Wednesday, December 14, 2016

A Million Thank Yous from the Heart

Family. Friends. Community. These things are on my mind as I sit down on my 13th Birthday to write what I hope to be is one awesome thank you letter. These three words are so important. Your
community is your home base, they're all the people who you haven't met yet but are just waiting to become friends. They're like the space around an atom, they're there but they're invisible until you go looking for them. Then you have Friends, who are like the electrons surrounding the nucleus. They help to bring energy and support the nucleus, consistently there even though they might move around a lot. Then you have family, which is like the nucleus. It's tightly compacted, full of possibilities and serves as the heart of the atom. My nucleus, my family, grew huge over the weekend!

This weekend I hosted Jacob's Birthday Bonanza, my drop-in birthday fundraiser for Jacob's Healing Rooms to redo the outpatient treatment rooms (4C) at Sick Kids Hospital. It was a huge success but only because of family, friends and community. Without the help of a lot of people, most of whom were strangers to me, Jacob's Birthday Bonanza would not have been the success that it was. I owe a lot of thank yous. It's this outpouring of generosity that inspires me to keep going, to keep trying to make Jacob's Healing Rooms become a reality, to keep dreaming of changes I can make to help this world be a kinder and more welcoming place. 

To Mayor John Henry, MPP Granville Anderson, and Councillor Willie Woo, thank you all so much for taking the time to come out and take part in my birthday. It means so much to me, and I was happy to be able to share my special day with you all. I can't imagine too many other 13 year old have the honor of saying that they celebrated the day with their local politicians!

To the amazing Durham Regional Police Services - THANK YOU! Your
attendance made me feel pretty extra special on my special day. I don't know too many other 13 year olds who have a whole bunch of officers show up at their birthday parties. It was so overwhelming that you all would take the time out to come and support Jacob's Healing Rooms. I look forward to my tour!

To Pepper the Clown and Bob the Magician - What an amazing surprise for you
both to donate your time to help keep my guests and I entertained. And
entertained you did! Not only are you guys fantastic at what you do, but you're also incredibly warm and generous people. I felt so incredibly lucky to have you both at my party!

To Boston Pizza Oshawa - Wow. Your support of making Jacob's Healing Rooms come true is absolutely amazing. Thank you for going so much above and beyond what anyone could possibly hope for. The pizza donations were a huge hit with everyone (we were only left with 1 slice!), and I love the idea of selling the kids club meal cards with $1 going back to Jacob's Healing Rooms! I can't wait for our Celebrity Serve Night!

To Jack Astors (Whitby) - Incredible. Every now and then you run into extremely special people that
really make a difference. Thank you so much for jumping on board to support Jacob's Healing Rooms from the moment you heard about my project. The outpouring of love from your staff has been so overwhelmingly amazing. The huge tray of cookies was so very thoughtful and yummy! I look forward to working with all of you around the Jacob's Healing Rooms server shirts - I have some ideas! 

To the Whitby Curling Club, thank you for donating the space for a discounted rental price! We were able to transform upstairs into a fun-filled party room quite nicely. Your support of Jacob's Healing Rooms has meant a lot to us! 

To Karen, Marilyn and Ken Easby from Gold Reflections (Bowmanville Mall), thank you for your never ending support. From running around with my mom to ask for donations, to making sure we had everything we need and helping with the set-up, donation table, our special surprises and clean-up, you guys were there to help us out. 

To Jen Doolan, Doug Hamilton, Doug Izard and Robyn Minnikin - Thank you for helping in the set-up and clean-up, and arranging things for us during the party to help avoid crises. It was hugely appreciated! 

To Trisina at Skippy Cakes (Hamilton) - Your cake is a work of art. Not sure if I or my mom told you,
but when I was younger I used to re-read the Lorax all the time, it's one of my Dr. Seuss favorites. Thanks for being so awesome, driving all the way from Hamilton just to come out for my special day. And helping to clean-up afterwards, even though we mostly chatted rather than worked! 

To Jen of Jennifer Rue's Photography, thank you for taking such beautiful pictures of my guests and I.  You have a special talent with that camera. Thanks for being a part of my day. I can't wait for our next photoshoot! 

To Andrea Kirkwood-Look, Emiko Balazik, and Alison Smith (Ali Katz Cookies) - Thank you so much for providing such yummy snacks. Our bellies much appreciated them! 

To all the companies and individuals who donated such amazing prizes - Mandy Rusk, Clare Izard, East Side Mario's Whitby, Party City Whitby, Bev Bradbury, Buffalo Wild Wings Oshawa, Wild Wings Whitby, Melanie Pringles, Putting Edge Whitby, Boston Pizza Oshawa, Billie Jax's Whitby, Mastermind Oshawa, Scholar's Choice Oshawa, Edible Arrangements Whitby, Swiss Chalet North Oshawa - Thank you for being part of my special day. Without the generosity of people like you, it would be so much more difficult to make my dream into a reality. 

To those special people who took the time to come and hang out with me, thank you for making my day so very special. We may have started out as strangers, but you are all now my family. I couldn't be luckier to have such an amazing and supportive team of people cheering me on. I will always treasure the memories that we created. 

Jacob's Birthday Bonanza has raised $3674.65 so far thanks to the kindness that everyone has shown to me. Thanks for sharing in the best birthday I could have asked for! And Thank you for joining my family.