andrew, myles, maggie and owen

About 12,060 children in the United States under the age of 15 will be diagnosed with cancer in 2012.

Meet our friend Andrew…

We wanted to share our son Andrew’s story around filling his “Ben box” this summer. After the Brave event we chatted a lot about the blue box and how we might fill it up. I suggested we sell some of Andrew’s toys he doesn’t play with anymore or has outgrown (yes this does have benefit for Mom too in de-cluttering the house). This did not go over well, but after putting some toys aside and pointing out after a week that he had not missed them he decided to give it a go. I also found some non-toy items we don’t use anymore (Andrew’s old booster seat, backpack etc.) and told him if they sold he could add that money to his box. We are waiting to get a grand total until the end of the month (still two things in Craig’s list we are hoping to sell) but sold a few items for $100 all the way down to $10 do his old fire truck.

(check out Andrew’s “coin” box – haha!)

Along the way there were other learning experiences…when giving a bag of hand me down clothes to his cousin Andrew asked how much money he was getting for them. When having a dispute with his little sister about her being allowed to draw on his art table he declared, “Fine! If she gets to draw on it I’m just going to sell it for my Ben box!” Lots of lessons along the way – most important is beginning to understand what fundraising for a cause is and “helping the sick kids” as Andrew explains to anyone that asks what the box is for. At the Brave event Andrew’s dad said he would match the money he made in his box as incentive so Andrew is extra excited to remind his dad of that when he figures out his grand total.

*Thank you Andrew! I think you might have a future in sales or financing – haha! Your fundraising efforts are amazing!

Across town Andrew’s cousins Myles, Maggie and Owen were hard at work…

As September 23rd approaches my kids (mostly my 4yr old twins, and sort of my 2yr old) were worried we needed to fill up our “Ben boxes” more. So we decided to have their very first lemonade stand! It was wonderful to see their enthusiasm to help other children. Slowly over the evening the whole neighborhood caught wind of our stand and within a few hours we had the whole block helping!

Christian, Charlie, Cooper, Myles, Owen, Tyler, Griffin, Maddie, Maggie

*Our heartfelt thanks to all these incredible young people for their great ideas and efforts! And our gratitude to their parents for their willingness to cast a vision for their children and then assist them in their endeavors. These stories, as well as many others we have heard, are amazing examples of family philanthropy – and incredibly inspiring to us. And there are more to come!