Today I ran my fourth stall at Skipton Collectors, Gifts and Crafts Fair, and it was the first day that it didn't rain heavily! Sunnier weather must have put people in sunnier moods, as I raised £74.30, the most I have ever taken on one day from people I don't know! A massive thank you to everyone who contributed!
Fundraising for Winston's Wish makes me view charity fundraisers in a new light. I had never realised before that when you give money to a charity collector, you give even more to the individual holding the donation box than to the organisation itself. I wish that I could thank each person who cares enough to buy from 'the girl selling pebbles for her sister', as I am often referred to as by customers. Nobody knows how much it means to me when they tell me anecdotes about the pebbles. One lady told me she was going to give 'Faith' to her daughter, "She has just finished her degree and is despairing about being unable to find a job. I keep trying to give her faith that she will." If The Pebble Garden gives something, even if it is only to one person, then that gives me faith in life.
|L for Louise and Long Hair... S for Sophie and Short Hair|
Fundraising is both more exhilarating and exhausting than I had imagined possible. Remembering Louise, and telling others about her is so important to me. I started The Pebble Garden to mark what should have been Louise's sixteenth birthday, a milestone. In a sense, I am trying to make up for the events she won't see this year: her GCSE exams, her results, prom, A levels, the Olympics, our little brother starting his GCSE courses... the list is endless. People know Louise's name now, even if only for the minute they spend in front of my stall. The Pebble Garden forces them to consider the life that Louise lost, and that her presence is still strongly felt in the little pebbles that are making a difference to those who receive them. Even in death, she is still the little girl with a big heart.
Understandably, I guess, spending seven hours stood up talking to people about my dead twin whilst surrounded by photographs of the little girl I lost somewhere on a motorway ten years ago is draining. I am inside all day, I can't see what the weather is doing. But even if it is raining, please smile at 'the girl with the pebbles'. You have the power to bring a little bit of sunshine.