28 Dec

Creations for Charity – Amman & Jerash, Jordan, 2017

Posted in Uncategorized on 28.12.17 by

After driving 15 hours from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia where we live, we had a wonderful time donating Lego kits to about 20 children ages 5-10 in an orphanage in Amman, Jordan. We spent about an hour with them helping them build their kits. Here are some photos of the children enjoying their Legos:

After the children had to go, we put all of the pieces from the kits into a common Lego bin. The Orphanage will keep the Legos in their play room for the children to use many years into the future. While the children spoke only Arabic we were able to communicate with them through our limited Arabic and smiles. The children and adult leaders loved the kits and it was a very fun and rewarding experience.

We partnered with the Jordanian family of Nidal (not pictured below) and Sahar and their three children to donate the sets. Nidal works in Amman in education and connected us with the orphanage. They also delivered several Lego sets to a Palestinian refugee school in Jerash, Jordan. Unfortunately, due to timing and security concerns we were not able to join them on that donation. Here are some photos of the children in Jerash:

Thank you to everyone who made this donation possible.

Sahar and her three children at the orphanage in Amman:

Our family at the orphanage in Amman:

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27 Dec

2017 Donation Wrap-up from Grand Rapids, Michigan

Posted in Uncategorized on 27.12.17 by

What a thrill to work with a new group this year for our Lego donations. After much deliberation and consideration, we opted to go with a slightly smaller group this year, namely, the Billy Bear Hug Foundation.  There are several similar groups throughout the U.S., providing teddy bears to children in need comfort and permanence while battle life-threatening illnesses.

Billy Bear Hug here in West Michigan has a youth advisory board and after a stringent application and screening process, selects high school age students to be part of their non-profit team. Not only do they collect teddy bears, but they had partnered with Hospice of MI to do their donations, wrapping each individual bear and Lego item so kids whose families aren’t able to have a lavish to-do for Christmas can experience the joy of having their kids open something solely for them.

Due to the sensitive nature of children with illness, we weren’t able to capture any images of the children opening the gifts, but we are happy and excited to be working with the Billy Bear Hug foundation this year.


Thanks to the generosity of those who donated and purchased from this year’s sales, out Michigan chapter was able to purchase nearly $1400 worth of Lego for only $1000, and turned that into 60+ brand new Lego sets of various sizes and for various ages.

Sharing Lego with those who can’t enjoy it otherwise, it the reason we do what we do. Thank you to all who had a hand in this year’s event.
You can learn more about Billy Bear Hug here, and check out our new C4C Instagram account here.

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25 Dec

Creations for Charity 2017: Dallas, TX

Posted in Uncategorized on 25.12.17 by

Once again, thanks to your donations and support, the Dallas, TX area contribution of just about $2,000 RRP of 94 LEGO sets was given to stock Chosen Ones’ gift closet! Chosen Ones is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization that helps children in foster care, children who are eligible for adoption, and families who are caring for them get support. Over 4,100 children in the Dallas-Fort Worth area are in foster care after having been removed from their parents (either temporarily or permanently) by the State due to abuse or neglect. Chosen Ones provides support groups, resources, and tangible assistance through a “Just 4 U Closet” available for foster and adopt families to use as a resource anytime they need to. In addition to stocking children’s clothes of various sizes and other toys, they are now fully stocked with LEGO sets for these children who are in very emotionally (and sometimes physically) trying situations to have and enjoy, giving them something to build, feel proud of, and use their imaginations with.

A huge thank you once again to everyone who contributed to make this happen. Your donations are making a difference and will continue making a difference in the lives of these special children for years to come!

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24 Dec

24-Hour Live Stream Donations in Indiana

Posted in Uncategorized on 24.12.17 by

This year’s Creations for Charity 24-hour Live Stream hosted by Beyond the Brick was another great success! Thanks to generous contributions from The LEGO Group, Brickmania and Brick Loot, as well as live stream viewers, we were able to donate $2,500 worth of LEGO sets to Franciscan Health hospitals in Indiana.

The toys will go to hospitalized kids in need in Indianapolis and the Mishawaka area. Special thanks to Nannan for his work on Creations for Charity each year. If you missed any part of the 24-hour LEGO broadcast, click here to watch.

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24 Dec

Creations for Charity – Toronto, Canada 2017

Posted in Uncategorized on 24.12.17 by

Every year for the last five years I’ve contributed to Creation For Charity, and last four acting as a coordinator. You’d might think it would get a bit boring or routine by now – that you get into a grove to donate creations and buy sets and drop them off….

But it really isn’t. The impact of Creations o f Charity is anything but routine.
From the unique creations built by some of the most amazing AFOLs around, to the profound impact that set has to a child – that’s magic…

And I’m immensely proud and floored every year to see just how generous all the MOC donors are, and the generous buyers and sometimes both! It’s your spirit that creates all this magic…

Again I’m privileged to be given the ability to distribute LEGO sets to children in Toronto. Again we decided to go with Toronto Children’s Aid Society, which which is the our equivalent of Child Protective Services as well as provide support and services to children and their families:

We manged to donate 42 sets (…no, I didn’t rig the number… I wish I had) – from the $1,300USD donation we managed score about $2,200USD in pure ABS magic! And always a special thanks to the amazing C4C elves at ToroLUG: Eric L, Brad W and Vivian L for various wheelings and dealings to get all of these at substantial discount! While this isn’t as big of a number as last year, we managed to get some REALLY big sets which has been a bit of departure from our usual budget 🙂

C4C - Toronto 2017!

Every year the Children Aid’s Society call me up and ask if Creations for Charity can help again. LEGO is the most requested item from parents and is an infrequent donation, so a large LEGO donation is cherished and always in need.

And it wouldn’t be a Creations For Charity post without again measuring the donations against the size of my poor car …. while I was able to fit the entire donation in one carload this year but not without some discomfort this driver 😉

Happy Holidays everyone, and from the bottom of my heart, thank you for your continued generosity and support – it means so much to not just to me, but to every child who’s holiday season is just a bit more magical.

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24 Dec

Creations for Charity – Hungary, 2017

Posted in Uncategorized on 24.12.17 by

We are very happy and honoured to participate again, for the fourth time in row, in the Creations for Charity project. To share the experience of playing with LEGO and help the ones in need is very important to us and being the part of this movement enables both of these things.
This year we were able to distribute 63 LEGO sets in all, among orphan children and kids in need at the three largest regions of Hungary. Statistics show that LEGO is becoming more and more popular among the people of Hungary and with this year’s donation we feel more up-to-date than ever. It can be referenced to the notion that people of our country discovered educational possibilities in LEGO. In this way, we are very happy to involve those children in this, who otherwise could not reach the benefits and merits of LEGO and can find a grip that they can use in their future studies as well.
All in all, we would like to thank Creations for Charity for this amazing project all around the World. This opportunity is very important to us and we could not do it better without this venture. We wish amazing holidays to all the children and paricipants of Creations for Charity and hope that all of You will find many joy and happyness (with playing with LEGO) in the next year!
All the best,
Viktoria

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23 Dec

Creations for Charity – Houston, Texas 2017

Posted in Uncategorized on 23.12.17 by

A great big THANK YOU to Creations for Charity, your generosity made it possible for us to brighten the Christmas of many children at 2 local elementary schools that were destroyed by Hurricane Harvey’s flood waters in Houston, Texas earlier this year.

Both Kolter and Moore Elementary schools took on several feet of water during the hurricane ruining everything in the schools as well as making the buildings unusable for this school year. Many of the families that make up these schools, both students and teachers, also had their homes severely damaged or destroyed. At Moore Elementary almost 50 families are still homeless as a result of the flood.

In HISD (Houston Independent School District) Kolter Elementary flooded and had to be relocated to another location while they rebuild. Four weeks after what was to be the first day of school, students finally got to start the school year. For Kolter Elementary we coordinated with PK teacher Kerri Lyons to fulfill the wish list of replacing classroom DUPLO.

Classroom DUPLO for Kolter Elementary

How can I even begin to thank you and your LEGO enthusiasts for all of the Duplo sets you purchased for my classroom?  I have taught at Kolter for 34 years and had a dream classroom.  In addition to tons of wonderful materials and books I had at least 15 Duplo sets and a large LEGO table in my block center.  The devastating flood from Hurricane Harvey brought 5 feet of water into Kolter and we lost EVEYTHING.  I can’t even begin to put into words what a loss that was in terms of having materials to teach children–especially 4 year olds.  Preschool children need concrete materials to touch and explore in order for them to develop academic and sensory skills.  I mean this sincerely that if it wasn’t for donations from kind people such as your group I don’t know where I would be in terms of being able to teach and meet the needs of my students today.  Your kindness and generosity will always be in my heart and the hearts of my students who squealed with delight as we opened all of the boxes today!   Happy Holidays! Kind Regards,  Kerri Lyons   PK Teacher @  Kolter Elementary

 

For Moore Elementary we coordinated with the principal and counselor and provided a LEGO set and 2 LEGO polybags for each of the 47 students left homeless by the flood.

LEGO gifts for Moore Elementary students left homeless by Hurricane Harvey

Moore Elementary is located in a suburb of Houston within the Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District. The community it serves was besieged by Hurricane Harvey August, 2017. Hundreds and hundreds of families from the school and also staff members lost everything when the floodwaters of Cypress Creek poured over the banks and into their homes. Many of our families had to be rescued by boat, air-lifted or swam through rapid moving water to escape the wrath of Harvey.

Included in the devastation was Moore Elementary itself. During the flood Moore took on at least two and a half feet of water and suffered a massive sewage back-up, completely ruining every porous surface in the school. This means that ALL teaching materials and personal belongings were rendered un-useable and had to be destroyed or were destroyed by the floodwaters.

Our community is one of many that suffered at the hand of Harvey and we have come together as a community and staff to support one another and care for one another during this extremely difficult time. We were blessed to be able to be housed together, because many other schools in other districts affected in this way have had to be split up among available sites. The old Matzke Elementary building sat waiting for Windfern High School to move into it but the Board and CFISD administration decided that it would be best to keep us all together and allowed us to move in. Administration and Staff worked feverishly over a 7 day straight period – and again, many having suffered great personal losses in their own homes – to get the empty building on Jones Road ready and transformed into the new Moore On Jones. We opened our doors on September 11th, 2017, two weeks after the scheduled first day of school.

Thanks to the support of our community and so many communities across the United States and beyond, we are surviving and providing the best that we can for our beloved students and community. We are Moore Strong. #BeMoore   Jennifer Nichols, Counselor @ Moore Elementary

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23 Dec

Creations for Charity in Saskatchewan, 2017

Posted in Uncategorized on 23.12.17 by

Hello from Regina, the Queen City!  It is an honour to yet again be handing out LEGO sets to kids this holiday season!  Thank you to EVERYONE who built, bought or just straight-up donated to the cause!  And a big thank you to Nannan and his elves for keeping this marvelous fundraiser going through the years!  It is truly one of my favourite LEGO community traditions.

 

As with last year, I partnered with a local toy shop to turn our $1500 donation from C4C into $2450 worth of LEGO sets of all shapes and sizes!  Looking around our community to see who could benefit from some sets around the holidays, I was able to spread the 122 sets across three locations:

The Pediatric Ward at the Regina General Hospital cares for children from infants to 18 years of age, and each year they have a handful of patients over the holidays.  Our LUG had a member who spent much time in the Hospital himself and found LEGO a great comfort.

The Regina Open Door Society is a non-profit organization that provides settlement and integration services to refugees and immigrants in Regina.  It is committed to meeting their needs by offering programs and services that enable them to achieve their goals and participate fully in the larger community.  As newcomers have other expenses to worry about over the holidays, these sets will go a long way giving new Canadians an enjoyable first Christmas!

The North Central Family Centre offers inner-city children and youth an opportunity to participate in educational, recreational, social and cultural programs and activities.  Their vision is to provide a safe environment to build self-esteem and self-confidence in in the youth of the community.  These kids, and many more in the neighbourhood, will hopefully find inspiration in these sets over the holidays.

Thanks again to everyone for allowing the kids in our community to experience a bit of the joy of building that we all enjoy!

Happy Holidays!

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21 Dec

Australian Creations for Charity 2017

Posted in Uncategorized on 21.12.17 by

Australian Creations for Charity 2017

Wow! What a fantastic responsibility again this year to help needy kids have a great LEGO Christmas. Many thanks to Nannan and the crew behind Creations for Charity as well as all the great AFOL’s who build, donate and purchase the creations.

Nannan got in touch with the global representatives asking if we were keen again to help out local childrens charities. I quickly jumped at the opportunity again!

Fellow SydLUG member Graham and I again put a call out to other SydLUG members to assist with cash or set donations, and were again impressed by the generosity of our members.

This year Graham ran another raffle on GoFundMe to members of OzLUG, but put up even more prizes for peoples $5 ticket investment. Needless to say with Graham’s history of having run the raffle the year before and offering more choice to the winner, the response was even stronger, raising $2800 Aus. This allowed us to purchase about 140 sets!

With the donation of $1575 Aus from Creations for Charity, and the raffle cash, Graham and I set off again to make the most of the cash. We hit up a local branch of a Australian retailer who had a 20% off sale and they were kind enough to offer a further 10% off. This allowed us to purchase even more sets, about 90 or so.

In addition to this we had another donation of 176 sets including advent calendars.

So armed with approximately 400 sets we headed to the Kidzwish storage facility a week before their major kids Christmas party. With over 4300 kids and carers attending this year, it was a great feeling thinking that so many kids had a chance to choose a LEGO set for Christmas.

Australian Creations for Charity 2017

Australian Creations for Charity 2017

Australian Creations for Charity 2017

Graham attended the party as a volunteer and enjoyed handing out the sets to many happy kids on the day. Looks like LEGO was a popular choice!

Kidzwish Party 2017

Kidzwish Party 2017

Kidzwish Party 2017

Thanks again to Creations for Charity, they have really kickstarted our local fundraising efforts for needy kids and we look forward to continue the great work again in future.

Cheers
Josh

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03 Dec

$14,926 raised for Creations for Charity 2017

Posted in Uncategorized on 03.12.17 by

This year’s Creations for Charity raised $14,926! We couldn’t have done it without the numerous donors and buyers who played a part in this year’s successful fundraiser. Take a look at the creations sold and don’t forget to check back around Christmas to see our Lego donations!

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