Hero Daddy was the wonderful winner of the HP Magic Giveaway I had on Techmamas.com. I asked if he could provide me an update after he delivered the prizes to the organizations he mentioned he would "share" the magic with. He more then gave me an update, he gave me an update & a video!
Here is the email he sent with more details on his delivery:
Dear TechMama, HP and Other Kind People of the World,
Thank you…from the bottom of a lot of people’s hearts!
In late December, a $6,000 shipment from HP went out to Shellie (see her earlier post on this site) and to our home in Lexington, Kentucky. Incredible!
After it arrived and took up half of our living room, I came up with the (seemingly) perfect way to document the giving-away phase of the giveaway. I grabbed our three-year-old Panasonic camcorder that a friend bought for us when our little ones were two months old (in January ‘06) and then I set out on several quality-time journeys with each of our kids. My wife Lisa was out of town with a friend, and rather than taking all the kids to all the stops in our big ol‘ gray van, I decided to take one- or two-kid trips in the coveted ‘little red baby car’–a red Chevy Cobalt with two carseats in the back, which usually just shuttles Daddy back and forth to work. (Special thanks to Grandma and Grandpa, visiting for Christmas, who graciously watched those who didn’t accompany me.)
Benjamin is three years old. His middle name is Ronald, and he is our talker (and sometimes whiner). He constantly talks about going to the ‘Ronald-Ronald House,’ and if there were anywhere on earth he would like to be, the play area in Lexington’s Ronald McDonald House would have to be it. So I wedged the ‘gi-normous’ TouchSmart in our front seat, and got him in the back, and he talked my ear off the whole way. As if the fates were on his side, we had to stop at a railroad track–how fun was that?–and I got some good vintage Benjamin video footage. When we got to the House, we presented the computer to Travis, the House Manager, who was thrilled! We got some nice video of him too, and he told me later that the computer will probably primarily be used with volunteers at the House, who right now don’t have a great computer to work with (well, now they do!!!). While we were there, he showed us the Christmas toy donations that people in the community had made to the House, and it was overwhelming–at that point, I thought, “This big computer has definitely found the right home.” I can’t wait to go to the Lexington Ronald McDonald House each month in this new year. Before we left, Travis made the mistake of giving Benjamin an elaborately-made reindeer cookie (with pretzels, M&M’s, and other stuff tacked on). As we walked back through the house, I calculated that 15% made it into Benjamin’s digestive system, while the other 85% found its way onto the floor of the Ronald McDonald House. My hope is that the nice new computer offset the cleaning costs!!!
Next, I took my son Casey (also three) with me to The MailBox, a family business near our home that ships things as a go-between with the major shipping companies. Casey likes to see how things work, and to touch things, and just look around, and so he had fun going into this little store with boxes and bubble wrap and other fun stuff. I got Casey onto the counter of the store (with the teenage clerk’s curious permission) and got some nice video of him telling us who we were shipping things to. The HP Media Smart Connect was sent to our friends Dave and Miki in Savannah. They are great friends of ours, who have a six-year-old and two five-year-old twins, one who has very special needs. In the midst of their own craziness, they were a huge help to us when our craziness hit. When our daughter Emily passed away, Miki found the gravesite for us where she is now buried, and Dave (a pastor) performed her graveside service. Because they take lots and lots of photos and videos of their kids, and because they’re wonderful people, I thought that they would be ideal to use the HP Media Smart with–for those of you who might not know what that is, it basically allows you to view all of the media that’s stored on your computer…on a regular TV–in essence, among other things, it allows your TV to become a giant digital photo frame, continuously running slideshows with music.
We also shipped the printer and photo pack and software (as well as a new digital camera that we didn’t need) to the Phoenix Children’s Hospital NICU. We still need to let them know more about it, but our thought is that when our babies were in the hospital, the greatest thing that happened (even on really really bad days) was that we took good photos that we got to keep. Now that one of our children is gone, the photos that we have of her are like gold to us… However, many people in the NICU don’t have the equipment or knowhow or foresight to take pictures of their sick child(ren). So we thought that equipping the NICU (our NICU where our kids were) with a camera and software and printer would be a perfect way to help see that happen, and a great thank you too.