Thursday, November 29, 2012

Wednesday Happenings

So what's the latest friends? Well, good news- we will be getting another grant from a local Foundation which has supported us for the past few years. I was getting a little worried because they usually call us for an interview, but I hadn't heard from them yet and I knew their annual grant awards dinner was coming up next Wednesday. They had expanded their grant application this year and I thought that I did a good job with answering the questions. This afternoon, I received a phone call from one of the board members to let us know that we will be receiving a grant and inviting us to the dinner next week. I was so happy to hear from the Foundation and told the board member that I had been getting worried! He was very nice. He said that they have only been calling the charities that are new applicants in for interviews. Unfortunately, I have an event to attend next Wednesday, so I can't make the dinner.

We donated to our latest department, Chelsea Police on Monday. This is our 179th department! Here is the a photo from the donation. I like this photo a lot- even though I look quite small!
Tomorrow, we have a great Smiling Stiletto event at DeScenza Diamonds in Peabody. They are hosting a cocktail party for our members and giving away a $7,000 diamond pendant to one lucky winner. They're donating 10% of the the sales to Project Smile and we're asking guests for a $5 donation at the door. It will only be a small fundraiser, but every donation adds up, so I'm happy to have their support. They've put together a fantastic selection of appetizers and drinks for the guests and prizes, so I'm really looking forward to it. Organizing the Smiling Stiletto Shoe Club has been a wonderful way to help raise awareness and funds for Project Smile. If you'd like to join us tomorrow night, here is the link:

Well, that's the latest for tonight. I'm off to eat my grapefruit and attempt to head to bed early, but since it is almost 12:30 right now, I'm not sure if that will happen! Until next time friends...

Monday, November 19, 2012

Latest and Greatest

So what's new? Well, on Friday we donated about 150 stuffed animals, books and coloring books/crayons and a few puzzles to the Dept. of Children & Families. That is my favorite place that we donate to. They work with so many children- there are over 7,000 children that enter foster care every year. I wish we had the resources to donate to DCF even more frequently.

Next week, we will be donating to our 178th department, Chelsea Police. It's always exciting to be donating to a new department. We do really well each year in adding new departments that we partner with. It is really hard, almost impossible, to keep up with donations to all the departments, but I do the very best that I can. I received an email last week from a department in New Hampshire. The juvenile officer emailed me and asked if we could send stuffed animals. He said that their department is in a ski resort community and they get a lot of car accidents involving children. He wanted the officers to have stuffed animals to give to the kids. I'm mailing boxes of stuffed animals to them tomorrow. We've only donated to a couple of departments in NH, so it is great to expand up there, even if it is only one more department.

Well, that's the latest for tonight. I had a lot of stuffed animal donation emails to catch up on earlier tonight, I got most of them done. I'm now off to start a new Ian Rankin mystery that I picked up from the library today and have my grapefruit. Until tomorrow friends....

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Grants and Advice

Hello friends- I hope everyone had a good Veteran's Day weekend. I was thinking of my favorite vet this weekend- my grandfather. He was a proud WWII veteran. I've had a photo of him in his WWII uniform on display in my room for decades. I used to wear his dog tags all the time for good luck. My heart goes out to families of those serving overseas. I can only imagine how hard it must be for them.

So what's the latest? Well, I was reminded of how important it is to listen to your own advice. I was at an event on Saturday night and talked to someone about marketing his business. I told him that he should be gathering the email addresses for all the guests who attend his events. Almost as soon as I said that, I realized that I need to get better about collecting email addresses myself. I run a social organization for shoe and fashion lovers called Smiling Stiletto Shoe Club. The organization also helps raise funds and awareness for Project Smile. Our members typically bring guests with them to our events, but I haven't done much of anything to gather the info for the guests and I was missing an opportunity to grow our mailing list. We had an event tonight and I recruited one of our members who is very outgoing and friendly, to help check-in members and gather the email addresses for the guests. It is really important to pay attention to the advice you are giving other people and make sure you follow it yourself.

In good news- we received a $3,000 grant on Friday from the DCU for Kids Foundation. We received a grant from them last year. It is awesome when we have repeat grants like that- it really makes a big difference. You should have seen me in the post office on Friday- I must have looked a little odd as I kept pinching the envelope to see if I could feel a check inside. I do this routine with every envelope that might potentially contain a grant. As I walked back to my car, engrossed in envelope pinching- I was getting disappointed. The envelope felt too thin to contain a check. I got in the car and prepared myself for a rejection letter. My heart skipped a beat as I saw the check and scanned the letter. That rush of excitement when I receive a donation never gets old. It's that feeling that helps keep me going through the fundraising battle.

Anyways, I'm off to bed soon. I'm trying valiantly, but succeeding in only a minor way to get to bed earlier. I was doing great when the hour changed- at least for a few days. Tomorrow is a busy day- I'm doing two donations to Boston homeless shelters and then I have a meeting to attend in the evening. Until tomorrow friends...

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Latest and Greatest

So what's the latest? Well, it's snowing and I missed my monthly women's networking dinner. I got half way there, but the roads were a bit slippery and I was really concerned about the roads driving home, so I decided to turn around and come home. I don't like missing the event, but I didn't want to risk an accident.

In more interesting news- the Glamour magazine containing Project Smile hit newsstands last week. I thought it was hitting stands this week, so I totally wasn't expecting to see it. I was heading into Boston on Friday night and stopped at a rest area on the Pike to use the bathroom. I was zooming through the convenience store on my way back to my car when I suddenly spotted it- sitting front and center on the magazine rack: the December issue of Glamour! Of course, I stopped to pick it up- I was so excited as I kept flipping through- it was hard to find at first because it's a really thick issue. I found the page and I literally squealed! It's a moment that I'll remember for the rest of my life- standing under the bright lights in the convenience store and seeing Project Smile's name in a national magazine for the first time- it was an emotional moment. I rushed back out to my card to grab my purse and came back in to buy the magazine immediately. It has been sitting proudly on my desk. I want to get it framed.

Yesterday, I received an email from a lady who was helping coordinate relief efforts in East Rockaway, NY for families who lost their homes and possessions in Superstorm Sandy. She asked if we could send stuffed animals for the children. I wrote back immediately that we would be happy to help and I shipped almost 150 stuffed animals yesterday to the E. Rockaway fire house which is their donation drop-off center. I'm so glad that we were able to help. It is so horrible what the families there have gone through. I'll check with them next week to see if they need more stuffed animals.

Well, that's the latest for tonight. I'm off to do a bit of cleaning, read some more and eat a grapefruit- yes, the grapefruits have returned! Until tomorrow friends...

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Welcome November

Well friends- November has started! October was a great month. It seems like it is too soon for November to be here already. So what's the latest? Well, I've been working on getting support for our local elder care program for the holidays. Last year, we donated stuffed animals at Christmas time for the residents of nursing homes. It was a big success. I definitely want to do it again this year. Last week, I wrote to a Foundation which supported it in the past. Today, I wrote to another local business to see if they would support it as well. I don't know why I didn't take any photos from the nursing home donations last year- I'll be sure to do that this time so I can share them. It is so sad for residents of nursing homes, particularly if they don't have family to spend time with them. I've been able to be there when some of the stuffed animals were given out and you'd be amazed at how happy the residents were. It brought such a smile to their faces.

So what else is going on? We have an awesome Smiling Stiletto event coming up on Thursday, November 29 with DeScenza Diamonds in Peabody. It is a cocktail party with comp appetizers, dessert and cocktails for guests along with special shopping discounts. They are donating 10% of the proceeds to Project Smile. We're also asking guests for a $5 donation at the door to Project Smile. DeScenza is giving away a $7,000 diamond pendant necklace during the event to one lucky lady! I started promoting the event last month. It should be a nice little fundraiser for us. Here is the link for details and registration.
1st Annual Smiling Stiletto Diamond Drop

On Saturday, we're doing another silent auction at Wine Fest in Boston. We've been doing silent auction there for the past few years and it has always worked out great. The event is put on by Boston Event Guide and they have always been very supportive of Project Smile. We do two silent auctions back to back at their afternoon and evening sessions. In the spring we raised a little over $1,000 which was really good. I love events like this that raise a decent amount of money without requiring a ton of time or effort. I wish we could do more of them.

Well, that's the latest for tonight. I'm off to read some more of this mystery that I'm really enjoying- "The Man From Beijing". I wish I had some fruit to eat, but I don't- how I miss delicious summer fruit! Grapefruits aren't in season yet- that is my usual winter fruit. Oh well, I might just have to finish off the rest of the eclair that is sitting in the fridge! Until next time friends....