Our families knew each other as the dads were police officers at Saginaw Township together. Three years ago, we had the privilege of watching Samantha Pansing become a child of God through Baptism. Even though my husband Matt and I were her sponsors, our whole family was really a part of Samantha’s Baptism, and we were all present at Holy Cross, Saginaw during the chapel service when the miracle occurred. Samantha doesn’t have siblings, so our daughters Mikayla and Kelly adopted her as their little sister. They were so excited when her parents made the decision to have her baptized!
It was heart wrenching when, in August of this year, we learned that Samantha had primary CNS lymphoma, a rare form of brain cancer, and would be undergoing months of chemo treatments. Our family prayed for healing for Samantha and, while her health was improving, we also knew that the Pansing family could use some money during this difficult time. Samantha’s mom, Jay, had to leave her job to care for Samantha and so they had a loss of income while there were medical bills to pay for.
We have never been a fan of the standard “go fund me” pleas that seem to be so prevalent when people see a need. We wanted to be different, and wanted to truly show our love for Samantha. So we started “Snowmen for Sami,” using wood we cut and hauled as a family. We quickly created 60 snowmen before the saw that we were using broke. We invested in a new saw so we could create another 60 snowmen, as we had so many people who wanted a snowman to show their love and support to Sami and her family.
We placed an initial Facebook post on “Giving Tuesday” with an explanation of what we were doing, and within 2.5 hours we nearly sold out of the snowmen and had reached our goal of $1,000 for Samantha. We had people drive from as far away as Grand Blanc in order to purchase snowmen, and we also received $150 in donations from people who just wanted to give. As of this writing, we have raised $1,200 and still have a few snowmen to sell. The best part of this project is that it allowed our whole family to work together to show Samantha our love and support and involve so many friends and family who generously gave to help Samantha. We pray that God will continue to keep Samanatha in His care.