Special opportunity for area youth

Monday, December 26, 2011
North Clay Middle School Ambassador Michael Thomas recently delivered Pillow Pets and blankets to Riley Children's Hospital, Clarion North and Peyton Manning Children's Hospital, St. Vincent Hospital.

Michael Thomas, an Ambassador at North Clay Middle School, delivered Pillow Pets and blankets to Riley Children's Hospital, Clarion North, and Peyton Manning Children's Hospital, St. Vincent's, Thursday, Dec. 22.

The children's hospitals were thrilled with the donation, especially from a school so far away.

Once again, North Clay Middle School leapt at the chance to help out.

One quick e-mail to the school and I had a response and a plan to make funds to supply Pillow Pets to the children's hospitals within 30 minutes. The student council had a Hat Day and sold cotton candy to make the necessary funds to help families and the children's hospitals.

Mike was thrilled to be the ambassador for the event. Mike has spent a lot of time between these two facilities this year. Mike had won a Pillow Pet this fall at school. I noticed he took it with him to different tests. There are so many tests that parents can't be with their children.

I noticed it was comfort on his bad days, or as he went into the test with a doctor or technician. He had it in his hospital bed with him, it was a reminder of his friends and a constant when we couldn't be with him physically.

Every Christmas, (North Clay teachers Jennifer and Paul Harbour) challenge their classes to perform a random act of kindness.

We commend them on this endeavor and we have experienced so many random acts this year. We would like to share some of them with you.

We have had people keep our other three children, take them to school and their events; neighbors pick them up and take them to school or practices. A friend made a goodie bag, one for me and one for Mike, and a book to read while we waited; a note of encouragement; a text message telling us we are in their prayers. A book given at a basketball game with a sincere smile, a hug, the book is precious to us and Mike will share it with children of our church.

We have had friends who stop and check on my mom, bringing her lunch and visiting, since we have to be gone all day and some nights. Few people knew what Mike was going through (per his request), yet people are perceptive and have been there for us, even if it's just to talk.

A hug at a game, a smile so small means so much. One family even gave us Colts' tickets (the first win of the season).

Adults are not the only ones who have done random acts; many students have helped Mike, Sammie, Steven and KJ also.

Some kids text Mike asking if he's OK, does he need help with any of his classes? One girl makes two sets of notes on the days he is gone and slips it into his books to help him out, without a word said to anyone. Students helped Mike get to class.

KJ has had hugs, smiles and friendships that have helped through the rough days. Sammie's friends always have a hug, a smile, remembering her birthday, making her laugh.

Steven is with us most of the time, but people have kept him for us and plan activities, keeping him happy.

We have learned so many lessons from Mike this year, we will also share some of them. "Anger takes energy," (something he lacked). A smile only takes a second and can change someone's whole day. Carrying a grudge or harboring ill feelings zaps any feeling of happiness.

Repair relationships because tomorrow may be too late. If the other people don't reciprocate, just keep being nice to them.

We have seen our other children do this ... texting, calling and making amends.

Our friend told Mike some kids are angels among us and you are one of those kids. Mike took this to heart. He said he is here to deliver God's message and to be a teacher to some and have others learn from him. God determines how long or short our lives will be, but he is determined to make a difference during his. (Don't get us wrong, he's still a kid, making mistakes).

Our hope is that everyone will see life as precious, to exert their energies in doing good deeds.

Once again, we want to thank NCMS students and staff for their support. While Mike has overcome some obstacles, there are still more to overcome.

We also would like to thank Dr. Alicia Reed Thomas and her staff. Without her recommendation, Mike would have been blind in less than three years, among other issues that are being addressed.

Every time I see anyone from that office, they never fail to ask about Mike. She gave us more than she could ever imagine and words cannot express our gratitude.