CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) – Surprise mail. If you’ve been following here a while you might remember Margaret Hayes. She lived in the Charlotte area. Like many of you, she followed #MollysKids.
But unlike anyone else who reads the posts, she’d keep track of each child, comb the article to figure out a hobby they liked or sport they played or something in the post that indicated a personality trait… then Margaret would make them a pillow with a fabric specifically for them.
She would get a book to match the pillow theme, put that book in a pocket she sewed, and in each book put a bookmark she created with the #MollysKids logo. After all that, she’d get their mailing address from me and send them the surprise gift, along with a personal note to the child and family explaining the gift.
She did this for every single child I wrote about. It was amazing. I’d get thank you notes, and let’s be honest: I hadn’t done much. This was all Margaret and all from her heart. Her way of giving back, because, she said, she could.
Margaret’s passion for this got so big she began to deliver handmade book pillows to Levine Children’s Hospital. I distinctly remember when she’d sent her 100th pillow off to a local family. She sent me a picture and I did a big post honoring her work, of which she was embarrassed about and didn’t want credit for. But the credit was totally deserved. We felt like we had really accomplished something though again, it was all her work.
After a few years, Margaret moved to Florida. She emailed before she moved, saying she was going to have to stop mailing them to kids in the Carolinas and she just wasn’t exactly sure what her new life would bring. I totally understood.
Since then, I’ve thought of her often, wondering if she still sewed. Last week, a perfectly square package was delivered to work with her name as the return address. I knew instantly what was inside. The pillow she sent was covered in construction equipment and bulldozer orange fabric.
The book tucked inside was about cars.”I have continued to follow you on Facebook,” Margaret wrote in an accompanying card. “I saw your recent post about Hobie’s fascination with bulldozers. Please give this to him as a belated birthday gift.
”I almost started crying. It was so unexpected. Her letter continued. ”I have moved again. I am now near my son in Colorado. My daughter comes to visit. I am still making pillows for kids (almost 2,000 now since starting this project with you!). But now, I just deliver them to hospitals instead of mailing them to the child. No one else seems to write stories about these kids like you do, so it’s hard to find a place where you can “meet” the children to make the gifts personal. My newest hospital is UNM Children’s Hospital in Albuquerque. It’s a drive for me but that’s the closest to where I live. I hope you are doing well and still enjoy reading about #MollysKids! -Margaret
Well, at that I officially started crying. Good tears. Happy tears. Here is an amazing woman who read posts about kids with uphill battles, then took action to help them in her own unique way. The fact she moved out of state and kept it going seemed remarkable. Up to 2,000 pillows? Five states? Both Carolinas, Florida, Colorado, and now New Mexico? We do amazing things together.
Never, ever sell good souls short. -Molly
PS: Hobie loved the gift.
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