Wednesday, March 08, 2006


Casseroles for Annika

Ed. note: I'm bumping this back up to the top in case you haven't read about Annika's Casserole Campaign yet (and if you haven't, where have you been?) and because the COTA account is now active, so you can make a donation today.

Sometimes, you hear a story that cuts to the very core of who you are, what you've done in your life, and what you believe. Annika's story is like that.

I just found out about Annika last week. Her mom, Moreena, writes a blog called falling down is also a gift. I've seen the blog title in a lot of blogrolls, and it has always resonated with me, but I'd never clicked through before.

Annika is five years old, and among other things, she's had two liver transplants. Two. My dad had a liver transplant in 2001, so I know how sick you get when your liver fails. Very sick.

When I read Annika's story, I cried. I couldn't help myself. I couldn't imagine what it must have been like to be her mother, to go through everything they went through in the first two years of Annika's life.

Annika is unfortunately sick again. Sick enough that she will probably need a third transplant. The real kicker, though, is that their insurance company has decreed that the family has already exceeded their $1M annual policy. In February. And Annika is still in the hospital.

So Phantom Scribbler, and Andrea, and a whole bunch of other wonderful people, have decided to do what they can to help. I want to help, and if you read Annika's story, I'm betting you'll want to help, too.

One of the ideas is beautiful in its simplicity. peripateticpolarbear said,

Normally, when someone's sick, at least in my midwestern world, you bring them dinner, right? A casserole, a sheet cake, a salad made of iceberg lettuce and a tiny amount of carrots (I'm midwestern). And you know some nice lady from the church (meeting house, shul, etc.) organizes it all so the family gets food every night for a couple weeks? You know that lady, right--her name is always gladys and she wears cardigans?

Anyway, what would it be like if we spread a campaign for a virtual casserole campaign, and try to get families to contribute an amount roughly equivalent to what it would take for them to deliver a dinner to Annika (which would of course, include chocolate cake.) That way folks could give what is within their family's means to do....most families that can afford internet can afford to bring a sick neighbor a casserole and a cake---how fancy those items would be would depend on how fancy your budget is. I don't know. It could be a fun way to be a virtual community.

Could you spare a casserole for a family in need? I'm not much of a cook, and subjecting them to what would pass for a casserole at my house seems like heaping cruelty on the unsuspecting, but if they were my neighbours, I'd call the pizza joint at the corner and order them an extra large, with garlic bread and salad and a couple of litres of pop, and it wouldn't cost more than $25 or so. I could spare that.

Giving is good for the soul. And you can't put a price on good karma...