First Fridays

#HUGS4JOY2017

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It’s hard to believe that December is here again already. It’s a joyous season with the holidays but it also marks the darkest days for our 2 families. The Friedler’s lost Henry 4 years ago on the 20th and the Griffith’s lost their niece, Megan on the 20th.

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Both our families have made the conscious choice to honor their lives by sharing kindness with others. There is healing in the simple act of making someone else smile…even for just a moment. Our biggest event and the reason why we started the brigade is our annual toy drive for the kids at Randall Children’s Hospital. We collect these toys in the month of January. Henry and Megan shared the same birthday on February 9th and we deliver the toys on that day. This is a huge event with nearly 3,000 toys delivered each year. We couldn’t do it without help from our friends and followers. One of the hardest thing about running a nonprofit is asking for donations. However, we are excited to announce that we have a FUN and FREE way for you to help us raise funds again this year. Our HUGS4JOY fundraiser is back!

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It’s really simple and costs you nothing. All we ask is that you take a photo of you hugging a loved one and post it on our Facebook page or on Instagram with the hashtag #hugs4joy2017. Our nonprofit will receive $1 for every photo posted (up to $500) and these funds will be used to purchase toys. This is a great way to kick start our toy drive. Plus it has the extra bonus effect of lifting our spirits during this difficult month. So please, hug, post and then share with family and friends. With each and every hug you help us keep Henry’s tricycle of kindness rolling.

The following story written by Henry’s mom, Marla will demonstrate how important hugs are to us all.
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Every night after we tucked the boys into bed, both Owen and Henry would call us back in for one more “hug and kiss.” I remember many nights, after we had gone downstairs, Owen would sleepily come down the stairs to tell us Henry needed one more hug.

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I’ll admit there were times that after a few extra hugs we would tell him no more. But now, I sure do miss those hugs. I miss him yelling after us, “love you to the moon…and back!!” I miss holding him and feeling his arms around me.

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I miss joking that his hugs were so tight I couldn’t breathe. I miss Henry hugs.

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Owen and I hug…a lot. His hugs make my heart smile. I hug him so tight that occasionally he tells me through laughter “you’re breaking my bones.”

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Owen gives “super famous hugs” so tight you don’t have to hug him back…he’s just stuck to you.

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 I love hugs. They are spreading love from one to another. A simple act that means so much.
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So our kindness theme for the month of December is quite simple:
HUG THE ONES YOU LOVE!
Then could you please brighten our day and make our hearts smile by posting a photo of your hug on our Facebook page or on Instagram with the tag #hugs4joy2017. To help the cause we have an anonymous donor who will give our nonprofit $1 for every photo posted (up to $500). It’s a fun, free and fantastic way to raise funds and to lift our spirits during this difficult month. Spread the joy and share our story with your family and friends!

HAPPY HUGGING!

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October’s Kindness Theme: FIREFIGHTERS

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Thank you to everyone who made a difference during Childhood Cancer Awareness Month in September. Whether it was promoting awareness by sharing our post, or making a financial donation to pediatric cancer research or simply giving a hug to someone touched by cancer. It all makes an impact. Side note from our cofounder, Pam. She personally had a very unique and special opportunity to promote cancer research. They sold their home to a cancer researcher! More to this amazing story coming soon.

Now it’s time for our next kindness theme.

October is full of excitement as kiddos anticipate how they will dress for Halloween. Henry idolized firefighters and dressed up as one for his last Halloween in 2013.

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So it’s only fitting that every year for the month of October our kindness theme is firefighters. Henry’s mom, Marla shared a little story back in 2014 when we first got rolling and we would like to share it with you again.
“Whenever we were driving home, from anywhere, Henry would ask to drive by the fire trucks. He would ask to go by more than one fire station. He loved to see if the fire trucks were “awake or asleep”. If the garage doors were open, he would laugh and say “AWAKE!!” Doors closed, they were sleeping. If they weren’t in the garage they were out helping people…or at Fred Meyers Shopping Center. We could almost time our trips to Fred Meyers with the shopping schedule of our two local fire stations. We could spend 10 minutes walking around the truck…and what a great day if a fireman gave him and Owen a sticker. We would tour the stations and the boys loved sitting in the fire engines.

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On a great visit, they could even spray water.

As part of Henry’s Make-A-Wish, a fire engine came to our cul-de-sac and we were taken for a ride. The boys sprayed water and climbed in the trucks. Henry’s smile was ENORMOUS!

We were honored that a few firemen came to Henry’s funeral. Such amazing people…maybe Henry was as much of a hero to them, as they were to him.”

So could you help us honor Henry’s heroes? 
You could bake them some goodies or buy them some snacks. How about a cuddly blanket or a fun pillow case for their bunks? They could also use some small plush toys to give to children when they go out on a call.
Whatever you choose to do, please make sure you attach a trike ticket. Here is the link to print them for free http://www.theredtricyclebrigade.com/print-your-trike-tickets
Please, please, please take photos and post them to our Facebook page or on Instagram with the hashtag #triked. This not only inspires others but encourages us as well. Thank you!

PhotoGrid Fire Station 2015
HAVE FUN “TRIKING” YOUR LOCAL HEROES!

 

September 1, 2017 (Schools & Cancer Research

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It’s that time of year again. Summer has come to an end and students are heading off to school. Henry should be in 2nd grade.

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But he’s not…and sadly he’s not alone. Everyday in the United States 43 kids are diagnosed with cancer. Every single day in the United States 5 children die because of cancer. And every year an additional 2,000 parents dread the first day of school because it’s a painful reminder that their child won’t be there. September is the start of another year of learning and it is also Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.

Childhood Cancer Awareness month

It’s a month devoted to bringing awareness to the dire need for research that is aimed specifically to cure childhood cancer. Just this week the FDA gave formal approval to a new treatment option for kids will leukemia (CAR T cell therapy).

https://www.today.com/video/fda-approves-first-us-gene-therapy-to-fight-childhood-leukemia-1036644419746

It’s a huge breakthrough but more is needed.

Our kindness theme for September is two fold. First we would like you to “trike” your local schools. You could take treats for the staff, a coffee gift card for your child’s teacher or extra supplies for the classroom.

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Remember to attach a trike ticket so the recipient can pay it forward. These can be printed at http://www.theredtricyclebrigade.com/print-your-trike-tickets.

Secondly, we humbly ask that you make a donation to help fund pediatric cancer research at http://www.stbaldricks.org in memory of Henry Friedler.

Henry's cancer treatment

Let’s support cancer research, our schools and our students. Who knows, maybe one of them will find a cure for childhood cancer. Perhaps it will be Henry’s older brother, Owen. He’s a 4th grader this year and he’s on a mission.

 

 

 

First Friday (Blood Drive)

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It’s FIRST FRIDAY!!!

This is the day we reveal the kindness theme for the month by sharing a short story about Henry.

Henry had infant leukemia, a rare and aggressive form of bone marrow cancer. Bone marrow helps make blood cells. Treatment included Chemotherapy, a poison which kills the cancer cells. Unfortunately, it also kills any fast growing cells. So Henry didn’t have the ability to make healthy red blood cells. The chemotherapy also killed his platelets which helps blood to clot. Many times during his 3 years of treatment, Henry’s blood counts would be critically low. He had countless blood and platelet transfusions. It was a normal activity in his life.

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It amazes me still to think how many people helped to keep Henry alive. Not just the nurses and doctors, but also countless volunteers who donated  blood. Their blood and blood products helped keep Henry alive. That’s pretty cool to think about: a village of people, who donated an hour of their day to give a little boy life. I hope everyone who donates blood realizes that they are truly giving a life saving gift.

We are thrilled to announce that we are partnering with the Red Cross again this year for our 3rd Annual Blood Drive on Saturday, April 1st 10-4pm at Tualatin Valley Community Church in Beaverton, Or 97006.

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This is an opportunity for us to give back for all the transfusions Henry received. WE NEED YOUR HELP! We have room for 60 superheroes the day of the drive. RESERVE YOUR SPOT TODAY at www.redcrossblood.org with our sponsor code: RedTrikeBrigade.

Grandpa Bob donating blood

We want to thank everyone who has helped keep Henry’s tricycle rolling, one act of kindness at a time. What better joy than to know your act of kindness may save up to 3 lives!

TOY DRIVE UPDATE

We are so incredibly grateful to everyone who contributed to Henry’s 4th Annual Red Tricycle Brigade Toy Drive. We were able to deliver 2,635 toys to Randall Children’s Hospital on Henry’s birthday, February 9th. The extra benefit of delivery day is being able to see the smiles first hand. Another amazing part of this effort is that we have no corporate sponsors. Each and every toy was donated by individuals. Just shows you how big an impact you can make when you band together in kindness.

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THANKS AGAIN FOR HELPING US KEEP HENRY’S MEMORY ALIVE AND HIS TRICYCLE ROLLING!

 

 

 

 

 

 

September 2, 2016 First Friday (Schools & Cancer Research)

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This upcoming Tuesday is the first day of school. Henry would have been starting first grade.

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But he’s not…and sadly he’s not alone. Everyday in the United States 43 kids are diagnosed with cancer. Every single day in the United States 5 children die because of cancer. And every year an additional 2,000 parents dread the first day of school because it’s a solid reminder that their children won’t be there. September is the start of another year of learning and it is also Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. It’s a month to bring awareness to the dire need for research that is aimed specifically to cure childhood cancer.  Childhood Cancer Awareness month

Our kindness theme for the month of September is two fold. First we would like you to “trike” your local schools. You could take treats for the staff, a coffee gift card for your child’s teacher or extra supplies for the classroom. Remember to attach a trike ticket so the recipient can pay it forward. Secondly, we humbly ask that you consider making a donation to help fund pediatric cancer research at http://www.stbaldricks.org in memory of Henry Friedler. Let’s support cancer research, our schools and students. Who knows maybe one of them will find the cure for childhood cancer. Perhaps it will be Henry’s older brother Owen. He’s a third grader this year and he’s on a mission.

 

First Friday, August 5, 2016 (Beaches)

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This summer is certainly “rolling” by quickly! We hope all our trikester friends are having fun. Both our families have enjoyed camping, hiking and exploring new areas of our country. We’ve also made great memories while spreading kindness centered around berries and other produce from our local farmer’s markets in July. We hope you have too. Now it’s time to share our kindness theme for August. Our First Friday story is written by Henry’s mom, Marla.

Did you know that sand has less germs than dirt? At least that’s what we were told when Henry was receiving chemotherapy. With his decreased immune system, we were told to keep Henry out of the dirt. Luckily we live pretty close to the beach. So that’s where we went, to the beach…and we would play.

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We would dig holes, dip our toes in the water and sit and watch the waves and our boys play.

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Henry never liked the water all that much. But he would play in the holes Owen dug.

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And of course, he would chase Owen all over the beach.

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Our favorite beach is Cannon Beach. After our time on the beach, we would get the boys a “warm” chocolate (even in the summer) plus a few salt water taffies for the ride home. It took us a long time to return to the beach after Henry died.

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But, Henry taught us that life is short and to play when we feel good. So that’s what we do. We love the beach and Owen loves to talk about Henry when we walk on the sand.

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So our kindness theme for the month of August is centered around your favorite beach activities. You could: 

*buy some saltwater taffy, chowder or hot chocolate for someone

*give out dog toys on the beach

*hide a dollar in a souvenir store

  • *leave sand buckets on the beach

Whatever you choose to do, please remember to attach a trike ticket so the recipient can pay it forward. They can be printed for free from our website. Please post your photos on our Facebook page or on Instagram. If you don’t live near a beach, you could make a tax deductible donation to our nonprofit and we will “trike” in your honor.

HAVE FUN TRIKING AT THE BEACH!

First Friday, June 3, 2016 (Trains)

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We began this journey with no real idea of where this path would take us. We simply climbed aboard, started pedaling and kept our eyes open for opportunities to spread joy. The ride on this tricycle of kindness has been amazing so far and we have made great friends along the way. We hope you have been inspired and encouraged as we share Henry stories and “triking” kindness ideas.  The FIRST FRIDAY of each month we set a new kindness theme. For June we will be sharing Henry’s passion for another mode of transportation other than his treasured tricycle as told by his dad, Lucas.

“I don’t remember when trains became such a big deal in our house, but they certainly were a big part of our world for a couple of years. Henry’s favorite thing to do was RIDE MAX. We’d wake up in the morning, watch 2 episodes of Thomas the Train, then head to the Max station. Henry would push the buttons to buy tickets.

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While waiting for the train to arrive, he would keep a close eye on everyone to make sure we weren’t too close to the tracks. When the train arrived he’d hop on and start the long arduous process of deciding where to sit.

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Then we would just RIDE! He’d stare out the window, usually with a big, silly grin on his face.  When a train passed us going the other way he would yell out “Another Train!”

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We would ride Max several times each week. Towards the end Henry would mostly sleep on the train. I don’t know if we kept taking him on the train for him…or for us. Maybe we just wanted to stay on the train a little longer. One more stop maybe.

 

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So for the month of June we are asking our trikesters to go out and do an act of kindness in honor of Henry’s love of TRAINS.

*Buy someone a ticket for the max or zoo train

*Leave $ at the ticket kiosk

*Hand out goodies on the train

*Give a Thomas the Train toy to a child

If you don’t have a train in your community then trike your local public transportation or consider making a tax deductible donation and we will trike in your honor. Whatever you choose to do make sure you attach a trike ticket so the recipient can pay it forward. They can be  printed for free from our link: www.theredtricyclebrigade.com/print-your-trike-tickets

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Please post your photos on our Facebook page or on Instagram with #triked

HAVE FUN TRIKING ON THE TRAIN!