Project: Northern Lights

It seemed to me to be a God-inspired idea.

I received the phone call at work, pitching the idea.

Let’s take solar lights to that ‘tucked away’ community that we are reaching out to via “Play in the Park” …the place that I have written about, but never shown pictures of.  It came from a couple in their late 60’s, with indomitable spirits, a love for people and a passion for adventure. She has been a part of our Acts of Kindness Adventures.  He supports her in anything she wants to do! They asked me how many homes I thought were in that area. More than 50? No, I responded. Probably about 50.

When I got home that evening from work there was a message on our answering machine asking if I would call so that we could “talk numbers.” You have to know, this friend of mine only counts numbers to make sure that nobody is excluded.

I called back. She explained that she and her husband had ventured up to that area by themselves and admitted that it was “a little scary.” They counted the number of houses tucked away, off of the paved road. They proceeded to drive around the neighborhood that surrounds the park.  Their observation was that those people were “really trying.”  As a result, here were the numbers:

They counted 191 houses.

Target had solar lights on sale for $1.00 each that week.

They had called their 5 grown kids and asked each of them to contribute toward this project. They all said yes.

Together they had come up with $100.00.

Could I, and the friends that go with me on our Acts of Kindness Adventures, come up with another $100.00?  I was certain we could.

She told me our Salina Target only had 16 of the silver ones. She told me they had brown and black but that those looked cheap. She wanted to make sure we gave the best. She called Target stores in Manhattan, Wichita and Derby. Finally, in Derby, they had the 200 lights that we needed.  They drove there {a little over 60 minutes} the next day to purchase them.

I put out an email and in 48 hours had the other $100.00.

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We would deliver one to each home in the area to “brighten their neighborhood.” They called it their “Northern Lights Project” since the neighborhood is on the north end of our city. Light to brighten. Light in the darkness. Light for safety. I loved the idea of bringing light to dark places, figuratively and literally.

We decided that we would attach an invitation to “Play in the Park” on May 25. It was written in English on one side and in Spanish on the other. We advertised free hot dogs and games. This past Saturday 10 of us gathered at the park to deliver the lights. By now we had about 250 lights, as we had forgotten to add the number of ‘tucked away’ homes  after my friends had ventured out to count houses in a four by four block area.Northern Lights Project - May, 2013 009

Northern Lights Project - May, 2013 010

It took us two hours. We met back at the park where we will meet them again on the 25th. There in the basketball court were 2 of the boys that my husband met last month. He had played basketball with them and given  the ball to them before we left. A little girl ran over to them and excitedly told them that something was going to happen in that park on ‘another’ Saturday. Word had already begun to spread and they had something to look forward to!

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We will take more basketballs, sidewalk chalk, kites, frisbees, and bubbles to play with them on the 25th. We will take lots of food, serve them lunch and eat with them. We will assure them that we are all part of the same community, no matter how the lines are drawn in the city.

Will  we make a difference?

To a couple of boys, I think we already have.

Loving the Light with You,

DebbieSignature

About debbierivers

I love to share what I can whenever I can. My goal is to live simply and love lavishly. I enjoy inspiring others with my writing. I am married to Steve and am the mother to two beautiful daughters, Hannah and Jenna, and grandmother to Kinsley. My desire is to encourage and to bless others through my life and my words.
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5 Responses to Project: Northern Lights

  1. Eileen says:

    Always, always so great to read about all the God given moments! What a blessing you all are! Thanks Deb!

  2. Kathy Dipman says:

    I love the ways you guys are loving our community & have some items for your back to school kits. What is the best way to get them to you?

    • debbierivers says:

      Thank you Kathy D! I’m hoping that by writing about it, others from any community can see that they can do the same thing! We always welcome donations…thank you!You can drop them off at my house or I can come get them. I would love to have the chance to meet you. I see that you’re friends with Sharon S. She has been a delightful addition to our crew!

  3. DeeDee Ballentine says:

    Awesome Love inspired, Love in action….
    God Bless you as you carry light into this community, in so many ways.
    Pushing back the darkness, building lives, building relationships.

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