Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation….the Cousin’s Club

The love we build
with hugs we show
a magic seed
planted to grow!

My family never fails me. They are a miracle. I have faith in what they can accomplish. I whisper my love into their ears.

2nd Annual Build a Hug!
A family tradition

Cousins Bonding
Elena, 11, Maddie 5

First I need to tell you that the name “Cousin’s Club” is not original. I, in fact, have two friends that gave the me idea. One is writing a book that grandparents can use when the “herd” of children come to visit on a summers day. She has created a number of themed weeks or week ends with games, field trips and projects. Another has a daughter that rediscovered the magic of having cousins as friends in her forties. Both were an inspiration for the creation of a club for cousins.

Cousin’s Club
Ages 9 Month thru 17 years

In my particular case the cousins come from diverse families, ages, and life styles. I felt I needed to find a commonality for them. Even after the table had been set, the invitations sent out and the meal shopped for and planned, I had not come up with the link that would tie them together for yet another year. I did not sleep much and worried about the teens bonding with babies and youngers. I wanted it to go beyond fun and wrestling on the living room floor. I wanted them to have a purpose.

I thought about a blog or a photo album or even books created for each child. Then it occurred to me that my grandchildren have more than they could ever want, knew more about the computer than I ever would and lived lives full of activities designed especially for them. I did not need to add to their lives in that way. What they needed was to share…sacrifice in some small way. That would give them the purpose they required.

Samual Ryan Torris
Age 8

It was in this spirit that the cousins gathered at the “big peoples” table with their parents serving them. An explanation was given for the formation of the Cousin’s Club. Not only would they be responsible to others in the family for grades, they would need to share as a group. I suggested that they could make a donation, seeded by my husband and I, to the charity of their choosing. They were give three choices; 1) Oregon Food Bank (there are children hungry in our state), 2) St. Jude or 3) the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (Sammy suffers from this malady). They talked it over while the adults visited in the corner. Seriously, we did not hear what they had to say but their new president (that turned out to be the oldest Alysia), announced that they had chosen the JDRF. Sammy smiled from ear to ear and the $50 was collected.

It was then that they each went to their wallets and the wallets of their parents and began collecting money and the fund grew rapidly to $152.00. I cannot tell you how proud they were. The snow ball only needed a small push and they watched as it grew, asking every few minutes how much we had collected. In fact, it was the last thing they asked as they stepped out the door to go home.

Sammy and his brother were at their father’s house for a couple of days and when we came to share a Xmas Eve breakfast they helped me go online and make the donation. Sammy clicked the send key and Connor, the treasurer for life, had counted the money and handed it to me after I had sent the money.

Sammy told me that he heard that maybe they might be able to make him well. My eyes are filled with tears now. I am praying that it is so. This little boy has so much to do in his life. He is filled with gratitude for all his blessing and when he opens a gift he is has thrilled about a deck of cards has he is about a WII game. We all love him so much.

I wish you all a Merry Christmas and the best New Years ever.



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