Wednesday, October 26, 2016

In 5/Under 5: Send a Free Cat-o-gram to Children in the Hospital

Our "In 5/Under 5" challenges are awesome ways to make a difference because they can be completed in 5 minutes and for under 5 dollars. In fact, the only way they get better is if it's FREE and takes less than ONE minute! Impossible, right? Well, you are going to LOVE this...

If you've been on #TeamITLT for a while, you've probably joined us in a similar online campaign for Children's Hospital Los Angeles. Sending a Cat-o-gram to a child spending Halloween at the hospital is a wonderful way to send (spooky) smiles. I was so happy to hear that so many #TeamITLT members participated last year! No sign-up required for this super easy and adorable way to make a difference.

Send a Cat-o-gram by choosing one of these frightfully fun cards below. Such a sweet idea and just a quick click away!



PLUS! For each card sent before Oct. 28, Delta Air Lines has pledged to donate $1 to CHLA, up to $25,000! Send your card today and CHLA will print and hand-deliver it, along with fun goody bags, as part of their Halloween festivities.

Which cute little animal will you select? It's almost too hard to choose!

And, which hilarious Halloween pun will you send?! 
Have a hauntingly good time!
You are spook-tacular!
...got anymore good ones?

Team ITLT: If you know of any other hospitals or organizations that make sending holiday greeting cards so easy, please share them with me! We would love to offer more of these opportunities.

While you're in the Halloween mood, check out our decoration and goody bag ideas for some hauntingly good fun! And here's a reminder of our efforts last year... follow us on facebook and instagram for more!

Where will you be participating from?
As always, tag us @itsthelittlethingsdotme 
using #TeamITLT 
so we can see your efforts!





Monday, July 25, 2016

How to Help Displaced Residents and Firefighters of the Sand Fire

After three days of a raging fire, I woke up today to see that the front page of the California section of the Los Angeles Times headline read: "All we can do now is wait." I can't help but disagree. This website was founded on the notion that there must be something we can do. Always.

The photographs and captions in this post are borrowed with permission
by friend and photographer, Matt Johnson.
"#sandfire As seen from north most Sylmar. 8:30pm, July 24th"

Since starting it's the little things (ITLT), at least one person (friend or stranger) reaches out to me when disaster strikes and asks, "What do we do?" In an effort to create an opportunity for people to take action, we sometimes have to get a little creative. During a natural disaster crisis, we know that often the most helpful resource is funding. Below, we'll offer monetary and non-monetary ways for you to make a difference. And remember, no effort or amount is too small. 

Fire Update

Areas affected in the early stages of the Sand Fire are slowly lifting their evacuations, but the fire continues to scorch. Thankfully, the winds have died down a bit, temperatures have dropped from 109 degrees to the mid 90s, and the fire has slowed. Unfortunately, it's still far from over and we're left with these devastating statistics as of Monday night (7/25):
  • 35,000 acres have burned in the Santa Clarita mountains, about 11,000 per day 
  • More than 20,000 civilians and 10,300 structures have been evacuated, including 1500 homes
  • 18 homes have been destroyed
  • 2,964 firefighters, with orders for more, are coming from all over the nation
  • 1 man was found deceased in his car
  • 100-foot flame lengths and speed of this fire within 72 hrs was unprecedented 
  • still only at 10% containment
"July 22, 10 pm. View from the driveway. #sandfire"

ITLT Creative Act of Kindness

There are many reasons we love offering "In 5/Under 5" projects. You can make a difference within five minutes, for under five dollars, and something as simple as a card can turn someone's day around. It's the little things that make a big difference! (That's our motto anyway.) We also love projects like this because ANYone can participate from ANYwhere and half the fun is seeing from where our #TeamITLT is lending a helping hand! 

So, while this may be stretching for creativity in the midst of a tumultuous disaster, we're suggesting you take a zen moment today or tomorrow to thank the firefighters doing their best to contain this fire. Create a handmade card, write a letter, or have your co-workers fill out a card because a few pieces of friendly mail may be just what they need to strap their boots for another long, exhausting shift. Many first responders fought for 36 hours straight. You can scroll down to the bottom of this post for a list of nearby fire stations, but read on to learn other ways you may be able to help. 
(Please know that MANY firefighters across the country have been deployed to assist us, so this list only includes the few closest stations and first responders.)

Local Donations

The first and most important lesson I learned in providing donations or services was: always ask. You may have the best intentions, but if what you're donating is not immediately needed, the items themselves may take up limited space and more time to sort than volunteers can afford at the time.

Luckily, the amount of volunteer responses and donations has been overwhelming, to the point that the Red Cross evacuation centers (listed below) now have a surplus of water and other supplies. We're told Hart High School is now accepting nonperishable food, paper goods, and drinks.

Of course, the Red Cross encourages that one of the best ways to help during a crisis is through financial donations on their website. Any money you would spend on non-perishables or water can still be used.

We've also heard great reports about the community bringing food and drink to first responders throughout the fire. It's always a good idea to double check that centers can accept donations. The Sand Fire Command Post cannot accept donations, but you can go to local fire stations or call Red Cross at (310) 943-5228. If you are interested in making a donation to American Red Cross, text WILDFIRE to 75759, or donate online to the Los Angeles Region.

Habitat for Humanity has a discount home improvement store that is accepting donations during the Sand Fire. ReStore serves to "build affordable homes for low-income civilian and veteran families, and provide services that empower them to build brighter futures as homeowners." You can donate building materials, furniture, and other household items that can be used to aid victims of the fire. In particular: cement, carpeting, and flooring donations in large quantities are encouraged. Contact the ReStore Manager, Sylvia Bardelli at (818) 341-9928 to arrange pick up for donated materials.

Feed SCV is raising funds to purchase supplies to provide food for displaced families from the Sand Fire. You can get in touch with them on facebook to coordinate helping with meals, volunteering hands in the kitchen, or by donating funds so they can purchase fresh food.

"July 23, 3:45 pm. Lots of aircraft heading to the fire now. It's directly north of us now. 
May that mountain hold it back. #sandfire"

Even on summer break, the Saugus High School ASB (student government) is collecting donations for the firefighters involved. Water, gatorade, sunscreen, baby wipes, granola/protein bars, and beef jerky. Items can be dropped off at 21900 Centurion Way, Santa Clarita, CA 91350, Monday-Thursday, 9am-4pm. Similarly, Canyon High School ASB & Cheer are collecting gift cards, clothing, towels, sheets, and hygiene products. Please contact them for drop off details. Water, Gatorade, protein bars, Chapstick, eye drops and any other items useful for the firefighters and police in the evacuation zone can be made the Golden Valley High School command center. Golden Valley High School is located at 27051 Robert C. Lee Parkway, Santa Clarita, CA, 91350. Baby wipes, sunscreen, dog/cat/bird food, bottled water, gatorade, and snack bars are needed at Cedarcreek Elementary School, 27792 Camp Plenty Rd., Canyon Country. For more information, call 661-309-3727. (This paragraph relays information VIA facebook and NBC News.)

Monetary donations for the families of firefighters who lost their own homes to the Sand Fire are being accepted at this YouCaring crowd-sharing fund link. Personal friends and family of the firefighters started the online fundraiser. More than $7,000 was raised as of Monday afternoon.

If you're able to donate blood, the American Red Cross is encouraging donations to fully meet the needs of hospital patients in the coming days and weeks. Your donation could help save a life. The American Red Cross is thanking those who come to give blood or platelets between now and Aug. 31 by emailing them a $5 ‪#‎Amazon‬ gift card claim code. Make your appointment to #‎GiveNow‬: redcrossblood.org, Blood Donor App at 3cu.be/blood or 1-800-RED CROSS.

Be a Helper

Help Habitat for Humanity identify low-income families in need. If you or someone you know is a low-income family or individual whose home has been affected by the Sand Canyon fire through from direct fire damage or collateral damage such as smoke damage to home or furniture, water damage from helicopter water drops or fire retardant damage, please contact Habitat SCV/SFV at 818-884-8808.

If you have friends or family still in danger of being evacuated, remind them of these SIX "P"s of preparedness:
  • People and pets (and pet food)
  • Papers, phone numbers, and important documents
  • Prescriptions, vitamins, and eyeglasses
  • Pictures and irreplaceable memorabilia
  • Personal computers (information on hard drive and disks)
  • "Plastic" (credit cards, ATM cards) and cash

Volunteer

Once rebuilding has begun, there will be a huge need for volunteers to help in construction and rehabilitation of affected homes. Please contact Donielle DeLeon of Habitat for Humanity at (818) 884-8808 to find out more about volunteer opportunities and needs.

People can volunteer for a burned area response team to mitigate post-fire effects, which include putting up barriers to protect against erosion as well as assisting with debris cleanup.

If you're local and good with animals, we're told the AV Fairgrounds needs volunteers to feed, water, and set up more pens. Contact info below.

Related Information

EVACUATION CENTERS:
Palmdale: Highland High School 39055 25th Street West, Palmdale, 93551
Santa Clarita: Hart High School, 24825 N. Newhall, Santa Clarita, 91321
Sylmar: Lakeview Terrace Recreation Center, 11075 Foothill Blvd, Lakeview Terrace, 91340

ANIMAL EVACUATIONS:
Small animals/pets: Golden Valley High School, 27051 Robert C. Lee Pkwy, Santa Clarita

Large Animals: Antelope Valley Fairgrounds, 2551 W. Avenue H. Lancaster CA 93536
Since the Hansen Dam Equestrian Center has reached capacity, large animals and livestock can now also be taken to an alternative evacuation site, Pierce College, 6201 Winnetka Ave, Woodland Hills

Over the weekend, community members helped evacuate about 400 animals, including tigers, bobcats and horses from the Wildlife Waystation in Sylmar, but there are still animals in neighboring evacuation zones. The Foothill Trails District Neighborhood Council is looking for volunteers who have trailers, cages and trucks that could transport animals to places like Pierce College.


Local Fire Stations

Thanks to Google, here are the top ten fire station locations that provided the first responders to this wild Sand Fire. LA County has been nothing but impressed with and grateful for these amazing men and women, so if you feel so inclined to send a little thank you note, here are their addresses:

Los Angeles County Fire Station 104  
26201 Golden Valley Rd, Santa Clarita, CA 91350

Los Angeles County Fire Station 123  
26321 Sand Canyon Rd, Santa Clarita, CA 91387

Los Angeles County Fire Station 128  
28450 Whites Canyon Rd, Santa Clarita, CA 91351

Fire Station 108  
28799 Rock Canyon Dr, Santa Clarita, CA 91390

Los Angeles County Fire Station 111
26829 Seco Canyon Rd, Santa Clarita, CA 91350

Los Angeles County Fire Department Station #126  
26320 Citrus St, Santa Clarita, CA 91355

Fire Station
24525 Copper Hill Dr, Santa Clarita, CA 91390

Los Angeles County Fire Station 150  
19190 Golden Valley Rd, Canyon Country, CA 91387

Los Angeles County Fire Department Station 107  
18239 Soledad Canyon Rd, Canyon Country, CA 91351

Los Angeles County Fire Station #124  
25870 Hemingway Ave, Stevenson Ranch, CA 91381

Please let them know you are a member of #TeamITLT
by including our website on your card or envelope!

Also, we'd love to see your creative efforts, so tag us and hashtag us
so that we may #regram your photos!

@itsthelittlethingsdotme
#TeamITLT
www.itsthelittlethings.me


Many thanks to Matt Johnson for his stunning photographs, each of which were taken from his home near the edge of the Sand Fire. We are relieved and happy to share that Matt and his family are safe.
 Matt Johnson, photographer
twitter: @TheInfiniteEnd







Saturday, April 30, 2016

In 5/Under 5: Wish Lucas a Beary Happy 6th Birthday!

** NOTE: It is with a very heavy heart that we share this news; I've never had to make an announcement like this in 3+ years and for the many birthday card challenges ITLT has offered. "He is cancer free and no longer in pain," his family wrote. Lucas, who would've turned 6 on Saturday, was able to celebrate his birthday early with his family and was flooded with hundreds of birthday cards from around the world-- a Chicago UPS store was running out of space because well-wishers sent so many. Thank you to everyone who so lovingly sent "Bear" a birthday card. Our thoughts are with his family. **
Hey #TeamITLT— we interrupt our own current Featured Event in order to bring you a special new #in5under5 challenge! "What's that," you ask? Great question!

Here at it's the little things, we like to offer projects that you can essentially complete in five minutes and for under five dollars. We love these projects because they are tokens of love, usually little effort on our end, but very meaningful to the recipient. Similar to those we've offered in the past, today's project is a birthday card! 

Since this #CreativeActOfKindness can be so creative and crafty, so personal and powerful, we're excited to see your efforts. But first, let's learn a little bit about Lucas... rather, "Bear," as he is affectionately known.

Lucas "Bear" Cervone is probably the toughest five year old, like, ever. In August 2012, Lucas was diagnosed with pediatric leukemia. After three intense years of treatment, he beat it. Not long after, he was diagnosed with another incurable cancer. In November 2015, Lucas underwent a stem cell transplant and beat the viruses again. He was so happy to return home, his family waited to celebrate Christmas with him in February.

After overcoming seemingly impossible obstacles already, the Cervone family recieved one more devastating phone call. The doctors found a tumor near Lucas' heart. They attempted to slow the growth of the tumor with a round of palliative chemo, but it is wrapped around the pulmonary artery, pressing on Lucas' heart. The tumor is both inoperable and incurable.

On May 7th, the little "Bear" turns six years old.

After a life fighting unfair battles, the family recently chose to end painful treatments. As the Cervone family prepares for his last birthday, they hope to make Lucas' remaining days his happiest. His strength and courage are immeasurable, and his community should reflect the same. Quality of life is their priority, and we can all take a page from the Cervone book.

The Chicago community and beyond sent Lucas over 500 cards for Christmas. He loved getting mail and seeing the cards so much that the family hopes he will receive even more for his birthday.


Join me in wishing Lucas the happiest birthday. "What we want to show him is his family will be here with him, as well as everyone else," Anthony Cervone commented. By sending a card, we are letting one special little boy know just how loved and supported he is, and we can make a big impact together.

Send your birthday cards here:

Lucas "Bear" Cervone
40 E. Chicago Ave. #162
Chicago, IL 60611

As always, let us know that you're participating in this project! 

Share a photo of your birthday card with us on Instagram:
@itsthelittlethingsdotme #TeamITLT
We want to regram your awesome efforts!




Much thanks to our new friend Davina for sharing this story!
Article originally found on NBC Bay Area





Tuesday, April 19, 2016

A Special Mother's Day Event


One year ago, a friend approached me about collaborating on a project.

"Joan! I want to work with you on something. I have this idea and I think you would know better how to make it happen."

I hadn't seen Valeri in years but, despite both moving from the city where we went to college, she now lived only about a half hour away. My interest was piqued. 

Valeri is a photographer (of Little Blue World Photography) and I learned that she had recently joined a campaign called #existinphotos. The idea is that moms are mostly the ones taking the photos and are very rarely in them. 

"It's so, so important to make sure you exist in pictures for your kids, you know?"

Valeri planned to do a series of mini sessions with moms and their children. I loved the concept, but this twist had my heart: she wanted to donate a day of sessions to a charity or program that serves low-income single mothers. She was hoping I could help coordinate an opportunity for her to do so.

"Ideally, the shoot itself will be a Mother's Day gift."

That was all I needed to hear; I was sold. We would host a Mother's Day event and offer both a photo shoot and touched-up prints free of charge. With less than a month to go, we immediately made moves to turn this into a reality. 

How would we fund this event?

Valeri generously offered to host two days of donation-based photo shoots. Via her website and facebook page, moms signed up for abbreviated time slots. She shared our goals with her clients and asked them to donate any amount toward our event in lieu of her normal fee. She posted this flyer (below) one evening and booked 8 clients overnight. She had so many requests, but could only fit 15 mini-sessions into two days. (The fact that she managed to fit 7-8 photoshoots into each day blows me away!) After two long days of photographing, she collected a grand total of $495 for our event. I couldn't believe it. This was more than enough to fund the prints and host a really nice event for some incredible women.


Where would we host it and who would be invited?

At the time, I was a faculty advisor at an incredible community college. I worked in the Student Services Department and closely with the folks who ran programs like Trio, Guardian Scholars, and EOPS. I had a feeling the EOPS/CARE program fit our bill perfectly: "The mission of CARE (Cooperative Agencies Resources for Education) is to support the unique needs of EOPS students who are single parents by promoting self-sufficiency and academic success through tailored workshops, additional counseling, educational materials and financial assistance for child care related expenses."

The CARE program had about 40 single moms on welfare. The Dean was so excited about our event that she suggested that we host the event right there on campus. I created this flyer (above) to be emailed through the program and invited sign-ups. I also received permission to use the Foundation's Tax ID number in order to solicit specific food and drinks donations from local stores.


Isn't ITLT all about DIY?

Yup! I'm so glad you asked. it's the little things is unique in that we suggest creative acts of kindness, so we definitely needed to add a crafty element. The event was expected to last about two hours and I wanted to create a welcoming and warm environment for the families while they waited to be photographed. Since we were hosting single moms, and I can only imagine how hard they work day in and day out, I wanted to treat them to a special morning. My plan was to offer two craft sites: a room upstairs for the kids and a patio area downstairs for the moms. 

In the kids room, we offered a perfectly themed art activity: hand decorating picture frames. I bought about 40 plain wooden picture frames ($1/pc at Michael's) and brought all the crafts I could find. (If you've seen my previous craft room, this was a lot.) Markers, stickers, yarn, pom poms, jewels, ribbon, scissors, glue, glue sticks, and tape were scattered among the tables. (Last minute, I decided to leave the glitter at home. This was the RIGHT call!) Previous to the event, this the perfect excuse to have a craft night with my friend Rhianna in order to create picture frame examples (above). My own mom brought giant coloring pages for the kids as well. 




Downstairs, I set out a mom treat-yo-self craft, if you will: DIY sugar scrub. Each table had a bottle of almond oil, a mason jar of sugar, and several essential oils (lavender, eucalyptus, rose, and tea tree) with instructions written on adorable mini chalkboard signs. (See the breakdown of ingredients by clicking and enlarging the photo below!) I bought a pack of durable 2-3oz containers that each mom would be able to take home with them, and I spray painted the caps gold before the event. Droppers were used to dispense the oils and we used wooden coffee stirrers to mix our concoctions! Luckily, I had several incredible volunteers to help with the create-your-own aspects of the projects both up and downstairs.




Checklist: Assembling the team in #TeamITLT

Several things had to happen before our big event and I couldn't believe it all worked out so well.
  • Funds. Valeri hosted two successful days of donation-based mini photo shoots. I don't personally know the families that participated and made this event possible, but in case you're reading this, THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart.
  • Food. My favorite local bakery generously donated the most delicious bread pudding platters. Creme Caramel LA has stepped up for more than one of our women-focused events, and they have my undying gratitude and highest recommendation. My parents also donated lemon and blueberry muffins. Longtime #TeamITLT member Lisa also came over the day before the event to help me bake sugar cookies (with rainbow sprinkles, obviously!) that spelled out "Happy Mother's Day!"
  • Drinks. My corner Starbucks store kindly donated a coffee traveler along with milk, sugar, and stir sticks. My parents also filled two large dispensers with water and lemonade. 
  • Decorations. The day before I bought inexpensive tablecloths, napkins, plates, and cups. From home I brought a few colorful vases and mason jars. On the way in the morning, I picked up balloons (in English y en EspaƱol) and a large bouquet of flowers. 
  • Crafts. I had all the supplies ready for both the kid and mom DIY activities. Luckily, we collected enough donations to cover these costs as well. 
  • Treat yo self. This was one category I tried desperately to provide, but it just didn't come to full fruition with our time constraint. I really wanted to offer a massage station, but unfortunately couldn't find therapists or students in training that were available to join us. 
  • Location. Valeri said she could scout our location for good places to shoot the photos when she got to the college that morning. The weather was a little overcast on this warm May morning, which was actually perfect lighting for pictures.


"Happy Mother's Day!!!"


Our Mother's Day

We hosted about 15 moms and their children on a Saturday morning (10:30am-12pm) the day before Mother's Day. Four people came out to volunteer (in addition to my family), so we had a solid seven person team to ensure everything run smoothly. Moms signed up when they arrived and we photographed them in that order. Each mom signed a contract and proved contact information so we could stay organized. They excitedly participated in crafts and enjoyed snacks before and after their photos.

I had to constantly remind myself to "KEEP IT TOGETHER, HURWIT!" Tears filled my eyes and my heart swelled when each new family walked up to join us. The kids had on their cutest clothes; they looked so sharp! But even more than that... the moms looked gorgeous and I could tell they were excited to dress up. They felt beautiful. I realized that was all I really wanted from this whole day.

My tipping point? I made such an effort to give the moms a separate space. I figured: let's give them a relaxing spa-related craft, let's give them a break. I thought they would want a chance to catch their breath and enjoy time with other moms. I had plenty of volunteers to help their kids with the craft upstairs.

I was completely caught off guard when the moms wanted to join their kids. They wanted to work on the picture frames upstairs with their children.

Of course. They wanted to spend Mother's Day as the incredible mothers they are.
Not a mother yet myself, I didn't see this coming. Crying as I write this; I think I get it now.

Early on, I realized how grateful I was to share the company of such admirable moms and women. My own mom pulled out all the stops to help me that morning. Valeri, a new mom, selflessly offered up her services to make this magical morning possible. The Dean, a single powerhouse mom, brought her own son and helped the event go off without a hitch. I had such invaluable and incalculable role models all around me, and I couldn't have been happier to spend a Saturday morning this way.

Follow up and follow through

Each of the moms received the digital images of their photo shoot with Valeri, but she was really adamant about providing them with nice quality prints. How often do you print photos these days? We didn't want them to have to worry about it. Plus, this way they could fill those adorable picture frames they all made! Valeri edited the photos and, several weeks later, gifted each mom with one 8x10 and several 4x6 prints. She also went out of her way to adorably wrap each set.


The photos themselves were absolutely stunning. Valeri did such an amazing job of capturing both each individual's personality as well as the love each family shared. I still get misty looking through the album a year later. Please enjoy the small selection of photos below, but be sure to check out even more on the it's the little things facebook page!




 




I sincerely hope that you can host your own ITLT Mother's Day event, this year or thereafter. Our time and resources are always limited, but collaborating with a special team to make it happen is half the magic. If you do get the opportunity to share an ITLT inspired Mother's Day event, I hope you'll remember to share with us!

A huge thank you to photographer Valeri for her
brilliance, talents, and generosity. 

As always, tag us 
@itsthelittlethingsdotme and #TeamITLT 
so we can see your efforts!


Feeling inspired? Pin now, plan later!

      



Monday, March 21, 2016

Upcycle Toys for Pets!


Tis the season... it is spring cleaning time once again!

Let's visualize it now: you are meditatively sorting through your closet and dividing your clothes into piles. It's best to find that organizational zen. Maybe you've read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and you're deciding if clothes get to stay based on the level of joy they bring you. Maybe you're dividing clothes by season or color. Regardless, you have three piles:

  • clothes that get to stay. Congratulations, you passed the test! You get to stick around for another year!
  • clothes that you aren't going to wear again but are in good enough shape to be donated. Hopefully, they can make some residents smile at a local DV or homeless shelter!
  • clothes that aren't in good enough shape to be donated.
    Into the trash pile they go
                                      
                            wait!!


Just because your clothes are worn and torn does not mean they should be thrown away! If fact, we have an awesome DIY project to turn your old clothes into the perfect gift.

Instead of throwing away clothes that aren't suitable to donate,
turn them into chew toys for animals at your local shelter!


I've heard your requests for more animal rescue projects, so when I had the opportunity to bring a new ITLT project to a local high school academy, I knew this was the perfect (furry) fit! Here's what we did and what you can easily do too:
  1. Collect the materials. Make it very clear to those donating that you only want items that would otherwise be trashed. Clothes in good shape should be donated to shelters. Clothes that have holes, rips, or are worn down are perfect! (Remember, even single socks - socks that have lost their partners - can still be donated to homeless centers if they don't have holes.)
  2. Create an event. You're going to want lots of helping hands to turn these rags into riches for the pups at the pound! Organize an event at school, for your club, or in your neighborhood. Then, call around to your local pet shelters and find out if they would like to accept your upcoming donation. Sometimes, they can't accommodate or already have enough chew toys, so you always want to ask first.
  3. Get it twisted! After I explained the goal of this project to the students, we got to work! 
    Rip, shred, twist, and tie soft material into a variety of shapes. If we were braiding a chew toy, we used scissors to separate the pieces evenly. Other than that, no additional supplies were used. All knots were tied by hand no rubber bands, glue, or anything that otherwise might become a hazard for the future chewers.
  4. Donate your new toys to those fur babies! Arrange a drop off date and time and (I also recommend) ask if you can share a few toys with some pups in person! It never hurts to ask, and who knows, the joy on their faces may make you want to do this creative act of kindness all over again!
  5. Share on social media! Whether you're thinking of starting this project with a group, or humbly bragging about tails wagging at your local shelter after you're all done, community is important! Team up and tear down (the old shirts, that is!), and show your friends and family how easy it is to get personal and be powerful in making a difference. People are usually just waiting to get creative; give them the opportunity! And don't forget to share with us!


You might have as much fun making these chew toys as your new furry BFFs will have playing with them! This campus-wide community service event ended on a cute note. All the toys made by students during our ITLT event were donated to Lucky Puppy in Studio City, CA. The pups LOVED it... look how sweet!



Where will you be participating from?
As always, tag us @itsthelittlethingsdotme and #TeamITLT 
so we can see your efforts!



A huge thank you to Mandi Schwartzberg, the best Guidance Counselor around, 
and my dear friend from elementary school, 
for inviting me to share it's the little things with these innovative young minds!
(...and for dropping off our amazing chew toys after I left town!)




Saturday, February 6, 2016

In 5/Under 5: Be SomeBUNNY who Sends a Free Valentine to the Children's Hospital!

An In 5/Under 5 challenge is a creative act of kindness that can be completed within 5 minutes and under 5 dollars. We know you'll really love this one because it's actually FREE and takes only ONE minute!

If you've participated in a #TeamITLT project similar to this, you may have already received an email prompting you to send a Valentine to the kiddos at Children's Hospital Los Angeles. If so, take the opportunity to share this link with your friends and family! This project is a favorite for a reason ;)


I am excited to see how many valentines we can send for Valentine's Day!

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

In 5/Under 5: Be #Dstrong for Terminally Ill Eight-year-old Boy

A while back, you may remember our "in 5 minutes/under 5 dollars" #CreativeActsOfKindness challenge for Gracie, or as we referred to her #CelebrityGrace. Her Make A Wish request was to be famous and we were happy to oblige! Well, today, we're asking you to be #Dstrong.


"You have to stay strong for D," says Dorian Murray, 8, in Rhode Island. He wants people to be strong for him and because of him. 

Sunday, January 3, 2016

The Abundant Love Project, a guest blog

Greetings from Portland, team! I've been acclimating to my new surroundings, working hard on the new Arts research project, and in the process of getting my first article published! BUSY month, but you've been waiting so patiently for a new project... so, here it is!

Our guest blogger, Deb, does such a beautiful job of describing her project in her letter to you all, she hardly needs an introduction. I will say two things though:
  1. I discovered this incredibly loving project when a photo was posted on facebook of my tiny little cousin Lexi Joan making these creative acts of kindness. I thought, "THAT looks like an ITLT project— it's quick, creative, and so kind!" Lexi and I share a namesake, and seeing her at three-years-old do an activity similar in spirit to ones that I do across the country just reminded me how close our hearts live.
  2. If you don't have tissues on hand, you might want to grab some. Both talking with Deb online and now reading her letter, tears just flow down my cheeks, and I know I won't be alone in this.