Our families journey with childhood cancer, and SMILES set to reach from coast to coast!
When we began our journey in the childhood cancer world, just over 10 years ago, it was hard to find the silver lining. Darren was just 8 weeks old, and for us, our child's "everyday normal life" wasn't ripped away. The only thing he knew was eating, sleeping, and pooping! However, for the older kids on the unit, normal was ripped away in an instant. We watched the devastating effects that this journey can have on a child, and their families, first hand. It was heart wrenching. Nothing feels like home, they can't spend time with friends, and for some, this is where they'll spend most of their time getting treatments, and battling through all of the hurdles that cancer brings a child and their family.
Through our own journey, it's always brought joy to our hearts to be able to make others SMILE! We dabbled in project after project to make that happen. Whatever God laid on my heart, I tackled, even when others looked at me like I was crazy for trying to reach such big goals. You know what?? EVERY TIME we did a project, it was fulfilled 100% and then some! From our community coming together to help us raise $15,000 for a custom indoor play home to be installed at A.I.duPont Hospital's future oncology clinic, to equipping 24 inpatient rooms with x-box game consoles on the oncology floor. It always came together, and our community always helped us make it happen. People are good, people are kind, and all it took was me following through with the crazy things that He laid on my heart to realize, anything was possible. It was a lot of work, but the end result of a SMILE always made it worth while, times a million.
This holiday season, we are SO so excited to announce the arrival of the newest addition to our family, "Happy Crates Gives"! Our non-profit will not only give us the ability to reach our local community of courageous children, but will help us spread SMILES to children fighting cancer from the east coast, ALL the way to the west coast!!!! The purpose of Happy Crates Gives is to have a positive impact on the lives of children fighting cancer and their families. Our hope is to one day be sending Happy Crates to every children's hospital in the U.S. EVERY month, and we know that it's possible with the help of generous sponsors! Our fund also gives us the ability to host fun events, and make more spaces and moments that feel like home for these children and their families!
Please help us spread the word about Happy Crates Gives so that we can reach far and wide, because together, we can make a difference! To donate, please visit https://www.happycratesgives.org/donate/ . We've set a HUGE goal of raising $50,000 in December, which will allow us to reach over 30 Children's hospitals across the U.S., and close to 2,000 children!!!
We are SUPER excited about our 1st Annual "Miles of SMILES Holiday Lights Contest" through Queen Anne's County!! If you're a resident of QAC, or have a business in QAC, we would love for you to sign up and join the fun! We hope to bring SMILES to folks young and old, as they drive through our beautiful county touring the lights, and voting for the best ones! Please help us spread the word, and encourage your family and friends to sign up for the competition before December 10th! All proceeds benefit our mission, and we have mega prize baskets up for grabs!
If you enjoy crazy adventures, be sure to hit the subscribe to keep up with us! This seems like my craziest idea yet, but I have a feeling it's going to be pretty awesome 🙂 Thank YOU for being a part of our families journey, and we can't wait to share the next chapter!