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About a year ago, I helped one of my best friends make funny iron ons for t-shirts for her kids so she could announce the news to them that they would soon have a little brother or sister coming in to their family. She and our other best friend and I had a fun crafty night designing, printing and ironing on clever sayings to relate the big news, and I was thrilled that I could offer some crafty skills and be a tiny part of the announcement. What we didn’t know that night was that she and her family were about to start one of the most difficult years of their lives.
Kari Anne Roy is a brilliantly funny writer and mom here in Austin, Texas. Her spring pregnancy last year quickly became high risk, and she was on strict bedrest and then in the hospital for weeks before an emergency delivery of her son at 28 weeks gestation. Despite his early arrival, Isaac “Ike” Roy proved to be the champ in the NICU and astounded doctors with his resilience and growth. His exceptional growth continued once he got home from the hospital, and the family had a great fall season together. However, the new year has dealt blows to the family from which few could recover.
In mid-February, Ike started having breathing problems, and was admitted to Dell Children’s Medical Center after a terrifying episode where he stopped breathing. What followed was five weeks in the hospital, a trachestomy, and few answers for the family on why all this was happening. To add insult to injury, Ike’s father, Steven, lost his job as part of a company-wide layoff due to the economy.
Ike’s medical issues continue, and he is no where near out of the woods. Fortunately, a group of mamas in our community has banded together to help support Ike and his family through all of this. Though Ike has some medical coverage, it is no where near enough to cover the expenses the Roy family is incurring to take care of Ike. We’ve held bake sales and rummage sales and have spread the word about the Roy family, but now we’re taking it to a whole new level.
A huge online auction for Ike started last week, and I’m proud to say that tons of crafters stepped up to answer a call I posted on my blog several weeks ago and donated items to be auctioned off for Ike. There are knit purses, adorable kid items, art dolls, a gorgeous knit shawl and an awesome vintage-inspired apron and dozens of other hand-crafted pieces among some other big-ticket items in the auction. Please take a minute to check out the items in the auction, bid if you can and pass the information on to friends. Ike and his family would be so grateful.
In addition to items that were donated specifically for the auction, several crafters offered up items from their Etsy shops back in February and donated the money to the Roy family. Lots of folks have also blogged and tweeted about Baby Ike. Be sure to check those folks out and tell them thanks. Every little bit has helped.
It’s been such a privilege to be a small part of this huge community outreach effort. I’ve been humbled by the support people from all over the world have given, and have been constantly reminded how especially generous the crafting community can be. What other ways have you seen crafters helping out in their communities? Have you and your craft been part of a community outreach effort? How so? And, if not, how would you like to participate in using your craft to help others? Leave your ideas in the comments!