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Monday, December 7, 2009

Giving Back ... Charities that impress us

By Kellie Geres, Regarding Nannies Development Team

In the spirit of giving this holiday season, Glenda, Alice and I wanted to bring to your attention three amazing charities - founded by kids.

Hannah's Socks

On a chilly Thanksgiving Day in 2004, 4-year-old Hannah Turner was helping serve dinner to the needy at Toledo's Cherry Street Mission.

In the middle of the hustle and bustle of doing her part to fill plates, she tugged on her mother Doris' sweater.

"Mommy, won't his feet be cold?"

Hannah had focused on a man in line wearing shoes that had split open to reveal he had no socks on, and her small face reflected concern.

Doris tried to reassure her: "His shoes will keep his toes warm." She didn't know how they could help with all staff focused on the meal, and she didn't want her daughter carrying a burden.

Hannah — too smart, too big of heart — was unconvinced.

"Mommy, he can have my socks," she said.

That next day, Doris took Hannah to purchase and distribute socks to local shelters. They were able to collect and donate over 100 pairs around Toledo. Over two more years, and with amazing support from friends and family, they distributed nearly 10,000 total pairs of socks to partner shelters.

Doris and husband Vic quickly discovered that of all the materials donated to shelters, new socks and undergarments are given the least and needed the most. They created Hannah's Socks with the goal of addressing that problem, and they need your help.

Noah's Mugs

When Noah was 6 years old, he heard about kids all over the world who had to walk miles to get drinking water which made them sick. Noah was disturbed by this news, and hoping that he could do something to make a difference, he talked with his dad, Mike, about everything he had heard. After Noah updated Mike on the poor drinking water situation, the conversation went back and forth like this:

“Dad, we have to do something about this!”
Mike replied,“Well, what do you suppose we should do?”
“We should sell coffee mugs because when people drink out of them, they think about drinking and when you think about drinking stuff, you’ll think about water. Then all of the money we make can go to help kids get water that doesn’t make them sick.”
“Well, what is going to make your mug different then every other mug out there?”
“Dad, our mugs are going to help people get clean water, and I’m going to make some really cool themes and drawings.”
“Yea, I already thought of it all; I’ll draw Castles, Wild Bears, and Flowers – ‘cause girls like flowers.”
“Noah, can you draw a wild bear?”
“Yeah, I’m a real good drawer. So can we do it, Dad?” Noah asked excitedly.
Mike answered his anxiously awaiting son, “Sure, I’d love to go into business with a 6 year old!”

As Noah’s dad was teaching Noah how to put together a business plan, they did research and realized that the profits from just one mug would pay for someone to have clean drinking water for the rest of their life!

That is the story of how Noah’s Mugs began. Noah, his dad, and the whole family now print and press mugs and ship them all over North America. And, for every mug sold, another person gets clean drinking water.

Michala Riggle Beat Autism Foundation

Michala's Story:
With just $7.35 cents and a passion to help kids like her brother, Evan, Michala Riggle, age 12, started doing the only thing she knew how to do...make bracelets.

Her youngest brother, Evan, is autistic. In February 2006, Evan began receiving IV infusions of an amino acid called Glutathione. Evan was the 1st Glutathione IV patient at Kosair. He gets these IVs every week and they have been very helpful in Evan's battle to overcome autism. Evan responded so well to this medical treatment that Kosair physicians decided they wanted to do a medical study using the same IV protocol on more kids with autism, but they didn't have the money to do it. Even though Evan, was already getting this very helpful therapy, Michala wanted other kids battling autism to be able to get these IVs as well.

She gave her mother $7.35 and said, "It's not enough but you can have it for the study." She continued, "I'm going to make more bracelets and I'm going to raise that money."Michala believed that thousands of beaded bracelets sold for $3.00 each would raise the $200,000 that Kosair needed to conduct the study. Michala, full of hope and ambition was ready to take on the challenge and raise the needed funds one bead and one bracelet at a time! Realizing the magnitude of such a goal, Michala's brother, Dawson, said to her, "Michala - you can't raise $200,000 making bracelets!" Michala's response: "Dawson - it's like playing a ball game. If you go into the game thinking you are going to lose - game over. "You gotta believe!"

How Michala' s passion is developing:

What started as a 10-year-old girl's $7.35 fund for autism research has turned into a national phenomenon. After Michala Riggle saw how an experimental treatment helped her brother Evan's autism symptoms, she wanted to help other children by funding research at Kosair Children's Hospital in Louisville, Kentucky.

Michala's initial donation, earned by beading and selling bracelets, was multiplied again and again by volunteers energized by her hard work and "You Gotta Believe" motto. These volunteers, affectionately called, "Michala's Peeps", bead thousands of bracelets to sell at local art shows and other community events.

Michala's compassion and determination to help find a cure for autism has inspired bracelet sales and donations of nearly $300,000 to date for an autism research study and the development of an Autism Research and Treatment Center in Louisville, Kentucky.

People nationwide have heard about Michala's dedication and success through her appearances on "Good Morning America" and "The Ellen Degeneres Show".


Anonymous December 7, 2009 at 8:05 AM  

These are such heart-warming stories! I hope lots of people read this blog and contribute to these kids' efforts!

I receive all your posts in my email, and rarely have time to get to the blog and leave a comment, but i want to take this opportunity to say thank you for all you are doing via your blogs to give resources and inspiration to nannies!

Doris Turner December 7, 2009 at 9:17 AM  

Hi everyone,
I am Hannah's mom. Thank you for sharing Hannah's story of wanting to help the homeless men, women and children. Kids are amazing. I have enjoyed reading about each of these kids who are taking action to make the world a better place one socks, mug and bracelet at a time.

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