Day Five: Give Back Mission to Express Gratitude

Today is the fifth day of my mission to spread kindness and help others. In case you don’t know what I’m talking about, please read: Join My Give Back Mission to Spread Kindness and Say Thank You.

During the course of the week, I have spoken to some incredible people. People who have devoted their entire life to helping others. For them, giving back is not a special way to show their gratitude. For them, giving back is a sort of calling that started with a simple idea – help others.

I had the pleasure of speaking with one such woman after being made aware of her work by a mother of a child with Leukemia . This mother told me about the great blessing the Fairy Godmother Project, an organization local to Fredricksburg, Virginia, has been to her family.

I didn’t know anything about this organization, so I reached out to its creator Andie McConnell to learn more. What touched me most was that she began this charitable organization because of her desire to help her neighbors down the street who had a daughter with pediatric brain cancer. Andie felt compelled to help and started fund-raising for the family. During the course of her relationship with this family, she learned about the loneliness and struggles many families face when having a child with cancer.

So, she conducted a survey of other families battling pediatric cancer and discovered one common thread – families were eventually left to deal with everything on their own.

At first these families had support from their communities, churches, friends, and extended family, but almost all the families she surveyed indicated that the help waned after time. Unfortunately, the financial burdens did not wane for these families. Instead the burden always grew and families often lost jobs or had to pay for treatments and medicines not covered by insurance.

The Fairy Godmother Project supports families with children in treatment for cancer by providing meals, cleaning services, gas cards, date nights, lawn services, professional photography, and other services simply meant to help.

There are many ways you can support this wonderful organization. You can donate a gift card, donate money, or participate in their $9 on the 9th monthly fundraiser. For less than the cost of a lunch, you can support families going through one of the biggest hardships I can imagine. Please read about their $9 on the 9th program and consider giving.

This is the second pediatric cancer charity I have highlighted this week. A couple of days ago, I featured Journey 4 A Cure. Both of these organizations are committed to raising awareness for families going through one of the hardest to imagine battles against a severely under-funded and under-researched disease that is taking the lives of our children.

cancer awarenessPediatric cancer is the number one disease killer of children, more than asthma, cystic fibrosis, diabetes, and pediatric AIDS combined. Yet pediatric cancers get less than 3% of the federal budget allocated to the National Cancer Institute. The lack of funding is because it has been determined that pediatric cancer is a “rare disease.” I wish the person who determined this would look into the eyes of the mothers of the 46 children diagnosed with cancer each week and tell them that it is just too rare to make it a priority. It is not rare and we need to stand-up for these families.

If you need something to read to connect you with the impact of losing a child to cancer, please read The Hole in the Middle of the Bed by an extremely courageous and inspirational blogger Mary Tyler Mom. Today, she has dubbed it Donna Day in honor of the daughter she lost to cancer. Her hope is to bring awareness and raise funds in honor of all the children who have to face this fight.

Please consider supporting The Fairy Godmother Project, Journey 4 A Cure, or St. Baldrick’s Foundation which is the organization being promoted by bloggers across the country as part of Donna Day. These organizations are working to help the children and families impacted by pediatric cancer.

Please help and spread the word!

Good Deed Idea of the Day

Today, my Good Deed Idea of the Day is to put a smile on the face of a complete stranger by hitting up some unsuspecting vending machines. Find your loose change and put it in the snack machine at work and walk away. You would be amazed how a “free” treat will make someone’s day. Who knows, maybe this will be the kindness that will change someone’s attitude or make someone’s Friday. It’s a simple idea that takes only a moment. Will you try it?


Nicole Dash is a writer, blogger and business owner who lives in the suburbs outside Washington, DC with her husband and four children. She started her career as a journalist and copy editor. She also managed public relations and corporate communications for a national franchise company, but in 2006 started a child care business. In 2012, she launched Tiny Steps Mommy, a lifestyle and parenting blog that quickly gained a following and connected her to an expansive group of women-owned businesses. In 2013, she started a digital marketing consulting business that focused on growing community in an authentic way. Through those connections she was inspired to open Play, Work or Dash, a coworking space that also offers onsite childcare up to three hours per day. It is where like-minded professionals pursue their business goals with the extra level of support parents desire; a place where you "bring your kids to work." She is an active member of the Washington, DC blogger community. She has been published on The Washington Post, Huffington Post, Scary Mommy, Mamalode and Pop Sugar.




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