Another "birthday" idea I have is to give a laptop to someone in need if we were able to raise enough money through memorial gifts. Matt was a genius when it came to computers, so it seems only logical to do something like this. However, I don't have the faintest idea how to implement it! I may save this idea for next year.
Finally, the last idea I've contemplated is to donate a new t.v. to our church. Matt's entire 16 years were spent at Bethel. He ran the sound board during worship service and donated his media technology skills, as well, for various events like the GLS. He and his dad were responsible for keeping the church computers working, also. He was extremely good at what he did and wasn't afraid of technology. The only bummer about it is that it changes so fast! Hence, the reason for the new t.v. idea.
I don't think there's anything more important to a grieving parent than the desire to keep their child's memory alive. We want desperately to know that others aren't going to forget. Our child existed, and though they are no longer physically present (this side of heaven), they continue to remain in our hearts every second of the day. The acknowledgement of our children from others is beyond comforting. It speaks volumes and infuses a breath of fresh air when they are mentioned.
I'm guessing that a donation to Trout Lake Camps for Matt's birthday this year is what we'll do because, frankly, it's the easiest logistically. The link above makes it super easy if you are so inclined to help us honor (what would be) Matt's 19th birthday. These three ideas embody Matt and his personality. That's what makes them so special and brings us comfort in this journey.
I'd like to say a heartfelt "THANK YOU," in advance, to those of you who donate a gift in any amount. Nothing is too small. Every gift given is an acknowledgement that my son's life mattered. It's that acknowledgement that also brings healing. It truly is appreciated.