Last month I wrote about my friend Jen Ballantyne. I say she is my friend but she is my hero, really. She is a single mom, just like me. She is beautiful and artistic and creative and an amazing and generous friend. She is also a brave warrior against cancer.
For those who don’t know Jen’s story, you must get thee to her blog. There she gives you the real deal–beautiful stories about what it is like to have stage 4 colon cancer. What it is like to parent a six year old. What it is like to be a brilliant, creative, shining light who is facing possible death so early. Jenni is fighting for her life while she struggles to be a single mom and provide quality care to her sons. She is in the fight day in and day out, bravely, smartly, gracefully slogging it out–all the while finding time in her day and love in her heart for the likes of little old me and many more lucky women who call her friend.
Jenni’s words daily inspire thousands of women across the globe. And a few of us have been struggling as we read, desperate to find a way to make a difference in her life thousands of miles away from us.
We are organizing a group of her blogging friends to raise funds to help pay for her treatment and those forms of care and pain management that will not be covered by insurance: acupuncture, massage,naturopath, etc., as well as create a trust for her son. These are things Jen desperately needs, but can’t afford. This is help she won’t ever ask for, because she is too worried about everyone else. So (with her permission) we have decided to take matters into our own hands.
We are going to host a charity auction, through ebay, and all money made will go directly to her care and to a trust for Jack.
Sound interesting? Want to be an elf too? We need help!
1) If you have or know someone who has, items/s that could be auctioned, we would be grateful for any donations. We are open to receiving all offerings. Some folks have already pledged to donate hand made items and art–handknit pieces, jewlrey,prints, zines etc. Others have offered things that perhaps they were getting ready to auction off themselves (that kitchen aid that you got as a wedding gift and have never used….). The only consideration is shipping costs. For example, if an item is heavy and expensive to ship, we just want to make sure it would earn enough money in the auction to balance this out. If you have an item to donate please email us at weloveyoujen at gmail dot com and let us know what it is and we can get you the information on where to ship the items. (We will handle the fufillment from one central location in Chicago) We are asking that all the items be sent to us by so that we can photograph them and get them ready for the auction. If you have questions, feel free to email us here as well.
2) Help us drum up donations. If you have likeminded friends who you think might want to contribute to this cause please share this post with them. Also, if you have a blog, please help us by posting on your blog too. You can send people who want to donate to welovyoujen at gmail dot com.
3) Help us publicize the auction itself. Check back here and when the auction is up and running, we will have a link to it. Please let your friends and contacts know about it. Post about it if you can to help us drive traffic there.
4) Got other ideas? Please email them to us at weloveyoujen at gmail dot com. We are doing this as a team and are hungry for new ideas, thoughts and are willing to take on other partners!
We are not a non-proft. We are just a gang of women coming together to support one of our own. We are rallying behind Jen because the reality is it could be one of us and we strongly believe that this is what community does. But alas because we aren’t a non-profit we can’t offer a tax deduction for donations. We hope you, your friends or contacts still can help out anyway.
Of course, we ask that you continue to hold Jenni in your thoughts and prayers and continue to support her through leaving your comments and warm wishes on her blog. I am a believer that prayer and love can do wonders to heal, if not the body then the heart and soul.
We are continually amazed and inspired by what a small group of women and their friends can do. Won’t you join us and spread the elfen magic?