Bearhands and I have reached that stage in our union that our marriage has outlived many of our wedding presents. The red non-stick frypan my Aunt gave us is now decidedly stick. I broke one of the crystal wine glasses from a work colleague while washing up. One of the feet has broken off the sandwich press Bearhands' cousin gave us. These presents have seen wear and tear, but nothing like I imagine one of our gifts has received. Of all the wonderful wedding gifts that we received, I suspect one has been used more than all the others. Friends of ours, Fran and Martyn, bought a school desk and chair for a school in sub-sahara Africa in honour of our nuptials. I like to imagine that this present, despite being used almost daily since we married back in 2007, is still going strong.
Then in 2013 I received another cracker gift. My bestie and her boyfriend bought a well for a school in Cambodia for me for Christmas. Their gift meant that the school could build a toilet, a well and a water system. Which meant kids could go to school and stay there. Moreover, they could take clean water home for school instead of spending precious hours collecting water from wells far away. At the risk of seeming ungracious, I can't tell you what other gifts I received for Christmas that year. This one, and the meaning behind it, have stuck with me.
On Sunday, I was a very lucky Mummy. The girls gave me treasures from the school stall, handmade chocolate balls, flowers, teddy bear pyjamas and a card that declared they are "so happy that I am in their family."
Later Mum and Dad handed me a Mothers Day card. Inside was the story of a little Nepalese boy named Runesh, who they have sponsored in my name. Runesh and his parents were buried under their home in Kathmandu Valley during the recent earthquake. Rescuers were able to pull Runesh and his father out of the rubble, but when they reached Runesh's mother she had died. His Dad is still in hospital with a broken back and leg, and other family members are caring for Runesh at the moment.
Runesh has been in my thoughts since Mothers Day. I imagine him trying to make sense of what has happened, grieving his mother, worrying about his future. The poor little man is just an year older than the Big Sister and was studying year two before the quake.
If you're looking for a charity to donate money to the Nepalese people, NAFA (the Nepal Australian Friendship Association) is a Brisbane-based non-political, non-profit organisation without religious affiliation. The members of NAFA are all volunteers and guarantee that 100% of donations go directly to Nepal. There is no loss of funds to administration fees or advertising. You can read more about their work at their website - NAFA Queensland.
I do not know how Runesh and his surviving family are fairing after yesterday's second earthquake. I can only pray that the little man is safe and hasn't suffered any further losses and feel very grateful that the only reason the Big Sister had to cry this morning was because her new pink drink bottle is broken.
have you ever given or received a charity gift?
what's the most memorable present you've ever received?