Hawk Olympics

As some of you are aware one of the members of our team/my older sister has Down syndrome. When Jessica was in school she attended our local Special Olympics and competed with/against other students with special needs within our own school district as well as the surrounding districts.

This event has always held a special place in not only Jessica’s heart but in our family’s. If there is a Special Olympics local to you, you really should make a point to attend. Even if it’s just for an hour. This event is so fun but also so humbling. There are children and young adults of all ages from different schools and districts competing in various events (such as track, softball throw, long jump, etc) for place ribbons. Even though these young people are competing they are incredibly supportive of one another. You will see students standing on the sidelines cheering on their peers and sometimes kids that they don’t even know. For me as a child I learned a lot by being on the bleachers and cheering my sister on. Watching these kids support each other taught me what being a good and supportive friend was and also taught me about kindness and humbleness.

I attended everyone of Jessica’s Special Olympics since I was very young all the way up to Jessica’s graduation. When Jessica graduated high school she was no longer able to attend the Special Olympics since it is designed for school age children. Numerous years have gone by that we have not been able to watch her participate; as the years have gone by for one reason or another there is no longer a local Special Olympics so our school district and some of the surrounding districts no longer are able to participate.

Within the last few years the Life Skills teacher at our local high school from the Special Olympics back with the “Hawk Olympics” (our mascot is a Hawk) which not only includes the children within the district who have special needs but also the children who are in learning support classes. This event is not just for our district though; she has taken is a step further and included other districts in the day. So essentially; it’s the Special Olympics by a different name.

My younger brother is in learning support classes so he is able to attend the Hawk Olympics as an athlete. This year was Hank’s second year attending and our second year cheering him and his peers on. As the Hawk Olympics approached this year Jessica expressed a desire to want to donate or do something for the students of our school district. We eventually landed on the idea of making the students water bottles. So Jessica and I sat down and worked on making a personalized water bottle for each Hawk student who would be attending. We are both so proud of how they turned out and so proud of our school’s students for all their hard work and team work that they displayed during the Hawk Olympics.

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If you’re interested in learning more about the Special Olympics you can check out their website here.

**Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored nor is it affiliated with the Special Olympics organization or the Hawk Olympics. The views expressed in this post are the views of the author.
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Soda Tab Donations for the Ronald McDonald House

Hello Everyone!

I wanted to share something that is dear to me with you.

During my senior year at Alvernia I joined the Lion’s Club. Throughout the year we did many fundraisers and one of my favorites was collecting soda can tabs to donate to our local Ronald McDonald House. My family and some friends have continued to collect these tabs even after the deadline of the fundraiser and I have decided to ask your help!

First off, I thought I could share some info with you about what the Ronald McDonald house does, and what the purpose is of collecting these tabs.

The Ronald McDonald House in Hershey PA focuses on keeping families together during a child’s illness. In other words, families who are not from the Hershey area and have a child who is seriously ill usually would have to travel long distances and frequently to get their child the treatment they need at Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital. The Ronald McDonald House recognizes this and offers temporary free housing to these families so that they can stay together during such a difficult time.

Aside from providing the temporary housing, the Ronald McDonald House also offers comfortable family-friendly lounges as well as something called a Hospitality Cart that volunteers bring around to the families and offer them refreshments, arts & crafts, and personal items as well as many other things.

Everything that the Ronald McDonald house offers is absolutely free which is why they need donations and this is where the soda can tab collection comes in to place.

The Ronald McDonald House began their soda tab collection program in 1996; they sell the tabs to recycling companies in their local area and use the money for all the services they provide to children and their families.

If you’re willing to help with donating tabs there’s just a few things you need to know:

First, they can only accept aluminum tabs, not plastic or steel tabs. The tabs don’t have to just come from soda cans, aluminum tabs are on most carbonated beverages and some soup cans have aluminum tabs as well!

If you want a container to save your tabs in let me know, otherwise you can use any container you have. I’ve received tabs in old pill bottles, ziploc bags, empty coffee containers, etc. Anything will do! If you’re a carbonated beverage drinker then this is perfect for you! You don’t have to buy anything special or extra, just pop the tab off of your can when you’re finished! So easy!

My plan is to take these to the Ronald McDonald House in the beginning of July. I don’t have a date set in stone yet because I want to see how many people will be willing to donate first; once I know how many people are willing to help I can then give everyone a more definitive date. I’m willing to have tabs mailed to me (I can pay postage if you’d like) or to pick them up if you’re local.

If you have any questions feel free to get in touch with me or another member of Cherished Cottage; thank you!

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Hello everyone and welcome to our first post!

Breast cancer awareness is very important to our family, Lisa my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer in October of 2010. Lisa was a rare case for the hospital were she received treatments because she did not just have breast cancer, she also has cerebral palsy. At the time of Lisa’s diagnosis we had also just gone through the process of adopting my two younger siblings so this was an extraordinarily tough time for our family. Every one pitched in and pulled their own weight to make sure the little ones were taken care of and that my mother was doing well. She sure was a fighter! This October is also particularly important because it marks Lisa’s 5 year remission!! In honor of Lisa and everyone else who has been affected by this horrible disease we have decided to donate $2 for every order that is $19 and under and $5 for every order that is $20 and more! Please join us in this donation and feel free to comment on your experiences.