I asked our 5-year-old daughter Grace to get rid of toys because she has too many, so she found some she was willing to part with and put them in a little shoe box. When she brought the box to me I asked her what she would like to do with the toys. She came up with the idea to give them to sick kids with cancer in the Hospital.
Since health is such a big part of our daily life Grace has grown a heart towards children who struggle with cancer and other serious illness. She believes that giving these children crafts and activities will bring them joy, "so they aren't bored while waiting around all day." We found out through the Child Life Specialist at the local hospital that they cannot accept anything used, so of course Grace suggested we buy them all NEW toys and activities! I asked her, "Well just how many boxes would you like to make?" I expected her to say 3-4 but instead Grace stated matter-of-factly, "TEN for girls, TEN for boys!" Realizing we couldn't do this on our own, Grace's Boxes was born.
Cancer is a sensitive topic in our family since Grace's Grandmother on her father's side, DeLynne Hengesteg, passed away at the young age of 50, after an over 6-year cancer battle, before Grace was born. Grace's Dad, Dr. Chris Hengesteg, D.C., made it his mission to learn about cancer prevention and raise a family aware of what causes cancer.
Grace is aware of how sugar lowers the immune system and feeds cancer cells, so when she came up with the idea to do a Lemonade Stand to fund Grace's Boxes, she wanted to make sure it was Organic, Stevia-sweetened Lemonade, (the kind of Stevia straight from the plant, with no additives or chemical processing). Using organic lemons and charging $1 per cup, we found the profits from the lemonade stands were minimal so the Facebook Page and our outreach to the community, family and friends helped gain traction for her goal.
Grace with her sister Elizabeth selling Organic, Stevia-sweetened Lemonade
On December 3, 2016, Grace helped compile all the items thanks to donations by San Diego Book Review, Everbowl in Poway, CA, her Girl Scout Troop, Valhalla Mind, her charter school Innovations Academy, Hengesteg Chiropractic, and various family members and friends.
Grace met her goal of 20 boxes and together with her Girl Scout friends met at the local Children's Hospital Cancer Unit to help load all the boxes into a bin to be delivered to the unit. Since then, Grace has received messages from the families of the children who have received a box. How heartwarming it is to hear from these families! Anyone can reach Grace through her Facebook Page or email [email protected].
Grace will keep Grace's Boxes ongoing to donate more boxes to the children and stimulate more enlightenment around Childhood Cancer Awareness and Cancer Prevention including healthy eating and practicing mindfulness. People have been generous with their continued donations and she has announced her new goal of "Ten hundred ninety-nine boxes!" We would like to give a special thanks to these sponsors as well: Steven Aitchison with Change Your Thoughts Today, Angel Works by Gina, Your Peace of Mind Coach, Amazing Me Movement, and Ty Bollinger, The Truth About Cancer.
If you would like to support Grace' Boxes, feel free to "Like" her Facebook page www.facebook.com/gracesboxes, donate directly to her PayPal account https://www.paypal.me/gracedelynne, or email [email protected] for instructions to send a donation in the mail. Every $1 goes towards the boxes to help bring happiness to a child suffering from cancer.
In Joy & Health,
Christine Gail is the Author of the upcoming book Unleash Your Rising, a Success Coach, and Book Publishing Coach.