Thursday, November 19, 2015

Good News

Greetings friends! So what's new? Well, last week, we donated to our newest department- Brookline Fire. I'm always happy to add a new department. Another new department also reached out this week, we are planning a donation to them in early December.

In other good news, we received a $3,000 grant from the Rockland Trust Charitable Foundation. The Foundation has been supporting us for almost 10 years. I am a huge fan of local banks- they are some of the best community supporters and make a huge difference in supporting their towns. I feel like a lot of their work in the community goes unnoticed. We have our business banking account with Rockland Trust and I have my personal banking with Milford National Bank. I owe so much of our fundraising success to our local banks, particularly these two. They have been there since almost the beginning. Not only are they great supporters for local charities, but they also have good services and excellent customer service.

I'm starting work on 2016 plans and I would like to expand to do more for homeless children and families. I was reading an article today about a Thanksgiving dinner that was served this week for Boston area homeless families. The article was talking about how hard it is for homeless families who are living in hotels/motels. They only have a microwave in their room and aren't able to cook for their children. Homelessness gets more attention with  the holidays coming up, but these families are in need all year long. I would like to organize a dinner event next year, in the early summer for homeless families. I'm going to start reaching out to some connections and see if we could do it in Worcester. I have a host venue in mind that we could possibly use for the event. Obviously, it isn't a cure to the problem, but it would be nice to put together an event where homeless families can enjoy a nice dinner.

Well, that's the latest for tonight. I'm off to respond to emails. Until next time friends...

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Event Success!

Greetings friends! Well, this blog post is late in coming. Our last big event- our Project Smile 12th Anniversary Celebration went great! We raised $8,000 for Project Smile and had a good attendance. Our guest speaker Lt. Governor Polito was excellent. She spoke so passionately about the importance of helping children and the opiate crisis. She also recognized some of our long time supporters by name which was perfect. Our supporters were touched that she singled them out to recognize them by name. Our jazz group, the Barry Levine trio, did a wonderful job performing. Our volunteers did an awesome job helping out with setting up and making sure the event ran smoothly. Dick Ferrucci, our event host, worked his usual magic in hosting the live auction. He is the best charity auctioneer you can imagine!

Here is a photo with Lt. Governor Polito and Miss Massachusetts, one of our special guests.  The next photo is with friends and long time supporters from the Women's Success Network.
Konditor Meister, the amazing bakery in Braintree donated this beautiful cake for the event. Their cakes are not only beautiful, but delicious too. Here we are- about to cut the cake!
I love this photo our our board member Michelle, with her family. Her daughter is our 2016 PS calendar cover baby. The photo below that is with Kelli, owner of Theracopia Wellness Center in Southboro. She is one of our board members and donated a beautiful basket for the live auction.
Here is a nice photo with the Worcester East Department of Children of Families area director and the Lt. Governor.
 The Lt. Governor was so nice and bought 2 handmade garden gnomes at the live auction that my friend Brian makes and donates for our event every year.
These photos are courtesy of Clark Linehan, who generously donated his services along with Walter Smith.
Thanks so much to everyone who sponsored, donated auction items, volunteered and attended. I really appreciate your support.
Until tomorrow friends...

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Event Excitement

Greetings friends! Only 3 days to go until our big night- the Project Smile 12th Anniversary Celebration. All these months of work and it will all come down to 3 hours on Friday night. We are in a good position for the event. I picked up our calendars on Monday and they look beautiful. Our printer had a technical issue with his machines and that caused the calendar to be delayed for over a week and a half. I was starting to get worried last week, but they ended up being ready by the end of the day on Friday. It's so good that we always get them to the printer almost a month before we need them. I always tell them that I need the calendars a week before I actually do, just in case something happens- it gives us extra time to work with. I picked up some beautiful gift baskets lately for the silent auction- Mary Jo Eagan, a Tupperware consultant, always makes us a gorgeous basket filled with Tupperware. Here is a photo, but it doesn't quite do it justice.
I also picked up a beautiful basket from Dunkin Donuts in Mendon this morning. It is literally filled with bags of coffee, travel mug, 2 t-shirts and other items. It's always great to have pretty baskets like this because it helps with the room decoration.

I was up until 3:30am working on things. I finished almost all of the bid sheets. Tomorrow, I'm meeting one of our great volunteers who helped get beautiful pieces of jewelry for the event. Once I have those, I can do those bid sheets. Another long-time supporter and Mary Kay consultant, dropped off a gift item this afternoon for the auction, so I need to get that bid sheet done as well. After bid sheets last night, I felt inspired and did the powerpoint slideshow of our calendar photos and PS photos from throughout the year. I always play it during the event and it gives guests something else to enjoy. The calendar prints black/white, so it's nice to be able to show the original color photos. I had to buy a projector for the very first time. One of our other supporters had been able to borrow one from his office for many years, but that isn't possible. I bought a super cheap one last year which didn't even work. I decided to make the investment and bought one today. It was a little pricey, but the quality is amazing. I tried it out tonight to make sure everything was working properly. It's really an impressive piece of equipment.

Tomorrow, I'm picking up our event programs. We have a new business consultant at Staples and she has been awesome so far. She sent an introductory email yesterday and I wrote back to her late last night with our program. She responded early this morning and even offered to have the programs delivered- never had that before!

Well, that's the latest for tonight. I have to respond to a few emails, then I'm heading to bed. I was up early to promote our event on our local radio station WMRC- that's always a fun experience. I love every opportunity to talk about Project Smile! Until tomorrow friends...

Monday, October 12, 2015

Latest and Greatest

Greetings friends! It has been a very long time since my last posting. I can't believe that I haven't blogged since August. There is lots happening, so it definitely wasn't that I didn't have any news. I got out of the habit of blogging regularly and when you do that, it can be hard to get back into the groove. Anyways, so what's new?

Well, the Date Auction, our big event, was last month. It went great. We raised 10K and had a lot of great feedback from participants and sponsors. The event was in the Boston Globe's Names section again which was great. Here are some photos from the event. The Rev Girls were special guests and did an awesome job. Here is a photo from the Globe's Names section. Photo courtesy of Clark Linehan. Check out other photos from the event too. The rest of the photos are courtesy of Walter Smith.

A special thank you to our awesome bachelors and bachelorettes, our event sponsors- Jess Meet Ken- an awesome new dating app that everyone should check out-
Melanie Fleet, a Boston area Realtor with Keller Williams, UsTrendy, Yelp, Boston Event Guide and Sofft Shoes. Our hosts Michael Winter and Julie Devereaux from WROR did a terrific job. I was happy that we had a good event. 

Well, I need to get back to working on our 12th Anniversary Celebration which is rapidly approaching- next Friday! I promise to be back on the blogging wagon- it does feel great to be blogging again! Until tomorrow friends..

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Busy Days

Greetings friends! So what's new? Well, the super busy days are here. The Date Auction is a little over 3 weeks away, calendar photos are wrapping up, the fall fashion show is just about a month away and our Anniversary Celebration is in October. So much going on, it is hard to keep up. On the good news front, we are almost done with photos. The goal is to finish photos by next Wednesday. I have one more half month of advertising to sell and then we will be all set with calendar ads. One of my favorite things is seeing how the children that have been in the calendar multiple times, are growing up. Yesterday, I was in Marlboro doing photos with the children of two officers. One of the officers has twin girls who have been in the calendar since they were toddlers. They are about 9 years old now and so cute. They are both cheerleaders, so I asked them if they wanted to do a cheerleading pose for the photos, they did a pose where one girl sat on her sister's shoulders. Their dad stood next to them- it was such an adorable photo. Today, I was doing photos with the children of one our long time supporters. He has 3 boys who are all cute kids- they've been on the calendar cover before. Their youngest is 4 years old and is really adorable. He also talks like a little grown up- he was walking down the sidewalk and announced in a grown up voice that the  "sun is so bright. It is blinding my eyes." - not what you usually hear from a 4 year old.

On the Date Auction front, we've reached our sponsorship goal which is great. We moved the event to the nightclub Icon. It is in the same building as Venu, it's just on the main floor. It was redesigned last year and looks really cool. Guests get to stay after at Icon which is a nice bonus. We've got some awesome singles signed up to participate, but still need a few more to sign up, so if you can help us by spreading the word and recruiting some fun single guys or ladies to participate, that would be great. Here is the flyer which can be downloaded and shared.
Well, there's lots more to write about, but I need to get some work done on our fall fashion show. Until tomorrow friends...

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Calendar Photos Underway

Greetings friends! It has been way too long since my last blog, so I was determined to blog tonight, no matter what. It has been a busy few weeks. Calendar photos are underway and they have been coming out great. On Sunday, I did photos with the daughter of one of our former interns, Amanda. The little one year old is so adorable and was one of the best babies I've ever photographed. She loved her having her picture taken and was so happy and smiling, it was great. We did photos right outside in our garden, so that made it even easier. Amanda was an awesome intern, so it made it extra special that her baby will be in our calendar. Yesterday, I did photos with the baby of one of the bachelorettes who participated in our Date Auction some years ago. She married a police officer (not one from the Date Auction!) and had a baby 6 months ago. I'm friends with her on FB and reached out to her to see if she would like to have her son participate. Her little baby is so beautiful. It was a fun photo shoot because he would make some of the funniest little faces that I've seen- his personality was definitely already showing. I'm doing more photos tomorrow and Friday. I have a few more scheduled after that and a bunch that still need to get scheduled. It gets challenging scheduling things in the summer because of people's vacations.

Today, we made another donation of 200 stuffed animals, books, puzzles and coloring books/crayons to Worcester PD. One of the police officers that I've worked with before called yesterday and asked if we could donate some items for children. Here is a photo from the donation.
Well, I know that was a short posting, but I'm getting tired and need to head to bed. I promise to get back to blogging regularly and not be a slacker blogger! Until next time friends...

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Latest and Greatest

Greetings friends! Ah, it has been too long since I last blogged! There has been lots going on, so it's not like I have nothing to write about. So what's new? Well, we've been doing a bunch of donations including DCF last week, Fitchburg PD, The St. Ambrose Family shelter in Dorchester and a Newton homeless shelter for battered women and children called Second Step. I had called my contact at Newton PD to see if they needed more items for children, which they did. The Lt. that I work with suggested that I reach out to this Newton shelter and see if they needed items. They were happy to have an assortment of coloring books/crayons and reading books. I also included some really nice kids puzzles that had been donated to us. We've been getting some awesome donations lately from readers of Women's World magazine. One lady from Florida took the time to write us a handwritten note, asking what items we needed. She said that she read about us in the magazine, but didn't have access to a computer. She said that she would go to the Dollar store and buy items for us and mail them. I hand wrote a Project Smile card back to her, thanking her and letting her know what items we needed. It was so sweet to get her note. Here is a photo from our donation to the Second Step shelter. I'm happy that we were able to add a new shelter to partner with.

In other news, we already have 5 participants signed up to participate in the Date Auction. We're partnering with one of Boston's biggest nightlife companies, 6one7 Productions. They are helping with recruiting bachelors/ettes and promoting the event. They were a big help last year with recruiting participants. This time we are including them as an official event partner. Ace, one of the owners of the company, posted the recruiting flyer, on FB today and we got some immediate responses.

I've been getting back into going to a lot of networking events lately. I had gotten out of the routine a bit, but now I have a friend who also enjoys going to networking events for her own company, so we've been going together and it has been great. When you make the commitment to someone else that you're going to be attending, it really ensures that you do actually go to the event. It's easy when you're tired at the end of the day and don't feel like making the drive, to blow off attending. It makes such a difference to have a friend going as well.

Well, that's the latest for tonight. I'm off to eat some more watermelon and watch the rest of Game 4 of the NBA Finals- go Cavs! Until next time friends...

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Latest and Greatest

Greetings friends! I don't know how it has been almost a month since I last blogged. I need to get back to blogging regularly. So what's new? Well, things are going well. Our Step into Spring fashion show fundraiser went great. We had 200 guests attend and had lots of great feedback. Assembly Row was a wonderful partner for the event. They were  a pleasure to work with. Guests enjoyed great fashion from Assembly retailers including Saks and enjoyed delicious cocktails and appetizers from Assembly Row restaurants. The fashions looked great and the food was delicious! A number of retailers also donated items for the silent auction. We raised almost $4,000 which was terrific. It was more than double what our spring shows raised in the past. Special thanks to our vendor sponsors IT Works and Athena's by Kristin, along with our event partner Yelp. We were very happy that the event was included in the Boston Globe's Names section on the day of the event.

Danielle Vollmar from Channel 5 did a great job as usual as host. It was great that we had a lot of special guests including Sam Sisakhti, Us Trendy founder, Miss Massachusetts USA, Miss New Hampshire USA and Miss Maine USA along with their Miss Teen counterparts who also modeled in the fashion show. All of our lovely models donated their time to participate in the show. Here are a few photos. This is our model Rita rocking the white pantsuit.
Our model Natalia looking very trendy in this ensemble..
 The final walk onstage...
 Our special guests, the RevGirls..
 The lovely title holders from the Miss USA pageant. It was great to have their support.
 Lauren and Sarah, the marketing team at Assembly Row, Danielle Vollmar, our host and Miss Maine USA, Miss Massachusetts USA and Miss New Hampshire USA, along with yours truly. I love this photo!
Photos courtesy of Pino Domenico. A special thank you to the students of the New England Institute of Art for all their help backstage at the event. We've worked with them for our past spring shows and they are terrific. They help to make sure that everything runs smoothly. I'd also like to thank our hair/makeup team who also donated all their services including Motives Cosmetics, Veronica Gil Duran, Hair Cuttery and my friend Barrie Lynch, former Mrs. Massachusetts, who stepped in to help do makeup when we were short a person. You can check out lots more photos from one of our other awesome photographers (special thanks to our photographers for donating their services at well), Clark Linehan. Here is the link to his album, please check it out because there are great photos in the album!

Well, I have a load of updates that I need to submit to our web host. I didn't get around to submitting them earlier and want to get them done today. Then off to watch on my favorite guilty pleasure TV show- Real Housewives of NYC (don't judge me please!) Until tomorrow friends....

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Busy Days

Greetings friends! So what's new? Well, our Step into Spring fashion show is next Friday! Kennedy from Mix 104.1 is joining us as a special celebrity guest judge for the Best-in-Shoe competition.Things are looking good for the event. We have awesome fashion retailers participating including Saks, Loft, Banana Republic, Chico's,  Lucky and Pendleton. Our models are going to be rocking some great outfits! Our host Danielle Vollmar, just got engaged over the weekend. She is so nice- she's hosted our show a few times before. I'm happy for her. Our event is featured in tomorrow's Yelp newsletter, so hopefully that will give us a nice bump in ticket sales. We're in a good place for tickets, but I always get anxious.

Here is a photo from last week's donation of over 250 stuffed animals, books and coloring books/crayons to the Boston Police Department. Boston is one of our largest departments that we donate to and it is one of my favorites.
We did a silent auction at Boston Event Guide's Luxe shopping event and their annual spring wine and beer fests last week. I'm happy to say that we raised $2,000 during the auctions. Boston Event Guide is so good to us and invite us to do silent auctions at their events. It is a relatively easy way to raise money and I am really grateful for how nice they are. I auction off autographed sports photographs that I get on consignment from a dealer, so anything that doesn't sell gets returned. We're never stuck with any unsold items, so it always works well.

Well, that's the latest for tonight. I'm off to sort some stuffed animals. Until tomorrow friends...

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Wednesday Happenings

Greetings friends! So what's the latest? Well, yesterday I was at Lowell Police Department dropping off another donation of stuffed animals, books and coloring books/crayons. We donated over 250 items. They are always happy to have our donations. Lowell is one of the larger departments that we donate to. Here is a photo from our donation.
In other news, we had a great meeting on Friday about our fashion show- I met with the marketing team at Assembly Row, the event stylist, the event set designer and the head of the fashion retail department at the New England Art Institute- who is helping us by providing their fashion students to run all the backstage details for the fashion show. Everyone is really excited about the event and really committed to making it a success. I think this is going to be the best one that we've ever had! Ticket sales are moving along nicely. We've filled all our spots for models which is great. We have some great marketing partnerships coming up. I'm happy that we're in a good place for the event, but I still get anxious, I get nervous that ticket sales will suddenly dry up and we'll have an amazing show and no one to watch it. I know that won't happen, but still, I worry.

Well, that's the latest for tonight. I know this is just a short post, but I have a few work things that I need to catch up on. Until tomorrow friends...

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Latest and Greatest

Greetings friends! So what's new? Well, I was on vacation all of last week- went on an exciting trip to Miami and a Caribbean cruise. It was my first time to both places and it was amazing. It was lovely to get away and enjoy seeing somewhere new and spending time at some amazing beaches. It's amazing how wonderfully warm the water is down there! It is such a good thing to take time away from work. It helps give you a different perspective and it is a good time to think about things. I came back feeling excited and inspired. The only downside to coming back is that there is lots and lots to do when you get back. So, I'm trying to catch up and get back on track.

We are only a month away from our spring fashion show. The first major email blast to our Smiling Stiletto members went out today and that generated a nice little bump in ticket sales. I'm still looking for a few more models for the event and we have a few more spots available for sponsorship. We have a great partnership with Yelp for the event. They will be featuring it in their weekly newsletter the week before the event. Yesterday, I filled out the submission form. It took me a while because I wanted to make the posting as catchy as possible. You have to provide a sub headline of 10 words or less along with a paragraph of 100 words describing the event. I kept playing around with a different headline to see which one I would like the best if I was reading the event for the first time. It took me a while today to get the wording right for our email blast for the fashion show. I keep editing- sending sample emails to myself so that I could open it as if I was looking at it for the first time. It is amazing the difference it makes when you send it to yourself. You can keep staring at it when it's in the editing mode, but when you open it as if you were seeing it for the first time it sparks something in the brain. I sent it to myself 5 times and made changes after each time. The events are all so important to us and it takes a lot of work to get people to show up.  Everything needs to be done the best way that I can in order to ensure that we get a great turnout and raise the most money that we can.

Well, that's the latest for tonight. I'm off to sort a few more stuffed animals that arrived in the mail- there were 16 boxes of stuffed animals waiting for me at the post office when I returned. Then, I need to catch up on a few emails. I had intended on doing some grant research as well, but my eyes are getting tired, so I don't think I'll get to that tonight. Until tomorrow friends...

Thursday, March 12, 2015

A Very Special Request

Greetings friends! So I wanted to share with you a request for stuffed animals that we received. It's a request that sums up exactly why we do our work. Last Friday, I received an email from a police sergeant in St. Paul, Alaska. On Monday morning, I received a phone call from the sergeant. He was following up and said that he had found us online and asked for help with a donation of stuffed animals for the children they encounter in their community. He told me that St. Paul was an island located 300 miles off the coast of Alaska. The island only has 1000 residents and a very small police department- I think he said it was only 4 officers. He said that there is an alcohol problem on the island and they go on almost daily calls involving domestic incidents, with most of the calls involving families with children. He said they were in desperate need of some help for the children. The sergeant wanted to be able to give the children a stuffed animal to help comfort them. His email was so touching and his call was just as heart warming. This is exactly why we do our work, so that the people who respond to situations involving children are able to give them an item to comfort them and take some of the fear and anxiety away. It makes me so proud to know that a department so far away wants to be a part of our work and sees the value of giving stuffed animals to the children then encounter. I love hearing from police officers who really care and want to make a difference in the lives of children. It is tough work that they do every day and I am happy to be a part of their efforts to bring a smile to a child.

So tomorrow, I will be packing up stuffed animals with my new intern and zooming down to the post office with them. I'm not sure how many boxes yet, at least three. I also want to add some coloring books/crayons. It's expensive to mail stuffed animals and it's going to cost a lot to send them this island, 300 miles off the coast of Alaska, so if you would like to help with a donation towards the mailing cost, the would be much appreciated! You can make a donation easily with PayPal. Our email address to send a donation through PayPal is:

Well, that's the latest for tonight. I'm off to catch up on some work and start brainstorming some ideas for an exciting event that I'm heading up with DCF. More info to come next week! Until next time friends...

Monday, March 2, 2015

Latest and Greatest

Greetings friends and welcome March! February was a pretty dreadful weather month with all the snow, so I'm happy that we are onto March and hopefully some nicer weather. The days are definitely getting longer and that is always  a good thing. It's been so long since I blogged and I'm happy to be back writing. So what's new? Well, things are chugging along nicely. I am so excited for our 4th Annual Step into Spring fashion show that we are working with Assembly Row on. It is going to be an awesome event on Friday, May 1, 6:30pm. Assembly Row is the new shopping and lifestyle center in Somerville. It is a great place and they have an amazing space for us. It is an open space that will eventually be turned into offices, but right now it is all bare bones, which makes it a phenomenal space for events.  Our sold out events at Copley Place had a max of 120 guests, but Assembly can hold 300 guests. We're also going to be doing a silent auction, can get sponsorship and we will be getting 100% of the proceeds to Project Smile, so that really opens it up to become a major fundraiser for us. I am so happy about that! Assembly is also handling getting their restaurants involved to serve appetizers and desserts along with specialty cocktails to the guests. This makes it even easier for me, because I had to get the food and beverage vendors before. Assembly has some awesome retailers, so we are definitely going to be having terrific fashions.

Danielle Vollmar from News Channel 5, Boston will be hosting the event again for us. She's hosted 2 of our shows before and always does a lovely job. We also have the RevGirls, Miss Massachusetts USA, Miss New Hampshire and Miss Maine USA as special guests along with the Miss Teen USA from each of those 3 states. The founder of UsTrendy, Sam Sisakhti will be returning as a celebrity guest judge for the Best-in-Shoe competition and I'm working on getting some more special guest judges. We're using the same DJ as our past events, he always does a good job. I reached out to our fall show event planner Mauryn and she is meeting with Assembly in order to possibly partner with them to work on the event layout/design. She has an awesome eye for detail, so I hope it works out for them to work together on the event design.

Well, that's the latest for tonight. I'm off to catch up on some emails and do some more sponsor research. The Step into Spring Show is a wonderful marketing opportunity for sponsors that want to reach women and young professionals. We already have some sponsors on board, but I'm excited to get some more partners for the event. Until tomorrow friends...

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Welcome February!

Greetings friends! So what's new? Besides lots and lots of snow everywhere! Well, things are chugging along over here. I'm happy that we have a new financial donor coming our way. I have been researching new grant sources and I found a financial company which has a foundation which supports children's causes. I applied for a donation and they responded promptly and said that they weren't able to donate because they already donate a lot to the Dept. of Children and Families. I decided to write back and remind them that our partnership with DCF is only a portion of the program. The Chairman responded that he would take another look at it. A few days later, he wrote back and said that they would be making a donation in the second quarter. I don't know how much they will be donating, but every dollar counts. I'm so glad that I just didn't give up when I got the first email and persisted. It is so important to do that when you can. Many times it doesn't make a difference, but those times when it does make a difference make it worth while every time.

On the Date Auction side of things, both of our hosts are committed to returning which I am really happy about. They do an awesome job. I was on IStock today to find a new image to use for the event flyer. I emailed our designer Lisa because I think it is about time we give the flyer a whole new look. We use a different image every year, but the format has generally remained the same. I saw some good images of groups of young people with their hands raised as if they were bidding. I think it would be great to incorporate that kind of image instead of the couples image that we usually use. Our sponsorship packet is all updated. I already started work on getting the gift certificates donated for the couples and I need to start working on getting sponsors.

Tomorrow, I'm off to the Worcester DCF office to drop off crayons, coloring books and stuffed animals for their Easter baskets that they do for children. We've been donating items for the baskets for the past few years. It is one of my favorite donations to do. I've seen some of the baskets that DCF gives out and they are beautiful.

On that note, I'm off to box up some more items for tomorrow's donation, then I want to research some more grants that we can apply for. Until tomorrow friends...

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Latest and Greatest

Greetings friends! We are half way through January- it feels like New Years was yesterday! Things are chugging along well over here. I'm happy to announce that we've booked our 9th Annual Project Smile Charity Date Auction for Friday, Sept. 18 at Venu. It is a great location for our event and they were happy to have us back again. I've reached out to Yelp and we will be partnering with them as the featured event in their weekly Yelp newsletter the week before the auction. I  also asked if we could partner for one of our fashion shows and they are willing to partner with us for a second event, so that is good news. Originally, I was thinking of promoting our fall fashion show during Boston Fashion Week with Yelp, but I might promote the spring one instead. Our Step into Spring Show will not be happening at Copley Place this year. It had been great having the event there, so it was a little disappointing not to be there this spring but it opens up a whole new opportunity to have a great event somewhere else and possibly raise additional funds. I will be meeting with another lifestyle shopping center who is interested in hosting the event. I will keep you posted.

In other news, next week I'll be dropping off more items for the Dept. of Children and Families. It's always my favorite donation to do. The need is so great at DCF for items for children. I'm also starting to reach out to the Worcester office to donate crayons and other items for the Easter baskets that they do for children.

Well, that's the latest for tonight. I know it's a short posting, but I'm off to catch up on sending some thank you letters for stuffed animal donations and then eat my grapefruit! Until next time friends...

Monday, January 5, 2015

Happy New Year!

Greetings friends and a happy new year! Hard to believe we're almost a week into the new year. I'm excited to kick things of and get going for the new year. It's always full of lots of potential. 2014 ended on a high note. We received a surprise $2,000 donation from a New Jersey foundation which was great. I hadn't heard of the foundation before, so it was great news to open up the envelope and see the check. We had a good year and that unexpected donation helped make up for some of the event sponsorship that we didn't receive this year.

On another nice note, I received a check and a note from a school teacher in New Hampshire. She collected small change along the street and she wanted to pay it forward by donating the money to Project Smile to help our efforts for children. She said she would keep collecting the "pennies from heaven." That was a very kind gesture and I really appreciate that she chose us. Some people are so thoughtful, it's really remarkable. 

Our donation to the Entre Familia homeless shelter right before Christmas went great. The children were so happy. They loved their gifts and they loved the Santa Claus. It was awesome to see their faces. One of the girls squealed in delight when she opened her doll. One of the moms came up to me and gave me a hug. She thanked us for bringing such happiness to the children. Her four year old son loved trains, so it was perfect that we had given him a train set for his gift. He was so happy sitting with his mom and playing with the train. Here is a photo of some of the kids with their gifts and a photo of me with Santa and one of the program directors at the shelter.

A special thank you to everyone who donated, our awesome Santa and Shepherd & Goldstein in Milford for all their help in making this party for the children possible. You can check out more photos on our FB page:

Well friends, that's the latest for tonight. I'm off to eat my grapefruit and watch TV for a bit. Until tomorrow friends...