New Oxford, PA — May 22, 2017 —The continued generosity of individuals and corporations across the United States has allowed the Children’s Cancer Recovery Foundation’s (CCRF) Bear-Able Gift Program, to put smiles on the faces of children living with cancer. Those smiles help to make the life of a child with cancer more bearable and hopeful while receiving treatment.
During the 2nd quarter, the Bear-Able Gift Program delivered 8,745 toys and gifts to 32 hospitals across the country to help brighten the lives of 2,915 children living with cancer. Volunteers from a local family, Girl Scout Troop 80093, GFWC Mechanicsburg, and Fulton Bank assisted the CCRF staff in packing and shipping each Bear-Able Gift!
The Bear-Able Gift Program distributes items such as games, toys, crayons, coloring books, video games, puzzles, books and teddy bears — all kinds of things that make children smile — to hospitals and oncology centers across the country. The program makes CCRF the largest supplier of gifts to children in North America who have cancer. It relies solely on donations of new and unwrapped toys.
There are a number of ways in which individuals and businesses can help support CCRF’s Bear-Able Gift Program; they include sponsoring a toy drive or raising or donating funds. For more information, please visit www.childrenscancerrecovery.org/programs/bearable-gifts/, or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Although we are only six months into our yearlong partnership with the Children’s Cancer Recovery Foundation, we have already gained so many unique life lessons that are sure to have a lasting impact on the Renewal by Andersen team!
Here’s a look at five valuable lessons we have taken to heart as a result of our monthly volunteering activities with this amazing organization.
1. Organization is everything!
CCRF has a warehouse of literally thousands of toys for every age-range and it is meticulously organized to make pulling and shipping inventory as efficient as possible. While this level of organization is impressive, to say the least, we quickly learned why it had to be. Keeping track of inventory and finding what you need, when you need it, would be impossible otherwise.
After helping to organize this massive inventory, we hope to apply these skills to some of those junk drawers and cluttered closest we have at home!
2. Spending time together outside of work really helps you to get to know one another.
The Renewal by Andersen team has always felt like a family, but since we have partnered with CCRF to volunteer with them at least once per month, we have found that those family ties have grown even stronger. The conversations we shared while packing toys and writing thank you notes allowed us to catch up with one another on a much more personal note. Plus, when you work together for a greater cause, you really experience a deeper bond!
3. Put forth your best effort, regardless of what is asked.
During one particular volunteer event, we were asked to move and clean a bunch of odd items like paintings, purses, and antiques. Surely these weren’t going to be shipped to children, so what was their purpose? We found out that these items were going to be sold at a community yard sale to raise money for CCRF. What a great way to repurpose these items! This experience taught us not to question or underestimate the purpose of a task. It’s important to trust the person leading you and to do your best, regardless of what is asked.
4. Offering a helping hand is so simple, but can accomplish so much.
The time we spend volunteering with CCRF is merely an afternoon out of our month. Plus, we truly enjoy helping this wonderful organization! The life lesson we learned from this was that helping someone, even if only for a few hours here and there, can have a profound impact. Without our help, some of the shipments may not have been fulfilled on time, meaning there would be children who would not receive a new toy to help lift their spirits when they need it the most. We hope that this spills over into other parts of our lives as we continue to offer a helping hand to our families, friends, and community.
5. Some of the smallest people are heroically fighting huge battles.
The final life lesson we learned from partnering with CCRF was the devastating reality that there are small children who are fighting the biggest battle anyone could imagine fighting – the battle for their lives. This really put into perspective that some of the problems we feel we are facing, really aren’t that big after all. It changed our attitude and made us grateful for all that we have, including our health. It also gave us a deeper calling to continue to help CCRF and the many children it benefits!
RBA Continues to Volunteer Time at Children’s Cancer Recovery Foundation
If you’ve been following our yearlong journey of partnering with the Harrisburg-based nonprofit, Children’s Cancer Recovery Foundation (CCRF), you know that the Renewal by Andersen team has been volunteering hours of their time each month to help give back in various ways.
During the month of May, a small, but dedicated team of RBA employees teamed up to pack more than 3,000 toys that will be shipped to 1,200 children. Fourteen hospitals across the nation will receive these special packages and distribute them to their child patients who need as much support and love as they can get right now as they fight for their lives against the devastating diagnosis of cancer.
Every quarter, CCRF allows hospitals to place toy orders for specific patients or to help replenish their playrooms so children can enjoy some much-needed distraction during their treatments. For the second quarter in 2016, toys were requested from 42 hospitals and oncology centers across the country for approximately 3,625 children.
On Sunday, May 22, the RBA team created gift bags to fulfill 14 of those 42 orders. In total, this will provide 1,200 children with new toys to lift their spirits and bring a smile to their faces! With every child receiving approximately 3 toys each, that’s a grand total of 3,600 toys that RBA helped to pull from inventory and carefully pack so that each child received a care package custom tailored to their age and interests.
Although RBA aims to help out at CCRF each month, every experience has been a unique one. Last month, the team helped complete several, smaller tasks like hand writing donor thank you notes and moving preparing items to be sold at the Foundation’s community yard sale. This month was different in that a large, single task required all the time and attention of the team to complete. It’s also one of the most important tasks that helps CCRF to meet its core mission.
Without the help of volunteers, like RBA, the task of shipping out more than 3,000 would be impossible for the small CCRF staff to complete by themselves. And of course the task of shipping out toys is what directly impacts the thousands of children who rely upon CCRF to lift their spirits in a time of great need!
It’s safe to say that the month of May proved to be another successful and fulfilling experience for both RBA and CCRF as part of their yearlong partnership. There will be more exciting events and activities to come over the summer, so stay tuned as we continue to share our journey!
RBA Continues to Volunteer Time at Children’s Cancer Recovery Foundation
Renewal by Anderson of Central PA has done a lot of work with different charity organizations throughout the years. However, this year they decided to try something a little different and select one organization to partner up with for all of 2016 to really focus their efforts. They chose a great national charity organization called Children’s Cancer Recovery Foundation (CCRF), which happens to be headquartered right here in Central PA. On Sunday, April 24, the Renewal by Andersen team again volunteered their time to help CCRF complete some very important tasks to help them keep their operations running smoothly.
Read what one RBA team member had to say about her first-hand experience volunteering with CCRF…
Walking up to the building that hosts the CCRF headquarters, I could tell this was going to be a great experience. As you enter the front of the building you are greeted by a pristine reception area which displays the foundation’s core values. I was able to familiarize myself with the organization by first taking a tour of the facility. The office-type environment ultimately leads to a very well organized warehouse that stores mostly children’s toys, crafts, books and stuffed animals. I was in awe of the magnitude of this operation that mainly runs by the help of volunteers!
It was a beautiful Sunday afternoon, so it was a bonus that the warehouse space had its back doors lifted to allow for a nice spring breeze to enter the space. There was a main table set up with a sign that said “RBA” surrounded by three different stations for mailing out thank you notes. I also noticed an entire room filled with empty boxes and the overwhelming number of children’s toys. I was eager to find out what we would actually be doing that day!
As other employees and their families began to filter into the warehouse, you could tell morale was high and everyone was excited to be there for this event. We were given our first task which was to go “shopping” in the warehouse and pull toys to send to specific children. Each child requesting a toy, who had been diagnosed with cancer, had their own paper with details about their age, gender and what toys they might like. From there, we had the pleasure of pulling a variety of items we thought would brighten their day the most. It goes without saying that we tried to go above and beyond their expectations!
After all the lists were fulfilled, the RBA volunteers sent out a total of 11 different boxes to 10 different states across the country. It was such a neat experience to know that the thought we put into these gifts would be appreciated from coast to coast!
Another mass undertaking that the RBA team completed was stuffing mailers for donor “thank you” letters. CCRF relies mostly on large, corporate donations to help fund their operations so this was a very important task to properly thank them and encourage their continued support. Though this took quite a bit of time, it was nice to see fellow team members turning this into a fun memory by talking with one another, making jokes and socializing.
The final task asked of us for the day really got us engaged! We were asked to carry an office full of items out onto the warehouse floor. We were very curious as to what the vast and varied items were going to be used for. I saw paintings, purses and antiques just to name a few. Our CCRF host explained that the items were all donations from a thrift store of things that didn’t sell over a period of time. The donations were the now the property of the foundation’s to do with what they like, so they decided to host a yard sale and put the profits back into the organization. The RBA volunteers helped with cleaning up the items and pricing them for the upcoming yard sale. What a great idea!
Overall, it was a fun and uplifting day. I look forward to seeing what other events are in store for us as RBA continues to help CCRF on an ongoing basis through 2016. It’s safe to say everyone had a great time volunteering their Sunday afternoon at CCRF and spending time with fellow co-workers and their families all while helping give back to the community!
The Renewal by Andersen staff again teamed up to volunteer their Sunday afternoon at the Harrisburg-based nonprofit, Children’s Cancer Recovery Foundation (CCRF). What we experienced felt like a kid’s dream come true!
CCRF’s warehouse is filled with rows and rows of shelves that are neatly and carefully organized with toys for every possible age and interest. Such an inventory of toys is made possible through generous donations from businesses and members of the community who empathize with just how difficult it must be for a child to be given the diagnosis of cancer.
These toys, which are shipped out nationwide as part of the Bear-Able Gift Program, help to comfort children and take their mind off what must be such a scary and uncertain time for them and their families.
Our staff spent hours assisting with CCRF’s Q1 inventory, counting, tracking and moving toys as necessary. It’s a tedious, but very important job that allows the nonprofit to stay organized, efficient and one step ahead of the many requests for toys that flood their headquarters on a regular basis.
As much as the time we volunteer with CCRF each month helps to provide much needed manpower to this tiny, but mighty organization, we are just as fortunate to have this experience bring us closer together as a team! We shared a lot of laughs and made new memories that day. Being together outside the office and working toward a common and selfless goal helped to remind us what makes our employees so special!
The best part of this whole experience was that this massive inventory of toys, which felt like it was right out of a kid’s dream, is all going to help make thousands of kid’s smile during a time when they need it the most!
We look forward to again volunteering our time with CCRF in April and will be sure to share highlights of our yearlong charitable partnership with this awesome organization! Click here to read about our experience from February.