Posted in Must Reads!

Christmas Gift Ideas for Children with Special Needs – 2017 Edition!

For the past three years (2014, 2015 & 2016!), we gave some ideas to send to children with special needs for Christmas.

This isn’t a definitive list, but here are some ideas compiled through Toys R Us website, blogs from parents who have a child with special needs, and videos from parents who have a child with special needs. DISCLAIMER: Please note that we aren’t parents of children with special needs, but hopefully these ideas will help you. We also tried to choose lots of different ideas as well as toys not too expensive, but good quality. These toys can also be used for children who don’t have special needs. 

Tactile toys:

Little Tikes 3-Pack Grip n Roll Balls – $9.99 at Toys R Us

Sassy Sensation Station Rattle – $7.99 at Toys R Us

Echo the Elephant – $29.99 at Toys R Us (It could be used for kids with low vision too!)

Bright Starts Having a Ball Roll and Chase Bumblebee Toys – $19.99 at Toys R Us

Color SENSEation and Paint Set – $14.99 on Toys R Us (Good for kids with low vision too!)

Baby Touch and Feel Tractor Book – $5.99 on Toys R Us (Good for kids with low vision too!)

Play Visions Mondo Spaghetti Ball – $11.99 on Amazon

Chew Stixx – $7.49 on Amazon

Education Insights Play Foam – $6.99 on Amazon

Water Beads by Sensory Jungle – $7.95 on Amazon

Rainbow Stacker toy – $12.99 on Amazon

10 Sensory Processing Toys (Tangle Junior, Marble Fidgets, Therapy Putty) – $22.97 on Amazon

Janteen Stretchy String Fidget Sensory Toys – $8.85 on Amazon

Sensory Fidget Toy Bundle – 3 Wacky Track Snap ‘n Click Puzzles with Double the Standard Links, 3 Twist, Flex, ‘n Shape Tangles and Bonus Storage Bag  by Bapon Toys – $18.99 on Amazon

Fine Motor toys:

Melissa and Doug Cutting Fruit Set – $13.99 on Amazon

Stack it Peg Game with Board – $14.99 on Amazon

Melissa and Doug Basic Skills Board – $15.99 on Amazon

Learning Resources Gator Grabbing Tweezers – $8.99 on Amazon

Fisher Price Baby’s First Blocks (shape sorter!) – $9.99 on Amazon

Bright Starts Drop N Spin Turtle – $23.64 on Amazon

Learning Resources Helping Hands Fine Motor Tool Set – $8.19 on Amazon

Melissa and Doug Switch and Spin Magnetic Gear Board – $19.99 on Toys R Us

Melissa and Doug Lace and Trace – $19.99 on Toys R Us

Learning Resources Alphabet Soup – $14.99 on Toys R Us

Learning Resources Smart Snacks Nesting Gummies – $19.99 on Toys R Us

Magnetic Fishing Game – $5.88 on Amazon

Buckle Toy – “Barkley Dog” – $24.99

Melissa and Doug Latches Wooden Activity Board – $24.53 on Amazon

Learning Toys:

Topple Balance Broad Game Children Development Learning Toys for Family & Party 2-4 Plays by Tong Hui – $16.99 on Amazon

Pressman Toys Mr. Bucket Game – $16.99 on Amazon

Learning Resources Mini Muffin Match Up – $13.99 on Amazon

VTech Sit to Stand Learning Walker – $25.00 on Amazon 

Musical Learning Toys for Toddlers by Think Gizmos – $39.95 on Amazon

Battat Take-Apart Crane Toy Truck Playset – $15.50 on Amazon

Learning Resources Puzzle Globe – $28.41 on Amazon

Melissa and Doug Classic Wooden Peg Puzzles (Set of 3: Colors, Numbers, and Alphabet)- $16.99 on Amazon

Fisher Price Laugh and Learn Magical Lights Fishbowl – $22.93 on Amazon

Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Smart Stages Grow ‘n Learn Garden Caddy – $24.99 on Amazon

The Learning Journey Lift & Learn USA Map Puzzle – $15.00 on Amazon

VTech Drill and Learn Toolbox – $19.88 on Amazon

Feelings – Matching & Memory Card Game – $32.00 on Amazon

ALEX Toys Little Hands Ready Set Cut – $10.20 on Amazon

Language Toys:

VTech Chomp and Count Dino – $24.99 on Toys R Us

Melissa and Doug See and Spell – $31.42 on Amazon

Play-Doh Shape and Learn Letters and Language – $10.88 on Amazon

Lauri Photo Cards – Go Togethers – $12.99 on Amazon

First Words Flash Cards by Brighter Child – $2.16 on Amazon

Speech Game Gallery – $12.00 on Amazon

“R”, “S”, “Sh”, “Ch”, and “L” Sound Flashcards – $49.00 on Amazon

“Can Do” Oral Motor Game – $25.00 on Amazon

Action (50 Photo Cards) – $44.84 on Amazon

Sound Excitement: Games for Teaching Speech Sounds – $24.00 on Amazon

The Sneaky Snacky Squirrel Game – $12.49 on Amazon

Learning Resources Cooking up Sentences Game – $12.57 on Amazon

Gross Motor Toys:

Pancake Pile Up Relay Game by Educational Insights – $17.99 on Amazon

Learning Resources Crocodile Hop Floor Game – $39.99 on Amazon

Fisher Price Zoom and Crawl Monster – $19.93 on Amazon

ALEX Toys Active Play Monkey Balance Board – $27.50 on Amazon

Plastic Scooter with Handles – $17.95 on Amazon

VTech Sit to Stand Learning Walker – $25.00 on Amazon

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Stacking and Nesting Blocks – $16.37 on Amazon

Jungle Ring Toss Game – $14.99 on Amazon

Melissa & Doug Sunny Patch Froggy Toss and Grip Catching Game With 2 Balls – $12.99 on Amazon

Little Tikes 3-in-1 Sports Zone Baby Infant Toy – $54.99 on Amazon

Melissa & Doug Sunny Patch Happy Giddy Bowling Set With 6 Pins, Bowling Ball, and Storage Bag – $19.99 on Amazon

Building Blocks Sensory Toy – $21.99 on Amazon

Hopscotch Playmat – $14.87 on Amazon

LeapFrog Step and Learn Scout – $19.99 on Amazon

Past lists:

2014 Special Needs Christmas List

2015 Special Needs Christmas List

2016 Special Needs Christmas List

What are some other gift ideas you have for special needs children?

We post new blogs every Monday at 8 PM Eastern Standard Time (EST), so be sure to follow our blog for updates. To see new and old posts, go to the “Must Read” page tab. You can also go search under archives. We post new YouTube videos every Friday at 6 PM Eastern Standard Time (EST). 

Hope Alive Ministry Social Media: 

Facebook: www.facebook.com/HopeAliveMinistry           

Twitter: @teamhopealive

Instagram: @hopealiveministry 

YouTube: http://bit.ly/2of8Ni4

Email: hopealiveministry4you@gmail.com (or fill out the “Contact Us” page tab to contact us).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted in Must Reads!

HAM Christmas Cards 2017 & Reminder on Survey!

On Tuesday, November 28, we mailed out 400 homemade Christmas cards for kids, teens and caregivers to the following 12 Ronald McDonald Houses in the United States: 

Ronald McDonald House Charities of Charlottesville, Inc. (location nearby UVA Children’s Hospital), Ronald McDonald House Charities of San Diego (location nearby Rady Children’s Hospital), Ronald McDonald House Charities of Eastern Iowa & Western Illinois (location nearby University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital), Ronald McDonald House Charities of Richmond (location nearby Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU), Ronald McDonald House Charities of Chicago & Northern Indiana (location nearby Advocate Children’s Hospital), Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central PA (location nearby Penn State Health Children’s Hospital), Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Florida (location nearby Nemours Children’s Hospital in Orlando), Ronald McDonald House Charities of Nashville (location nearby Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt), Ronald McDonald House Charities of Durham and Wake (location nearby Duke Children’s Hospital), Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Ohio (location nearby Nationwide Children’s Hospital), Ronald McDonald House Charities of St. Louis (location nearby St. Louis Children’s Hospital), and Ronald McDonald House Charities of Western Michigan (location nearby Helen Devos Children’s Hospital).

Here are some pictures of the cards being mailed!

Cards laid out!
IMG_3915
Our Founder & Executive Director, Bayley Paharik, with packages of cards ready to be mailed at Post Office on November 28, 2017.

 

We created a survey last month, so that we can better serve families facing life-threatening and chronic illnesses. Click here to fill it out. All answers will remain confidential. There is no deadline.

Thank you for all of your support!

We post new blogs every Monday at 8 PM Eastern Standard Time (EST), so be sure to follow our blog for updates. To see new and old posts, go to the “Must Read” page tab. You can also go search under archives. We post new YouTube videos every Friday at about 6 PM Eastern Standard Time (EST). 

Hope Alive Ministry Social Media: 

Facebook: www.facebook.com/HopeAliveMinistry

Twitter: @teamhopealive

Instagram: @hopealiveministry 

YouTube: http://bit.ly/2of8Ni4

Email: hopealiveministry4you@gmail.com (or fill out the “Contact Us” page tab to contact us

 

 

 

Posted in Must Reads!

Giving Tuesday 2017 – Foundations to Support!

First of all, Happy Belated Thanksgiving to everyone in the United States. 

Giving Tuesday is tomorrow and it is an opportunity to give back to nonprofits by donating to them. Every year, we list a few foundations that support families facing life-threatening and chronic illnesses like we do and that we encourage you to support.

Here are 5 charities you can support:

1. Ride to Give – Ride to Give hosts fundraisers for special needs children and also runs for them. They are based in Georgia. 

2. Sunshine on a Ranney Day – Sunshine on a Ranney Day renovates homes for children with special needs. They are based out of Atlanta. 

3. Olivia Kay Foundation – Olivia Kay Foundation was founded after Olivia Kay Borodychuk (October 10, 2008 – April 28, 2017) was diagnosed with Alexander Disease, rarest form of Leukodystrophy. They strive to improve the quality of life for children with severe multiple impairments as well as their families and care givers. One of their big projects is their Pillow Project where they provide children with special needs positioning pillows. They are based in Michigan, but help families from all over. 

4. Sadie Keller Foundation – Sadie Keller Foundation is named after Sadie Keller who was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (A.L.L.) in February 2015 at 7 years old. Sadie is now 10 and in remission. Sadie Keller Foundation strives to make children with cancer smile, raise awareness of childhood cancer and to make a difference. They are based in Texas. 

5. Granting Grace Foundation – Granting Grace Foundation was founded in memory of Grant Gosselin (11/2/11 – 3/28/16) after he passed away from Neuroblastoma, a form of childhood cancer. Their mission is to raise awareness about childhood cancer and to fund childhood cancer research, as well as provide support for other families battling this beast. They are based in Georgia. 

Let us know which charity you support. 

Posted in Must Reads!

6 things HAM is thankful for in 2017!

Thanksgiving is this Thursday and while we try to be thankful all year round, we especially want to remember to be thankful at this time of year.

Here are 6 things we are thankful for in 2017:

1. Our supporters – We appreciate you all!

2. Our families – We are thankful for families facing life-threatening and chronic illnesses. They help us to keep perspective on what really is important. 

3. Our God – We are not a “Christian” organization since we want to support families no matter their religion, but both Janis, our Social Media Coordinator and Bayley, Our Founder & Executive Director, have deep faith and God keeps us going.

4. The children – All the children we support are why we do what we do. Their smiles bring us joy.

5. Our Card Angels – Everyone who makes homemade cards every month for these kids make these children smile and we are grateful to them.

6. Our Board of Directors – They help us when we need them the most. 

What are you thankful for?

Posted in Must Reads!

HAM Survey – 2017!

Last year, we created a survey and now have another one. The survey’s help us to figure out how we can best help families facing life-threatening and chronic illnesses as well as find out who is following our social media sites.

Click here for the link to the survey.

Thank you for participating! There is no deadline.

Posted in Must Reads!

Christmas card deadline soon!

We are asking people to send us homemade Christmas cards for us to send to children, teens and thank you cards for the nurses to Ronald McDonald Houses across the United States. The deadline is November 17, so it is coming up. Contact us via the “Contact Us” blog page for our address. Click here for more details.

Thank you for bringing cheer this Christmas!

christmascardproject.png

Posted in Must Reads!

Feedback and Need of Volunteers for HAM Social Media Sites!

As we work to become a non-profit organization, we want to reach more families facing life-threatening and chronic illnesses. 

We will be creating another survey in the near future for people to offer us feedback. In the meantime, please send us feedback via the “Contact Us” page tab on this blog on things you would like us to do, so we can reach more families.

We are also in great need of volunteers especially to help run our Social Media sites (this blog, our Facebook page, our Twitter account, our Instagram account, and our YouTube channel). If you are interested, please contact us via the “Contact Us” page tab on this blog. 

If you have any ideas for future blog posts or videos, please let us know as well. Also, if you want a HAM long sleeved shirt, onesie or toddler t-shirt, please comment on this blog post to let us know. If we get enough interest, we may re-launch one or all of the campaigns.

Thank you!

Posted in Must Reads!

Last Chance to Get HAM Long Sleeved shirt, onesie or toddler t-shirt!

Deadline to purchase HAM long sleeved shirts, onesie and toddler t-shirts is tomorrow. 

They are $20 each and proceeds go towards non-profit fees, card supplies (and mailing!), care packages we want to send to families facing life-threatening and chronic illnesses and future HAM projects.

 

To purchase long sleeved shirts, click here.  We must sell at least 12 more for them to print. To purchase onesies, click here. We must sell at least 13 more for them to print. To purchase toddler t-shirts, click here. We must sell at least 11 for them to print.

Posted in Must Reads!

HAM Clothing Available Now – Long Sleeved shirts, onesies & toddler t-shirts!

We are selling Hope Alive Ministry (HAM) long sleeved shirts, onesies and toddler t-shirts. The unisex long sleeved shirts come in navy and pink. The pink unisex long sleeved shirt is available in sizes Adult S-3XL. The navy unisex long sleeved shirt is available in sizes Youth S-4XL. Everything except is $20 each. We must sell at least 12 more to print. The prices don’t include shipping. Click here to purchase.

The onesies come in hot pink and navy. They come in sizes Newborn, 6 months, 12 months, 18 months and 24 months. They are $20 each. We need to sell at least 13 more to print. The prices don’t include shipping. Click here to purchase.

The toddler t-shirts come in hot pink and navy. They come in sizes 2t-4t and are $20 each. The prices don’t include shipping. We must sell at least 11 to print. Click here to purchase.

Deadline is end of this month.

Proceeds go towards HAM nonprofit fees, care packages we want to send to families, card supplies (and mailing!), and future HAM projects.

Thank you for your support!

 

Posted in Must Reads!

Christmas Card Project 2017!

While it is only October, we want to get Christmas cards sent out as soon as possible to several Ronald McDonald Houses across the country. We probably will only be able to send to five at a time, but eventually want to send to all 14 on our list – There will be a blog post next Monday on how to help us with the financial aspect of Hope Alive Ministry.

We are collecting homemade Christmas cards for children, teens and thank you cards for the families to give to the nurses and caregivers. I (Bayley Paharik, Our Founder & Executive Director) will mail them out to several Ronald McDonald Houses. 

Do you like to make homemade cards? Well, here is your chance. Please keep messages positive and nothing about sickness like “Get better soon” or “I’m so sorry you are sick.” Also, avoid any religious themes, but you may say “Merry Christmas.” The cards will be sent to Ronald McDonald Houses across the country. We have a list of ones that accept homemade cards that we are planning on sending to this time, but we won’t share the list until a bit later on since we haven’t heard from some yet. If you have suggestions of Ronald McDonald Houses to contact, please email us at hopealiveministry4you@gmail.com or use the “Contact Us” form on this blog. We will then tell you if we contacted them already or not. Please include teens as well. Also, you may choose to make some thank you cards (Christmas/holiday themed!) for the families to give to their child/children’s nurses. Deadline is November 17. 

Email hopealiveministry4you@gmail.com or contact us through the “Contact Us” page tab on this blog for the address. Our Founder/Executive Director, Bayley Paharik, will be sending the cards to the various Ronald McDonald Houses or hand delivering some. You may also contact us at either place for any questions. You may use Christmas stickers on your cards. Be creative!

Thank you for bringing sunshine to these families!