The power of communities to drive positive change in our world is awe-inspiring. These stories from charities that are part of the Zazzle Giving Program are a testament to their positive impact on thousands of people.
Lupo of Elmhurst, Illinois, was diagnosed with neuroblastoma (an aggressive pediatric cancer) in May 2002. He was a brave little boy who enjoyed making artwork and was proud to see our family display his projects on the refrigerator and throughout our home. Despite a very hard-fought 18-month battle with this disease, Jack Lupo passed away on December 21, 2003, at the age of 5 years. Our family has chosen not to focus on this very painful loss, but rather to be grateful for the 5 years we were blessed to have Jack in our lives and to honor his memory by working to find a cure for this horrible disease. We can’t change what happened in the past, but we can work to change what happens in the future for others still fighting and for those yet to enter the world of childhood cancer. We’re hoping and praying that a cure will be found so that no other child and no other family will ever again have to experience the wretchedness of this disease. Thank you so much for helping us with this effort, which is so very personal to us!
- The Lupo Family Visit the store
a leader and innovator in involving kids in charitable pursuits, Save the Children enables budding philanthropists to respond to the needs of the world’s young people through very creative methods. Since the mid-1980’s the charity has invited children to enter their artwork into a twice-yearly contest with the winners getting not only a $500 savings bond, but the unique honor of potentially seeing their designs translated into a range of licensed products with the royalties going to help children in need, around the world and in the US. From the over 15,000 entrees received throughout the years, Save the Children has built an impressive design library.
For many years, Save the Children has understood the importance of involving children in efforts to help others. For example, earlier this year, about $1 in every $10 of private funds raised by Save the Children for its tsunami response was donated by children. But involvement doesn’t necessarily mean giving cash. Save the Children’s unique approach hinges on the premise that children can give in ways other than monetary, including through their creativity and imagination. The art contest was devised to put that theory into practice. “Children’s innate creativity and goodwill can help others in a meaningful way,” said Lori Redmer, associate vice president, Global Corporate Partnerships, Save the Children. “Through the art contest, we show kids that they can make a huge difference in the lives of those less fortunate. And introducing children early to the importance of helping others can provide youngsters with important lessons they can use throughout their lives.”
Contest winners are selected by staff members from the charity and chosen for theme, creativity and adaptability to a product line. Over the course of this program, over three hundred designs have been chosen. Royalties from these products typically support Save the Children’s global mission. Today, selections from this collection are available in the Save the Children Zazzle Store.
“AM has impacted my life in many ways. After 4 collapsed lungs I was finally diagnosed. I began using oxygen three years ago and have slowly become more dependent. I’m now on the lung transplant list. Some days I have plenty of energy and some days it is difficult to do much at all, but I always look forward to the ’good’ days.”
- Sun Hwa Gearhart Visit the store
Steve Young had his first experience with EB children a few years ago when asked to narrate a musical benefit concert supporting the research of epidermolysis bullosa. Because the disease causes wounds and deformities of the hands, many of the children found it too painful to applaud. One child immediately grabbed Steve’s heart. His name was Ben Gibson and he held a tape recorder on his lap. At the end of each song, Ben would press the “play” button on his tape recorder and thunderous applause would emerge from the speakers. What heart! Ben had found a way to participate when his sore and bandaged hands prevented applause.
After the concert, Steve Young was scheduled to spend 15 minutes with the children. Lynn Anderson, president of EBMRF was “absolutely amazed at Steve’s ability to immediately connect with these fragile and bandaged kids. He became an instant personal friend to each child.” Finding himself short of autographed pictures, he sprinted to the car for more. Steve visited with the children for nearly an hour loving them, encouraging them, and giving them “forever” memories.
Lynn and Gary Anderson lost 2 Children to Epidermolysis Bullosa; Chuck, who died at 27 of skin cancer, a side effect of the disease, and Christine who died of heart failure at only 14 years old. Incredibly, Lynn and Gary were able to turn the grief of their loss into a positive energy. Lynn called upon the doctors and specialists that had cared for their children for years and together they began the EB Medical Research Foundation to fund the research for a cure. According to long time personal friend and volunteer to the Foundation, “Lynn’s spirit is one of the most amazing you will ever see. She is a true angel. Always full of love and thoughtfulness for others. She is a fantastic example to anyone about turning heartache into love for others.”
Thanks to the EB Medical Research Foundation there have been enormous strides in EB research; the EB gene has even been isolated. There is great hope for future families and children with EB. While funding of the search the cure continues to be the biggest priority, many families have been united, supported, and assisted by Lynn and Gary Anderson and their determination to help others.
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