(featured photo credit: Momma Without a Clue)
Spoonie Essentials Box is not like other subscription boxes you’ve seen before. Behind every box is a community for chronic illness warriors around the world to turn to for support and validation. This amazing group of people seek to make sure every chronic illness warrior knows that they are seen, heard, and loved. The core mission of Spoonie Essentials Box is a personal one to the entire staff, who all volunteer. Each of them has been inspired to do so by their own battles with chronic illness. CEO Brittani Daniels has battled DRESS Syndrome, Lupus, severe Crohn’s disease, and colon cancer all while running Spoonie Essentials Box.
“I realized there was a need for something tangible for people to feel like they were not invisible,” she explains. “This was greater because it doesn’t just give you a box. It gives you a community to belong to.”
We are giving away one Spoonie Essentials Box to a chronic illness warrior in southwest Virginia on our Facebook page on Monday, August 7. You can also purchase a box for the chronic illness warrior in your life by visiting www.spoonieessentialsbox.com. Pay close attention to what comes in those boxes, whether you are personally impacted by a chronic illness or not. You may learn something.
“Once you become educated on chronic illness you will become an advocate with us. You don’t just stand idly by while people are being mistreated and looked down upon,” Brittani says. “When you teach someone about what you’re going through, they can better understand you and help other people.”
We are currently compiling our list of ways to give back in the coming months. Beginning in February, we will replace “Giving Back” with an active volunteering article. The goal is to promote a general understanding of the commitment many nonprofits need to survive and help those in need right here in Southwest and Central Virginia.
To begin this series, we want to tell you about smaller efforts we are making as a staff to brighten up the world around us. We hope that they will inspire you to complete random acts of kindness in your own life so we can all work together to make our community a better place.
We adore the girls over at Project Goodness (www.withgoodness.com). They are “a community dedicated to noticing and adding to the goodness in and around us.” Their interactive signs are popping up all over the country, and encourage passersby to take a random act of goodness to complete during their day. They send PDFS out for free, and you are welcome to contact them or us (firstname.lastname@example.org) for copies of your own! (Just make sure to ask permission before you hang them!)
We are also captivated by the Craftivist Collective community. Created by activist Sarah Corbett, it allows artists to approach activism in a gentle, respectful, yet target manner. Sarah’s goal is to explore global issues “using craft for critical thinking.” Check out some of their awesome projects like “Stitchable Change-makers” at www.craftivist-collective.com.
It is easy to be overwhelmed by the information and resources available for the cause you want to support most, but don’t let it distract you from your purpose. A simple, random act of kindness or a moment spent learning and reflecting on the lives of others can help you achieve the personal growth you seek on a daily basis. Give one (or both!) of these a try and stay tuned for our volunteer adventures in 2017!
Is your family getting tired of hearing the same children’s music? Are you looking for music that will not only entertain but also educate them? Consider introducing them to Chana Rothman, a singer/songwriter whose debut children’s album, “Rainbow Train,” celebrates gender freedom and expression.
Chana is also an award-winning music educator and mom to two children (ages 1 and 4). Born in Toronto and formerly based in Brooklyn, she now lives/works in Philadelphia and her music is played and sung in communities around the world. Chana’s most recent project, “Rainbow Train,” is born of her experience as a family musician and music educator – seeing a need for music that celebrates healthy gender expression both for her own kids and family and for all kids and all families.
Chana was inspired to write and record this album based on her own experiences and that of her son, who, as an early toddler, experimented with his gender expression. With this album, Chana aims to affirm and celebrate the many different ways to express gender; attach a relatable voice to a growing gender-freedom movement; open a dialogue based on respect, honesty, and kindness; and provide a usable, danceable tool that can create social change. “Dress Up and Dance” is a particularly notable track that both children and parents can relate to and perhaps use as a tipping-off point for a conversation on individuality and being respectful of others.
“Rainbow Train” is available now! Visit her website or Facebook page for more information on Chana and download tracks from the album here.