Kids Helping Kids

I recently brought the boys to volunteer at Cradles to Crayons‘ Giving Factory, with a local moms group. I have been waiting for this moment. When they would be old enough to know when it’s time to serve & work and not play. Six seems to be the magical number for my boys.

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Right as we arrived,  I quickly learned I would have to leave to move my car. And when I returned, I could see my boys already hard at work.  The stress caused by getting lost multiple times, being late, and not being able to find parking, was quickly washed away. There they were, all set up in the Toy section: gloves on, spray bottles in hand, toothbrushes for scrubbing. They were working. They were serving. They were loving other children.

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I can’t say enough about how great an experience it was. At the debrief, they told us our group helped 72 children. 72! The boys were so proud of this number. They quickly asked when they could come back and do it again. Scrubbing toys is such a fun and easy job for young kids. Older kids and adults can volunteer in one of the many different areas: sorting clothing, equipment, books.

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On the long walk back to the car, we talked about why it is important to serve others. We talked about how there are so many children who don’t have toys. We talked about gratitude. We talked about how God wants us to show His love to others. And for the first time in all my attempts to teach them about giving, I think they started to get it. They felt complete joy by being able to help other kids!

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Ways you can help?

>> Please consider volunteering at Cradles to Crayons in either their Boston or Philly locations.

>> Donate new or gently used toys, clothes, books, baby equipment.

>> Winter is coming! Heavy coats, mittens, boots, hats are needed. Even if you don’t have a Cradles to Crayons near you, donate to Salvation Army. They’ll even send a truck to you to pick up your goods.

Join Team Kate

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Friends, can we all come together an help an old friend from high school? Kate is a 38 year old mom to a 5 year old girl, friend to many. Only she is living the unthinkable.

“The thing that gets me is I’m 38 years old. I’m healthy. I have a healthy weight, I’m a healthy eater. And in just one day … poof.”

TeamKate

From Team Kate Fundraiser

In June of 2013 Kate felt a little off, a little fuzzy. She was concerned enough about the way she was feeling to have a friend drive her to the ER. Once there, the Doctors could find nothing wrong, and she was sent home. Soon thereafter, she found herself waking up on the kitchen floor alone. She later found out it was a seizure that caused her to black out and fall. This scare prompted her to, once again, take a trip to the hospital. It was this hospital visit where the Doctors realized something was really wrong.

Kate endured a spinal tap, CT scans, MRI’s and countless other tests to find out she needed a brain biopsy.  The results of this biopsy confirmed something none of us wanted to hear. Kate was officially diagnosed with a malignant, grade II, astrocytoma brain tumor contained in the left frontal and temporal lobes. The doctors told her the tumor, which is the size of a plum, had infiltrated her brain with a growth rate at 8-10%.

This part gives me goosebumps. Though the powers of Facebook, Kate reconnected with our fellow classmate, Lisa, who just happens to be a nurse practitioner for the Center for Neuro-Oncology at Dana Farber Cancer Institute, here in Boston. As a result, Dana Farber doctors have been able to work with her doctors in Florida, determining the best course of action. (Here’s their full story from our local paper. Remember the Sudbury Mafia? See, we’re everywhere…)

Here’s how you can help:

Give Money

Kate has not been able to work since June. Besides the usual bills, let’s help with medical bills. A single mom, unable to work, she is now on Medicaid, which does not cover many of her medical expenses. Let’s help her fly to Boston for future testing and possible surgery. Even just $5 helps. Make a donation on the Team Kate Fundraiser page.

Online gift cards to help care for her family are also a huge help: Whole Foods, Target, Publix. Send them directly to Kate: teamkate38@gmail.com

Give Love

Head over to Facebook and like Team Kate. Follow her story. Genuinely pray for her, for health, for her daughter, for the wisdom of the doctors. Help ease any burdens. Encourage. Connect. Give Love.

Big news!

It’s here. After months (years) of prayers, listening, waiting, dreaming, tinkering, playing…it’s here.

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Inspired by Al Andrews, to become an improbable philanthropist.

Inspired by Jon Acuff, to Start. (First inspired by Quitter, but I can’t quit my day job as a mom.)

Inspired by Rebecca at Better Life Bags (where I first admitted my dream “Design something awesome + Change people’s lives”), Megan at She Does Justice and Sarah at BeCause to start a business that combines creative talents & giving.

Inspired by Mike Donehey to sponsor children through Compassion.

Grateful for the encouragement of friends and strangers that have purchased bags already.

Come on over to GingerLaneGoods.com or the Ginger Lane Goods Etsy store or the Spoonflower fabric store!

Reece’s Rainbow (Host a Lemonade Stand)

I’m excited to have Rachel, a fellow Influence Network-er, here sharing her story and giving project. This is a great way to get your kids involved in giving: host a lemonade stand and donate the proceeds to Reece’s Rainbow.

The mission of Reece’s Rainbow is to rescue orphans with Down syndrome through the gift of adoption, to raise awareness for all of the children who are waiting in 25 countries around the world, and to raise funds as adoption grants that help adoptive families afford the high cost of adopting these beautiful children.

About Reece’s Rainbow

Please visit Rachel’s blog for a list of great tips for hosting a Lemonade Stand for Reece’s Rainbow  and let her know that you will be joining her Lemonade Stand Campaign!

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I am thankful and honored to have this opportunity to guest post today.  So that you know a little bit of who you are hearing from here are the basics, I am 34 year old wife to a soon to be pastor, (he is finishing up seminary this summer.) I am a mother to five wonderful(most of time) children(one of which is due to be born any day now.) Our life is often messy but in the mess we get to see God make something beautiful in our lives.  I would love for you to come by my blog, www.make-something-beautiful.com and get to know my family and I better.

 My heart grew significantly for orphans with Down Syndrome and special needs after the birth and Down Syndrome diagnosis of my first Son Sam in 2009. 

After Sam was born while doing research on the Internet on his condition, Down Syndrome I discovered an amazing organization called Reece’s Rainbow. They are in the business of redeeming orphans with special needs. Special needs orphans are the bottom of the barrel as far as orphans go, they are often living is horrible conditions with out adequate housing, clothing, food, medical care and worst of all human interaction. Often children with mild and moderate disabilities are left in crib rooms for there whole life, never escaping the bars and white walls.

JOIN US and “MAKE A STAND FOR ORPHANS!!” Host a lemonade stand in the month of May or collect change to give toward the redemption of beautiful special needs children around the world.  You can give  directly to Reece’s Rainbow and receive a tax deduction. FOR MORE TIPS PLEASE VISIT MY BLOG AND LET LEMONADE BE USED TO REDEEM!!

Make & Give Away: Headbands

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You can put a smile on the face of a terminally ill child! Remember Sarah’s guest post about her Little Ladybug Shoppe? She is sharing how she makes the headbands and clip-on accessories that she hands out at local Children’s Hospitals. So now you can make them too and distribute to children at your local hospital! (Please be sure to contact your local organization’s volunteer coordinator before donating.)

These headbands and accessories are easy enough that school-age children can make them, with a little help from an adult. What a great way to teach kids about giving to others! Email me if you are able to participate – we would love to hear about your experience!

From Sarah:

Little Ladybug Shoppe has the unique opportunity to provide handmade hair accessories to young girls diagnosed with terminal illnesses.  It is my hope that this small act of kindness will be a true blessing to them.

I wanted to add my reasoning behind these nylon headbands.  Since the girls who will be receiving these bands have terminal illnesses, I wanted to be considerate of the fact that they might have no hair due to chemo, bruise easily due to medication or treatments, or very sensitive skin due to their specific condition.  I thought the soft nylon bands would be the most comfortable option, and allowing the removable accessories would add some fun and variety.
Thank you so much for your interest in joining Little Ladybug Shoppe‘s mission to bless terminally ill children.  I hope we can be a ray of sunshine to them all.
Below is the tutorial for just the headband.
Supplies needed:
Colored nylons
1″ wide ribbon (color to match the nylons)
Fat quarters
Needle
Thread
Plain metal alligator clips
Hot glue gun
The band
1. Cut one leg of the pair of nylons and then cut down at the toe so you basically have a “sleeve”.
2. Measure 18″ and trim off any excess fabric.
3. Bring the two ends together and tuck one end inside the other.  Make sure it measures 8.5″ to make a standard child’s size headband.
4. Thread a running stitch to join the two ends together.
5. Pull the thread tightly so the fabric bunches up where you placed your stitch.
6. Wind the thread around the bunch several times and then finish with a couple of finishing knots in the back.
7. Cut a three inch piece of ribbon and use a hot glue gun to secure it around the fabric bunch.  Make sure it is tight, but just loose enough to slip an alligator clip underneath.
Please visit the Little Ladybug Shoppe for the rest of the tutorials. Learn how to make the clip-on accessories: bows, flowers and rosettes!

Shoes for Shriners

Katie and Bryan, friends from a former church, recently reached out with a new giving project they are launching: Shoes for Shriners. Shriner’s Hospital for Children in Boston is one of the world’s leading centers for pediatric burn care. And, unfortunately, they experienced the hospital first-hand when their then toddler, Eden, was accidentally burned.

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In their own words:

People come from all over the world to be seen at this hospital, and for good reason; the care is phenomenal. What’s more, Shriner’s does not charge its patients a penny. Not a penny, whether they could afford it or not. They only recently began accepting payments from insurance.

One of the beautiful things about this place is that they are committed to making patients – and their families – comfortable while they are at the hospital, and providing tangible goods to make the stay easier. Within twenty-four hours of our arrival we were given a bag with toys, some regular clothing, and a handmade blanket (which Eden still sleeps with every day at daycare). We didn’t know we “needed” these things, but the level of care and thought that they represented literally brought us to tears.

Shriner’s gets donations from many places, and they thankfully always have plenty of toys. But the one thing they always need is shoes. We see this need as an opportunity for our family (and hopefully some of you!) to serve a place that does so much good, that has done so much good for us in particular, and to help them serve and bless others as they did us not so long ago. We are all very excited about this opportunity, and we hope you’ll join us! But if you can’t swing it this year, no sweat, we understand! We plan to make this an annual tradition, so there will be more chances.

Click to read more about Shoes for Shriners.

How can you help?

1. Purchase sneakers in any size from toddler size 7 up (all the way to adult sizes!) and get them to Katie & Bryan by May 4 (Email them: shoesforshrinersboston@gmail.com for the mailing address.)

and/or

2. Donate funds which we will use to buy sneakers on May 4th/5th. Donations can be done through Paypal using the email: shoesforshrinersboston@gmail.com
They are planning to deliver the shoes to Shriner’s sometime during the first full week in May.

To Boston, with love

I was born in Boston, raised here and still live in the vicinity.

Marathon Monday has always been my favorite day in the city. The cheering is relentless. The runners, inspiring.

I worked in the building behind where the first bomb went off. We used to gather in the windows to watch the marathon, having the best view of Boylston and the finish line. I would walk home along the marathon route, clapping and cheering for those who had been running 5+ hours. But they were still going. They never stopped. Their will and determination always left me with goosebumps.

I am heartbroken for my city. For the families who lost loved ones. For those that lost limbs. For those whose lives will never be the same. For the runners who didn’t get to finish. For the evil that remains in this world.

But I am also encouraged by the love. Of the first responders. Of strangers. Good will always triumph over evil.

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Within hours of the bombing, my favorite print shop, Old Try, created a print, based on the first flag of New England, where 100% of the profits will be donated here to benefit the victims.

Please join TUGG and the technology community in supporting those impacted by the bombing at this year’s Boston Marathon. All proceeds will be donated completely to programs working with victims of the attacks including Red Cross, Children’s Hospital, and others. Both TUGG and fundraise.com are donating 100% of their fees so that all of your support goes directly to helping those in need. This is a terrible injustice and we are proud to stand as a community to help repair the lives of those who have been hurt.

Learn More: TUGG (Technology Underwriting Greater Good) on Fundraise.com

Buy the Print Here

or

Donate Directly