September 19, 2017
(In case you missed Part One, A Beautiful Gift Wrapped in Heartbreak – Part One)
written by Abigail Sacran, Founder of Spreading Sunshine
Time in the Hospital Opened My Eyes and My Heart
Sunshine’s Down syndrome diagnosis faded into the background when we learned that David had a serious colon issue and would require surgery. At 9 days old, he had his colon repaired. Due to surgery, David lost the natural reflex to eat, so we remained in the NICU at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital for six weeks. Meanwhile, we waited and prayed that David would learn how to eat. At six weeks of age, the Lord answered our prayers, and we were able to return home.
Our time at Le Bonheur opened my eyes to a community of hurting individuals. We were among hundreds of parents who found themselves in a place you never want to be – in a hospital with a sick child.
Yet, there we were. There they were. The days within the walls of a hospital are long and monotonous. We learned the hospital schedule and the hours of the cafeteria and gift shop. We walked the halls and the sidewalks. We watched helicopter after helicopter bring more sick children and more hurting parents.
We had tremendous support during our hospital stay. People brought us snacks and meals, gave us money, and took care of Lily. We lacked for nothing, but this was not the reality for the majority of hospital families. Many of these families were facing difficult and life altering circumstances with little or no support.
The Birth of Spreading Sunshine
I wanted to help these hurting individuals. I wanted to give back and show them the same love and kindness that had been abundantly given to my family.
After David’s open-heart surgery, I began to look for a way to serve hospital families. What could I do? I felt so limited in my abilities. I was a stay at home mom with two little ones, and I lived almost two hours away from our children’s hospital. Then, late one night, while feeding the baby and scrolling through Pinterest, I saw the perfect idea: a Sunshine Box! These amazing boxes were filled with yellow and orange items to encourage and bring joy to another.
This was something I could do! The idea was perfect – a box of sunshine given in honor of my Sunshine.
The next day, the kids and I went shopping for all things yellow and orange. We filled a box and shipped it to a little girl in Massachusetts who was having her third open-heart surgery.
A few weeks later, we created another Sunshine Box. This time, I shared our project on social media, and soon people from all over the world began asking how they could send Sunshine Boxes.
The first Sunshine Box was shipped three years ago. It is amazing to see how far the Lord has brought us and how much Spreading Sunshine has grown. We are now a registered non-profit that continues to send Sunshine Boxes and minister to families within our community. We serve floor meals at LeBonheur Children’s Hospital, and we provide care bags for the FedEx House of Memphis. Spreading Sunshine desires to walk alongside those families who need love, support, and encouragement. We want to be the meal, the drink, the service that Christ refers to in Matthew, “if you have served the least of these, ye have served me.”
Every Sunshine Box sent, every meal served offers a chance to touch lives. Would you like to join our mission and help give joy to families?
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