It is one of my most favorite art projects to do with kids. Old recycled jars with some colorful tissue paper glued on and sealed. They become the prettiest lanterns, each one so different and unique. When they are lit, they look like round stained glass windows.
The kids and moms from our street got together one afternoon to paint and chat. We each brought supplies and helped each other set it all up. I find that neighborhoods are so very often looking to belong, people want tribe when living side by side. Even the people that send the very opposite message sometimes are waiting to be cracked open by kindness.
It's amazing what one little light can do, even in a sea of darkness. It sometimes is just enough for someone to find their way. As we lit our lanterns that night, I thought of my friend Brea and her mom and the first time I saw her jars. She did the very same colorful project but used the jars to collect money for ALS research and funding. ALS is a very debilitating neurodegenerative disease that affects the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. Fifty percent of patients die within three years. Brea's mom passed away over a year ago.
With a disease that has so little hope around it and so much dark, I was amazed by my friend's deep passion and desire to educate and fight for research. She is the kind of woman, probably much like her mom, whose strength is bringing light and color to a very dark situation. In the same way, just a little can do so much, I was wondering if our lanterns could hold our offerings of hope too.
Our family is going to put our pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters and bills till our lanterns are filled to the tippy top and join in the fight against ALS. My kids love couch digging and hunting under furniture for lost treasures. We all know the laundry produces some cash every now and then. Why not join us? Spend an afternoon with the kids in your neighborhood making your lanterns or jars and see what your street can come up with.
You can find out more about Brea's mom, ALS and how you can help here.
Looks like our time is ending here, thanks for joining us in all the Supersister goodness and friendship! You all have been so very super!