A few weeks ago I was told by someone that Hope for BraveHEARTS would never make a difference. I'll be honest, it totally bummed me out. I let it get to me for a minute and I really questioned whether HBH was worth the effort or not.
We most likely won't ever raise millions of dollars for the big research projects that will hopefully change our little heart world (although it would be so awesome if we could!!), so would we make any difference at all? Is it worth the time and effort of not just us board members, but for everyone who supports us? I had almost convinced myself that it was probably true: Hope for BraveHEARTS would never really make a difference...until I received this email from one of our favorite doctors at MUSC:
"I returned to work yesterday after taking a few days off for the holidays. I went to get the cook books and donation and was utterly shocked! I cannot thank you enough for your generosity. It is truly amazing how much Hope for Brave HEARTS have been able to raise. It's rather ironic or a wonderful coincidence that I applied for a grant 2 weeks ago to study swelling after heart surgery and a potential way to decrease it. If I get it, the grant requires that we contribute $10,000 in order to receive a matching amount from them. Maybe your generous gift is a sign, I'll keep my fingers crossed. I hope everything went ok with your blanket delivery last weekend. The cookbooks look great, you guys did a really great job. Merry Christmas and THANK YOU again for your generosity!"
I'm pretty sure our little donation wasn't "ironic" or a "wonderful coincidence." I feel certain that The Big Guy orchestrated that. And thankfully, it was a very obvious answer to a question I couldn't let go of. It made all of us giddy when we read this email. It wiped away any doubt and it gave us more drive to make a difference.
In less than two years Hope for BraveHEARTS has donated $17,500 to pediatric cardiology research. It kind of blows my mind, but amazingly, people believe in the cause. We have the best, most incredibly supportive community...THEY (and some pretty awesome people who have donated from other places) have donated $17,500 to pediatric cardiology research. We have simply been given the pleasure of writing the checks. :)
This year our goal is to beat last year's donation. I really think we can do it, but of course we need your help! So, in honor of CHD Awareness Week we'll be having our 3rd Annual HBH Pancake Breakfast on Saturday, February 11th!
We would LOVE to have a huge crowd, so all of you locals (which includes everyone within driving distance), mark your calendars and come have breakfast with us! :)
Tickets are $7 and kids 4 and under eat free. We'll be serving pancakes (the best ones I've ever had!), sausage, fruit and a drink. Tickets can be purchased ahead of time or at the door.
We also have a newly designed Hope for BraveHEARTS t-shirt from the design competition we had last year at the breakfast. They're irresistible, just wait! I'll post a picture as soon as I can. :)
We will also have the cookbooks available at the breakfast. They've received rave reviews! I've tried quite a few of the recipes myself and haven't been disappointed yet. It's my go-to when I can't figure out what's for dinner. The cookbook contains 200 delicious recipes from heart families and friends from all over the country. If you would like a cookbook but won't be at the breakfast, we'd be glad to mail them to you! They're $12 each (+ shipping if we mail them). You can email me at carolinacarters (at) gmail (dot) com and I'll get as many as you want right out to you!
I do believe that little things make a difference. Even though sometimes it doesn't feel like it, they do. We'll keep pushing as long as there's a reason. We hope you continue supporting as long as we keep pushing. The little things: the breakfast, shirts, cookbooks...they add up.
All of the little things that people are doing everywhere to fight Congenital Heart Defects...raising awareness, raising money, connecting families, sharing stories...it all adds up. Someday, hopefully someday soon, all of those little things will make a difference.
Our hope is that one day nobody will have to see their baby like this.