Deepwater Horizon Day 26: On a Personal Note

For those of you who know me, I am one who likes to keep my cards held closely. This is especially true when it deals with my personal life. However, I wanted to share with you a note I asked my fabulous wife Chris to write. You will see why, as it is dealing with something I am very proud of. Briefly, before that, no additional oiled turtles or mammals collected today, and I will detail the events of the past three days tomorrow evening. OK, on to the post:

“Hello Everybody!  I am Chris, Mike-the-Amazing-Blogger’s, wife (Wanted to edit this but got outvoted – MZ).  I get to be the mystery blogger tonight!  Please have patience with me as I have never blogged or written anything that more than one or two people would read.  I just wanted to share the amazing and inspiring day we had the other day.  Our eldest daughter, Shelby, celebrated her 14th birthday with another fundraiser car wash.  Last year, she raised $500 to help a friend’s mother, who signed up to walk the 3 Day Breast Cancer Walk.  I made her go and ask if we could use IHOPs parking lot as well as ask for donations from Kragen Auto Parts (I know, I’m a Mean Mother).  She mustered her courage, spoke to them and lo and behold, they thought it was a great idea and welcomed and encouraged her.  Shelby had so much fun last year at her Birthday Fundraiser that she wanted to do it again!  This year, she wanted to pick a different cause and also wanted to match or exceed the $500 amount.  So, she picked a cause that is a little more personal to her: the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill.  It is more personal in the fact that this oil spill has taken her father 2200 miles away to help with this catastrophic, man-made disaster.  Mike, as you all know, has been down in the Gulf for over three weeks now, helping to organize the wildlife rehabilitation effort.  She is so proud of the work that her father is doing that she wanted to help in the only way she knows how – birthday fundraising.  So, in my Mean Mother way, I made her talk to another restaurant, Round Table Pizza, and Kragen again.  She did not protest much, just rolled her eyes a little, and went in and explained what she wanted to do.  Lo and behold, they also thought it was a great idea and welcomed and encouraged her!

So, Shelby and about 12 of her and her sister’s friends, walked to Round Table Pizza and set up tables, pop-up tents, posters, balloons, boom box, snacks (of course – they are teenagers after all), buckets, hoses, soap and squeegees while I connected 5 hoses together.  We were busy from the get-go, washing, rinsing and drying cars.  They word had gotten around the email block and people were pouring in.  The boys commandeered the hoses and proceed to not only get all the cars rinsed, but the rest of us, too.  After two straight hours of washing, rinsing, and drying, they were wet, cold, and tired, but thoroughly pleased with themselves.

I am so proud that a teenager, in this digital and materialistic society, is willing to forego her presents and raise money for a good cause.  Not only did SHE accomplish this, but was able to get 12 of her teenage friends to do this and have a blast while doing it!  When asked why she picked the oil spill as her cause this year, she answered, “We hear of other disasters in the world, but this one is more real in my life right now.”  What has she learned from this experience?  I believe she has learned many lessons: from asking for what she needs, thinking outside her 14 year-old self, and most of all, being able to make a small dent in a very large world.  What an empowering lesson for all of us!  Happy Birthday Shelby!”

Note: As the care of the wildlife is being payed for by BP as part of the response efforts, I am helping Shelby get “care packages” to each of the rehab facilities for the staff and volunteers there – filled with snacks and treats they may be missing from their homes.

– Mike

6 thoughts on “Deepwater Horizon Day 26: On a Personal Note

  1. Chris: this is very impressive indeed, and a real inspiration! I am teaching my two young boys (ages 5 and 6) about the oil spill, and we watch the videos on Google every day. Last night Cody, the youngest, asked me if the spill will still be around when he grows up. I said, “I sure hope not, Cody!” Please wish Shelby a Happy Birthday for me and a big Thank You for her efforts!

  2. Beautiful post! Thanks to Shelby and her friends for their generosity, and to Chris, for sharing this good news…

  3. Dear Chris and Mike

    Thanks to both of you for sharing this peek into your personal lives. Shelby is to be commended for her selfless choice. Everyone is a winner when we are able to get past the me first way of thinking. And Chris your not a “Mean Mother”. Your doing what I call parenting with gentle loving nudges. And by the way, thanks for being the supportive wife. Mike’s skills are much needed in the gulf.

  4. Shelby is following in her parents footsteps! Serving others and making a difference are signs of true leadership. Way to go Shelby!

    Onward and Upward!

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