Thursday Tidbits

Posted on March 9, 2017 under Thursday Tidbits with 2 comments

Gracie’s new chair

 

“ Some days are diamonds…”

Some Days Are Diamonds. John Denver

I’m still trying to process the events of yesterday afternoon and evening as the Sisters hosted their first International Women’s Day celebration. Approximately 500 Indian women in saris arrived and marched through the streets of Kanyakumari with placards. A stage had been erected on the grounds of the convent and there was a full program of events including speeches, dance and music. My friend Carol ,from the B@B, was the guest speaker and she exhorted the women to move forward boldly in their lives with confidence, in the knowledge that anything is possible.

The Sisters took this opportunity to start passing out a few of the new wheelchairs and wheelchair tricycles with money donated from people like you. They decided to give one of the wheelchairs to a young woman who lives at another convent just down the road from here. She is paralyzed from the waist down. She lives with the Sisters and is an expert seamstress. It was determined that only four wheelchairs were needed at the leprosy community so they decided to give the fifth chair to Gracie.

 They wheeled her to the stage in her rickety old wheelchair. The seat is made of wood. Neither she nor I knew that she was getting a gift from Canada. We both shed tears and embraced as she was helped from the old to the new. It was one of the most joyous and utterly surprising moments of my life. When the event was over, Gracie was swarmed by well wishers.

The gentleman from the leprosy colony who received his new wheelchair handed me a letter after getting his chair. It was written in Tamil but required no translation. His hug said it all.

The M/C made a big deal about the wheelchairs and the water taps and the kindness of strangers.

Oh yes. I was asked to sing a song to close the event. I sang “ Let it Be” with a chorus of 14 young noviciates. They had never been on a stage before let alone sing for 500 people.

I won’t soon forget this day. I was so proud to be a Canadian.

As most of you who are reading this know, I am working with the Daughters of Mary. Much of my work has to do with raising money to support the various projects that they run. I am also working with the Sisters to come up with innovative ideas so that they can eventually become self-supporting. We are looking at reducing electricity costs by installing solar panels. With 320 days of sunlight and technology that has proven effective ( you can see it in the dramatically reduced power bills ), the savings can be directed towards program costs.

There are still several other projects that require a financial boost and I am asking those of you who might still want to contribute to go to my website and follow the fundraising link: http://www.week45.com/supporting-the-daughters-of-mary-in-india/ Actually, you are on my website right now so save yourself a trip and check it out now.

Have a great day, and thanks again for your generosity of spirit.

 

Mariyappan sporting his new tricycle

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Comments

2 Responses to Thursday Tidbits

  1. Shirley Brown says:

    Thie story put tears in my eyes and Joy in my heart . Thank you for spearheading this project & making life so much better for some people of India.

  2. Sharon Pinkohs says:

    Len,
    The huge smile on Gracie’s face was enough thanks for many, no doubt!
    What a beautiful woman! Let her shine, let her shine, let her shine!

    Truly a lovely thing to do for someone so humble and delightfully happy.

    Sharon

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