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The Pass It On Angel Pin Lady: One Suburban Mom’s Mission to Pin the World Together with Angel Pins
Our family wrote a book No More Secrets – A Family Speaks about Anxiety, Depression and Attempted Suicide. As you read the pages of this book, I refer to the turmoil that was going on in my life at the time that I created the Team of Angels pins and poems. To learn more about the situation, please visit our website and blog at www.speakingaboutdepression.com
Patricia Gallagher is available to share her inspirational story. She welcomes interviews and speaking engagements.
This is a spirit-lifting story of one mom’s mission to spread joy, comfort and encouragement worldwide – one Team of Angels pin at a time.
Our Family Needs a Team of Angels
Some people say that I tried to pin the world together, one radiant angel pin at a time. What I was really trying to do was pin my own family back together, one earnest prayer at a time.
At times of frustration and despair, I often leaf through the yellowed sheets of poems I authored a little over a decade ago. I still feel God’s presence in the words. They were written back when I was caring for my busy family; making beds, preparing dinner, making doctors’ appointments, shoveling the snow or polishing furniture. Most days, I was running to keep up with long strides of four active children and an ill husband. Now the four kids are in their 20’s. I remember those busy days with such love and fondness.
A Team of Angels? Where did the thought even come from? I began the Send a Team of Angels to Help Movement quite by accident in 1998. Or perhaps, it was by divine providence that I began giving the pins to shut-ins, lonely people in nursing homes, the homeless that I met in the City of Brotherly Love (Philadelphia that is, for those not familiar with the North East), and countless other folks who were overwhelmed like I was. People who would face turmoil and anxieties seemed to find me to request a Team of Angels pin, and I seemed to find them.
During the months prior to my husband’s accident, I penned poems. I sat in a monastery chapel or in my living room scribbling poems on napkins and scraps of paper. I kept a
notebook in my car in case an inspirational thought popped into my mind while I was driving. I jotted my thoughts and worries down on the blue-lined pages and then rhymed the words into verses. Once, I even scribbled a verse in the sand while on the beach at the New Jersey shore and another time on a paper plate.
My ideas for the poems sometimes came to me while watching my kids under the warm sunlight at sporting events, sitting in a doctor’s office, perched on the edge of a pew in church, or while making a weekly shopping list for cheese, milk, ice cream and laundry detergent. I filled several Dollar Store notebooks with poems about seeking joy and help for my hurting heart.
I didn’t know much about the computer. So everything was done the old- fashioned way—by long-hand.
I called them Team of Angels poems. I crafted a little trio-of-angels pin from safety pins, raffia and little gold charm angels purchased at a flea market. I attached the homemade-on-the-kitchen-table angel pins to pieces of cardboard bearing my first poem.
Writing the poems and making hundreds of the little pins were my way of coping with the uncertainty of my own life at that time and seeking God’s guidance. The verses of the poems were my connection to heaven–simple little prayers.
The first poem was titled “A Team of Angels for the Overwhelmed,” which aptly described my feelings. I added others such as “A Team of Angels for a Troubled Loved One,” “A Team of Angels for Taking One Day at a Time,” “A Team of Angels for Raising Good Kids,” and “A Team of Angels to Protect My Loved Ones.” The little verses expressed the confusion in my own life and the anguish of a frightened wife dealing with a husband suffering with depression.
I wanted God to restore my husband to good health ASAP. The poems continued to come to me and by the end of the year, I ha