Five Years of Good
Maggie Lee for Good Day 2013
Duck Dynasty’s Sadie Robertson Threw out a pitch for Shreveport Little League’s Maggie Lee for Good Invitational in early April. This event raised clothing donations for Maggie Lee’s Closet a free boutique for underprivileged children in Shreveport, LA.
Maggie Lee for Good Day began five years ago after the First Baptist Church of Shreveport bus accident in July 2009. Several of those headed to Youth Camp in Macon, GA were seriously injured and Brandon Ugarte and Maggie Lee Henson were killed as a result. MLfG Day was launched as a way for friends and strangers alike to bring good out of tragedy. So far over 25,000 people have celebrated Maggie Lee’s birthday, October 29th, by performing a kind deed for someone in need.
Each MLfG Day brings heartwarming sights in the Shreveport-Bossier area. “Happy Birthday Maggie Lee!” shoe polished on cars, throngs of kids in MLfG t-shirts, bake sales, school events, and Chick-fil-A Signs encouraging good deeds. Each School in Tifton, GA participates in MLFG Day and last year I was honored to spend their MLfG Day (October 16th,) with them and meet those so passionate about this event honoring someone they had never even met. It was absolutely incredible and thousands of dollars were raised for the Ronald McDonald House in Macon, GA.
Maggie Lee for Good Events once more spanned from Houston to Chicago, Seattle to New York and many locations in between. There were food drives in Tifton, GA, a Doucet Family hot chocolate stand in Flower Mound, TX, FBCS Cheerleaders in MLfG Shirts with Kelly & Michael Show in New York, N.Y., Jessie Keener’s fun run in Fayetteville, North Carolina, senior bingo for The Carters in Dallas,TX, a bake sale in Escuelo Campo Allegre in Carracas, VN and a food drive by students of Mary Hardin Baylor in Belton, TX just to name a few.
Fast-forward to Spring: Community Renewal International’s Maggie Lee Henson Celebration of Caring brought Shreveport’s first flash mob (yes I danced and whoa… was it ever ugly.) The Caring Angel Award was presented to Shalon Lewis and hundreds of Shreveport-Bossier Residents from every walk of life enjoyed a free picnic courtesy of Red Ball Oxygen.
This Spring a year-round opportunity for good was birthed: Maggie Lee’s Closet. Last Fall John noticed children in dire need of uniforms as he officed in The Highland Center. Some of these kids only had one set of clothes to wear Monday through Friday. Starting with just a $500.00 donation of uniforms and a passion to clothe kids, Church for The Highlands volunteers renovated a basement space in The Highland Center to house Maggie Lee’s Closet. Academy-Award Winning Moonbot Studios painted a beautiful mural, a donor gave the mirror, John and our son Jack built the runway stage and uniform and clothing donations came pouring in. MLC is currently open on Thursdays from 3-6 pm to correlate with the Highland Blessing Dinner (a free, hearty homestyle meal).
Maggie Lee’s Closet is a learning experience for the many different children who give their time to straighten racks or Lysol shoes. There has been a tremendous response to the positive benefits of hands-on kindness, perspective-enlarging service which happens in Maggie Lee’s Closet each week. Volunteers from Church for The Highlands, Cathedral of St. John Berchman’s, St. George Greek Orthodox, King’s Highway Christian Church, St. Marks Episcopal, Noel UMC, First Presbyterian Church , FUMC Shreveport, Bel Air Baptist Church, Asbury UMC, Broadmoor United Methodist, St. Joseph’s School, Church of Latter Day Saints, Southfield School, FBCSchool, Caddo Middle Magnet, Byrd High School, Broadmoor Middle School, Eden Gardens, Youree Drive Middle School and Alpha Chi Omegas from LA Tech and others have donated their clothing and time organizing the closet. Cosse-Silmon had a clothing drive for MLC as well. Nearly 500 children have been served in this free children’s boutique where children find love and self-esteem not just a new pair of jeans.
Shreveport Sports Icon Tim Fletcher and Duck Dynasty’s Sadie Robertson threw out pitches for the Shreveport Little League’s Maggie Lee for Good Invitational in April. Clothing donations were collected for Maggie Lee’s Closet.
The book Maggie Lee for Good which we wrote 2 years ago tells the story of loss and God’s ongoing redemption. One night I was struggling to write the closing for a book whose story was ongoing I was stumped. I went to bed and dreamt that Maggie Lee and I were sitting in a closet just talking. She kept interrupting me and saying, “Jesus is so awesome.” When I awoke, I knew that was the one message I needed to communicate. And it still is. Both time and The Holy Spirit have brought healing beyond anything I could ever imagine. Though there are still bleak days there are far more grateful ones as we try to communicate Jesus’ awesomeness through service to the least of these. Please join us…for good.
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