Tag Archives: charity

Loom-band Project to Raise Funds for the Little Princess Trust!

Loom-band Project to Raise Funds for the Little Princess Trust!

My 9 year old daughter, Darlek, is cutting her hair and donating it to the Little Princess Trust for children who have lost their hair because of medical reasons, whether that be Alopiecha or Cancer. It will be woven into a wig and Darlek will have a lovely light, easy to maintain, pixie cut.

On the 'Big Hair Day' as opposed to a 'Bad Hair Day', Darlek will put her hair into plaits and have them cut off - before her remaining hair is cut into a new style

On the ‘Big Hair Day’ as opposed to a ‘Bad Hair Day’, Darlek will put her hair into plaits and have them cut off – before her remaining hair is cut into a new style

I’m so proud of her.  About a year ago I shaved all my hair off because my hair was in terrible condition, because of the meds I’d been taking for my Ulcerative Colitis. Darlek saw how some people reacted to me, and she realised that it’s not always an easy thing to deal with.  (Just to add it’s all grown back now and it’s twice as thick and in much better condition so there’s a happy ending there).

Another little girl at her school has already donated hair to the Little Princess Trust, and Darlek was inspired by her, so that was it….decision made.  Darlek is very excited about it all and is mad keen to fundraise too.

Darlek recently broke her wrist, here's how she jazzed up her splint.  She LOVES loom bands!

Darlek recently broke her wrist, here’s how she jazzed up her splint. She LOVES loom bands!

I’m going to do a blog campaign, try to get local newspapers and my daughter’s school involved too, and make a huge loom band art project – which I’m hoping to auction with the proceeds going to the Little Princess Trust.

 

 I’m going to ask if people can donate via Just Giving or to simply to send loom bands to us – in bracelet form, or longer if people can manage.  Darlek’s school has already said that they’d be interested in helping out, so if I could supply them with packs of loom bands so they can help with the project that would be fabulous.  With this in mind I’m going to approach a few businesses and see if I can find anyone to sponsor the project and fund packs of bands.

I could link all the donated loom bands together with jump rings which could then be used to make the picture.

I could link all the donated loom bands together with jump rings which could then be used to make a picture.

The idea is to layer the loom bands to and fro across a canvas, using graduating colours, to make an image.   Very simple but effective and eye-catching.  I saw a loom band dress for sale on Ebay which went for literally thousands of pounds and it got me thinking.  Not that I even imagine that this would go for anything like that, but it is something that children are interested in at the moment and so many people have access to loom bands.   The Little Princess Trust supports children and it seems appropriate that each child has an opportunity to help support them, just by making something that so many of them love doing anyway.

A loom band rainbow would look amazing!

A loom band rainbow would look amazing!

It would be a square  image, in graduating colours which could somehow be backed and secured to something like a big picture frame. With this in mind, I’m asking that people donate single coloured loom bands in a fishtail design (which is the most common weave that people learn), whatever length they like, although a minimum of a bracelet length.

I reckon it would look pretty and would look fabulous as a feature on someone’s living room or office wall.  Hopefully people would bid on that, it would raise publicity, people could donate something they find fun to make even if they don’t have the cash to donate, and it’s something lots of people are into at the minute. Any suggestions, ideas, feedback, offers of help would be most appreciated.

Even if you can’t donate or send a loom band, it would be so helpful if you could enter any competitions for loom bands on our behalf.  There’s a few listed at the bottom of this post if you would like to help that way.

If you want to donate a loom band, loom bands, or can offer any other kind of help, please feel free to email me at kay@rubbemonkeys.co.uk.

Darlek’s Just Giving Account is HERE, if you’d like to donate we’d be ever so grateful.

If you’re on Twitter there’s this one: Pls tweet Strand Shopping @ShoppingStrand Follow us to WIN a years supply of #LoomBands! All you have to do is tweet us your best #LoomBandSelfie!

There’s a competition here if you follow the link: HERE 

Or this one…    HERE (only 4 days left to enter this one so be quick!)

There is also one HERE. 

Thank you in advance! :O) x

 

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Get Your Belly Out for Crohns and Colitis!

Get Your Belly Out

for Crohns and Colitis!

Life takes guts

Have you heard about the #GetYourBellyOut campaign for Crohns and Colitis awareness?  Because if you haven’t then you’re missing out on one of the biggest, most fantastic, fun awareness/charity campaigns ever.  I really do have to tell you about it, because it’s brilliant.

#GetYourBellyOut for Crohns and Colitis!

#GetYourBellyOut for Crohns and Colitis!

I suffer with Ulcerative Colitis so this campaign is very close to my heart.  Thankfully I’m in remission at the minute – although the disease will never go away and I will have to take a cocktail of drugs for the rest of my life to keep it at bay.  But this in’t a sob story, this is a story about a lot of people uniting, being brave and facing their illness head on.

By way of explanation: Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD) are something that are not often spoken of, I suspect it’s because a lot of people are ashamed of the symptoms.  Basically your immune system attacks itself and IBD’s specifically target the bowel.  The inflammation and ulceration is so bad that many people spend hours and hours in a day or throughout the night on the loo, dealing with horrific cramping, blood loss and more.  This is if we’re lucky enough to get to a loo on time……which doesn’t always happen. The bowels cease to work properly and as a result get rid of food from the body as fast as is possible in most cases.  The symptoms are humiliating and embarrassing to put it mildly.    The phrase ‘Never Trust a Fart!’ could not be more appropriate.  Sad, but true! Some people end up with malnutrition because their bodies can’t absorb the nutrients from their food.  Chronic dihoerrhoea is common, as is anaemia from the amount of blood that is sometimes lost.  Ironically this often leads to weight loss, which, from experience makes people think we are healthier.  I lost about a stone and a half in a couple of months at one point and everyone kept commenting on how well I looked.  If only they knew!

This applies to UC as well unfortunately.

This applies to UC as well unfortunately, although the symptoms are slightly different as UC affects the lower bowel.

The really sad thing is that there is no cure.  Literally.  If you’re lucky you can get into remission with medication, many of which have their own unpleasant side effects.  If this isn’t possible Crohns sufferers have to deal with multiple surgeries to remove diseased bowel sections and people with UC end up with colostomy bags which bypass the bowel completely.  IBD and related complications, still claim lives even now, although thankfully this is rarer than it was in previous decades.  It’s nasty.

 

Anyway, enough of the’ Yuck’ stuff, and more of the ‘Yay!’ stuff.  The #GetYourBellyOut campaign celebrates the fight that IBD sufferers go through.  It’s also raising money to go towards finding a cure for IBD.  As I mentioned before, people are often so ashamed of having such a horrid disease and it’s not talked about.  I mean, who wants to admit they crapped themselves in Tesco?  This means that there’s very little awareness of IBD.  This campaign has gone a huge way towards changing that.

imaging.ashx

If you search for the hashtag #GetYourBellyOut on Facebook or Twitter, you will see a multitude of belly photographs: scarred from surgery, unscarred, with colostomy bags, without colostomy bags, tattooed, tanned, big ones, small ones, ones with faces drawn on them (that’s me!), all kinds of bellies with one thing in common, IBD.  Someone has even uploaded a photo of a daschund that suffers with canine colitis.  Fabulous!  People who actively suffer with IBD have joined in, and many others are simply showing their support for friends and family who have it.

More brave bellies!

More brave bellies!

It’s actually very moving.  Society is very body conscious.  Every magazine I see seems to shout about ‘How to get a beach body!’ or the best way to ‘Lose a stone in a fortnight!’ or ‘Get yourself a flat stomach!’ etc etc.  This can make even the most confident amongst us stare sadly at our reflections and sigh a little.  Well, imagine having a colostomy bag or being heavily scarred because your bowels had a hissy fit and wouldn’t work anymore… and being faced with that.  You’d think it might make already physically wounded people, even more emotionally wounded and ashamed of their appearance.  But not necessarily.  Many UC and Crohns survivors are in fact proud of their battle scars and their colostomy bag.  They fought their disease and are still fighting.  The marks on their body are the outward signs of an inward battle, which they are facing proudly and with dignity.

The Get Your Belly Out campaign shows this so clearly.  IBD is usually a hidden disease, kept behind closed toilet doors for the most part. This campaign has changed that, you can actually SEE the people who are usually forced to hide their symptoms because they are so embarrassing and awful.  Please, please, please browse the myriad of photos online and see how many people it has affected, read their brave, determined messages and if you’re anything like me, get a lump in your throat.  You can also donate if you so wish by texting IBDA99 & your donation to 70070 or via Just Giving, the link is HERE.   You could even #GetYourBellyOut, post a pic online and show your support that way, you don’t have to have IBD to take part. I’d love it so much if you did.  This innovative, amazing campaign has raised £1470.00 so far and it all goes towards beating this horrid disease.

Keep in touch with this amazing campaign by liking the GetYourBellyOut Facebook page.  

Heartfelt thanks for reading all of this. It means more to me than you know.

This is my belly, it is happy because it is in remission.  This was done in permanent marker and I can't wash it off. Doh.

This is my belly, it is happy because it is in remission. This was done in permanent marker and I can’t wash it off. Doh.

MoneySupermarket and The Retail Royalty Challenge

MoneySupermarket and The Retail Royalty Challenge

Last year I took part in a blogging challenge set by MoneySupermarket, and although I had every good intention, I never got around to blogging the results.  Here they are!  Finally.  Yes I’m crap.

I was given £31.26 and the idea was to spend that as wisely as possible in a way that supported a local charity.  Over the last couple of years I’ve been involved with PostPals, so they seemed to be the obvious choice.  There’s a little girl called Poppy on the PostPals site, she has multiple health issues, almost too many to list – a few of which are pseudo obstruction, Pancreatis, and she’s waiting for a small bowel transplant.  She’s only 7 years old and, having two kids of my own, it makes me sad to think of her going through so much when she’s so young.  Here’s her page if you’d like to find out more about her on the Post Pals site: Poppy

Apparently she’s a huge Postman Pat fan, so I decided to cheer her up with a couple of playsets.  I found two from John Lewis that included a ‘Postman Pat Sorting Office’ and a ‘Postman Pat Office Playset.’

postman-pat-sds-sorting-office-playset-110

Moneysupermarket

*Sings* “Postman Pat, Postman Pat! Postman Pat ran over his…..” I’ll stop there shall I?

I’d spent a while trying to find a Postman Pat fancy dress outfit for her, but it proved near impossible.  Then Libby from The Dressing Up Chest came to my rescue, or should I say to Poppy’s rescue.  And because she’s an absolute love, she made her a beautiful quality, Postman Pat outfit and wouldn’t accept a penny for her trouble either.  How lovely is that!  All of these items were posted straight to Poppy’s home address with the aim of brightening her day a little.

Here it is:

All Poppy needs now is a black and white puss cat called Jess, but I think I'll leave that to her parents

All Poppy needs now is a black and white puss cat called Jess.

I’ve bought a Spiderman outfit for my son from The Dressing Up Chest and a few other bits and pieces too, so I can vouch for her excellent customer service and how sweet she is too.  Libby makes absolutely gorgeous clothes, with care and attention and a lot of talent.  Please do drop by her page and take a look.

If you want to find out more about the Retail Royalty, MoneySupermarket challenge you can click HERE .

Fundraising Success for Post Pals!

FundRaising Success for Post Pals!

Post Pals - Putting a Smile on Childrens Faces

Go on, you know you want to!

A while ago I posted a blog about Post Pals, and how they were trying to fund a day out at Chessington World of Adventures for some of the families.  Here’s the update!

It was the weekend of the Post Pals’ 10 year birthday celebration, ten years of making children smile!  Something they are rightly proud of.  In previous years they’d hosted an all expenses paid (well funded by the charity) weekend party, including a day of activities, fun and treats for any of the Post Pals kids that could attend – and they also arranged for the children to spend a day at Chessington, thanks to free tickets provided by a business.

Happy Birthday to you! Happy Birthday to you!  Happy Birthday dear Post Pals!  Happy Birthday to Yooooou!!!!!!  (Please clap wildly)

Happy Birthday to you! Happy Birthday to you! Happy Birthday dear Post Pals! Happy Birthday to Yooooou!!!!!! (Please clap wildly)

Unfortunately this year, although the party was due to go ahead with its usual gusto, the tickets weren’t forthcoming.  The business was unable to provide the free tickets and the cost of sending these children to Chessington was just too much for most families to afford. This was a huge shame as many of the children are very poorly and it might have been, quite literally, their last chance to go along for this amazing day out. So… I decided I’d try to help out.

In true Kay fashion, I blogged about it.  I mean, what use is a blog if you can’t ‘do’ something with it.  It was a Friday, the Post Pals celebration was on the Saturday and the day out at Chessington was supposed to be on the Sunday, so it was Urgent with a capital U.  I tweeted, offered to blog for people, Facebooked myself silly and was a complete pest for 24 hours in total.  Because my friends are amazing, or maybe because they were willing to hand over donations just to get me to shut up……..we raised enough for all 8 tickets, plus £10 extra for ice-creams.  Each ticket cost £30 so the grand total was £250.  Wow.

Finlay, Olivia and Jake enjoying the sunshine!

Finlay, Olivia and Jack enjoying the sunshine at Chessington World of Adventures!

I could not believe how generous people were.  So many people worked so hard to generate these funds so quickly.  People linked to the blog post, re-tweeted the appeal on Twitter, shared it on Facebook, emailed friends and businesses and most importantly, donated too.  All I can say is that you lot are the bees knees, the dogs dangly bits and a force to be reckoned with.  Thank you.

Tram

All aboard for fun and frolics!

I’d just like to mention Gringa Dairies, even though they said I didn’t have to.  There were so many people who donated, I’d love to mention them all, but I suspect they’d be a little embarrassed.  Gringa Dairies are a business and so I feel a little more comfortable about naming and proclaiming their wonderfulness.  Apparently they make lurvely mexican cheese in South East London made from organic milk from a farm in Kent.  It sounds lush and all their queso fresco cheese is made by hand with the help of ethical and sustainable methods.  They’re obviously a business with a heart.  Go buy some cheese from them!

Gringa

Say Cheese! Or go one better, and buy cheeeeese!

Your generosity helped people like Connor have a fabulous day out.

Your generosity helped people like Connor have a fabulous day out.

Life is not all hearts and flowers, it’s tough for many of us.  It’s especially tough for these kids who suffer so much at such a young age.  This is why I was so touched at the response to this, even though people and businesses struggle so much to make ends meet sometimes, you still put your hands in your pockets and gave whatever you could afford and YOU MADE IT HAPPEN!  You made the memories for these kids and you’re the kind of people that make this world a better place.

Connor and Peppa Pig say thank you!  (and oink, probably)

Connor and Peppa Pig say thank you! (and oink, probably)

A Quick Question

A Quick Question

** Update at 7pm.  Today we’ve had  £120 worth of tickets bought for these kids, that’s 4 kids who will be having  the time of their lives tomorrow!   Still trying and hoping for more though.  Quick!  Only got until tomorrow!**

**Update at 7.30pm The total has risen to £155, so that’s 5 and a bit tickets to Chessington World of Adventures.  How amazing are you lot!!!!**

**Update at 8pm Whoopdedoo! We’re up to £170 now, if we can manage just another £10 more we’ll have 6 tickets!  Come on!!!!**

**Update at 10pm. I can’t believe it, we have raised enough for eight children to go tomorrow! That’s £240, I’ve been asking for help on Facebook as well as Twitter and I’m just astounded at people’s generosity.  I think I might be speechless/wordless, and that doesn’t happen very often.  After the children have been on the trip, I’ve been given permission to post photographs, so you can all see what you’ve donated towards.  Thank you so much x 100000. :O)

**Update at 10.30pm. It just gets better and better!  Someone has just donated £10 so they can have ice-cream on their day out.  Awww… So that makes it £250.  Wow!

I saw a status on Facebook this morning that I just couldn’t ignore, I can’t personally help as we’re struggling ourselves, but I was wondering if anyone else would be able to do anything?  I am willing to offer something in return, please read on!

Tinsel

Every year PostPals has an annual party for all the children they support, and in previous years they’ve all gone for a trip out to Chessington on the same weekend, with tickets donated from a company.  This year the company has not been able to donate tickets so some families can’t afford to take their children.  For some of these kids , this will quite literally be the last time they will ever have this opportunity again.

These are photographs of some of the children that PostPals support, I’m not sure who is in need of tickets, but these are just a reminder of the great work PostPals does and who they support.  If you want to find out a bit more about this charity please click here: POST PALS 

FlagThey are looking for 4 disabled childrens’ tickets and 7 under 12 childrens’ tickets.  All are priced at approximately £30 a ticket, but the disabled ones allow an adult carer free also.  The problem is, it is this Saturday, as in tomorrow so it’s really short notice.  I know it’s really pushing it, but….

In return for a donation, I will happily write you a blog post advertising your lovely business / blog / products, or I’ll include pictures of your dog, favourite mug…..anything.  I’ll write about any subject of your choice even.  I’ll put anything on here (as long a it’s not lewd!)  if you make a donation so these kids can have a fun day out.  I’ll splash these blog posts across my social networks too.  Please help!

If you do want to help, please contact me on kay@rubbermonkeys.co.uk or comment on this blog post with a Twitter ID (not your email address, you’ll get spammed to death)  and I’ll get all the details so you can donate to PostPals.  If you can do anything to help, these kids will be so grateful.

It’s a Friday, get that Friday feeling by doing something lovely for someone else. x  Please.

(I’m offering 300 words on any subject of your choice and two photographs, can’t be bad!)

Where Did All The Penguins Go?

Where Did All The Penguins Go?

Post Pals - Putting a Smile on Childrens Faces

You may have wondered about how the Penguin Amnesty and how it all worked out.  When all’s said and done, I posted out approximately 6o donations of penguins and penguin merchandise to poorly kids and with the help of Parcels For Delivery and their wonderful Round Up Your Pound campaign, we raised £852.19…..£100 of which was donated by them as part of their annual Christmas donation.

You'll just have to imagine muffled penguin squarking that was going on at that point. They were so excited about going to their new homes!

You’ll just have to imagine muffled penguin squarking that was going on at that point. They were so excited about going to their new homes!

Here is a link to their page which outlines how Parcels for Delivery supported the Penguin Amnesty.  They are simply amazing and if you’re ever going to post a parcel, they’re the company to post it with!  Love ’em!

And…if you’d like a nosey at the penguins people kindly donated, and the mischief they got up to, have a look HERE! 

This penguin would like to say thank you for all your donations, unfortunately he's drunk so he can't string a sentence together so I'm saying thank you on his behalf..

This penguin would like to say thank you for all your donations, unfortunately he’s drunk so he can’t string a sentence together so I’m saying thank you on his behalf.

It was one of the strangest, most successful charity blogging projects I’ve ever been involved with and it seriously restored my faith in people and their capacity for selfless giving.  Thank you so much.  I still have some penguin prizes to send out, and although they are terribly, awfully late (in typical me stylee) they will be posted at some point.  I have not forgotten.

To say thank you, I’d like to run a competition, my good friend Jo (@humanb3an) donated a penguin costume which you can see here:

Does my bum look big in this?

Does my bum look big in this?

It is a grown up size penguin costume so I couldn’t send it to any of the children so the plan was to use it for publicity purposes only.  With that in mind, if you would like to own your very fabulous penguin outfit, please simply comment on the blog to say that you will visit the Post Pals page and at the very least think about sending something to a PostPals kid.  That’s all you have to do.    I’ve decided to post out a brand new penguin outfit directly from Amazon to the winner who will be chosen on the 1st June.  Here’s a link to the prize!  Don’t you think this would be fabulous for Halloween (you could be a zombie penguin or something) or for a kid’s party?

Please do enter the competition and show your support for the fabulous work that PostPals do.  Thanks a million, billion, trillion to the myriad of businesses that donated to this project.  You should all be very proud of what you helped to achieve.  Thank you.  Hugs, squeezes and penguin kisses, Kay :O) xxxxx

Pass it On….

Pass it On…

Years ago my mum got on a bus, when she reached into her pocket for her fare she realised she didn’t have any money to pay.   A woman behind her in the queue noticed her scrabbling for change and kindly offered to pay for her.  My mum thought this was very generous and asked for her address so she could repay her at a later date.   In reply, this woman simply told her to ‘pass it on,’ explaining that she didn’t owe her anything and that she should simply pass on the good deed to someone else when the time arose.

This is a little story my mum told me years ago and it has always stuck with me.  It’s a life lesson that I love.  A simple random act of kindness can make such a difference to people.  This unknown woman on a bus was nice to my mum, my mum told me about it, and now I try to live by this rule – so you could say her small act of kindness has echoed down the years, completely unbeknown to her.

I’m not saying I’m an angel, because I’m not.  I’m devious, self centred, lazy, bossy, thoughtless and lots of other things, but I’m also very conscious of what little I do can make a difference so I should always at least try to be a better person.  I make mistakes, as do we all, and I’m sorry for them, but I’m aware that I can change and that I should never just shrug my shoulders and accept my faults without putting up a bit of a fight. I can make a difference in this little world of mine and I’m going to get all preachy now, but I think it’s so important for us all to remember that we are not passive, powerless and unable to make this world a better place.

The other day the TV was blaring out in the living room and I suddenly realised that I was purposefully staring out of the window and trying not to pay attention to pictures of starving children and requests from Save The Children for funds because it made me feel bad, and because I felt hopeless to do anything for them. It’s not like we’re a rich family, we get by, but we struggle in our own way.  If I gave money to every charity that asked me for a donation, we’d be on the breadline too. I told myself that at the time, and then felt ashamed of myself.  I still haven’t donated even now and I am even more ashamed as a result.  But I do know that the next time I see one of their collection boxes I will drop a penny or two in, it’ll ease my conscience a little which is selfish really, but I’ll do it regardless.

Every day we are given choices.  We choose whether we help or not, whether that be by giving money or time or resources.  Sometimes we physically can’t do anything, but that shouldn’t stop us stopping and at least thinking about the very least that we can do.  A tiny, insignificant thing really can make a difference.  It’s not just giving to charity either, it’s about trying to be a light in a very dark world sometimes.   I’ve watched the news and cried at the state of things, I know that’s overdramatic, but I don’t think anyone with a heart hasn’t felt the burden of feeling useless in the face of a world that just seems to be so completely unfair.

‘I’m just one person, amongst billions, it’s just hopeless’  It’s this thought that makes me angry.  I think like this all the time, but I refuse to believe it, it’s not the way I want to live my life, it is a lie.  I’m not a politician changing a nation, I’m not a scientist making groundbreaking discoveries that can change lives, I don’t wrench plastic bags from the mouths of dolphins, I don’t live in a mud shack in Africa teaching kids how to read…..I’m just me.  A middle aged housewife, a scruffy one at that, living in a terrace, banging out blogs that only a few will have the patience to read.  But I don’t care, I’ll do this anyway.  Just being me, is a lot.  I do have a voice and I will make a difference, even if it’s only in a very small way.

I have a son and a daughter and I want to pass on this passion to them.  I can’t pair their socks up half the time, but I can teach them to be kind and to listen to other people when they need someone to talk to.  When someone is bullied and no-one has the courage to stand up for them, I want my children to be the ones who defend them.  They won’t be perfect and I never will be either, but I want them to try to be the best they possibly can be – and always to know that the simple act of trying is enough.

I physically can’t give to all the charities that ask for help, I can’t rescue all the sick animals, I can’t take away the guns that kill people in all these pointless wars I keep hearing about – but what I can do is try to raise my children in the best possible way I can.  I want them to ‘pass it on’ and by way of small acts of kindness, make a difference.   I’ll never be a career woman or ‘successful’ in the eyes of many, but if I manage to do this for my children and for others then I’ll have done my bit.

This is how I ‘pass it on.’  What do you do?

I’ve included this YouTube video, because it’s full of little things that people do that brighten life.