Sunday, February 15, 2009


Cora's life has touched thousands of people.
Complete strangers have joined together to help raise money for "Cora's Playground."
Click on this cute pink button to see all the fun things being sold in her memory.


It's wonderful and it's amazing, but it has kept me awake at night lately...

Back in November, I read about this on another blog.
I read that 4500 children die every day due to water related diseases.
I read that 144 billion dollars would provide safe, clean water to the world.
And I read that Americans spend approximately 450 billion dollars each year at Christmas.

So I gave to Water For Christmas and I watched with amazement how a few stay at home moms in Iowa were able to raise $59,000 to provide clean water in Liberia. It was a good cause... a very good cause. But it wasn't personal. It didn't keep me up at night.

Cora's death was personal for me.
I know her mom and dad.
I know her Grandma and Grandpa.
I had held her.
I had been at the hospital and heard how encouraged they were that she was doing better.
It was personal for me.

Many of the people who read about Cora's journey were strangers. Strangers from all over the world. Strangers who read about this little girl... this sweet baby that they have never seen or held or touched... and her story became personal for them. Thousands of people wanted to see her healed. To see her healthy. To see her little life be saved. I know that if money could have cured her, thousands of people would have given whatever they could... just to save this little girl. I would have emptied our entire savings account, without a second thought... if I thought it could save this little girl.

But what about this little girl?

$20 could save this little girl's life.
$20 would provide her with clean, safe drinking water... for 20 years.
$5000 would allow her entire village to stop getting their water from here...

and get it from here, instead.

Thousands of people were devastated by Cora's death.
I was devastated by Cora's death.
Losing one little girl has rocked many of us to our core.
Why doesn't the thought of losing 4500 children every day do the same?
Why did their stories not affect me the same way that Cora's story affected total strangers?

(all photos from charity: water)

Water for Christmas was supposed to end on December 31st.
But for the moms who organized it, the moms who let it become personal for them, the moms who couldn't bear the thought of 4500 children dying every day, it couldn't end.

So 300 voices was created.

I look at the comments... thousands of comments left on Jess and Joel's blog. Even the comments left on my own blog... many from people I don't know. $20 can provide clean drinking water for 20 years. $20 can save a life. We are seeing what can happen when a few people decide to come together and make a difference. A few people... each doing just a little bit... and Cora's beautiful playground will be the result. One person alone couldn't do it. But a few people, coming together, deciding something is important... can make a difference.

So give to "Cora's Playground." Help make this playground be a lasting reminder to the memory of this sweet little girl. Help make this playground be a place her mom and dad can look at and smile, knowing that their precious baby changed the lives of so many.

And if you feel like doing more... doing another small thing, a small thing that when it is joined with other small things, ends up doing big things... donate here. No amount of money could make Cora healthy. No amount of money could have saved her life. But it could save lives in Africa. Joel and Jess have no connection to charity: water, Water for Christmas, or 300 voices. They are not endorsing it or promoting it. This is just me.

Just me, still trying to make sense of all of this. Just me, sharing my thought process and the connection that I made as I lay awake in bed the other night. The connection that if Cora could become personal for strangers across the world, then this should become personal for me. The connection that, as a mother, as a Christian, I should be devestated by the death of any baby. Especially one that is preventable. And the connection that if there is something I can do about it... even just a small thing... then I have to do it.

So I will sign up for 300 voices and I will give $20 each month in honor of Cora. And maybe, just maybe, I will see more lives changed, more lives saved, because of this baby girl.


Courtney said...

wow, amy. i have chills.i was JUST saying this last night to pat...through tears. i mean, cora and her story rocked me. and i LOVE that people are honoring her and her amazing parents in this way. it's so sweet and uplifting. but the amount of money that might be brought in could save people's LIVES! just like you were saying. thanks for posting this!

jody said...

a beautiful tribute to cora. and to the thirsty daughters of mothers around the world.

many blessings.

Rachel said...

Hi Amy. I saw you wrote a comment on my blog, so I started looking at your blog and saw this post. I thought I was done crying, but after reading this, it's obvious I have a few tears left! It's just been amazing how many lives Cora, Jess, and Joel have been able to touch through this. What an amazing journey. Cora's life was so special and personal to me. It really puts into perspective how the families of those 4,500 children must feel daily. Thank you for honoring Cora by giving. What a wonderful cause- I keep tearing up just thinking about it. I am simply greatful.

Utecht Family said...

Thanks for this post Amy. We live in such a sheltered and posh environment that we hardly ever think about all the hurting, hungry, and dying people around the world. And if we do, it doesn't tug at our hearts because it isn't personal. But it should be, because these people are created by God and He loves them and hurts with them! Thank you for challenging me to be willing to make it personal, even if it hurts. James 1:27, "Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world."

Anonymous said...

I am one of those "random" visitors, changed by Cora's story, her parents' faith, all the things you said. I read back a few of your posts, and I am moved by all that you wrote; because you know them, I can't imagine how much more this hurts for you. I have cried every day for their broken hearts. But I have been left with the same questions you are asking. What about the babies all over the world who are dying...why don't I sob every day for those babies? I have definitely been...I don't know, I feel like something is pushing me in a different direction, but I'm not sure what to do. Because of the high volume of bloggers out there, the high traffic www.-highway, I had ideas about having a section of my own blog devoted to praying for babies. It started (my idea) as for babies with cancer, but then I thought what if different days were dedicated to different causes-clean water; other diseases; abuse; orphans; war-torn areas. And I know money goes a long way, but I think prayer can be so powerful; what ways could our eyes be opened to how God works if we look for His answers in unusual places. No one wanted Cora to be healed by being taken out of this world. But she was healed. And one day her body will be whole with her spirit again, she will be restored as all of creation. That is indeed something to praise God for. I, too, love that song (Blessed Be the Name of the Lord). It was a great comfort to me through two miscarriages. And even though I have never met Joel and Jess, I also don't think I can ever hear the song again without thinking of them. The one who blesses the Lord will be blessed. I feel like this is meandering, but I know I have a point. I really appreciated what you had to say. I don't think there are accidents, even in the blogosphere. I'll be back to read your blog...and I'll keep thinking about these things and praying. I'm so sorry for the loss of that sweet girl. There's something about her face...
But you're right, those other faces are so beautiful too, and just as precious. I look forward to seeing where this goes. (For me, you know?) Sorry for leaving a novel here.