Melissa was an extremely supportive writer. I met her during our time at Yahoo Contributor Network. She was always quick to comment and share the work and blog posts of others (which means a great deal to any writer). So in Melissa's honor, I am starting a blogging movement called Everyone Matters.
What is Everyone Matters?
Everyone Matters is a campaign to spread something positive. You are important. Your words are important. What you say and share with others matters. We are all connected in this life, whether we realize it or not. Melissa was a prime example of that, since so many bloggers (most she never met personally) have rallied together to share her story and her blog posts, and to support her family and children.
|Photos property of WadingThroughMotherhood.com, MelissaMatters|
How Do I Participate in Everyone Matters?
Make an effort to do something for someone else, anything positive to help others. If you are a writer or blogger, share your story about what you are doing to spread kindness, and let them know you did it in Melissa's honor. The idea is for this to spread, like a kindness wildfire!
Some ideas for giving back:
*donate to an animal shelter
*help out at a soup kitchen or church function
*donate toys or clothes to the needy
*spread some Random Acts of Kindness
*participate in an Operation Shoebox or Samaritan's Purse (see more info below)
I will promote Everyone Matters a few times a year, but particularly on Melissa's birthday, March 26th.
Everyone Matters Around the World: Samaritan's Purse
A friend of mine told me about a collection her church does for an organization called Samaritan's Purse. Samaritan's Purse is a non-denominational evangelical Christian organization that provides spiritual and physical aid to those in need around the world. In the month of November, they collect shoeboxes full of items for children as part of Operation Christmas Child. Having just heard about the loss of Melissa, I thought we could do this in her honor, too. You can find out how to get your own box here.
They have a whole list of suggestions on what to put in the box (soap, a toothbrush, balls, a jump rope, etc.) but we also found this article extremely helpful when assembling our box. Here's the general idea of what we put in our box (for a little boy).
It was nice to get The Jersey Momma's Boy involved in this project, too. It helped him understand how much he truly has, and what it means to really be grateful for something.
Writing is Powerful
When I was a teacher I used to tell my students that writing was powerful. When they would gripe about having to write sentences or papers, I would remind them that the written word had powers and that what they wrote meant something. To emphasize this, we wrote letters to companies and received free samples and gifts. We wrote compliments to authors and received drawings and books in return. We sent friendly postcards to other students in distant countries and received photos of their classrooms and lives. We even corresponded with an animal shelter and asked them what we could do to help. So even if pencils become obsolete and technology completely takes over the world, we will still need great writers! The stories you read, the video games people like, the plays people see- someone needs to write them. Written words have power. They can cause anger, elicit fear, or spread love and kindness - so choose your words wisely. What you write can remain long after you are gone.
I hope Melissa Matters' family and children always feel her love in her writing. I hope Wading Through Motherhood remains online for many years to come, so that others may benefit from what she had to say, even though she is no longer with us. You see, words matter. Your story matters. Everyone matters.
Rest in peace, Melissa Matters. You made a difference here.