Jack's Basket

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Hello friends! 

I'm busy catching up from early summer, with a few stories worth sharing. This one is part of a larger story that I will share in a few days.

Last winter, shortly after returning from Nepal, we started talking about a weekend celebration in June.  Our original idea was to visit Cinque Terre (it has been on my must visit list for years). We would be in Switzerland and add a week to explore Italy.  Sadly, the trip was canceled just weeks later, so we eventually decided to celebrate with friends back in Minnesota. 

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Over the next few months, we tossed around several ideas, from visiting a lodge we had been looking to buy to holding a BBQ in a barn (with a band from Green Bay).  The first idea required little planning while the second idea came after a few beers... with Bill and his friends.  Would you believe me if I told you that at one point they were talking about renting Paisley Park...  these boys dream BIG!  More on the weekend later, today I want to share the non-profit we selected.

While I didn't exactly know how it would happen, partnering with a local non-profit was a must for us.  Finding Jack's Basket was much easier than expected (thank you, Laura). What made Jack's Basket even more special was that I chose them before knowing Lucas would be the Gerber Baby.

Jack's Basket celebrates babies born with Down syndrome. 

We strive to ensure that every new and expectant parent is provided resources and avenues of support within the community.  We aim to educate medical providers on how to discuss the diagnosis in an unbiased way in hopes that the birth of a child with Down syndrome is celebrated like any other.

As part of the weekend, I really wanted Bill to have a day to golf with friends.  We decided Friday would be a General Mills Reunion Day. During the day, the guys golfed, and the wife's met for lunch, followed by a quick visit to Jack's Basket.  In the evening everyone came together for a BBQ hosted by some dear friends of ours. 

If I'm being honest, leading up to the day... I found myself spending time overthinking the lady activities.  I didn't know many of the women, some I met for the first time at lunch. I wondered if they would want to volunteer, who wouldn't socialize, etc.. It all ended up fine, and the lunch went so well, laughing and getting to know each other... from daughters studying Opera in Italy, safaris, baseball accidents, trips to the middle east, grandchildren, and weddings... we ended up being a little late for Jack's Basket.

In the end, the charitable contribution exceeded our expectations.  Gerber made a donation to Jack's Basket, on behalf of Lucas and our amazing friends donated as well.  So much generosity. 

I imagine Jack's Basket will remain a part of our lives. Carissa is a woman with a mission.  Her passion is contagious.