acts of kindness
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.
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.
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!
HAVE FUN “TRIKING” YOUR LOCAL HEROES!
This upcoming Tuesday is the first day of school. Henry would have been starting first grade.
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.
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.
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.
We would dig holes, dip our toes in the water and sit and watch the waves and our boys play.
Henry never liked the water all that much. But he would play in the holes Owen dug.
And of course, he would chase Owen all over the beach.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!”
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.
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
Please post your photos on our Facebook page or on Instagram with #triked
HAVE FUN TRIKING ON THE TRAIN!
It’s FIRST FRIDAY!
It’s hard to believe it’s already time to share our next kindness theme for the month of April. We’ve been busy recruiting donors for our 2nd Annual Red Cross Blood Drive which will take place Saturday April 2nd. So far we have 57 blood donors registered and we will be signing up people for the national bone marrow registry as well. Saving lives any way we can!
There is a great sense of anticipation in the Spring as each day brings more sunshine, flowers and children playing outside. This leads us to this month’s trike theme written by Henry’s mom, Marla.
“Henry loved parks. When he felt good we would go to the boat park and spend hours sliding.
Or we would head to Rood Bridge Park where he would swing and swing. Sometimes he was brave enough to chase his older brother, Owen down the big spiral slide. You could hear is laugh all the way down. It was nice to watch him have this “normal” part of childhood.
We went on occasional walks though some local nature trails. He liked to pick up leaves….and sticks of course. I miss seeing him healthy enough to run those paths.”
So our call to action for April is centered around Henry’s love of parks. Here are just a few ideas.
*Clean up around your local park
*Plant a tree on Earth Day April 22nd
*Leave a giftcard to be found along a path
*Hide matchbox cars or pinwheels by a playground
*Tie a helium balloon to a swing
Don’t forget to attach a trike ticket so the recipient can pay it forward. Trike tickets can be printed for free from our website. Please post your photos on Facebook or Instagram with the hashtag #triked. This inspires others and encourages us to know that this little tricycle is rolling with kindness.
Come join us on April 16th from 9-noon at Jackson Bottom Wetlands. We will be volunteering with Hillsboro Parks and Rec for their Global Youth Services Day. This is a family friendly habitat enhancement and outdoor recreation event. We will be working along the paths followed by an hour of fun activities including bird watching, animal tracking, basket weaving and more. You can send us a message with how many people will be coming or just show up that morning.
Have fun “TRIKING” joy in your local parks!
It’s time to reveal our new kindness theme for the month of February. But before we do, we must take a moment and thank you all for helping us make “Henry’s 3rd Annual Red Tricycle Brigade Toy Drive” a fabulous success. Each and every toy represents a lot of love and will bring great joy to a patient at Randall’s Children Hospital. We will be delivering the toys on Henry and Megan’s birthday, February 9th and look forward to sharing all the details with you (including our final count) in a separate post next week.
For First Friday this month we have decided to share a story about a very special toy and is written by Henry’s mom, Marla. Please share with your family and friends and help keep our little tricycle of kindness rolling.
Henry’s absolute favorite toy was a little dog named “Doggie.” He loved Doggie and would sleep with him every single night. Doggie would go everywhere with Henry including to the hospital. Sometimes they even got to spend time with the therapy dogs that visited the patients.
Doggie was very special to Henry. After Henry died, I put Doggie in the closet with some other special toys. A few months ago, Owen asked if he could have Doggie for his room.
At first, I said no. I said I was worried our dog Banner would find him. Owen assured me he would take good care of him. So, Doggie went to live in Owen’s room. He was placed on the top bunk, guarded by two bears. All of Owen’s animals live on the top bunk, so that Banner doesn’t get into trouble.
Occasionally, Owen will tell us that Doggie is sad and misses Henry. But he reassures us that the other animals all tell stories about Henry to help cheer him up. Sometimes, they even keep Owen awake, laughing about Henry. I am so thankful that I gave Doggie to Owen. I didn’t know that Doggie missed Henry as much as I do. I am thankful that we both have friends that help us laugh and think of Henry.
Megan also had a special dog in her life and her name was Molly. Megan and Molly (along with little sister Alli) had many adventures growing up. Whether it was a romp through the woods or a snuggle during Saturday morning cartoons, Molly was always there. There’s really nothing quite like the loyal and unconditional love that a dog can give…either real or stuffed.
So our kindness theme for February is centered around our FURRY FRIENDS!
Here are a few ideas:
Take some dog toys to a local dog park
Donate to a rescue shelter
Check with your local animal shelters or kennels for items to donate. Even a simple towel to dry off paws can make a big difference
Offer to walk you neighbor’s dog
Whatever you choose to do, please remember to attach a trike ticket and post your photos on our Facebook page or on Instagram with the hashtag #triked.
PAW IT FORWARD and help keep this tricycle of kindness rolling!
We spent October “triking” Henry’s heroes at the fire station. Thank you to everyone who participated.
The First Friday for November is written by Pam Griffith (Henry’s preschool teacher).
I met Henry in the fall of 2011 when his older brother Owen started Happy Hearts preschool. This was just 6 months after he was diagnosed with Leukemia. I have to admit it was a bit of a shock to see him that first time. He was bald from chemotherapy and swollen from the steroids. But he could pull on your heartstrings with his big cheeky smile…and he smiled often. Henry wanted to do everything his older brother did. He would wash his hands in the wash tub, walk down the hall to the classroom, and then head straight to the sensory tub. It really didn’t matter what was going on in the rest of the room, his attention was on that tub. Each week was a new experience; sand, popcorn, peas, beans, cornmeal, rice, soapy water, etc.
Henry’s parents were so strong throughout his treatment. Even during his most difficult health challenges they made sure that life stayed as normal as possible. We watched and cheered Henry on over the next 2 years as he fought the hard battle against cancer. One of the greatest days of celebration was when they turned in the enrollment form for Henry to start preschool in the fall of 2013. Sadly, instead of starting preschool, Henry was placed on hospice. Even though he never officially attended as a student, he will always be a Happy Hearts kid to me.
One of my most vivid memories of Henry was a day his dad brought Owen to school. Henry was wearing the cutest shirt that said “Daddy’s copilot”. I shared with Henry and Lucas that my son was an Air Force pilot flying a KC-135 refueler. The look on Henry’s face was priceless. I could tell he had great admiration for pilots and for the military.
I have several heroes in my life. One is my son who refuels military jets in the sky. The other is a little boy who is no longer among us, but continues to bring smiles to others with his little red tricycle.
So we thought since Veteran’s Day is this month that it would only be fitting to recognize Henry’s respect for the military and have our kindness theme be TRIKE THE TROOPS. We did this last year as a side project when my son was deployed and it was a great success. We sent over 350 cards and 40 gallons of treats to the troops stationed in Qatar.
Our goal is to exceed that amount. We will personally deliver items to Fairchild AFB the first part of December where they will be placed on a plane heading directly to the base in Qatar. Here are a few options on how you can participate.
*make a card (mail before Nov. 28th to our headquarters: message us for the address)
*make a tax deductible donation to our nonprofit (all donations received this month will be used to purchase items for the troops)
*if you’re local you can drop by treats and small toiletries (message us to make arrangements)
Some favorites are gum, mints, jerky, pepperoni, sunflower seeds, goldfish, granola bars, nuts and candy that can survive temps of 100+ (unfortunately that means no chocolates)
*You could also trike some local veterans by taking treats to your town’s legion post or to a VA hospital.
Let’s show our members of the military how much we appreciate and respect their service to our country!
This little trike was FLYING HIGH in July. We volunteered at the Air Show, served over 1,200 lunches at The Outpost, donated books to foster kids and one of our trikesters in Texas came up with the great idea of taking foam planes to her local hospital ……oh and then there was that little moment when Henry’s mom saved a neighbor’s life. You’re our hero Marla!
The First Friday for August is written by Henry’s mom, Marla.
“Did you know, 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.
We would dig holes, dip our toes in the water, and watch our boys play.
Henry never liked the water too much, but he would play in the holes Owen dug.
And of course, he would chase Owen all over the beach.
Our favorite beach, is Cannon Beach. After our time on the beach, we would get the boys a “warm chocolate”, even in the summer. Then, a few salt water taffy pieces for the ride home. It took us a long time, after Henry died, to return to the beach. The memories that the beach stir up are bittersweet.
So many good times, and so many memories that will never be repeated. Now, when we go to the beach, we still get our warm chocolates and taffies, and we smile and laugh and remember our good times, and make new ones.
Megan also loved the beach. She was born and raised in California and was a nursing student at San Diego State.
So our “call to action” for the month of August is centered around your beach favorites. You could…
* buy someone saltwater taffy, chowder or a hot chocolate
*give out dog toys on the beach
*hide a dollar at 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 and post a photo 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.
ON SUNDAY AUGUST 23rd, WE WILL BE HEADING TO CANNON BEACH TO SPEND THE DAY TRIKING. WE WOULD LOVE TO HAVE YOU JOIN US. More details to follow.
HAVE FUN TRIKING AT THE BEACH!
We had a fantastic experience “triking” food for the month of February. We volunteered at the Beaverton Food Bank and donated Henry’s favorite snacks to Hillsboro’s Community Action Family Shelter. Thank you to everyone who helped by volunteering, making a financial donation or by paying food forward.
Our First Friday “triking” theme for March is another fun filled opportunity.
“We spent many hours in the hospital with Henry. They have a few movies preprogrammed into their hospital TV system.
Luckily, one of those movies was Cars 2. Henry LOVED Cars 2. Sure, he liked the original Cars movie and he liked other movies too. But if he had his choice, it was Cars 2, all the way. Sometimes we would beg to watch another movie, but he would always win…another showing of Cars 2 (along with his favorite snack, Pirate’s Booty).
Henry loved Mater. His favorite part was when Mater ate Wasabi thinking that it was pistachio ice cream. “Do not try the pistachio ice cream. It done turn!” Henry would laugh and laugh. As would we. I miss that belly laugh.” –written by Henry’s mom, Marla
Megan also enjoyed watching movies with her sister and friends. No movie was complete without a huge bowl of popcorn.
Sweet Home Alabama was a favorite and as a child it was the Disney classics of Dumbo and Aladdin.
So our “call to action” for the month of March is centered around MOVIES.
*Purchase a ticket or popcorn for the person behind you in line at the theater.
*Leave some treats on the seats.
*Tape some money or microwave popcorn on a Red Box kiosk.
*Host a movie night for your friend’s children.
Whatever you choose to do, don’t forget to attach a trike ticket so the recipient can pay it forward.
Please take a photo to post on our Facebook page or on Instagram with the hashtag #triked. This inspires others and encourages us as well. THANKS!
If you prefer, you can also make a tax deductible donation and we will trike in your honor. Just look for the piggy bank on our webstore.
Have fun spreading joy at the movies!
WE HAVE A BONUS OPPORTUNITY
In honor of all the blood transfusions Henry received, we will be partnering with the Red Cross for our 1st annual blood drive and BBQ. It is scheduled for Saturday April 4th from 10-4 at Tualatin Valley Community Church. You can get more details and register at http://www.redcrossblood.org. The sponsor code is RedTrikeBrigade (no spaces).
Thank you for giving the life giving gift of blood!