01 Jan

Grand Rapids, MI, USA – 2019

Posted in Uncategorized on 01.01.20 by

As we move forward into a new decade, I am reminded of all the things that can change in our lives in a year. Marriages, babies, new adventures, new experiences. Birth, death, friendships, excitement, loss.

But I am also reminded of things that seem to always stay the same. Seasons, sunrises, wit, love, compassion. The greatest things in many of our lives are the constants.

One of those constants in my life is C4C. It is here annually to remind me how invaluable is is to give of ourselves, to create and support environments of hands-on learning for kids who may not get much exposure to it. It reminds me that a kid’s needs include creating, playing, and destroying. All the fancy names for what they learn along the way don’t really matter to those kids. All they know is that they are having fun.

I am also reminded this year of all the work and outreach our friends at the Billy Bear Hug Foundation do each year with their outreach to children with life threatening illnesses. I am proud of what we do at C4C, and proud of what we accomplish thru partners like BBH Foundation. This year we were able to spend $1200 USD and purchase 97 new Lego sets for this outreach.

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29 Dec

Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA – 2018

Posted in Uncategorized on 29.12.18 by

It seems like I’m one of the last to share my reactions on C4C each year. It’s difficult to say more than I have said in the past, and yet, each year I am thrilled at the prospect of contributing to the excitement and joy of children at Christmas. Even my own kids eagerly helped me select some sets this year to give to the donations.

This year in Grand Rapids, we were able to work with Billy Bear Hug Foundation again and are grateful continuebuilding and strengthening that relationship. They reach so many families in need of kindness during the holidays.

With the help of BBH and their student volunteers, we were able to reach _____ kids and shine a light. C4C continues to be a highlight in my year as an AFOL. So much thanks to all who contributed time, energy, and more to this year’s fundraiser.

From BBH:
“In this season of giving, it’s important to remember those shouldering additional burdens as they observe the holidays. Our Youth Advisory Board members wrapped Christmas gifts for patients and families from @hospiceofmi’s pediatric hospice program. Thank you to @creationsforcharity2009 and @d.w.studiosmi for donating the amazing Lego sets and all of our donors who make this possible.”

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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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22 Dec

Michigan Wrap-up 2016

Posted in Uncategorized on 22.12.16 by

At C4C, we have always believed that while we were growing up with Lego, it was secretly teaching us math, design, engineering, art, and problem-solving. We started out wanting to share that opportunity with kids who cannot afford Lego in their lives.

This year, here in Grand Rapids, my wife and I realized that those same kids don’t care about all that other stuff. Kids have three basic instincts: to build, to play, and to destroy. In essence, while Lego might have all those incredible traits, it is, most importantly, fun.

We decided to make our donations this year to the kids at Helen De Vos Children’s Hospital and use the opportunity to share with the kids who don’t get to go home for the holidays.

We used our allotment this year to purchase a huge amount of sets while saving an average of 30% off MSRP – an accomplishment in itself. With the help of our new contact person, Amy, we were able to donate them all to the kids, but due to health privacy laws and the risk of infectious diseases, we were not able to hand the sets out directly, but we turned them over to the staff and they took care of that for us.


We were thrilled to play a part in helping so many kids gain useful skills while somply having fun, and we look forward to working with HDVCH again in the future.

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21 Dec

Creations for Charity 2015: Grand Rapids, Michigan

Posted in Uncategorized on 21.12.15 by

This year I was fortunate enough to take on some extra responsibility with the fundraiser. It was gain a pleasure to be involved, but being closer to the inner workings by helping with the sale site and researching and implementing some things for the future plans, 2015 was a landmark year for me with C4C.
Not only was it a landmark year for me, but it was also a landmark year for Creations for Charity with support and fundraising setting a new record in funds. Between our collections throughout the year at the various conventions and the bulk of the funds resulting from the sale of your incredible donations, we reached a truly remarkable sum of $18,056. So once again, thanks so much for all you’ve done to help make that happen.

GR MI drop off locationWith these funds, we have been able to provide Lego to local charities throughout the country and the world, for another holiday season. I feel very blessed to have grown up with Lego and I am thrilled to share its power with less fortunate kids. It helps them learn art, design, engineering, math, problem-solving and more, and it is touching to share those things.

With the portion of funds allocated to me in Grand Rapids, MI, I was able to purchase over 45 new Lego sets and to donate them to the USMC Toys for Tots program via my local fire station, where Dorothy (the receptionist) was thrilled to see us again this year, and this year the firefighters were also in the building, and not out on a call.

GR MI 2015 packed for delivery.Really solid sales were harder to find this year than in the past, but there were some decent ones online.  You can see here all of my purchases boxed and stuffed into my car.  Before I boxed them up for delivery, though, I did set them up for the annual shot of all the sets I was able to purchase and I am thrilled with the result,  I trust 52 children will be too, and I hope that you all are as well.  Again, thanks for help making this a banner year for C4C and we hope to do even better in the future.

C4C 2015 Grand Rapids, MI

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27 Dec

Creations for Charity 2014 – Grand Rapids, MI

Posted in Uncategorized on 27.12.14 by

As long as I can remember, LEGO has been a part of my life. I bought my first set from a local, small town, five and dime shop in 1984, and my life was changed forever. I had no idea what I was learning while I played, no idea what LEGO was teaching me through the fun I was having. All of those things, math, engineering, design, color theory, construction fundamentals, creativity, and resource frugality.
A few when years ago, when we started C4C, we knew that children could be exposed to all of these things, through LEGO, if we were willing to make it happen. This year, we continue what has become my family’s favorite holiday tradition, and are putting over $10,000 worth of LEGO into the hands of children who could normally not afford it. What a pleasure it was to be part of C4C again, in this record-breaking year. I am so thrilled with everyone’s willingness to contribute, and so proud of everyone involved. It warms my heart to know that the online community shares our dream.

When we started out earlier this year, I was feeling a sort of disconnect form what was going on. Normally, I will donate some of my builds to be included in the sale, but this year, I didn’t have any to donate. That left me feeling out of it in regards to the sale getting underway. However, I was put me in touch with more people than ever who were asking about C4C and what we do, how we got started, and why we do it. I was so humbled at the multiple opportunities to share this great charity with the people in my community and across the web.

For my 40th Birthday, we threw a party and asked the guests to bring LEGO for C4C in lieu of gifts for me. What a generous group of friends I have.

I challenge everyone involved, whether a seller, those who donated, administrator, or purchaser, to share the success of this year’s fundraiser, and to share next year when the time comes. We can continue to change lives.

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19 Dec

Creations for Charity 2013 donations in Grand Rapids, Michigan

Posted in Uncategorized on 19.12.13 by

What a thrill to be involved again this year with C4C! As always, I am so excited with the response. Our goal has always been to supply the toy we love to kids who couldn’t otherwise afford them. They teach us so much about art, design, mathematics, and problem solving. They have been invaluable to us, and we strive each holiday season to pay that forward. Nannan has really taken the lead on this and yet again, we have been able to supply Lego to so many deserving children – too many to count. It is our way of paying it forward in the holiday season.

With the help of innumerable volunteers and people who donate their time, money, and passion for the hobby, we have put together a fantastic supply for Toys for Tots. Here in Grand Rapids, they are always so excited to see how much we have for them. When the faces of the adults working with T4T light up at the sight of all the boxes of Lego, you can only imagine what the faces of the kids will look like when they get them in their hands.

Also this year, for the first of what we hope will be many times to come, we received the assistance of The Lego Group itself, which donated boxes of Lego to be distributed at our various locations. You can read more about that in the posts of the other Distribution Coordinators.

Thanks so much to everyone who puts this event in place and makes it work. It is worth every second, every penny, every brick.

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29 Dec

Update and Thank You from Grand Rapids, Michigan!

Posted in Uncategorized on 29.12.12 by

What a privilege to be involved with Creations For Charity yet again this year. I am thrilled, not only with the whopping $9300 raised through sales, but also with the number of donations we received from such a varied group of talented builders.

The process for me each year has been pretty much the same. Once the donations start rolling in and are listed for sale, I start scouring the internet, and local stores, for ‘decent’ Lego deals. Often the local chains will have better deals (and more frequently) that the national chains.

Many times there are deals to be found online that cannot be found inside actual stores. There are a lot of things to be mindful of, including shipping charges (free is great), state sales tax, are the ordered items available for in store pick-up, etc. We also have to watch dfor inflated prices and check the original MSRP. Something might look like a good deal at 25% off, but if the list price is already 20% above the Manufacturer’s Suggested Sale Price, it isn’t really a deal at all. We generally try to find 30% or more off of Lego themes and 25% or more off of licensed themes. Sometimes this is very difficult because the Toys For Tots deadline here in West Michigan in ten days before Christmas. As a result, I cannot afford to take advantage of ‘last minute’ sales deals.

As the sets start piling up in my apartment, I keep them set aside in a closet or extra bedroom. In previous years I have gone directly to the T4T drop off at my local Marine Reserves office. This year, however, due to my schedule, I made drops at local businesses with T4T drop-off bins. I would go in and top off the box with Lego sets. At one Panera Bread location, the box was empty. The place was completely packed, and not a single toy in the box. So, my girlfriend and I filled it completely with Lego.

After dropping off the last of my donations, I simply sit back and see what the rest of the buyers were able to find. This year we have gotten quite a haul! I look forward to seeing how much Lego value we got for the amount of money we actually spent.

Finally, I want to say thank you. Thanks to all the people behind the scenes at Creations For Charity who manage the sales and handle the publicity, to the numerous builders who donated their time and resources and money to create and ship creations, to the people who generously bought those creations or donated directly to our fund, and to you, for reading this, because if you are reading this, you are interested enough and care enough to be a part of what we are trying to do.

Remember, giving children the gift of Lego is not something that is limited to the holiday season. Lego teaches children engineering, physics, creativity, math, and problem-solving not to mention much more. We all know children who need that type of inspiration. Even the smallest sets can make a world of difference. I encourage you to be inspiring to a child. Be a Lego hero.

I eagerly look forward to 2013!


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