Spreading Rays of Hope…a hat at a time

We are so excited as we have made a new friend, Melissa, who works at St. Joseph Hospital in Orange County.  She is a caring soul who nurtures  moms and newborn babies after delivery.

136 NICU hats

Melissa has agreed to help Knitting Rays of Hope with the distribution of our hats.  She so graciously took our first batch that was ready, 136 hats for the NICU and newborns.  Melissa tells me that St. Joseph can have about 500 babies delivered per month!

Melissa, also informed me that CHOC is very close to St. Joseph as well, and we will be able to give there as well– with Melissa’s footwork, of course.

We are so thankful for Melissa and look forward to being able to extend our impact with her help.


Our friend, Becky (from Blessings from Raindrops) has sent us some amazing hats once again!  We are really amazed at her crocheting skills– all 34 of her hats are so cute!

becky's hats

Becky sent a card that reads:

Hope things are going well for you and your family!  Here are a few more hats for your next delivery.  There are a few large ones on top, but the rest are smaller size for children and/or babies.  :)  Thank you again for all your hard work and making it possible for many hands to work together!

God Bless You!

We love the hats and so happy to have you on our team!  We know that your work is making an impact and spreading hope, warmth and love!

Thank you!  Thank you!  Thank you!

In April, we received 15 super cute hats for babies in the NICU from Barbara.

hats  Top 2 grape hats are so cute.  The 3 teddy bear hats will be very popular.  The bottom row of intricate stitches and designs are so adorable


We love the stripes and intricate designs!

Barbara wrote a note that says:

As always, it’s fun to knit for the Rays of Hope.

Bless you for all your great work!

We are so appreciative of all of our contributors and getting pretty excited for our next delivery.

Thank you!

Bikers Against Child Abuse International (BACA) exists with the intent to create a safer environment for abused children. In the video below, Crime Watch Daily hits the road and meets the BACA crew in Los Angeles as they work with a new member named Mika.

BACA members truly go above and beyond in order to make children more comfortable and supported as they deal with the terrible cards with which they’ve been dealt — which often includes sexual and physical abuse. They’ll do everything from picking kids up from the bus to escorting them to and from school or therapy sessions. The children have these rough-and-tumble men playing with Barbies and painting butterflies on their faces.

But what strikes me most is the fact they’ll even attend courtroom cases in which child victims must testify against their abusers. Looking out into the seats and seeing them filled with their strong and powerful leather-clad friends can make a frightened and intimidated child feel much more secure. “The kid looks at us, concentrates on us knows we’re there for them.” Wow. This is absolutely remarkable.

Never judge a book by its cover. Please SHARE this awesome video with your friends on Facebook!

Source (littlethings.com)

Reprinted- Source is Lagniappe article:

There is no such thing as loving someone too much” by Ashley Trice

Mothers day

As we near Mother’s Day, I notice many of my friends who lost their mothers too young, as I also did, start reminiscing about them, posting pictures or memories on Facebook, or simply stating the four simple words that pretty much sum it up, “I miss my Momma.”

I imagine it’s tough to lose your mom at any age, but when you are younger and they are no longer characters in major chapters of your life — graduations, career achievements, marriages, babies and the like, you not only grieve for the relationship you had but also the one you didn’t get to have. I find myself grieving for the latter almost as much as the former, maybe even more so these days.

The imagination can be a terrible curse.

This time of year, I always think about the beach trips we would have taken together with the kids. She would have bought them new bathing suits and sunglasses for the occasion and taken them to Souvenir City to pick out some beach toys. And reminded me to reapply sunscreen too many times. I’ve already done it, Mom!

Around Christmas, I always imagine my mom picking me and the kiddos up, and us going out shopping together all day, which kind of sounds horrible in a way, as I’m sure my two would complain nonstop. But I just remember so many years of spending hours in Gayfer’s and McRae’s with my mom and grandmother buying gifts for everyone on their lists. I can still smell how that bakery at the back of Gayfer’s smelled as soon as you opened the doors. It’s an experience I always long for around the holidays, but one that is probably better left playing out in my mind as a fantasy, a place where my kids are perfect angels and aren’t wailing about having to walk or asking if they can play with their iPads ad nauseam.

The imagination can be a beautiful blessing too.

But I find myself feeling very envious when I see other people getting to live out these seemingly mundane scenarios with their mothers and kids in real life.

Because it really isn’t during those huge, life-changing moments that you miss them the most. The joy, nerves and adrenaline keep your mind pleasantly preoccupied during those times. Sure, you think about the person who isn’t and should be there, but you don’t have time to wallow in it. It’s when things get quiet — that’s when the thoughts of what was and what could have been come creeping into your thoughts.

You can go weeks or even months and be OK, but then something will trigger it. And those triggers can come from a variety of sources at any time.

Coming across her handwriting on an old recipe or a show she used to watch on television (and then realizing the ones remaining are getting fewer and fewer), or just aching for the ability to pick up the phone to call your mom when you want to ask a question only she could answer or are having a bad day or when you want to complain about someone or just need a sounding board. Or just to hear her voice.

Seeing someone else lose their mom at a young age also makes the hurt fresh again because you know exactly the loss they are going to continue to feel for the rest of their lives.

A former roommate was close to her mom, like I was to mine. We lived together when we were in our mid-20s and we would often complain to each other sitting on the balcony of our apartment that our moms “loved us too much.” That their love was “suffocating.”

And they did, and it was.

And now I think we both agree how crazy we were for thinking that was a bad thing or even actually a “thing” at all. We were among the lucky, who got to feel that kind of love and have special bonds with our mothers.

It’s been eight years since I lost my mom. She lost hers a couple of years ago and is now about to have her first baby. And I know while she is about to experience the greatest joy she has ever felt, she is going to experience the same kind of grief I have over the years by not having her mother by her side to go absolutely nuts with her over her precious baby girl.

We have talked about this and she knows how bittersweet it is going to be. I have told her the only way I feel like I can keep my mother’s presence in my children’s lives is just to love them as she loved me.

I can still remember running into my mom’s room when I was 4 or 5 and snuggling with her on Saturday mornings. I can literally still physically feel what that felt like. She held me so tightly and told me how much she loved me and how I was the best thing that ever happened to her over and over again. Words she would continue to repeat until she was no longer able to speak.

And when I am feeling really down, I can easily go back to that place and it is a place of great comfort for me. I don’t even know if that makes sense to anyone or maybe it sounds crazy, but I just think when you love someone, you do so with all of your senses — the taste and smells that remind you of them, the sound of their voice, the sight of their face in a favorite photograph and remembering the touch of their embrace.

Parenting books be damned! I don’t care if my kids run into my bed at midnight or 7 a.m., they can stay there as long as they want and they are going to get hugged to death and told how much they are loved until they are tired of hearing it. I know the sound of their little feet running down our hallway is going to end sooner rather than later, and we are going to miss it so. We are getting all the snuggling we can get while the snuggling’s good.

And if I do half the job my mother did, they will feel “suffocated” by this love at the right times in their lives. But then, when they are out on their own in this big, scary — and often cruel — world, they will be able to rely on it when they need it, just as I always have, whether I am here with them in body or just in spirit.

Thanks, Mom, for loving me too much. I miss you…

college education

Do you know about the Compassion Collective?   It’s an organization that is dedicated to feeding, clothing, sheltering and saving refugee and homeless children in Europe and the US.

There is a story the world has told you about Mother’s Day. It goes like this: Mother’s Day is about a certain kind of love. A love that is pink and fluffy and soft and can be bought at the store.

We have a truer, more exciting story to tell you. It goes like this:

Mother’s Day IS about Love. But it’s not about commercial, comfortable love that snuggles up and stays home—it’s about love that throws open the door and marches out of our homes, beyond our fences and neighborhoods and into the hurting world to feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, comfort the hurting, mother the motherless. Mother’s Day love is dangerous, revolutionary love that unites our one human family and reminds us that we belong to each other and that there is no such thing as other people’s children.

Mother’s Day was not created by Hallmark, but by a revolutionary warrior for peace. Julia Ward Howe — abolitionist, activist and poet — was the founder of the original Mother’s Day Proclamation in 1870. Tired of war, tired of tribalism being valued above the lives of the vulnerable, her pain became her mission. She called out for revolution.

She called the day of the revolution: MOTHER’S DAY.   

Source (thecompassioncollective.org)

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