapers that Z-Dub quickly grew out of, we exchanged them at Costco for bigger sizes. Perhaps we'll be more giving with the next child.

morethananelectrician said...

What a wonderful plan.

James Austin said...

@Scifi - Yeah, it was a pretty cool thing. Luke still got his share of nice gifts and we were able to do some good. Worked out well.

@Posh - Thanks! It turned out swimmingly.

@VegasDad - We all make our fair share of unselfish gestures. This was just one of the times for ours. I hope it wasn't selfish of us to do this and get the good karma, as opposed to letting Luke gets the gifts.

@MTE - It was all Mrs. LIAYF's idea to start with. She is the impetus for most of the good that comes out of our household.