After a harrowing experience in the hospital, Maker Melissa B. and her daughters, Korin and Marli, have given back to the hospital ever since. From giving supplies to the hospital to gifting bracelets to strangers, read about how this Maker along with her family has created change in their local community!
Melissa shares how they began fundraising for their local Children’s Hospital, “7 years ago our oldest daughter was rushed to the hospital on her birthday, and we didn’t know if she was going to make it. The staff at the hospital made it so special for her with gifts, a birthday sash, and a banner to help her celebrate. At such an unimaginable time, they made it bearable. After almost a week in ICU, she pulled through. Since that experience, in lieu of birthday gifts, she asks friends and family to donate books, coloring books, and art supplies to be given to kids in the hospital and at our neighborhood children’s urgent care center.” As the years have gone by, Melissa and her daughters found that MyIntent was the perfect fundraising tool, “We’ve incorporated stamping MyIntent bracelets so that our fundraising is ongoing. We help our friends and family find their WORD and stamp a bracelet. In return, we ask for a donation that we put toward the purchase of books, coloring books, crayons, and other art supplies. Since we began giving back, we’ve donated more than 5,000 items to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.”
More than just a fundraising tool, it’s a time for family bonding! Melissa says, “We love stamping the bracelets, but it’s something we don’t take lightly. It’s an act of service to help others with their WORD, and a true effort, physical and mental, to stamp their WORD. It’s been so much fun learning together. As the girls have gotten older, it’s become much easier for them to stamp. When we first began, I would help hold each letter stamp and line the letters up. Now, they’re able to stamp by themselves. Helping someone find their WORD is pretty awesome. I love the question cards because they get people thinking. It’s almost like a light bulb moment when someone finds their WORD.”
"We’ve incorporated stamping MyIntent bracelets so that our fundraising is ongoing. We help our friends and family find their WORD and stamp a bracelet."
Since the pandemic, Melissa and her family have paused their fundraising efforts, while still giving back to their community. They have been gifting bracelets to spread kindness and positivity. Melissa shares, “I also keep pre-stamped bracelets with me to give out. I feel like it’s spirit-led. I think it surprises people, and I love to see their reactions. It’s definitely put me out of my comfort zone to go up and tell random people that I want to give them a bracelet I made, but it’s always so worth it!! By giving to and connecting with others, I receive so much in return. It means so much to me that I can be a catalyst for helping to encourage and inspire others. Our family can make a small difference in our world."
With spirit and courage, Melissa and her daughters gave their favorite singer Mandisa a bracelet. They remember the moment, “We had the opportunity to meet Mandisa, and we stamped UNFINISHED that we gave to her because her music has been a huge influence in our daughters’ lives. She actually wore it when she performed and that was such an amazing moment for us.”
Being a Maker is a practice. A practice in courage, in patience, and in compassion, and it starts with you! Melissa’s WORD this year is UNAPOLOGETIC. She shares, “It’s taken me awhile to realize my entire existence is between my Creator and I and no one else. Yes, I’ve make mistakes, I do things that are 'un-Christian', and I’m far from perfect. That’s on Me. I’m choosing to live without regret or shame for who I am. [...Be You.] Unapologetically.”
Melissa’s Maker Pro-Tips: Do it [even if you're] scared. Asking questions can be tough. Giving a bracelet to a random person can be tough. You have to get over your fears and be prepared to talk about your word without worrying what someone else may think. People will share if you’re willing to take the time to listen.