Goes To 11

Dose Of Happy: A Job Well Done

There's a great satisfaction in a job well-done. 

It's even sweeter when that job is a personal passion. 

I volunteer here at The Band Back Together Project not for the glory or a fat paycheck. I give of myself without compensation for two big reasons:

1) I believe that sharing my stories gives my life a purpose. Through sharing I am helping myself to heal as well as possibly helping someone else.

2) I passionately believe that we are changing the world. With each resource page, story shared, or comment we are showing the world that these topics matter and they shouldn't be kept in the dark. We are kicking stigma's booty on a daily basis. 

To wake up this weekend and see that Band Back Together had been nominated for a Bloggie Award** was the ultimate in "pats on the back."

Not for me, but for all of us. 

All who share their stories or offer comments of support. We're busting stigma and the world is taking notice.

And that's one heck of a Dose of Happy!

**Band Back Together is nominated in the

BEST GROUP OR COMMUNITY WEBLOG category. 

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What's your Happy?

Don't think you have one? Look harder. Something will make you smile today. 

We want to know! 

Share it with the world on your blog and then link up below, tweet it out (hashtag #DOHMonday #WithTheBand) or share it on Facebook. Whatever you want to do, do it. Just find a bit of happy in this Monday! 

 

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A note about commenting: It only takes moments to comment but makes a world of difference to an author to know they are not alone: They're with the Band! Please share your support here!

It's Time For Some Exciting News

Howdy, The Band!

It's SuperTeala on the mic, and I'm ready to share some spectacular news with you!

Since 2010, YOU have done so much. Just what have all 2,344 of you done?

  • You have shared almost 3,000 stories.
  • You have have left 27,633 comments.
  • You have helped raise funds to keep The Band together.
  • You have shared posts through social media and other means to fight stigma.
  • You have touch SO many lives.

Everything you do matters - no matter how big or small. It all counts.

As The Band, we've done all of these great things together. That's what being With The Band is all about. 

Guess what else we've done? 

Band Back Together has been granted federal nonprofit status. We are officially a qualified 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization.

Your eyes aren't broken. You read that right.

*flings glitter* *happy dance*

We could not have done this without YOU. Thank you for all that you do. Thank you for sharing, commenting, and supporting this wonderful community you have helped build.

I could not be more proud to work with all of The Brains and to be With The Band.

Our work is never done. This just means that we can do so much more. And we WILL do so much more. Keep those stories coming. Keep sharing and commenting. Keep spreading the love and strength.

We always need volunteers. If you would like to work with the Brains Behind The Band, email volunteer@bandbacktogether.com.

Together, we can fight harder to kick stigma in the ass!

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A note about commenting: It only takes moments to comment but makes a world of difference to an author to know they are not alone: They're with the Band! Please share your support here!

Fran at Still Standing Goes to 11

Band Back Together is highlighting other sites around the Internet that are Doing Good. You know our beginnings. Now it’s time to see theirs.

I am so excited to introduce y'all to Franchesca of Small Bird Studios and now the amazing site, Still Sanding.

Miscarriage, infertility, baby loss... it's all touched us all in one way or another, whether personally or just someone we know. There is now an amazing new resource for us and it just launched this past Saturday!

But anyway, this is not our story to tell, it’s hers.

Welcome to The Band!

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My name is Franchesca but you can call me Fran :) I blog over at Small Bird Studios, a blog and project all inspired by my sweet girl who lives forever in my heart. You can read about our journey on loss, love and healing here.

On her third birthday a new project launched into the world, an online magazine for the bereaved parenting community, and for those suffering from infertility. Me and a team of 16 contributing writers - worldwide - have launched an online magazine for parents who have experienced the loss of a child, and infertility called Still Standing.

Since I started blogging three years ago I have connected with (sadly) hundreds and hundreds of bereaved mothers who have experienced loss around the same time I did. Some years and years ago, but mostly around the same time.

According to March of Dimes, 1 in 4 pregnancies ends in a loss. How often it does occur, and why it is still such a taboo in today's world blows my mind. The magazine will hopefully serve as a resource for OBGYNs, doctors, NICU nurses and doctors, family members and friends who just want to be there as a support for these families. Of course we hope the magazine will also serve as a community base for those who have endured loss and infertility as well.

The contributions from our contributing writers will include segments on parenting after loss, trying to conceive and the turmoil that sometimes goes along with that, infertility awareness, tips on coping after loss, ways to honor your child gone too soon, healing projects inspired by art, and much, much more. There will also be segments for grieving fathers, children and grandparents.

The magazine is all about embracing life after loss, and creating an awareness for this need and type of support.

If you're still reading this post, it is likely someone is coming to your mind that has experienced loss, infertility or both. We hope you will spread the word about this resource that just launched into the world on the morning of May 5, 2012.

You can follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and sign up for our free newsletter here.

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A note about commenting: It only takes moments to comment but makes a world of difference to an author to know they are not alone: They're with the Band! Please share your support here!

Fred The Fox Goes To 11

This year, Band Back Together is highlighting other sites around the Internet that are Doing Good. You know our beginnings. Now it’s time to see theirs.

I am so excited to introduce y'all to Tatiana K. Matthews, author of Fred The Fox Shouts "NO!". Tatiana is a neighbor of mine and the book she has published is one of the first (and best) of its kind. If you have children, I urge you to look into getting a copy of her book to add to your library.

The statistics tied to child sexual abuse are enough to make me want to crawl into a ball and stay there while my kid lives in a bubble. But that's not realistic. We must give our children tools to be empowered to say "NO!"

But anyway, this is not our story to tell, it’s hers.

Welcome to The Band!

 

In the spring of 2008, I attended a continuing education conference that focused on sexual abuse prevention. I had been trained to treat traumas many years before, so victims of sexual abuse were no strangers to my practice and I had attended other conferences of this nature.

The difference between this event and the others was the birth of my second child and only girl just a few months before. It was not that I hadn't thought about and discussed this topic with my son, but I, like many others, had fooled myself in to believing that he was some how much safer than a girl would be.

Even with all of my experience in the industry at that time, I am much more educated today about the truths of sexual abuse.

In researching tools for parents that promoted sexual abuse prevention, I was unable to identify one that focused on the real threat, people that children knew and trusted.

If I could not find a reliable resource for myself, as a therapist and as a parent, then I would create one.

I saw the havoc that sexual abuse created in the lives of victims. From depression, anxiety, anger, substance abuse, self-mutilation, eating disorders, bad relationships and many other self-sabotaging behaviors, we had to protect our children now!

It was within a few weeks that I penned Fred the Fox Shouts “No!” but took several months to identify an illustrator. Even then it did not work out.

My dear friend Allison Fears and I were talking one night about my struggles to identify someone to do the drawings for the book. She grabbed a scrap of paper and there before my eyes, the self-proclaimed “doodler” sketched a fox. I knew it was Fred when I saw him and I started to cry. 

It took almost two more years for our book to be complete. Since Fred the Fox Shouts “No!” has been on the market, we have provided many community outreach sessions.

From discussing the book, how you talk to your kids about abuse prevention, the startling statistics, resources for parents and prevention education, it has permeated the last six months of our lives. 

The book is great for children of all ages. You can start reading it to them as early you can and continue through elementary years. The book is interactive - you get to yell "NO!" - and engaging. Different situations are discussed and the child can interact by telling you what he or she would do in certain situations. (ed note: My 7 year old loves the book because he gets to scream at bedtime!)

At every event we attend and in my own practice, survivors of sexual abuse come and share their story.

The book has become as much about those survivors as the children we are trying to protect.

We want them to know they have been heard and that our prevention crusade is in their honor. 

A portion of the sales, over $1,000 so far, is donated to charitable organizations that assist in prevention.

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To learn more about Fred The Fox Shouts "NO!", see Tatiana's site.

Books can be purchased online and you can follow them on Facebook.  

 

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A note about commenting: It only takes moments to comment but makes a world of difference to an author to know they are not alone: They're with the Band! Please share your support here!

Monkey In My Chair Goes To 11

 

This year, Band Back Together is highlighting other sites around the Internet that are Doing Good. You know our beginnings. Now it’s time to see theirs.

I am so excited to introduce y'all to Monkey In My Chair. This organization was shared with us when our own Crystal's son Jack was diagnosed with leukemia a few weeks ago.

When I reached out to Monkey In My Chair, they were excited to share their mission with all of you, especially knowing that one of their Monkeys was being used by one of our own families.

I asked Crystal about their experience, and this is what she had to say: "The Monkey in my Chair program has allowed Jack to stay connected with his Kindergarten classmates. He is unable to attend school due to the risk for infection, so we dressed the monkey up in Jack's clothes and sent him off to class. The monkey sits at Jack's desk and the teacher works with the kids to fill the monkey's backpack with happy notes. Jack's smile when we bring home notes from his classmates is HUGE. This program has been his greatest joy during his treatments."

Crystal even shared an email from Jack's teacher, Mrs. O: "All the kids gave the monkey a hug for Jack this morning. We passed him around and everyone gave him a big squeeze. It was so sweet. They liked hearing the story but it made them all a bit sad for Jack. Milly, Kimberly & Dreigha are the monkey guards in class. They make sure the monkey is fine, take him to the library & wherever else we go. (The girls are tickled to be monkey guards.)"

Monkey guards? How adorable is that? I hate that there is a reason Jack has this Monkey friend, but I'm so proud to know there are people who care enough to do this for kiddos.

But this is not our story to tell, it’s theirs.

Welcome to The Band!

It started with just one child. It started with just one heart.

Originally started in 2007 in tribute to 6-year-old Elena Desserich and her fight against brain cancer, The Cure Starts Now Foundation has funded over $1,000,000 in research, awareness and programs in just 4 short years. Today, The Cure Starts Now Foundation (501c3 Federal Non-Profit) is one of the only cancer foundations dedicated to a “homerun” cure for all cancers, starting first with one of the most deadly and difficult cancers: pediatric brain cancer. Many experts believe that the lessons we learn from fighting pediatric cancer may in fact provide us the critical first step in winning the battle against all forms of cancer, both pediatric and adult.

The Cure Starts Now represents a revolutionary new strategy in cancer research; one that fights cancer not according to numbers but instead based on knowledge and research. And isn’t that the way we’ll ultimately win the battle?

The Cure Starts Now’s mission is one that knows no boundaries and stops at no borders. It is an international effort of families, friends, businesses and even strangers, united in the desire to cure cancer, one child at a time. And it all started with one child, but today the inspiration is carried with us all.

With 21 chapters around the country and one in Australia, its work and progress have been featured on The Today Show, Good Morning America, CNN, Inside Edition, Marketwatch, Yahoo.com, People Magazine and media worldwide.

Elena’s inspiration has also touched millions worldwide, cited as a top search term on Yahoo.com and as the subject of the New York Times Bestseller “Notes Left Behind”, which benefits the charity.   

One of the revolutionary programs that The Cure Starts Now is funding is the Monkey in My Chair Program. Along with the diagnosis of a serious illness comes time away from school. Whether it is only a day here and there or maybe weeks or months at a time, this can be hard for the child and their classmates.

Monkey in My Chair is a program originally developed in honor of Chloe Watson Feyerherm for pre-school and elementary aged children who are away from school because of a cancer diagnosis. As a result of Chloe's experience, her mother, teachers and community got together to develop the Monkey in My Chair program through the efforts of their newly established charity, the Love, Chloe Foundation. In 2011, in an attempt to have the program complement cancer research efforts, the Love, Chloe Foundation partnered with The Cure Starts Now Foundation to offer the program to a wider audience, thus increasing both awareness and donations to not only support the program but also fund the cure for cancer.

Through the program, each child is provided with a "Monkey Kit", which includes a big stuffed monkey that takes their place in school when they are unable to be there. The kits include the monkey with a backpack, a book to help teachers explain to students the situation their classmate is facing and how it affects them, teacher companion guide, along with other items that can be utilized by the child and/or their classmates. All kits are sent out at no cost to the families or hospitals.

Jack's Monkey in his chair at his school, with notes and a Chinese New Year hat they made for him.

Above: Jack's monkey in his chair at school. The children have made him his 100 Days hat and Chinese New Year hat. They fill the backpack with notes and colored pages. 

In addition to each "Monkey Kit," each child will be given online access to Monkey Message. Monkey Message is an online component that allows the sharing of pictures and documents to ensure the line of communication stays open between the patient and the classroom. Included in the Monkey Message portal are regular educational activities for the classroom and patients to do that help to foster interaction of students while incorporating key educational tools.

Above: Jack's Monkey delivered all his goodies from school, including the Chinese New Year hat they made for him. 

The Cure Starts Now, Chiquita and Groupon teamed up in October 2011 to raise money and awareness for the Monkey in My Chair program. An original recipient of the nationwide Pepsi Refresh Grant, Monkey in My Chair reaches over 100 hospitals nationwide to help pediatric cancer patients stay connected to their classmates.

The Monkey in My Chair promotion was sent out to 40+ million people and set impressive goals. The campaign was supported by a generous matching donation of $25,000 by Chiquita Brands. In total, the campaign generated over $43,000 for Monkey in My Chair and over 830 monkeys will be branded with the Chiquita logo.

The program was an unprecedented release and one of the largest fundraising opportunities of its kind for a cancer charity.

To learn more about The Cure Starts Now Foundation and its mission visit www.thecurestartsnow.org

To learn more about Monkey in My Chair or to sponsor a Monkey Kit visit www.monkeyinmychair.org

 


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A note about commenting: It only takes moments to comment but makes a world of difference to an author to know they are not alone: They're with the Band! Please share your support here!

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