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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
I miss joking that his hugs were so tight I couldn’t breathe. I miss Henry hugs.
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.”
Owen gives “super famous hugs” so tight you don’t have to hug him back…he’s just stuck to you.
I love hugs. They are spreading love from one to another. A simple act that means so much.
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 NEW YEAR TRIKESTERS!
You helped us end the year of 2015 with a bang as we reached our goal of 500 hugs for our #hugs4joy2015 fundraiser. Huge thanks to all of you who “embraced” the event and posted hug photos. Not only did each photo raise $500 for our nonprofit, but each one made our hearts smile during this difficult month. That’s simply priceless!
We also gained a bunch of new followers. So we’ll give you new trikesters the scoop. Our nonprofit was established to honor Henry and Megan by spreading joy through simple acts of kindness. Every month we set a kindness theme and we reveal it on the First Friday of every month by telling a little gem of a story about them.
FIRST FRIDAY for January is written by Henry’s mom, Marla.
“I remember long days in the hospital with Henry. Long weeks stuck in a very small room. Sometimes, the only thing that helped us survive were the toys.
When the nurses knew Henry was being admitted, we would be greeted with a bin of Thomas the Train toys, one of his favorites. He would play with them for hours. Then, when he tired of those, and Owen was joining him, the Play-doh would come out. More time laughing. I miss the laugh of those two boys. Henry could pick out a toy from a treasure box after each lumbar puncture. Both boys would laugh in the playroom, filled with fun adventures. Kids spend holidays and birthday in the hospital, special toys help this be “ok”. Kids need to remember to smile and laugh during times of struggle. Watching your kid smile makes everything seem like it might be ok.
When Henry died, we knew we wanted to give back to Randall Children’s Hospital. This magical place turned long days into days full of laughter. Each year, we want to help keep those smiles coming. Kids shouldn’t get cancer, but they do. Kids shouldn’t spend nights in the hospital, but they do. Toys help put smiles on kids faces, and these toys do.”
Our kindness theme for the month of January is and always will be…DONATE A TOY!
Big toys, small toys, girl toys, boy toys, baby toys, teenage toys…they are all needed.
This is Henry’s 3rd Annual Red Tricycle Toy Drive. The first year 600 toys were collected and last year nearly 1,900 toys. That’s a lot of individuals working together to make a huge difference in the lives of the patients at Randall Children’s Hospital. Our hope for this year is a whopping 2,500 toys. It’s a huge goal, so we will definitely need the help of all of our trikesters throughout the country.
You have several options on how to participate:
* Purchase toys from our Amazon wish list. This is the easiest way and the toys will be delivered directly to us. As an added bonus you can look for our nonprofit in the Amazon Smile program and we will receive a percentage of all sales. http://www.amazon.com/gp/registry/wishlist/?ie=UTF8&cid=A27IK9VDEVAU9T
*Shop your local stores and drop off toys with the Friedler or Griffith families
* Donate money on our website or mail us gift cards and we will shop for you.
*Host your own toy drive at work, school, church, baby shower etc. and we will make arrangements to come pick them up (within the Portland/Metro area)
*If you are unable to help financially this year, that’s okay. We need treasure hunters too. So if you find a great deal or a clearance rack let us know and we will send out shoppers. This is an annual event so keep a lookout all year long.
We are grateful for this opportunity to give back to the remarkable team at Randall Children’s Hospital.
THANK YOU FOR HELPING US SPREAD JOY…ONE TOY AT A TIME!