Monday, November 18, 2013

Our Loss

Today was a very sad day friends. Our family dog, Humphrey, died today. My heart hurts and we are all so sad at home. He was just a little puppy when we got him in 2002 and he gave us so much love and we loved him. It is so hard to comprehend that we won't see him anymore. I know this blog is about Project Smile and this has nothing to do with work, but it is all I can think about. His death was very sudden and it is a reminder how short and precious life is- one moment everything is fine and then in the next moment you can lose what you love so dearly. Humphrey took ill on Friday, we brought him to the vet on Saturday and then yesterday he got dramatically worse. This afternoon, we had to put him down. Thankfully, my siblings were all able to come home yesterday and they got to spend time with  him and say goodbye. I'm trying to hold on to all the happy memories that we had with him and I'm glad that he had a happy life with us. He gave us so much over these almost 11 years- it was all you could have ever asked for. So friends- never take anything for granted and be sure to tell those you love just how much you care for them.
Rest in peace our beautiful Humphrey Pisacane. You gentle and loving soul is missed so much.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Donation Day

Greetings friends! So what's new? Today, I dropped off over 200 stuffed animals, books and coloring books/crayons to Morgan Memorial Goodwill for their annual children's holiday party. We've been partnering with them and donating items for the past few years. We don't have a Christmas event of our own, so I'm happy that we can make the extra donation and help with their party. They do a lot of great work in the community to help those in need. Their party makes me miss the Halloween/Child Safety event that we did in Worcester from 2004-2008. It was an awesome event that was attended by over 700 people annually. It was low cost and gave families the opportunity to do a fun and affordable activity that was also educational. I wish we could do the event again, but it is too much work for me to do on my own and our fall is already really busy with the Date Auction, fall fashion show and Anniversary Celebration. Affordable and fun community events are so important, especially in economically depressed areas. If we had more resources, I would love to do more events like that. Here is a photo from today's donation.
It looks like we will be donating again for the Boston Public Health Commission's family shelter holiday party. I emailed my contact to check in with him and he is going to get back to me next week to talk about a date for the event. I'm really happy to help with that event. It was so touching last year and we can definitely do more this year for the children.

Tomorrow, I'm focusing on calendar sales and following up with more departments for stuffed animal donations. I also need to make some more progress in cleaning up my office- it has been getting a lot better now that auction items have cleared out and events are done, but it still needs attention. On that note, I'm off to read for a bit, write a few more thank-you notes for donations that came in recently and eat my grapefruit. Until next time friends...

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Tuesday Happenings

Greetings friends! So what's new? Well, I was away for a few days vacation which was great. I don't get to go away very often and this was a surprise trip. It was fun to get away and visit a new place. It really is important to have a change of scenery. It makes you feel refreshed.

Today, I was trying to catch up on things and get moving with calendar sales. In good news, we're collecting a total of $500 from 2 area police associations. They are associations that typically donate to us and we give them a bunch of calendars to distribute to the members. I need to follow up with other associations that typically donate to us.

It was really nice that a lady sent us 4 boxes of coloring books, books and crayons today. She sent a box a couple of weeks ago after finding us on and wrote that she would be sending more. Her donation came at the perfect time because I needed to purchase additional coloring books for our donation on Thursday to Morgan Memorial Goodwill for their annual children's holiday party. Now, I don't have to buy additional coloring books thanks to her donation. She was very generous and sent a lovely selection of items. It is really amazing how people send us stuffed animals and other items from all over the country.

I received a letter today from a non profit in Oregon that works with prisoners to help them with parenting skills. They have a program where the inmates have to care for a stuffed animal as if it were a child for a number of weeks, then, as a culmination of their parenting classes, they gift the stuffed animal to their child. The stuffed animal not only represents the skills the parent has worked on, but is also meant as a comfort item for the child since they are not able to be with them at home. The organization asked for our help in sending stuffed animals for the program. It is different from any donation that we've done before, but I think it is worthwhile, so I called the contact and told her that we'd be able to send a couple of boxes. It must be a very difficult situation for a child to have his/her parent incarcerated and if this program is able to help the parents improve their parenting skills for when they are released and have a better home life for everyone, then we're happy to help.  I'll keep you posted on any updates that I get.

 I have a Smiling Stiletto Shoe Club party tomorrow at the Newbury Street jewelry store Sikara which I'm looking forward to. They're donating 10% of proceeds from sales during the event, so we'll be able to raise a few dollars as well.

Well friends, that's it for tonight. I'm off to watch Jay Leno, eat my grapefruit and read for a bit. Until tomorrow friends..

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Wednesday Happenings

Greetings friends! So what's new? Well, I still haven't wrapped everything up from our big event. I'm still working on getting a few more auction items to people. I was able to get most of them finished today. It's funny how I actually miss working on our events. I'm always relieved when they are over and they've been successful, but then I start to miss it event. I've been working on events since January, so there definitely is something missing to not have an event to work on or think about. On the flip side, it is nice to have the extra time to put back to program work and other things that need to get done, particularly calendar sales. I need to get focused on that. We only have a limited amount of time to sell calendars. The year will be over before you know it and then we will be back to the drawing board for the next events.

Next week, we will be doing our annual donation to Morgan Memorial Goodwill for their annual children's holiday party in December. We've been donating stuffed animals, books and coloring books/crayons to them for the past few years. It is one of my favorite donations. I also want to follow up with the Boston Public Health Commission to see if we can provide items again for their shelter's children's party. That was a very touching donation that I got to do last year and I would love to help out again.

Well, that's the latest for tonight. I'm off to eat my grapefruit- until next time friends...

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Event Success!

Well friends, I am happy say that our 10th Anniversary Celebration was a success! We raised $12,000 for Project Smile and had an awesome time! Our attendance was good, our guest speaker Susan Wornick did an awesome job. She was very funny with the stories she told. Our host, Dick Ferrucci, did a great job as usual. Miss Massachusetts and my friend Olga who is Ms. Massachusetts Globe attended the event and did a lovely job greeting guests and helping showcase the live auction items. I'm so happy that the event went well. Thank you so much to everyone who attended, sponsored, volunteered and donated. I couldn't have done it without everyone's support. While I like all the events that we do, I'm particularly fond of this one because it is an opportunity to talk to our friends and supporters and personally thank them for their support. After all the work on getting auction items, it is also fun to see who buys which items and also see what the most popular items are.

On Saturday, I zoomed over to Boston to do two silent auctions at Wine Fest which is organized by Boston Event Guide. They're really supportive of us and we've been doing silent auctions at their events for the past few years. They've always worked out well. These auctions did great. We raised $1,500 which is awesome for a few hours worth of work. People were really engaging in bidding wars for some of the pictures. It was great timing because the Red Sox parade was earlier in the day, so people were already in the mood for Red Sox memorabilia and we had an amazing autographed Jonny Gomes picture which was a copy of his Sports Illustrated cover.

It is so important not to be lazy- I was exhausted on Saturday and really did not want to do the auction at Wine Fest. Even while I was driving in, I kept wishing that I didn't have to go. I just wanted to curl up in bed and sleep. However, I knew it was a good opportunity and besides the fact that it would be rude not to show up- I couldn't miss out on raising money. We usually raise about $1,000 during the two auctions, so I was really happy that we raised an additional $500.

Well, that's the latest for tonight. I'm off to eat my grapefruit and catch up on some emails. I also want to spend at least few minutes reading this awesome book, "Night Film" that my sister recommended. Until tomorrow friends..