Hugs and Hope Club for Sick Kids
Grandma's Hugs Reach Around the World
Marsha Jordan believes that children shouldn't have to suffer. But many children do suffer. Many children are very sick. And many children are so sick, that they are dying.
Marsha hears a broken-hearted mom's story of her dying child. The frustrated mother cried, "I want to run into the street and scream doesn't anybody care? Won't somebody do something to help me?"
At that moment, Jordan determined that she would "be that somebody." She couldn't do a lot, but she could do something. She founded the Hugs and Hope Club for Sick Kids in September, 2000.
The club is committed to putting a little more joy and hope into the lives of families suffering with sick and injured children. The Christian based group provides the message that "God cares" and that no one need face life's struggles alone. It also provides Bibles to parents.
But it is much, much more than just a religious message. "People often hear that God loves them," says Jordan. "But sometimes they need a person 'with skin on' to demonstrate that love and make it feel real."
The volunteer members of Hugs and Hope spread that love by extending hands of friendship to strangers around the world. They call themselves hug-givers and hope-restorers, and they claim that they benefit at least as much as the families they strive to help.
Club members accomplish this mission by sending "happy mail" across the country cheering sick and injured children. Their motto is "We send hugs and smiles across the miles." In April 2002, the club has more than 500 partners sending that "happy mail".
Jordan understands what it is like to be sick, frustrated and afraid. She is a grandmother disabled by an auto-immune disease that left her blind.. Her illness enables her to empathize with others who suffer. "When I was struck blind, due to complications of my disease," Jordan recalls, "I battled depression and felt a lack of purpose for my life." Ironically though, her disability proved to be a beginning rather than an end. "It propelled me into a new direction," said Jordan. "And my life is more rewarding now than ever before."
Her Hugs and Hope Club began as a hobby, but in a few short months it mushroomed into a full-time ministry. Jordan says, "A door closed, but God opened a big window!" The project has helped over one hundred children world wide.
"My life proves that God can work through anyone and He can accomplish extraordinary things through ordinary people."
"Life threw me a curve," says Jordan about her disability. But she now feels that her U-turn sent her in the direction she should have been going. She explains, "I believe I'm doing now what God had intended for me all along."
Caring people from every walk of life eagerly join the efforts of the Hugs and Hope Club. Musicians contribute tapes and CDs of children's music and organize benefit concerts for the kids. Publishers and authors donate children's books. Merchants contribute toys. Quilters and sewers make blankets, tote bags, and dolls. Youth groups mail hundreds of handcrafted cards.
You too can send hugs that reach around the world! How can you become a messenger of hope for a sick child? All that's required is a heart of compassion and the desire to help. "Whatever your ability," says Jordan, "it can benefit suffering children and their families."
Whether you create graphics for a web site, send encouraging notes to discouraged parents, or drop a Barney video in the mail to a little one, it all helps. Your small effort can send a message of hope to hurting families. Together, everyone's small acts of kindness truly make a difference in the world – one smile at a time.
To join the Hugs and Hope Club, visit their web site at www.HugsAndHope.org .
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