The Rayni Pledge - Do Something Daily to Help Someone
It has been so hard for me to even start to write this. I'm not sure why. Maybe it's because I end up with so many tears as I'm writing, I can't even see the screen. But, I really think it's because I know that I can't do justice to explaining how much Rayni wanted to help people. I won't be able to explain how truly genuine her desire to make someone smile or to share herself with others was. So, I can just sit down here at this computer and do my best.
I guess there are some obvious things I think of. When we'd see someone holding up a sign on the side of the road, "Will work for food" "Homeless". She wanted to do something. I did to, but I had to figure out how we could safely help. So, we'd go buy a McDonalds cheeseburger and I'd hand it out through the window to whomever it was standing on the road. I remember one time there was a man sitting in the Kmart parking lot. It was hot outside and Rayni commented how he must be so hot and thirsty. So, we had a bottled water and she wanted to give it to him. We did. She wanted to ring the bell for the Salvation Army every year - even though it was cold. She was extremely involved in Miracle Club, packing care packages, helping plan events for the families. Rayni preferred to give away clothing she had grown out of rather than sell it. A couple years ago, she had some beautiful dresses and we found out there was a little girl at Haven House. Rayni wanted to give that little girl her dresses instead of selling them so she could buy new clothing for herself. She wanted to donate her clothes to our church because they distribute them at the school fair. Against her requests, I sometimes did take clothes and sell them and give her the money to buy something for herself. She wanted to donate money, items, whatever was being asked for whenever it was being asked for.
I would often pick her up from school and she'd have a concern. She was once worried about a boy in one of her classes because he seemed tired all the time. She said he wore long sleeves even when it was warm and one day his sleeve was up and she saw cuts. She wanted to know what she should do. She didn't even know this boy, but she wanted to help him. Another time, she took a pediasure to a girl in one of her classes who was pregnant because the girl had been telling her how she couldn't eat breakfast because it made her nauseous. Rayni shared with her how she often didn't eat breakfast because of that, but that she often just drank a pediasure because it wouldn't make her nauseous.
She had just told me in the fall how she wanted to volunteer to cook for the Ronald McDonald House again (we had done it once before with Rayni Day Miracles several years ago.)
A Different Perspective
It's taken weeks to write just that, so I decided to ask for help from one of the most inspirational writers I know. Asking is something I find very difficult to do but.....I asked Christopher Armstrong, the writer of the original Rayni Pledge, if he felt inspired to write something for this part of the pledge. And, of course, in his consistant kind, wise beyond his years way, he wrote the following.
Rayni Day Miracles Miracle Club Care Packages
Do something daily for someone else.
Have you ever heard someone say I wish it was Christmas all year long? I find what most people mean is: they wish the spirit of Christmas lived in the hearts of everyone all year long. Have you ever seen the movie the Christmas Shoes or heard the song by Newsong? If you haven’t, you are missing out. Living with a heart that gives will cause you to have many wonderful inspired moments from God that fill your heart full of joy, especially the kind of happiness we desire over the Christmas holiday. How do we get that? We get it by living in the moment and observing others in order to help. Proverbs 22:9 – He who is generous will be blessed.
We have had many moments as a family that create a feeling of giving and blessing others throughout the year. One perfect example happened years ago, my mother was paying enough attention in a gas station to realize that the young man ahead of her in line had forgotten his wallet. Of course this meant losing his driver’s license if he didn’t pay. The man was distraught and didn’t know what to do. He had to leave, he was going to be late for school and if he was they would cut him from the medical program. Mom paid for his tank full of gas on his motorcycle that day, without him knowing. The manager was shocked at my mother’s willingness to pay for some stranger’s gas. I always wondered what happened when that man returned that evening, as he told the manager he was going to do. I wonder the joy he felt knowing that someone helped him, with nothing more than a note to help someone else. Galatians 6:2 – Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.
My friend, Rayni, was great at doing things for other’s daily. With the help of her family, she started her own charity called Rayni Day Miracles. The charity helps others that face tough medical issues daily. Rayni and I shared many common interests and one was living each day to help someone else. One thing I remember Rayni helping me with is she always knew how to include my sister in everything we did as a group. She made my sister feel welcome and not an outcast, as my sister so commonly feels like in group settings. It was simple kindness that she showed toward others that helped their day to be better. Colossians 3:14 – Above all these put on LOVE, which binds things in perfect harmony.
I challenge everyone to do something today for someone else. It doesn’t have to be a huge, just something that makes a stranger smile and thankful you cared.
So Much More
Thank you Christopher!!
I have so many pictures of Rayni doing nice things for others. She once had her blood drawn, even though it was a thing she hated, because her friend (also with pulmonary hypertension) was having his drawn. At the age of 8, when her friend Kaycey passed away, she sat with Kaycey's little sister and just spent time with her. I never did know what they talked about. But, Rayni had an understanding of life at 8 that I never did and she continued to be that wonderful giving, sharing person as she grew to the age of 15. I also have so many stories of others helping her (which is why I think she so freely gave herself). A good friend helping her swim, a good friend carrying her up a hill on her back, cousins making her pancakes in the shape of an R for her birthday.
Please share your giving, and receiving experiences, with us. The world seems so harsh sometimes, but there are so many miracles out there - and Rayni was able to see them and help me see them.