Oh, what a ROAR!
Many many thanks to all of you who participated in our 2017 Little Lion Challenge Day. Thanks to your generosity and those of our amazing partners, we were able to surprise hundreds of families taking care of children with complex medical issues.
If you followed our Little Guy’s story early on, you know that he has a “Guy.” A lovey that has been with him from the beginning. They’ve been together for every hospital stay, every therapy session, every surgery (yes, Guy has been into the OR as many times as Little Lion Man), every long night, every celebratory dance party, every roar.(As you can imagine, one that is well worn with love at this point).
About ten days before Little Lion Challenge Day, Guy went missing. A few days before we assembled our care packages, Guy fell out of a stroller. The reaction from our little guy? Heart-bursting joy. “Guy! I KNEW you’d come back for me!”
I’m sharing this little snapshot into our lives because it made us even more grateful that Wee Chic Boutique and Angel Dear partnered with us to give 100 area NICU babies lion loveys for Little Lion Challenge Day. So all of those little ones fighting big challenges will have a ‘Guy’ that is there for them, too. We paired them with How Do Lions Say I Love You, thanks to our partners at Penguin Random House. Each family also received a caregiver kit, including essentials for an unexpected overnight stay, journal, and a snack that could be tucked away for when it was needed.
Our friends at The Corner Pantry created a celebratory Little Lion Donut (caramel glaze with orange coconut drizzled with chocolate) and generously donated sales from the donut on Little Lion Challenge Day to the Foundation. We stopped there to pick up a tray of goodies, coffee, and juice for the nursing team and patient families at Johns Hopkins Children’s Center.
Thanks to our friends at aMuse Toys, we were able to assemble 100 coloring book kits for patients and their siblings are area hospitals.
So many families came out to our community play dates at Wee Chic Boutique and Play Cafe to make handmade lion cards that we could include with the art packages. Many thanks to our play date hosts and also our entertainment partners — Mr. Root (Jamaal Collier) and Silly Goose and Val — for keeping the kid-friendly tunes rocking! (Extra special shout out to Val Smalkin who spent part of her birthday with us!)
The Dailey Method Towson partnered with us to provide the medical caregivers at GBMC’s NICU with complimentary class passes and small tokens of appreciation for all that they do.
Whole Foods Mt. Washington generously stocked the nurses’ break room at Mt. Washington Pediatric Hospital and came with us to drop off art packages for patients and their families. (Although we made the cards and assembled the packages on Little Lion Challenge Day, we made this drop off a few days later!)
Through the generosity of our donors, we were able to provide copies of “Lion Lessons” to 50 children currently receiving speech and occupational therapy services, as well as care packages to several area families.
And then there were dozens who shared their random acts of kindness on social media using the hashtag #LittleLionChallenge. THANK YOU for helping us make a huge roar.
We have big plans for the organization in 2017 and can’t wait to share them.
Photos by Laura Black