Sunday, October 6, 2013

Angels Among Us...

A few weeks ago we had our annual race in Meridian.  One of the race participants had a special surprise prepared for us that day.

Earlier this year Brooklyn McKenzie had a dream not unlike many grade school kids, which was to go to Disneyland.  She had a plan on how to do it as well.  She would pick berries from the family garden and make jam and jelly to sell.  It was sure to work!

Shortly after her endeavors started she made a decision that most kids wouldn't, she decided to forego the dream of Disneyland and instead raise money for a little orphan who has Down syndrome in South America she had never met so that he could have a family and so that he could someday go to Disneyland too. 

Brooklyn labored all summer picking the berries, making the jam and then going door to door telling the story of this little orphaned boy and what she was doing to help.  One jar at a time she started to make a difference.  The difference was small at first then it grew.  By the time she was done, she had collected $562!  After her story ran on KSL, a couple in St. George donated enough to make it $842! 

Here's another amazing part of this story.  As a team, RODS has been raising funding for months for Vaughn, but we weren't quite there yet.  Our goal was to raise $15,000.  After having dozens of athletes all over the country racing all summer we had made it to $14,500.  That's when I got a call from Brooklyn's mom. 

She put the phone on speaker and handed it to Brooklyn.  I heard an innocent little voice tell me what she had been up to.  She even recited the script she had prepared to help promote the jam.  In the end she told me the amount that she had raised.  Chills came over me as I knew that this was just enough to get Vaughn over the $15,000 mark!  It seemed fitting that a 7 year old would be the one to get our little 7 year old orphan to the goal.

This experience has reminded me of something I firmly believe which small and simple things are great things brought to pass.

Because of Brooklyn's example, we have made her an honorary member of RODS.  Brooklyn's example as well as some other experiences and suggestions from team members I have had recently has spurred on the thought of starting a Junior RODS team.  There are many kids that could make a difference similar to Brooklyn.  This would be a great experience for them and for us to take part in. 

I have a feeling that Brooklyn's work is going to turn out to be something that neither her or her family could have imagined.  Again, by small and simple things are great things brought to pass...

Thank you Brooklyn McKenzie for following that ever small voice that whispered to you "That Vaughn needed a family more than you needed to go to Disneyland."  Because of your willingness to follow this prompting you truly made the world a better place!

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