If you have me on social media (if not-then you should!) then you will see that this weekend I completed a 1000 card challenge… Yep you read that right! 1000 cards-by myself. It was a little crazy and a lot harder than I thought. I genuinely did not think it would make my muscles ache- which they did, quite a lot- both during and after.
My timing was pretty good though, I guessed it would take between 14-16 hours and it took me a grand total of 15 hours and 38 minutes!
So let me tell you a little bit about my experience and what it meant to me….
For a little bit of background (you may already know), last year I held another card challenge. This event was how many cards could be made in 12 hours and I had help! Over 30 people came and helped make cards for Ronald McDonald House Charities, in 12 hours we made 1087 cards! It was a fantastic day! Soon after, I went to donate the cards to the Southampton House and it was during this time that the charity suddenly meant so much more to me. For clarity- I do not have children, nor do I know anyone close to me who has had to stay at the House- it was just a great cause that I wanted to support. I was lucky enough to be invited to make the card donation during the House’s 2 year anniversary and Christmas party and it was here that I realised how much the house meant to so many. During the party I spoke to families and past patients about the house and discovered how much of a lifeline it is, how much it helps.
So this year, when Stampin’Up! UK announced a country wide challenge to make 10,000 cards in 2017 (to celebrate 10 years of Stampin’Up! in the UK) I know I HAD to be involved and not only be involved, I wanted to push myself out of my comfort zone to see what I could do. So I set myself this challenge and BOY was it a challenge! I was honoured to be able hold my challenge at the house-it was inspiring, emotional and overwhelming. I heard so many stories from staff and families that both broke my heart and made me feel awed at the miracle that life is. To hear peoples heartbreak-yet see how they are striving forward, smiling and making the best of every situation was just incredible and it made me feel totally overwhelmed. Thankfully my husband spent the day supporting me-particularly making sure I eat, drank and stretched every now and then- but he also helped refocus me when it got too much.
The hardest part of the day was when I was starting to doubt if the cards would help anyone. It was 10 hours into the challenge and I had been at the house over 14 hours and was feeling pretty tired. I started to wonder if the cards would be helpful. I had heard so much heartache- how could a card help?! Shortly after wondering this, I met another family to came into the room where I was completing my challenge to wish me well. The family thanked me for my effort, explained to me about their situation and then said “this is the worst time of my life, yet the rest of the world keeps spinning, keeps having birthdays and celebrations. Everyone I love is helping us and we want to be able to let them know we love them and appreciate them-but when do I have time to go buy a card? These cards mean I get to take something off my to-do list. I get to lose another stress and more importantly, I get to remind the people I love that I love them. That means so much to me.”
I could not think of anything to say to this family that could convey what that comment meant to me. Instead, I simply told them to take as many cards as they wanted. Every card made during this weekend by everyone involved means something and it makes a difference. It made me so incredibly proud to be involved and it touched my heart that so many people got involved to help too.
I didn’t manage to get many pictures on the day (I was a tad busy!) but below are some I do have! I also have a few snaps of some of the cards I made, though again, I didn’t manage to take all of them! Woops!
Here I am 30 minutes into the challenge. See that overexcited smile… well you ‘ll be pleased to know that the smile stayed-it just got a little tired.
This is me at 11 hours and 20 minutes.
After 12 hours, I had to stop as it was gone 11pm and the house needed sleep! Here I am with the 800 cards that were made after 12 hours!!
This is me just after I finished the 1000 cards. I actually finished the final 200 at my monthly Hayling Island workshop-the ladies gave me lots of encouragement to get through the final 1000!
Here are some of my samples. I made 100 of most, but there was a few that I did 50 in one colour and 50 in another. The one that was hardest was the card that involved watercolouring-that took the longest BY FAR. It was nearly 3 hours to make 100. The card that uses WaterColour Words (Love & Horray) was the quickest. It took 50 minutes to do all 100!!
It really was a wonderful experience and if you want to get involved, my next charity event will be the weekend 1st-3rd December. Please get in touch if you want to be involved!
Love Cayleigh xx