Monday, April 27, 2015

Matt's 20th birthday

Your child's birthday. A day to be celebrated and joyfully anticipated. But for a bereaved parent, it is a dreaded day, a day that, for weeks and months before it's arrival, is painfully, annually grieved. Birthdays without our children are excruciating. Grief roars it's ugly head at times like these, but I refuse to allow my son's death to be in vain. God promises us that He will restore, renew, and redeem the broken. Only He can make beauty from ashes. I give Him this pile of ash and ask Him to make it beautiful.

Matt's 20th birthday is May 2nd, and we will be doing 20 random acts of kindness on Saturday. If anyone who would like to participate in remembering our son in this way, I have listed the 20 random acts below. The acts reflect Matt's personality, interests, and special memories of his life. I have also included a link for printing off cards to accompany each random act of kindness. It is my prayer that Matt's 20th birthday will be a day in which God will indeed redeem what death has stolen from us.

20 Random Acts of Kindness in memory of Matt's 20th birthday:

  1.  Buy a Mocha Frappe for someone.
  2.  Donate a box of Honey Bunches of Oats to a local food shelf.
  3.  Buy a Redbox movie for someone.
  4.  Pay for someone’s round of golf (or give a box of balls).
  5.  Pay for someone’s bird purchase at the pet store.
  6.  Buy a bag of bird seed and give away.
  7.  Donate a box of Cheez-its to a local food shelf.
  8.  Donate a bag of Spearmint Starlight mints to a local food shelf.
  9.  Give a Barnes and Noble gift card to a random stranger.
  10.  Donate a children’s book (I’ll Love You Forever by Robert Munsch, It’s the Bear! by Jez Alborough, Go, Dog, Go! by Dr. Seuss, or The Pokey Little Puppy (A Golden Book Classic) to the hospital, library, or childcare center.
  11. Donate a gift in any amount to Trout Lake Camps. ( (Donate online and then send an email to: and let them know the memorial gift is in memory of Matt Cherney.)
  12. Donate to the Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.
  13. Buy a red geranium and give to someone. (hospital or nursing home)
  14. Donate the board game Blokus. (women's shelter or other)
  15. Give an iTunes gift card. (Purchase at Walmart, etc. and give to random stranger)
  16. Donate a t-shirt in Matt's favorite shade of blue…cerulean.(Women's shelter, 'Lil Angels Closet Sale, etc.)
  17. Make a donation to the Community Education chess class (or donate a chess game).
  18. Give a gift of ping pong balls, paddles, or money to the Bethel Baptist Ping Pong group. **
  19. Make a Green Bay Packer tie blanket (adult or infant size) and donate to local hospital, shelter, childcare center, or nursing home.
  20. Give a donation of any amount to the Matt Cherney VEX Robotics Scholarship. **
Click the link below to print off a card to accompany each random act of kindness on May 2nd:
Random Act of Kindness cards
(One doesn't need to print off the random act of kindness cards for #'s 11, 12, & 20. Also, we would love to see you post/comment on your random act of kindness on Saturday, please! Thank you.)

 **Please email me for monetary donation information!

With tears, I say, "Happy Birthday, my son." And with joy, I give the LORD the broken pieces of my heart to do what He does best...create beauty.

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