During the summer of 2008 I organized a Relief Society Humanitarian Project to sew simple duffel bags and backpacks for Arizona Foster Care Children. The idea came from a news article written by Adriane Grimaldi of Scottsdale, Arizona who was enlisting volunteers for a Foster Care Sewing Project. Her own two foster children had arrived at her home with their belongings in black plastic trash bags. At a time of trauma for these children it was so sad to see their treasured belongings packed in garbage sacks. In response to this need, Adriane began been sewing fabric bags and set a goal of recruiting volunteers to make 300 bags to donate to Foster Care children.
In preparation for helping with this sewing project I applied for and received a fabric “grant” from the Mesa LDS Humanitarian Center. Next, I organized Relief Society Sisters to meet during the summer months to cut and prepare the material into kits to be taken home for sewing. Stonebridge Ward is small but about 25 volunteers were able to sew over 120 bags, plus about 40 kits to donate to Mesa Foster Care Children.
At the end of the summer when I telephoned Adrian’s home to get directions for the drop off of the foster bags, her husband answered the phone and helpfully gave me directions. He had a serious stutter but was persistent in helping me because Adriane was at work. Despite the physical delay and even when disturbed by his two young foster children at noisy play in the background of the conversation, he persevered. As I talked with this kind man, I was impressed by this family’s humble involvement in foster care service.
Later that week I delivered the foster bags to Mrs. Grimaldi at her work place (a Tempe church run K-12 school). Previous to that day we had only communicated by Internet and telephone but I was already expecting to meet someone special. I was overwhelmed when I walked in the door and saw Adriane Grimaldi for the first time. Because of a birth defect one of her arms had no hand; her arm ended in a stump with a couple of undeveloped finger stubs. Here was to my eyes a “wounded” woman, giving wonderful service to wounded children. I was overcome by the power of this good woman’s service. I was inspired by her sweet countenance and generous spirit.
As I contemplate Adrianne’s service I am struck with the importance of service and the timeliness of the call of President Thomas S. Monson to leadership of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Once again, I am impressed with a person whose life of exemplary service has helped so many in and out of the church. I know and testify it is no accident that President Monson is called at this time in the Latter Days. He is called at a time when service (ever needed) is now vital. Our entire world is experiencing turmoil in body, in spirit, in home and country. Let us honor the service of Adriane Grimaldi, President Monson, and Our Savior Jesus Christ through our own commitment to serve. As difficult times ensue we can experience the purifying, peaceful power of service while we help heal the wounds of our world one at a time.
At this time Adriane Grimaldi has collected about 500 foster bags.