"Be the change you wish to see in the world."

- Mahatma Gandhi

Ah, you've found your way to our page about our charity work.

We speak to you about charity today, not for praise but to share the stories of others.  We believe strongly in being part of the good in the world.  There is a quote that talks about persons that cannot give monetarily give in service.  That is where we stand.

Over many years, we have participated in raising funds for many causes. A few of the causes near and dear to our hearts:

  • CHILDHOOD CANCER
  • AUTISM
  • CYTOMEGALOVIRUS (CMV) & POLYMICROGYRIA (PMG)
  • BRAIN CANCER
  • CEREBRAL PALSY
  • MITOCHONDRIAL DISEASE
  • MENTAL HEALTH
  • VETERANS
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ONE FOR ME, ONE FOR YOU

ENTER FOR A CHANCE TO GIVE

All blanket orders from November 1, 2020 to October 31, 2021 will go into a drawing. We will be crafting a 5' blanket with fabric from our inventory as a Christmas gift for anyone of your choosing. There will be two winners chosen so two lucky people will receive a free blanket up to 8 lbs from someone that loves them. Shipping (est. $24) is not included.  Winners to be announced the first week of November.

(Congratulations to Ricky and Anna, who won the 2020 One for Me, One for You Giveaway!)

HANKSTRONG

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I took this photograph in November 2014 to help my friend, Samantha, and her family announce that they would be adding a boy to their family of three girls.  If you approached me that day and mentioned CMV or PMG, I would have looked at you like you had two heads.

Hank was born the following May.  We weren't too distraught that he failed his newborn hearing screenings.  It was a few months later when he was referred for genetic counseling and a series of tests that we found out Hank has cytomegalovirus (CMV) and polymicrogyria (PMG).

[All photos of Hank courtesy of his mom, Samantha.]

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Cytomegalovirus is a viral infection that impacts children born to mothers who contract the virus during pregnancy.  CMV affects individuals differently.  Hank is severely affected by CMV, which has caused hearing loss, vision impairment, spastic cerebral palsy, among others.  Polymicrogyria is a condition characterized by an increased number of folds in the brain that are significantly smaller than folds in the average brain.  PMG causes developmental delays, crossed eyes, speech and swallowing difficulties, muscle weakness and paralysis.

I wouldn't have believed you if you told me in November 2014 that the next few years I'd:

  • countless hours on video messaging with Samantha to retain our close friendship with 3,000 miles between us
  • Wait all day to follow up with Hank's specialist appointments and surgeries
  • read about CMV and PMG in depth to help Samantha with locating different resources
  • celebrate Rare Disease Day and participate in Rare Disease Day runs
  • buy annual HankStrong shirts for our entire family
  • proofread letters and writings Samantha has created for so many reasons relating to Hank's condition
  • spread awareness about CMV every June
  • participate in the charity events Samantha is involved with.
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For Easter 2019, we shipped 31 lap pads to Samantha and HankStrong for their partnership with the Hang Tough Foundation. Those 31 lap pads went in Easter baskets for the Ronald McDonald House Children at UF Health Shands Hospital that would be spending the holiday in the hospital.  We continue to retain lap pads for charity.  Please contact us to discuss charitable giving.

Today, Samantha continues to work as a Medical Assistant, caring for hundreds of patients.  She is an active contributor to the Hang Tough Foundation, a constituent of her Florida county, and is working on petitioning the state of Florida to have legislation passed to mandate CMV testing during pregnancy.  As for Hank, he recently got his own specially designed bike.  He is a busy guy, hanging out with all his friends at preschool, charming all the ladies with his blonde hair, handsome smile, and love for life.

You can follow Samantha and Hank's story at Henry The Hero.

Ryne                                 

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ANNIESTRONG

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Annie has been my friend, my alibi, my accessory to the crime for more than half of my life.  My family is her family and her family is mine.  We share more inside jokes than we can even remember the origins of.  On June 8, 2018, she was diagnosed with glioblastoma.  Glioblastoma is an aggressive form of cancer that caused a lemon-sized tumor in Annie's head.  

Annie's battle with brain cancer became of utmost importance to us.  Because nearly 3,000 miles separates Annie and I (and she refused to let me fly home), I did what I could do and designed the ANNIESTRONG shirt.  

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Initially, the proceeds from the ANNIESTRONG shirts went to Annie and her family.  Annie has since requested that all proceeds be sent to the National Brain Tumor Society.  If you would like to order an ANNIESTRONG shirt or the MIND OVER GRAY MATTER shirt and support the National Brain Tumor Society, please let us know.

                                                    Ryne

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ANNIESTRONG SUPPORTERS

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Current Entries

Listed by blanket (and customer initials)

  1. Looney Tunes (JH)
  2. Broncos (JH)
  3. Napali Honu (JH)
  4. HP Glasses (AC)
  5. Galaxy Gray (SC)
  6. Purple Watercolor (CH)
  7. Unikitty Pink (KR)
  8. Orange Batik (MRS)
  9. Monster Trucks (MRS)