Stirring the pot, raising hell and rearing children in the Bay Area

The George Mark Children’s House

Posted on Sep 24, 2009 in Giving |

I am irrationally protective over my kids’ safety. Not crazed, but protective. I refuse to drive down a street near a mortuary, and if I have to, I do so very quickly and drive fast. I don’t like them getting near one side of the street where we know a homeless guy was killed. I am superstitious about their safety, I can’t imagine them anything but safe. God willing.

The first time I heard of The George Mark Children’s House was a few months ago at the first Silicon Valley Tweetup. La Gringa and I mingled and networked like we’re supposed to. We traded business cards and banter like the pros. We had a couple drinks. But there was nothing, but nothing that stops a mom in her tracks like the story of a sick child.

The charity that benefits the Silicon Valley Tweetup is The George Mark Children’s House, a hospice for children who are dying. They are d.y.i.n.g., not recovering, from illness. This is the kind of thing I steer far from. It’s one degree of separation from the world’s worst horror and I don’t do that shit. But this time, somehow, it got me.

I got home that night and looked up the website. Indeed, an acclaimed 501c3 charity with a slew of volunteers, programs and support for the families of dying children all in a peaceful, private environment. You go to The George Mark Children’s House to die. If you’re a parent, you likely have already died a thousands deaths in bargaining with God to not take your child.

I don’t know much about this charity other than looking at the photos online, reading of their desperate struggle to stay afloat during this economic crisis we’re experiencing. I know a guy who’s niece died in a dignified manner at the House. I know that I can’t bear to think of a child dying. I know that somehow this charity got me in the gut.

So here’s how you can help: Visit The George Mark Children’s House website, look at their “wish list” and go find something in your garage that fits the bill and send it to them. You can donate online with stock or cash. You can write a note to a family. You can send good juju. You can speak with your very loud, influential voice to beg others to do the same.

I turned two streets out of the way tonight to avoid the mortuary again. Kids in the car. Don’t do mortuaries. And came home thinking of families that are sharing their child’s last breaths. And I felt so grateful to be home.