How a surprise package at work reminded me, there are good, good souls out there
CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) – Surprise Mail. If you’ve been following here for a while, you might remember Margaret Hayes. She lived in the Charlotte area. Like many of you, she followed #MollysKids.
But unlike everyone who reads the posts, she was following each child, combing through the article to discover a hobby they liked or a sport they played or something in the post that indicated a trait of personality… then Margaret would make them a pillow with a fabric especially for them.
She would get a book that matched the theme of the pillow, put that book in a pocket that she sewed, and in each book would put a bookmark that she had created with the #MollysKids logo. After all that, she would get their mailing address from me and send them the surprise gift, along with a personal note to the child and family explaining the gift.
She’s done it for every child I’ve written about. It was amazing. I was getting thank you notes, and let’s be honest: I hadn’t done much. It was all Margaret and it all came from her heart. Her way of giving back, because, she says, she could.
Margaret’s passion for it grew so great that she started delivering handmade book pillows to Levine for kids Hospital. I vividly remember when she sent her 100th pillow to a local family. She sent me a photo and I made a big post honoring her work, which she was embarrassed about and didn’t want to be credited with. But the merit was totally deserved. We felt like we really accomplished something, it was all his work.
After a few years, Margaret moved to Florida. She emailed before moving, saying she was going to have to stop sending them to the kids in the Carolinas and that she was just not sure what her new life would bring. I completely understood.
Since then, I have often thought of her and wondered if she was still sewing. Last week, a perfectly square package was delivered to work with his name as the return address. I knew instantly what was inside. The pillow she sent was covered in construction material and bulldozer orange fabric.
The book hidden inside was about cars. “I continued to follow you on Facebook,” Margaret wrote in an accompanying card. “I saw your recent article about Hobie’s fascination with bulldozers. Please give her this as a belated birthday present.
“I almost started crying. It was so unexpected. His letter continued. “I moved again. I am now near my son in Colorado. My daughter is coming to visit. I am still making pillows for children (nearly 2,000 now since starting this project with you!) But now I just deliver them to hospitals instead of mailing them to the child. No one else seems to be writing stories about these kids like you do, so it’s hard to find a place where you can “meet” the kids to personalize gifts My New Hospital is UNM Children’s Hospital in Albuquerque. It’s a drive for me, but it’s the closest to my house. I hope you are doing well and that you still enjoy reading #MollysKids! -Margaret
Well, at that point, I officially started crying. Good tears. Tears of joy. Here’s an incredible woman who read about children facing tough battles and then took action to help them in her own way. The fact that she left the state and maintained it seemed remarkable. Up to 2,000 pillows? Five states? The Carolinas, Florida, Colorado and now New Mexico? We do amazing things together.
Never sell good souls short. -Molly
PS: Hobie loved the gift.
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