In Loving Memory

  • Remembering my beloved child, Austin, who passed away at the early age of 14. He lived more in those 14 short years than most and is an inspiration to us all.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Not just a T-shirt

From my blog "Finding Joy in Every Day"......

Our t-shirts arrived this week for the next fundraiser to support the Austin's Legacy Scholarship Fund. I had mixed emotions when they arrived. Working on this fund is a reminder of what we've lost but also a way for us to keep Austin's memory alive.

As I opened the cardboard boxes and pulled out the bright green shirts, it was a bit of a goose bump moment. To see his logo, which I created to honor him, in print and tangible was a little surreal. When we formed this scholarship fund, I knew I needed and wanted a logo but I struggled with how to capture the essence of Austin in a small frame. The idea just came to me one day and within moments I drew it out. To see it in physical form on these shirts was just a special moment because I could just feel the presence of Austin and knew he was proud of what we had accomplished.

Our pre-sales were a blessing and the amount collected was a strong indication of not only the success of this fundraiser but also the impact Austin made on so many lives. Being a cautious fundraiser, I even took a calculated risk and used part of the profits to buy stock. I'm happy to report that three days in, we've already sold a large portion.

In thanking my family for their help with the sales, I mentioned that with every shirt someone buys, it feels like a hug for my heart. For someone to take the time and effort to make the purchase, bring the money, and arrange for delivery, tells me they care...and that Austin meant something to them as well. The reaction when they receive it, surprises me at times. People are so excited and proud to get to wear it, eager to share the story of our son with others.

In addition, I've been touched by the stories from some friends, and even strangers, who have wanted a shirt. They'll fill my heart with joy by telling me of how they knew Austin, how he impacted their life and made a difference, or how the shirt blessed them in some way. I heard from a sweet friend today, who shared not just her memories of Austin but how the shirt really ministered to her in a time of need. As she let the worries of the world fill her mind, picking up the shirt and thinking about our son, reminded her of how short life is and what is really important the brief time we're here. She commented on how Austin lived his life for Jesus and served others and how much that touched her.

It reminded me to realize and remember how special these shirts really are. They are not just a t-shirt...they are a way to raise funds to help others who give....they are a way to honor an amazing young man who was an example of service and love...and they are a way to share not only his story but the message of God's love and what wonderful things can happen when you selflessly give.
If you would like to purchase a shirt, you can make a $15 donation on the PayPal link on this home page.  Send me a message with your address and requested size and I'll mail it to you. 

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