Jump’N Land!!

22 12 2008

12222008-jumpnland2

Yesterday, Retread put on a great Christmas party for the kids at the Samaritan Inn.  The party consisted of an all-expense paid trip to Jump’N Land here in McKinney.  It included 2 hours “all you can bounce” fun and other games.  Each kid got some tokens to spend in the video game area.  And they all left with a gift-bag filled with candy, a book, stocking cap and gloves, and a gift.

We had 10 kids from the Inn show up plus several parents.  We had 8-9 adult volunteers and another 5 kiddos from their families.  (My whole family was there!)

12222008-jumpnlandWe had an absolute blast.  I saw so many smiles on the kids faces.  It touches me now just thinking about it.  I am so glad that we decided to get involved at the Samaritan Inn almost a year ago now.

Today my neck is a little sore from some serious sliding down this monster slide (not to mention some patches of lost skin from some mishap sliding)!

This was an event that truly meant a lot to the kids and I hope that we can make it an annual event.  I have to give credit to my friend Kyle and my wife for planning and executing this event.  I am one of the lucky ones that just showed up and had fun playing with the kids!

(pics taken from Jump’n Land website)

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Just here for the perks

26 05 2008

RetreadOn Saturday, I got the chance to go with my two year old to the Samaritan Inn to help our friends at Retread hand out new shoes and socks to the children living there.  What an experience.  To see all those faces light up when they opened their boxes was an incredible treat.  Then, to top it off, I wore my knees out bending down to pick up passengers for piggy back rides through the dining hall.  I must have given 50 piggy back rides.  The only one not laughing and having a great time was my two year old who thought it should be his turn the entire time!

But, what a great experience.  One of the staff at Samaritan Inn started asking me questions related to the shoes.  I told her to talk to my friend Kyle because I was only here for the perks!  And, that is exactly what it was.  Each child that came in the room perked up when we found the shoe box with their name on it.  It was so fun watching each expectant set of eyes melt into extreme delight.  And the giggles that came with the piggy back rides (which I am still paying for two days later) were worth the time, the sweat, and the wear and tear on my body.

My friend who lives at the Inn got a call while we were there that she and her kids had gotten the house that they were hoping for.  It was such a happy moment for her.  She has been burned in the past, so she maintained a cautious optimism, but I could see the twinkle in her eyes that told me she thought it was for real this time.  My family has formed a special bond with her and her kids.  My wife picked out all the shoes for the kids for the day, but she took special care to pick out just the right shoes for the 4 kids in this family.  Someone told her about that and she told me to give my wife a special hug for her.