Friday, April 4, 2014

Daniel Smith's four weeks of random kindness




Sometimes, exceptional people and their kindness catch our attention and we wish to bring them the accolades they deserve- one such person is Daniel Smith of Salt Lake City, Utah. Daniel created a $125 a week budget to perform four weeks of random acts of kindness, but was soon laid off from his job. At first, he was feeling distraught and concerned but quickly decided not to let the job loss become so overpowering that he lost sight of his goal.

Armed with the money he had already saved and a videographer, Daniel hit the streets, taping his charitable acts in hopes of inspiring others to follow suit. For the first week of his random acts of kindness, Daniel handed out a dozen care packages of blankets and snacks to the homeless. (Click the links to view the videos of how it all turned out!)

During week two, Daniel worked the drive thru window at Great Steak restaurant in Provo, passing out the meals he had anonymously paid for and enjoying the reactions of customers as they received the good news. He was touched by the way something so simple was able to brighten the lives of nearly a dozen people, all through paying for one small meal.

In week three, Daniel handed out gift cards in the Wal-Mart parking lot. While some people walked past him, ignoring his efforts, others were receptive and even needed the help. One man admitted that he was laid off as well and really appreciated the card. Another woman, at first skeptical and cold, finally broke down into tears and shared that she had struggled lately and the card really helped her out.

Daniel has one week left to his personal goal of four weeks of random acts of kindness, and we would so like to see him succeed that we wish to sponsor his generosity and provide the funding necessary for him to carry out whatever he wishes. Daniel, thank you for continuing to give despite your personal hardships and thank you for caring about those around you- we appreciate your efforts and we are glad to know you!

You can support Daniel by following his page on Facebook!

Monday, March 17, 2014

RAOK & The Tutu Project

A few of my closest friends (including some of the incredible Sofia’s Angels) and I will be traveling to New York this weekend to show support for the Carey Foundation. We will don our lovely pink tutus for a photo shoot and bring along a $1,000.00 donation to help support families impacted by breast cancer.

The Carey Foundation was started by Bob and Linda Carey after Linda was diagnosed with breast cancer. Starting off as a photography project, The Tutu Project became so successful that the nonprofit foundation was established.

A year ago this weekend, Linda’s mother Betty passed away. While we are in New York, we are going to honor Betty’s memory and the long year without her with 365 random acts of kindness. Among Betty’s favorite things were flowers and gambling, so included in our acts of kindness are flower hair bows, bouquets of flowers, and scratch tickets for New York and New Jersey, as well as Dunkin Donuts gift cards, Wawa cards, metro cards, paying to fill up someone’s gas tank, paying for a breakfast, lunch, and dinner while out, handing out dollar bills, giving one homeless person $50, giving out Hershey’s Kisses, and passing out hats created by Mary of Mary Originals, who generously donated her time and energy.

 Linda's mother, Betty
 
We are pleased to be able to spread joy and love in honor of Betty and to show our friendship and support to Linda during such a difficult time, all while supporting the tremendous efforts of the Careys and their incredible foundation and project.

Flower hair bows

A screen shot of the cards that will be handed out with our RAOK gifts

Please feel free to spread the love and create your own random kindness this weekend in memory of this special woman. If you do, share your stories below- we will show Linda the replies and support.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

"Lego" of a Little Love

 
A year ago, on March 2, 2013, ten year old Mitchell Jones passed away after a long struggle with Duchene Muscular Dystrophy, a progressive muscular degenerative disease. Mitchell's short but beautiful life was chronicled nearly daily by his doting father, who kept up a Facebook page and blogged regularly about his ailing son.

One of the things Mitchell's family says he is most remembered by is his love for all things Lego. In the past, we organized a donation drive for Lego gifts to donate to the Boston Children's Hospital. We would like to resurrect this theme but do things a little differently this time...

Our last project centered around critically ill children who spent hours and sometimes years in hospital beds and needed an outlet for creativity and fun. Now we would like to surprise random children who are not hospitalized and touch their lives with Mitchell's influence.

The Lego Movie is currently in theaters. We will be purchasing ten tickets (to represent Mitchell's age) to The Lego Movie as a random act of kindness in his memory. Recipients of these tickets will be given this note:

"Your tickets today to The Lego Movie were paid for in memory of Mitchell Jones, a ten year old boy who passed away a year ago today of Duchene Muscular Dystrophy. Mitchell loved Lego and lived a life worth honoring. Please enjoy your film and keep him in your heart."

We would also like to organize another Lego drive of a different variety. We are asking that whoever is able to contribute please send a small set of Lego to us so we can randomly hand them out to children in passing. Included with the set will be a letter handed their parents that will read as follows:

"The Lego set your child received today was generously donated by one of many anonymous people who wish to honor the memory of Mitchell Jones. Mitchell was a ten year old boy who passed away on March 2, 2013 of Duchene Muscular Dystrophy. He loved Lego and we are pleased to spread the joy of playing with his favorite toy on to another child who will appreciate it. Please accept this gift as an outreach of Mitchell's love for life and take a moment to play with your child in his memory."

Please send your contributions no later than March 14. Lego sets can be sent to:

Cathy’s Creations
P.O. Box 28 
Watertown, MA 02471

In order to make this endeavor a success, we need your help. If you cannot purchase sets, please consider sharing this blog with others and helping us expand our reach.

Anyone who wishes to support Parent Project MD through the purchase of a Mitchell’s Journey Pendant is invited to view our listing on our website. All proceeds are donated directly.

Thank you for supporting our efforts to honor Mitchell. Please take a moment to view a touching video created by Mitchell's father that adequately explains why we strive so hard to create lasting positive memories in the name of this amazing young man.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Chad's Fight - 318 Random Acts of Kindness


Chad was a 29 year old father of two young boys and the loving husband of my dear friend Colleen when he was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer called Ewing Sarcoma. After fighting a brave battle for 318 days, Chad sadly passed away leaving his young family behind. Colleen, through her pain, has bravely held her family together since Chad’s untimely passing, and has continued to motivate and inspire me to carry on helping families who face similar struggles. You can find out more about Chad’s fight against cancer and his family’s story here.


Colleen, Chad, and their sons

Next week, Colleen will be flying into Boston from Wisconsin and she and I, along with a couple friends, will be completing 318 Random Acts of Kindness to honor each day of Chad’s fight with cancer.  Throughout the city, we have plans to make several stops- we will be placing fifty cards for a free subway ride at the station, and buying five coffees for strangers. We will then head to the hospital and begin placing a hundred lottery tickets randomly around the floors of the hospital as we go through! In the surgical waiting area, we will hand out cancer ribbon cookies to the anxious families waiting for their loved ones. At the children’s hospital and the local grocer, we will be placing sixty quarters on the machines for kids to enjoy, and will be giving area restaurants fifty packs of gum to hand out to patrons when they deliver their check. To end our amazing day together, we will pay for three meals for random people while we’re out. Additionally, we have decided to hand out 250 “survival kits” for nurses to show appreciation and boost moral and 150 care packages to Thornton and Naumes House, the Hope Lodge, and the Beacon House. All lodging facilities for adults with cancer.



The random acts of kindness are funded by Superheroes Fighting Cancer (visit their FB here.) Superheroes Fighting Cancer is a Nonprofit Organization created to support parents who are fighting their own battle with cancer.

During the day, we also have an interview set up with the local news station to help share Chad’s story and to encourage others to reach out and spread a little joy, especially through their sorrows.

Although Chad’s time here has come to an end, his story is not over. On his behalf, we will personally reach out to 318 people who might need a positive moment or a helping hand, and we will continue to be his voice to thousands through exposure on the news and online.

Thank you for taking the time to share this moment with us and encourage our journey to honor Chad!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Take A Walk In Our Shoes!

Charlie’s Barber Shop is at it again! Employee Brent Kirkland, who cut back to part time hours after earning his degree, has volunteered to walk the five miles from the shop to the closest McDonald’s wearing the big red shoes to raise money for the Ronald McDonald House in Charleston, SC.

Real men wear red... shoes!

The Ronald McDonald House provides shelter and basic necessities for families during their child’s hospital stay so that parents, siblings, and loved ones can be nearby during treatment without having to pay for gas, plane trips, expensive hotel stays and meals out. The cost of running the House is $50 per room per night, though to keep it affordable during a family’s time of struggle, the suggested donation per night is only $20. Due to the generous nature of this program, those who can’t afford to pay are thankfully never turned away- however, this means that more funds are needed. This vital resource heavily depends on charitable donations from the community, and we’re more than happy to support Brent’s admirable efforts to raise funds and awareness!

Mmm...

We have donated McDonald’s gift cards for him to hand out on his journey in hopes of brightening some lives along the way while spreading the word.  We are also collecting money through Paypal  at cathyscreationsjewelry@yahoo.com and would like to ask you to consider supporting this worthwhile cause. Local residents can drop off donations at Charlie’s Barber Shop. For those who do not wish to make a monetary contribution, please consider sharing the blog link so it reaches more people. Remember, a little bit of help from a lot of people is what really makes the difference.


Good luck, Brent!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Blair's Legacy


Blair Michaela Shanahan Lane was a "saucy and bossy" preteen with a contagious zest for life and compassion for those around her. She was known around the neighborhood as kind and loving, and was quick to organize and arrange community events. Observant and helpful, Blair noticed that each time a new foster child was brought to her home, they had toys and stuffed animals but came with no necessities- not even socks. Blair was determined to make a difference and be a voice for those in need. She decided that she would start a Foster Socks program and collect socks for foster children as part of her requirements for earning a Girl Scout Gold Award, a project that most young women complete as seniors in high school. Blair's passion was unstoppable and she began to fill journals and notebooks with her ideas and plans. Unfortunately, she would never see her project come to life.

On July 4, 2011, Blair was playing outside with her family in her yard when she suddenly collapsed. She had been tragically shot by a stray bullet that was fired in celebration of the holiday from over a thousand feet away. During her one night stay in the hospital, hundreds of visitors in the community she had so strongly supported and participated in visited Blair, but unfortunately the injuries were too severe and Blair passed away on July 5th at the age of eleven years old.

Blair's family made the generous and loving decision to donate her organs to up to six unknown people between the ages of 6 and 60. Despite the horrible accident, Blair's tenderness and sense of selflessness toward others would carry on through this courageous act of kindness from her family.

Since her daughter's untimely passing, Blair's mother has been a determined and loving warrior of Blair's cause. Aware of what it meant to her daughter to make sure that helpless children were provided for, Michele Shanahan DeMoss continued the Foster Socks program and website in Blair's honor and has helped to raise awareness for organ and tissue donation as well as petitioning for Blair's Law, which would make it a felony to recklessly fire a gun within a municipality of Missouri.

In 2013, Michele proudly rode on the Donate Life Rose Parade float and even more incredibly, on April 18, 2013, she met the recipient of her daughter's heart, a young man named Andrew, and was able to hear it beating inside of his chest.

 Blair's mother, Michele, with organ recipient Andrew

This week, Blair would have celebrated another birthday. While we will never know all of the incredible things she would have done if not for that fateful July day, we do know of all the truly inspiring and amazing accomplishments that have been achieved in her honor. Blair may no longer be with us, but her message and her mission live on. We are reminded that integrity, compassion, and giving are vital components of a life well lived, and in honor of Blair we continue to carry jewelry that sponsors her dreams. To view the original cause jewelry, click here. For our newest listing, click here.

In honor of Blair, please consider organ and tissue donation. The gift of life is precious- pass it on.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Big Red Shoe Fundraiser




"Supporting children and families in their time of need."
 
The Ronald McDonald House is a 27-bedroom home where families stay while their children undergo extensive medical treatment. Here, parents and children lead a life as normal as possible during their traumatic times without the financial burden of costly hotel and travel expenses.
The Ronald McDonald Family Room at MUSC provides a sanctuary within the walls of the hospital where family members can rest, read, shower or have a cup of coffee while still being only minutes away from their seriously ill child.

 The beauty of RHM is that they ask the families for $20 a night, but do not turn away anyone who can't afford this. The actual cost of running each room is $50 a night. This making the actual cost of running the Ronald McDonald House of Charleston with 27 rooms $1,350. 

While at Ronald McDonald House with friends to drop off toys for Christmas, Jennene Koester, the House Manager, spent hours showing us around and sharing stories with us. We all left and knew that we needed to do something, anything to be able raise some funds to help with the house.


What better way then to wear our own pair of big red shoes!!!



Charlie Druelle from Charlie's Barber Shop in Aiken, SC, will be wearing his pair of red shoes daily to work. While at work, he will have them on display for all his customers to drop a donation in the shoe. He will also allow customers to wear and take pictures in the shoes.  





I will be wearing my shoes to work every day until I am able to raise a minimum of $1350 to be able to cover all the rooms for one night. If we are able to raise a minimum of $2500, I will fly down to SC and present the Ronald McDonald House to deliver the check and also volunteer for the day.

Please PayPal all donations to cathyscreationsjewelry@yahoo.com. With every $50 donation, I will be giving out one of our Ronald McDonald Red Shoe bracelets.


What are you waiting for??? Send me to SC and save me from wearing those shoes to work for too long and we have to return the shoes back to Ronald as he is walking around barefoot!