This post is sponsored by StoryWorth. I’ve worked with them for several years now, and it’s been one of my favorite partnerships because it is so easy promoting what this company does–collecting the stories of our loved ones for us. Since my first StoryWorth post, I’ve received countless e-mails from readers asking, “Can you direct me to that company you love that collects the stories again?” Because when it comes time for your parents’ or grandparents’ birthdays or, say, Father’s Day (hint hint), if you’re looking for a meaningful gift that lasts, StoryWorth offers something so unique and special–a year of collecting your loved one’s stories–the ones you might not think to ask–and a way to share those with family and preserve them forever. Read on, and I’ll tell you more.
This year, we will be spending the July 4 holiday in Muscatine, Iowa. I don’t currently know anyone in Muscatine, but, thanks to Brett’s dad and hundreds of hours of research about his family roots, we know that Muscatine is where many of Brett’s ancestors settled. There’s a graveyard with Hampton tombstones there to prove it, their stories of love and hardship and passion lost over time. The bits and pieces that have been painstakingly uncovered through studying a trail of historic documents will be celebrated though, with the gathering of family and some meaningful rituals that will honor their stories.
This is one of my favorite things my family shares with Brett’s family–a deep appreciation of the stories of our parents’ and grandparents’ past. That appreciation only grows the older I get and the more I understand that time is fleeting. I want to know as much as I can about the people I love while they’re here. While my grandpa left us diaries, hundreds of sermon notes and e-mails that are now preserved in archive folders, there’s still so much I wish I would have had the chance to ask him before he died–so many stories we were never told because we never asked.
(my missionary grandparents with their four boys)
StoryWorth was created with this very wish in mind, by a father who was living miles away from his own father when his son was born and realized he wanted to do something to help preserve his father’s memories for his son. StoryWorth was born, and this is how it works:
- Every week, the loved one you’ve chosen to receive a StoryWorth subscription receives a question through e-mail. You can write your own questions, invite family members to submit questions, choose from hundreds of questions StoryWorth has written and arrange them however you like or let StoryWorth do all the work and choose the questions for you. Some StoryWorth question examples: What is one of the bravest things you’ve ever done, and what was the outcome? What was your first date like with your spouse? Who had the most positive influence on you as a child? What are some choices you made about how to raise me?
- All your loved one has to do is reply to the e-mail with their answer. They can write as much or as little as they like. They can record their answer if they’d rather talk than type. They can attach photos. They can let the e-mail sit for a couple days and respond to it when they find the time. It’s all set up to make it easy and manageable for the recipient.
- When the reply e-mail is sent, every e-mail address you’ve added to receive the replies will get an e-mail with your loved one’s story. For my grandma’s subscription, our stories came in like clockwork because she so looked forward to sharing them. Every Monday morning, the aunts and uncles, grandkids and cousins would get that beloved weekly e-mail: “Grandma has shared a story.” I’d sit with my coffee and start my week learning about the things my grandma had been through and the advice about life she had to give. It was priceless.
- StoryWorth archives every story shared throughout the year of your loved one’s subscription. And each subscription comes with a book at the end of the year–all the stories and photos shared that year, printed and bound for you to keep.
My favorite thing about giving a StoryWorth subscription is that it’s really a gift to so many people. Asking your loved one to share his stories is such a wonderful way to say that you love him and that the things he’s been through matter, and the return gift–your entire family getting the chance to hear the stories and the preservation of those beautiful memories for your kids and grandkids to read for years to come–you can’t put a value on that gift.
For Father’s Day, StoryWorth is offering $20 off a subscription, normally a $79 value but $59 through Father’s Day. StoryWorth has extracted so many beautiful stories for our family, for both my side and Brett’s, and it’s a company many of my friends have subscribed to now because of how many times I’ve sung their praises. I love what they do. So if you’re looking for something meaningful for your dad or grandpa or husband for Father’s Day this year, consider the gift of story-telling.
For our family, we know that stories are precious gifts, connecting us to our heritage. And next weekend, we will be celebrating that heritage with our dads and grandpas and looking forward to a summer of collecting more memories and more stories.