Life Changing Lesson Learned

Cat Russell
Basketful Relief Project

So the mission of the Basketful Relief Project is to write and publish beautiful children’s stories with the intent to help support world famine relief efforts and local food assistance programs here at home. Hence the tag line: Beautiful Children’s Books to Feed Young Tummies and Minds.

Launching the Basketful Relief Project in 2019, I started a personal fundraising page for famine relief efforts for infants and children in Yemen through Save the Children. I invite you to skip on over to this fundraiser and make a direct charitable contribution to this effort today!

Just recently, and I have heard this before, someone asked me, why Yemen? Inherent in this direct question is a legitimate wondering as to why worry about someone else’s problem so far away? Out of sight, out of mind as the saying goes. We have enough to be concerned about here at home. This last sentiment is true of course, but I myself had a life changing experience back in 2013 which has given me a new perspective on the interconnectedness of our world. I feel I should be dutifully concerned about the plight of infants and children experiencing significant trauma as innocent victims of a brutal civil conflict because, it could someday happen to us here at home. If I put myself in someone else’s experience, especially if its a crisis, I would most certainly want others to not shrug off my situation as out of sight out of mind.

Which brings me to my life changing lesson learned in 2013. In September of that year, locally here in Lyons, CO and up and down the Front Range, we were innocent victims of a 1,000-year rain and a 500-year flood that devastated our town. Lyons is nestled at the confluence of the North and South Saint Vrain Creeks and during this event the two combined to be a massive torrent of destructive power. The flood event was so mind boggling, I produced an investigative documentary to scientifically fit the pieces together as to what happened. Should you ever have an hour to spare (ha!), you can view this documentary here:

Understanding the Fundamentals: Colorado’s Epic Flood of 2013, focusing on the Town of Lyons, CO

Documentary Topic Chapters

Music prelude Start: 0 min, 0 sec
Introduction Start: 2 min, 50 sec
Meteorology Start: 6 min, 45 sec
Forecast Models Start: 21 min, 35 sec
Flood Start: 32 min, 36 sec
Climate Attribution Start: 51 min, 21 sec
Tribute Start: 58 min, 41 sec
Credits Start: 1 hr, 58 sec

To say the least, the reconstruction aftermath of this event was daunting, and some areas still haven’t recovered as of today.

So what does the Colorado flood of 2013 have to do with famine in Yemen? Well nothing, except for me personally, in that experience I was a direct recipient of the good will of others. I witnessed first hand the outpouring of support from people and groups coming in and setting up to help us cope and rebuild. They were people that weren’t from here, but from all over the US and abroad. Their hard work and good cheer moved mountains and I understood, perhaps for the first time, why it is short-sighted to only be concerned about my own back yard. Thus as someone who rarely goes hungry, I sincerely empathize with mothers and their babies who do, and believe I am in a position to help. Will you join me? Have a look at the Basketful Relief Project’s beautiful children’s books we have published so far and consider making a purchase. By doing so, in a fun way you will be feeding a young tummy and mind.

What inspired this blog post was seeing this CNN exclusive today, March 11. Here is the link:

Famine is returning to Yemen — and a Saudi fuel blockade stands to make it worse

The Basketful Relief Project is excited to announce it’s latest publication, The Hyrax Song!

Published in February, 2021, The Hyrax Song is the second book in The Pearls Of Wisdom Series, a collection of creative children’s stories inspired by a Biblical Proverb. The Hyrax Song is great for 9-12 year old readers and of course their parents too! It’s in hardcover, glossy paged format, 95 pages and beautifully illustrated by Brooke Connor of Brooke Connor Design.

Purchase The Hyrax Song on BookBaby ($43.81), and locally at Red Canyon Art in Lyons, CO. Coming soon to Amazon.

There are four things which are little on the earth, but they are exceedingly wise:

The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their food in the summer;
The rock badgers are a feeble folk, yet they make their homes in the crags;
The locusts have no king, yet they all advance in ranks;
the spider skillfully grasps with its hands, and it is in kings’ palaces.

Prov 30:24-28 (NKJV)

Journee is not only a mouse but a princess who loves adventure, especially when she has them alongside her best friends, Mr. Toad, Mr. Owl and Mr. Steed. Not long after their very first escapade together, finding the legendary Pond of Reflection, the four companions find themselves in yet another wild exploit, that is decidedly dangerous and threatens the entire kingdom. It all begins with their discovery of a furry blob on top of a boulder one lovely Fall day, and a message for Journee’s father, the great mouse king. It quickly develops into an exciting adventure, with an unlikely plan that just might thwart a mysterious threat gathering in the Great Plains by the sea, north of the High Western Mountain. A plan that will require the help of every kingdom animal great and small, and a very special gift of the rock hyraxes, who live in the crags of the High Western Mountain. For Journee, the best part about these kinds of adventure? If one can survive them, one undoubtedly will make new friends.


In 2019, Spike Productions launched the Basketful Relief Project (BRP) to write and publish beautiful children’s stories to support hunger relief programs here at home and abroad. With the purchase of a BRP book, Spike Productions currently donates ten percent of each purchase to reputable organizations fighting hunger. The goal however, is to increase this percent amount as more books sell. 

We hope these books not only grace your coffee table as classics, but inspire your young reader to engage in them time and again.

The BRP mission really is to help feed both young tummies and minds.

We invite you to browse our children’s books, here.