The Hugs and Hope Club Story
When I became disabled and quit working, I took up two hobbies. One was creating web pages. The other was joining several online prayer groups and spending much of each day praying for and sending encouraging emails to people who were sick.
Daily I received prayer requests from parents of children who'd been stricken with serious illness or injured in accidents. My heart went out to these innocent little kids who suffered more than most adults ever do in a lifetime. I kept track of each child's progress, emailing the parents and requesting updates. I asked friends and relatives to pray for the kids along with me, and weekly I sent the kids books, stickers, and funny cards to cheer them up. I wished that I could do more to help them.
When I learned of an old high school friend of mine who had contracted Lou Gehrig's disease, I created a web page for him. I wanted to honor him and I wanted to let people know about his plight so that they could pray for him, write to him, and contribute to his medical expense fund. Then I got the idea that I could do the same for all the sick children I had been in contact with. The Hugs and Hope Club was born. The first web page was created in September of 2000. I emailed it to all my friends who emailed it to their friends. Over a period of months, I began receiving emails from strangers asking to be added to my mailing list so that they could get regular updates on the children.
I also received emails from people who were willing to help in other ways. For instance, Integrity Music sent me boxes of cassettes and CD's for the kids. I've found that people are very compassionate and eager to help, once they discover a need.
Unfortunately, parents of sick children spend so much time caring for their ill child that they have no time to search for resources that might be available to help them. Because I had plenty of time to search the internet and loved doing it, I became a link between those families who needed help but didn't know where to find it and the people or organizations that were available to help them.
I've made so many new, wonderful friends through the Hugs and Hope Club! I enjoy receiving Christmas newsletters from the families I've worked with throughout the year, and I'm always delighted to find a note in my email from one of the kids who just wanted to let me know how well they are doing.
Though the Hugs and Hope Club is a very small thing to do, it is rewarding to know that it brings some sunshine into the lives of children who don't deserve to be so sick and yet suffer so much. I encourage you to "join the club" and spread some love and hope - "sending smiles across the miles." You could make someone's day and maybe even make a new friend.
The more you give, the more you
The more you do unselfishly
The more of everything you share,
The more you love, the more you'll
For only what we give away,
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