CJSTUF in the Time of COVID-19

CJSTUF in the Time of Covid-19

It has been quite a while since our last major update but we wanted to let you know that we haven’t been idle.  Covid-19 has seriously affected operations for nearly everyone in the nonprofit world and we’re no exception.

Friday, March 13th was the last day volunteers were allowed at UVA Hospital in Charlottesville. The following week, they suspended all non-essential personnel activity at Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU (CHoR).  Almost immediately, conversations began with the  Child Life departments of both locations to see how we could keep the Meal Fairies program going, keeping the new restrictions in mind. The solution that became evident at both locations was that we would hand the food off to someone from Child Life and they would distribute it accordingly.

IMG_0599As the weeks progressed, restrictions around food delivery tightened further. Currently, we order most meals online or over the phone and pay the same way.  Roger wears fresh gloves and a mask when he picks up or drops off food and then hands the contents over to Child Life staff members in the designated drop-off area, sometimes never even touching the containers.  Every once in awhile, we can get food delivered by the restaurant, which helps immensely.

Many nonprofits that operate within the Children’s Hospital sphere found it necessary to curtail or outright cease operations, mostly because their services to the families depend strongly upon face-to-face interaction. This is nearly impossible right now. CJSTUF has been able to fill some of these gaps while continuing our current services, even through this challenging crisis.   

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Delivery to UVA on a Wednesday!

Since the March shutdown we’ve been delivering food to each hospital on our regular schedule (once weekly to each hospital, plus a bonus delivery to UVA Children’s monthly), but have added extra deliveries to CHoR on Tuesdays and to UVA Children’s on Fridays, effectively doubling the number of people served in a week.  You, our generous supporters, have made it possible for us to do this by making CJSTUF financially stable enough to temporarily take on this extra burden.

We’ve been proud to help support our AMAZING restaurants and suppliers  but the extra activity also means our monthly expenses have doubled. Since the date for relaxing the restrictions keeps getting pushed back, it’s obvious that we will not be able to continue providing food for the families at this increased rate.  We will certainly continue to provide meals on our regular schedule, but we would surely love to continue the expanded service until our fellow nonprofits can resume their regular operations.

It is difficult to ask for donations from people who have already given so much and might be severely affected by the shutdown themselves, but that’s what we need to do.  What is the impact of a delivered meal? Our Child Life allies have told us many stories of the effect of the Meal Fairies:.

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Heather Kinney at CHoR, deputized as an official Meal Fairy!

“Another huge success today!  The box lunches worked great, it was plenty to feed the families.  I wish I could film it for you, families grateful and staff SO appreciative it would make you teary!” – Heather Kinney; Child Life Specialist CHoR

“Everyone loved the…subs…The toasted bread and melted cheese were a happy surprise for several moms.  [There were] so many happy parents and staff afterward.  “Thank you” seems insufficient but I’m truly grateful for you.” – Pattie Carrubba; Child Life Specialist UVA Children’s Hospital

We also drop off fruits and veggies to Ronald McDonald House Charities of Charlottesville and they are equally thankful: “We are so grateful for your donation…Our guests very much appreciate your continuing commitment to helping us ensure their health and well-being…” – Rita P. Ralston; Executive Director RMHC Charlottesville

While we love the thank you notes and expressions of gratitude, the descriptions barely scratch the surface of what’s actually happening on the hospital floors.

Families are feeling even more isolated than normal and stress levels are high.  Few, if any, visitors are allowed in and every little cough or sniffle adds its own amount of dread, especially for patients who are immune-suppressed. With fewer and fewer donations being allowed, families have fewer opportunities to realize that they are not alone and that people “on the outside” care and are thinking about them.  Being in the hospital can be exceptionally lonely.

Our occasional meals give these families and caregivers just a tiny little bright spot in their days.   A simple sandwich seems like a feast.  Our meals give hope, and we all know how powerful hope can be.

So this is what we need:  Meal sponsorship.  

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Cookies make everybody’s heart happy!

Our budget has always been $300 per meal.  We have often been able to arrange meals for less than that but with everything needing to be packaged separately, costs for both labor and supplies have crept up.  We still get great deals from some vendors but we’ve never wanted to be a drain on the system and we are more than happy to do our tiny part to keep our partners afloat.  It’s like a two-way investment.  Everyone scratches everyone else’s backs (virtually, of course!) and the end result is the continuation of our mission to serve families in their time of need.

While we never refuse donations of any amount, we could sure use the $300 variety.  There’s a “Donate” button on every page of our website and on many of our Facebook posts. Can you afford $10 a month?  You can become a sustaining donor and have it withdrawn automatically from your bank.  You won’t even miss it. A $25 monthly commitment funds one of our meals each year.

Do you own a restaurant or catering business and want to donate food at a reduced cost?  Even if you could only do it once, it would be a huge help. Contact Roger for details regarding the foods we can accept and packaging requirements. 

Here are some of the things our amazing vendors have done for us, above and beyond anything we could expect:

Pepicelli’s Pizza in Ashland has been donating 20 pizzas per month to the Meal Fairies for years and didn’t bat an eyelash when we asked for subs that needed to be wrapped separately.

Subway (both in Ashland and Charlottesville) has gone even further beyond, actually providing subs at all hours and sometimes delivering to the hospital when someone wasn’t available.

Jersey Mike’s of Ashland has always given us a great deal and has supported us in other ways.  The last time we picked up subs, we were informed that April and June’s meals would be on them!

Christopher’s Runaway Gourmay is a food cart that sets up outside the Gateway entrance to VCU Medical Center downtown.  It’s probably the best food cart you will ever experience.  They have already closed up shop due to Covid-19 but still set us up with a special lunch that included separate containers for each meal.

Ashland Coffee & Tea made us some SERIOUSLY tasty lunches.  Owner Cate Hawks made them herself and basically charged us cost.

When I ordered lunches from Homemade’s By Suzanne in Ashland, I expected simple sandwiches and maybe chips but as they brought out the bags and bags of food, I knew we had been given the royal treatment.

Take It Away Sandwich Shop in Charlottesville also opened up just for us and, as always, included PLENTY of their special house dressing!

60814110333__995CA4BE-82EA-408A-94BC-9D713700B1B8All this effort, all of your generosity, and all of CJ’s Thumbs Up Foundation’s commitment to make any family’s unbearable situation just a little more bearable has resulted in nearly 1,700 patients, family members, and caregivers being served since March 13.

We’ll keep doing what we can as long as we can.  With your help, we will.

Thank you. –Roger and Rachel

It’s Better to Light One Candle

It’s the week of CJ’s death anniversary. I’ve had some thoughts simmering in my head for a few weeks now but can’t seem to write them all down. Let’s see how this goes…

Last year at this time, I reflected upon the 5 years that had passed since Charlotte died and CJSTUF was founded. It was touching to see how many people remembered Charlotte by making a #light4CJSTUF. 

Many people know the proverb, “It is better to light one candle than to curse the darkness.”

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Photo credit: Sara Holloway

When I reach this time of year, it feels easy to curse the darkness; to curl up into a hole with a warm blanket and hide….with the necessary provisions of dark chocolate and wine, of course. Part of it is the cold weather but most of it is memories from 2009 that reach their peak around the Christmas holidays and settle in my chest right around January 1. The darkness won for quite a few years. The holidays were miserable. Now they’re merely tolerable.

I think the light is winning. Perhaps it’s because my attention is diverted. I wrote about 18 months ago on my personal blog, “the busy-ness of child rearing can sometimes be just enough to pull you out of the black hole of grief.” Kiddo is definitely a big part of finding the light. However, I also think that the light is winning because of YOU. The Network has always been there. From day one. It has never faltered. It never went away. The light that is The Network keeps burning. In my mind, it’s like the votive candles in a cathedral. Whenever you enter a Catholic church, you will see the rows of votives. Some are lit; others are not. But it’s always enough. Just when you think that sacred space will be lost to the darkness, someone comes along and offers up another prayer and a candle. They bring the light. That’s how The Network is for us.

So on the sixth anniversary of Charlotte’s death, let me say again: Thank You!

Thank you for allowing us to give back to our community through your gifts to CJSTUF.

Thank you for your moral support, your cheers from the sidelines, and your sympathetic tears.

Thank you for keeping your lights shining.

Let’s make #Light4CJSTUF an annual event. Any time this week, but particularly on January 7, light a candle, take a picture, and post it to social media with the hashtag #light4cjstuf. We’re on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram but you can post anywhere you like. If you’re on Twitter or Instagram, you can tag @cjstuf as well.

By lighting a candle, you are honoring Charlotte’s memory.

By lighting a candle, you are honoring the memory of any child who has died and supporting grieving families.

By lighting a candle, you are giving hope to a family whose child requires constant medical care and frequent hospitalization.

By lighting a candle, you are sharing the mission of CJSTUF with others.

Thank you for being a part of the light.

–Rachel Reynolds
CJSTUF Co-Founder
Mom to CJ

Eagle Rare-Vote Daily!

Who wouldn’t want to vote for this crazy guy?

Roger is honored to be nominated for an Eagle Rare Life award. This annual award is given by Eagle Rare Bourbon for individuals demonstrating exemplary service to the community.  Rachel was a finalist for this award in 2012 and received $5000 for CJSTUF. The grand prize is $50,000 donated to the nominee’s favorite charity.

Here’s how you can help: 

1. Vote daily at this link. Voting can happen every 24 hours.

2. Share with your friends! The more votes we get, the better the chances of entering the finals.

3. Stick with it! Voting continues until January 2015.  Set a reminder every day if you can.

Voting takes just a click and doesn’t require submission of any personal information. We appreciate your support!

 

 

March Is Going Out With A Roar!

The last week of March is a full one for us here at CJSTUF.  Not only is Spring about to spring in a major way, but we have three events occurring in 7 days.

Halligans COTU 3 (Duplicate)1) The Halligan Bar & Grill is hosting the Sunday Funday for CJ at the Center Of The Universe Brewery in Ashland.  There will be food trucks, delicious beverages, and the opportunity to help CJSTUF.  Tickets are $10 for adults/$7 for kids under 10 with a portion of proceeds going to CJSTUF.

Gathering For Good is coming!
Gathering For Good is coming!


2) The Gathering For Good
Happy Camper Productions has organized a fundraiser for us at     Capital Ale House – Downtown with a COMPLETELY FREAKIN’ STELLAR musical lineup featuring the   amazing Susan Greenbaum and the equally amazing (but wielding a slightly larger number of hands),   Downbeat Switch.  Tickets are $10 here too.  

 


3) And the biggie… TEAM CJ at the Ukrop’s  Monument Avenue 10K:
  We are fielding a  team of 50+ runners and

Roger showing his fashion sense at the Monument Ave 10K
Roger will show his fashion sense again this year at the Monument Ave 10K. It’s not too late to join TEAM CJ.

walkers to take on the 6.2 miles of one of the largest races of it’s kind in the  world on Saturday, March 29.  If you’d like to participate, please register for  TEAM CJ when you register for the race.  You will be asked for a password to join TEAM CJ.  It happens to be “butterfly.”  Then please create a Personal Fundraising Page.  We only ask participants to raise $30.  There’s a t-shirt in it for ya’.

Don’t feel like walking or running?  No problem.  We are seriously in need of energetic fans of CJSTUF to cheer on our Spirit Team.  We will be setup up right at One Monument Ave. and all are welcome to cheer.  Bring your butterfly wings and be ready to make some noise!  You can still make a Personal Fundraising Page if you like (you should like).

There will also be a walkathon at Goochland High School the same day as the 10K so if you want to help with TEAM CJ but don’t want to brave me and 45,000 of my closest friends, this is the event for you.  This is a senior project for an amazing high school student and I guess that’s really FOUR things going on

On top of all that, our Volunteer Page is taking shape!  We have stuf to do – come help us do it!

Our volunteers from Varina High School we soooooo helpful!
Our volunteers from Varina High School we soooooo helpful!

 

4th Anniversary Of CJSTUF

logo_colorJanuary 6, 2014 marks the 4th anniversary of the official incorporation of CJ’s Thumbs Up Foundation as a tax-exempt 501(C)3 organization.  Four years of helping families of children with chronic and life-threatening illnesses.  Four years of letting frightened parents know that they aren’t alone.

Here are some stats:

120 Financial Assistance Grants awarded in four years totaling $60,000. In 2014, we plan to expand that by at least 40.

Almost 5,000 meals served via Lunch Bunch and Meal Fairies. Again, 2014 will see that number rise substantially.

The Meal Fairies will be expanding in 2014 along with everything else!
The Meal Fairies will be expanding in 2014 along with everything else!

Over $10,000 in emergency financial assistance distributed which ranged from gas cards to help with rent.

We are kind of proud of these numbers but the fact is that it is our generous supporters who have made it all possible. Everyone from the kid who emptied his pockets of change to throw into our jar while we were gift wrapping at Barnes & Noble to the amazing students at Deep Run High School who handed us a check for $10,000 after the Deep Run Marathon Dance to every small donation you’ve made that has added up to so much hope.

Charlotte JennieOf course, we are constantly reminded that without our friends who helped us fill out the documents and prepared our original website, we would be nowhere. Thank you all for allowing us to continue to honor our little butterfly.  We look  forward to  CJSTUF doing amazing things in 2014.  Please keep your eyes open  for the “Bald Chick’s  Rock!” T-shirt sale and Thumbs Up Ball in February, TEAM  CJ at the Ukrop’s Monument Ave  10K, and much more…

Again…thank you,
CJ’s Mommy and Daddy
Rachel and Roger Reynolds

The Evolving Meal Fairies Program

“Food, glorious food!  Eat right through the menu!” – Oliver

 

2013-07-18 11.38.57 It’s amazing what you DON’T think about when a health crisis hits; especially when it’s  your child having the health crisis.  One of the many things we learned when  Charlotte was diagnosed with cancer was that, as a parent, food for ourselves was  absolutely the last thing we considered on our list of priorities.  After speaking with  many other parents and caregivers in similar situations, we have found it to be a  consistent sentiment.

 

For us, hospital stays meant eating lots of fast food, vending machine junk, or the  entire lasagna that the neighbor brought over.  So when it came time to start giving  back/paying it forward through CJ’s Thumbs Up Foundation, we decided healthy(ish)  meals were a way to start and the “Meal Fairies” program was born.  The Meal Fairies began by offering something of a “telephone tree” kind of system where news of a child’s health crisis was spread and we would try to get someone to run food over to the hospital or their house so that they would have one less thing on their “worry list.”  It only worked passably and we knew there were many more families NOT getting the nourishment they needed.  Something more needed to be done.

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We approached Heather Kinney in the Child Life Department of Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU (where Charlotte received the majority of her treatment) to arrange for meals to be served once a month up on the 7th floor pediatric wing of the Main Hospital.  We teamed up with Connor’s Heroes Foundation to get everything organized/approved through the hospital and on Thursday, June 28, 2011, the “Lunch Bunch” served it’s first meal to around 50 parents and caregivers.

 

As CJSTUF continued to grow financially, we were able to increase the Thursday meals to a weekly occurrence (including an AMAZING Thanksgiving meal from Homemades By Suzanne) and by the end of 2012, we had served 1177 meals!

 

The Lunch Bunch has continued as a weekly program ever since, offering not only healthy meals to the residents of the 7th floor but a great way for CJSTUF and CHF to directly communicate with many families within our scope of service.  As of the end of August, The Lunch Bunch had served 2422 meals in 2013, which puts us on pace to triple the number of meals served from last year.

 

Our latest Meal Fairies project is serving occasional Tuesday evening meals at Ronald McDonald House of Richmond.  After staying at the RMH in Houston and seeing the wonderful meals provided by area businesses and churches, we know how much it is appreciated.  So far, we have participated in 4 nights and already have many more planned for the future.  We also hope to expand this service to other hospitals and cities starting early next year.

 

The future for CJSTUF’s Meal Fairies is extremely bright and we are excited at the prospect of increasing the number of families we can help both financially and with the occasional healthy meal.

 

Thanks to the generous discounts provided by our food vendor sponsors such as Pepicelli’s Pizza, Christopher’s Runaway Gourmay, Au Bon Pain, and the aforementioned Homemades By Suzanne, we can serve 70-100 people for about $300 a week.  These weekly expenses, plus the staff required to facilitate meal distribution and visit with the families, add up quickly.

You can continue to help The Meal Fairies in various ways:

1)      On Thursday, September 18, a 36-hour fundraising spectacle called The Amazing Raise will take place.  Hosted by The CommunityAmazingRaiseLogo Foundation in Richmond, it will include dozens of local tax-exempt organizations, including CJSTUF, vying for your donations of $25-50 in order to win thousands of dollars in bonus prizes.

Two of those bonus prizes are called the “Lunch Breaks” and will run from 12-2pm on both Sep 18th and 19th.  The organization that receives the most donations of $25 or more during this time will get an extra $1000 bonus grant.  A portion of donations we receive from the Amazing Raise during these times will directly benefit the Meal Fairies program.  You can pledge your support for this program today! We will help with the rest.

2)      Volunteer to help cook or provide food for dinners at Ronald McDonald House of Richmond.  We are allowed to either bring in a catered meal or cook the meal itself in their newly renovated (and, might I add, super gorgeous!) kitchen.  Well supervised “younger assistants” are allowed and welcomed. Dates available for volunteering are: Sep. 10th and then Oct. 1, 22, and 29.  Please contact Roger at roger@cjstuf.org.

3)      Join the growing crowd of regular supporters who contribute through weekly or monthly payroll deductions sent directly to CJSTUF.  Many companies will match your donations.  Ask your Human Resources department.

 

As always, thank you for your tremendous support and please remember: It’s not just food…it’s hope.

 

Meeting the need

When we set out to start CJSTUF, it was with the hope that we could capture some of the amazing energy that enveloped us during our time of need.  Roger and I knew what it felt like to be stuck in a hospital for days (or weeks) on end.  We knew about the financial stresses that grew out of chronic illness. We knew what it was like to rely on medical experts and advice for the health and well-being of your child.  At a time like that, everyone could use a helping hand.

Over the past three years, the community has responded with kindness and generosity beyond our wildest dreams.  We continue to support families in need through a quarterly distribution of financial assistance grants.  This past week, we sent seven more $500 grants to families in the greater Richmond community.

We know these grants are needed and welcomed.  Just before sending out the latest batch, I received a letter in the mail from a recipient of our first quarter grant distribution:

card“The financial blessing I received was truly heaven sent. I was down to my last and I had just called my sister, telling her I didn’t know how I was going to make it and I know the Lord heard my prayer! I have been unemployed since June 2011 and my mother’s cancer came back and I have been trying to run two households.  Every day I have been going back and forth to Richmond [a 90 minute drive]. Thanks again and may God bless you and your organization for helping someone such as me and my family. My son is doing well and we have not had any problems with the new heart.” –TB

Did you catch that? A new heart! This little 9-year old boy recently received a heart transplant and is also waiting for new kidneys as he fights end-stage renal disease.  So much for one family to take in!

As our support has grown, we have gone from a waiting list of over a dozen families in 2011 to meeting the need in our Greater Richmond area as we serve families who receive care at any Children’s Hospital of Richmond location.

Are we going to stop there? No way!  

I am excited to report that CJSTUF is getting ready to spread its wings and explore new territories! Before the end of the year, we hope to announce a new opportunity to reach out to families in a new geographic area of Virginia.  We can’t say more until we have official information but this is what we know for sure: we can’t do this alone.  We are meeting the need in the greater Richmond community thanks to your generosity.

 

 

 

Rainy Day Post

Has it really been January since we’ve blogged?!?  FIRE THE DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR!!!

Well, it hasn’t been from lack of activity.

What have we been up to?  Well…

CJ's Thumbs Up Ball 2013 011 Compress1)      We held the Thumbs Up Ball in February to a PACKED house!  We sold out tickets and raised $1,000 more this year than last year which is 2 more families helped.  Triple Scoop Band had everyone boogying, Radio Disney kept things hopping during the breaks, and a live Cinderella and Prince Charming provided by Charming Characters had the kids starry-eyed; even the boys!  Pepicelli’s Pizza and Cakes by Kelly provided food and our Board and volunteers kept everything running smoothly.  Next year we might have to find a bigger venue!

2)      The Deep Run High School Marathon Dance invited CJSTUF to participate in the pep rally and then the closing ceremonies of their absolutely amazing event which raised $243,000 this year and has raised over $1.1 million in the 7 years of this event (no typos there).  Roger was allowed to sing at the closing ceremonies and, bum knee and all, introduced the 900+ participants and the hundreds of supporting family/friends to “Pizza And Ice Cream.”  It seems to have had a lot of impact.  A twitter hashtag was even born: #pizzaandicecream.  We find out exactly how much was allotted to CJSTUF at the official check presentation on Wednesday, May 22.

 

3)      We changed our Mission Statement!  (GASP!!!) No biggie, really.  We just streamlined it to fit better with what we’re actually doing.  The mission is now, “to provide assistance to families of children with chronic and life-threatening illnesses.”

4)      The TBL Networks Virtual Golf Tournament garnered enough donations to help 8 families (that’s $4,000)!  Thanks folks!

5)      Rachel participated on a “Memoirs Of Cancer” panel at the VA Festival Of The Book with two other authors speaking about cancer,Four_Seasons_For_Charlotte grief, and what happens “after.”  We made some wonderful contacts and had a great time.

6)      The Business Of The Month program continues and this month, our BOTM is Gather And Glaze in Mechanicsville.  They are donating 5% of all May’s sales to CJSTUF and on Saturday, May 18th, they will donate 10% of any butterfly-themed craft.  Next month (June), the “Bald Chicks Rock!” shirt makes its reappearance.  Keep your eyes peeled!

7)      Lunch Bunch went over the 1,000 fed mark at the beginning of May.  Last year we served 1177 meals.  Another wonderful example of an idea that seems to be working!  Thanks to Connor’s Heroes Foundation for helping to get it off the ground.

8)      Butterfly Socials are being scheduled now!  They can be anything from simple crafts to poker nights to what Roger is doing, inviting people with chainsaws to the house to gut up a pine tree that needs to come down on Saturday, June 1st.  If you’d like to hold a Butterfly Social, please sign up here.

CJ_DJ_LOGO_B9)      The next big thing is CJ The DJ’s Bluegrass (Mostly) Boogaloo on Saturday, July 20 at Ashland Coffee and Tea.  Our headliner will be Mark Newton and Steve Thomas, fresh off of releasing their new CD, “Reborn.”  We’ve also just confirmed Randy Waller and many fantastic local acts (not all of the bluegrass!) who will begin playing at about noon.  Tickets will be $20 and only 200 will be sold so when they go on sale, snap ‘em up!

So things are NOT boring for us here at CJSTUF.  We’ll try to be better about blogging in the future but please don’t hesitate to contact us at info@cjstuf.org or Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.

Our volunteer database is currently under construction.  If you’d like to be added,please contact us directly.

So that’s what’s up.  Please make a note of it.

A reminder of our mission

This week, I had the opportunity to give $4000 to families in need.  Thanks to the incredible generosity of our donors and supporters, CJ’s Thumbs Up Foundation has had a wonderful year.  At the December board meeting, our Board of Directors voted to award all eight families on the waiting list with Financial Assistance Grants.  

This means that, to date, CJSTUF has provided over 100 families with financial assistance, either through grants or emergency aid since its founding in January 2010.  These families face incredible challenges.  One child has a breathing tube and g-tube (feeding tube) and relies on round-the-clock care by her family and nursing support.  One girl is less than two years old and is facing multiple open-heart surgeries.  Half of the recipients are battling cancer, facing multiple hospitalizations with intensive medications and therapies.  

While $500 will not solve any family’s financial woes, that amount of money can make such a substantial difference.  These grants are providing assistance to pay utility bills and rent. One grant will help a family place a deposit on a new apartment.  They have been living with other family members for over a year.  These grants also help provide assurance to our families: they are not alone.  The community cares about their needs.  We are here to help. 

On a selfish note, these grants give me a way to pay it forward.  We keep Charlotte’s spirit alive through the work of the foundation.  Every time I write a check to these families and address their envelopes, I think of my own inspirational butterfly. 

Thank you for helping to make all of this possible. 

Rachel

Co-founder & Executive Director
CJSTUF




Some VERY quick announcements!

Roger will be wrapping gifts at the Chesterfield Towne Center Barnes & Noble from 10am-2pm today!  There are other dates as well and some need a volunteer or two.  You can go to the website and sign up if you’d like to help out.

Today is also “Cyber-Monday” so please surf the web on over to HandmadeHomies4CJ which is our Business Of The Month for November.

If you are planning travel in the next year and can wait to book until February, the BOTM will be right up your alley.

Rachel and Roger will be travelling to Tiffin, Ohio this weekend for a multi-pronged event at Tiffin University.  Roger will be guest-performing at the annual “Christmas At The Ritz” concert on Saturday, Dec 1 and MIGHT be doing a vocal improv clinic for the students.  Rachel will be doing a book signing at the TU Bookstore as well.

The concert is a fundraiser and CJSTUF will be one of the beneficiaries.

Besides Black Friday and Cyber-Monday, another new trend is “Give Back Tuesday” where people are encouraged to donate to the charity of their choice.  Here’s the DONATE button.  Why wait ’til Tuesday?