I’m giving you fair warning right off the bat – you may need a box of tissues.
A few days ago, I “met” the Nielson family. I first found Stephanie at her lovely little blog, where I read a report from her sister, Jane, that “Nie” and her husband had been involved in a private plane crash in Arizona and both were badly burned and in the hospital.
At Jane’s blog, C Jane Run, I got to know more about Stephanie, her husband Christian and their four children. Four children! Children whose parents, both of them, have a long and hard recovery ahead of them. Four children whose parents will not be able to be there for them, with them, or provide for them over the next several months.
My heart aches for them. All of them.
Apparently, I’m not the only one, because Jane started talking about all the emails and letters they were receiving – asking how people can help. As a result, Nie Recovery was born – which really tells the whole story better than any other post does.
I encourage you to head over to each of these blogs, meet Nie, her family, her wonderful sister who is helping with their kids, and head to Nie Recovery to read about all the ways people are reaching out to them to bless them. People are sending in donations. Etsy sellers are donating their sales. Plus – and don’t miss this – Gabrielle at Design Mom has designated Thursday the 28th as Nie Nie Day – a day for organized silent auctions en masse, the proceeds of which will go towards the Nielson family. Read her blog for more details and instructions. You can either host your own auction, or bid on someone else’s and either way you can conribute.
It’s all amazing, but their hospital bill is likely to run into the millions
Also, remember the family of Doug Kinneard, the pilot who was flying the plane. Doug survived the initial crash but died shortly after reaching the hospital. He leaves behind a family and four children as well. I encourage you to pray for his family, his children and his friends as they mourn their loss. I also encourage you to read the letter his sister-in-law sent to Jane. His last moments with his family at the hospital will both inspire you and bring tears to your eyes.
I also encourage you, if you can, if you have anything at all to give, to reach out to this family during this time of overwhelming need. They need our prayers, they need encouragement through emails and cards, they need assistance with a hospital bill the size of Mount Everest.
This is both the blessing and curse of the internet. By being so connected, we can find people who need help like Nie and her family at every corner. It can become overwhelming. On the other hand, without the internet, without her blog, we would not be able to meet Nie and help her and her family. On the other hand, how can we possibly help everybody out there? On the other hand, how can we meet Stephanie and Christian and not help if it is within our means to do so? I believe that the Holy Spirit guides us in these matters. He places people in our hearts and minds and encourages us to reach out when we can.
If you feel led to help, please do.
If you feel led to pray, please do.