Charity Blog

GOOD NEWS NEW ENGLAND | Sunday, March 14th, 2021

As this week marked an incredibly odd one year anniversary of the Coronavirus lockdowns, I can’t think of a better way to reflect than to honor those who have used this time to give back to others and lift their spirits. That’s why this episode is jam-packed full of gifts for YOU: a chance to hang out with Tom Brady (because let’s be honest, we all miss the GOAT!), 20% off your purchase at a small business that is donating proceeds to help others, and giving a shout out to the Cape Cod man who brings the fun every Friday with virtual weekly dance parties.

HOW YOU CAN HANG OUT WITH TOM BRADY (AND GIVE TO HIS FAVORITE CHARITY!)

It was a hard pill to swallow nearly one year ago today when the GOAT left the Patriots. He hasn’t stopped giving back to his favorite New England charity, however, and is now offering the ultimate incentive for those who can to give, give, GIVE!

Brady partnered with giving giveaway site Omaze.com to offer up the chance for you and a friend to grab lunch with him, toss the ball around and even try on one of his Super Bowl rings! Flights and hotel for the winner & a friend are included, and proceeds will be going directly to benefit Best Buddies. Why did Brady choose this particular charity?

He’s actually been a long-time supporter of the cause and a buddy himself, and was a staple in the yearly Harvard Stadium Best Buddies Challenge. In 2019, he even roped in Julian Edelman & James White to join him on the field and at the exclusive afterparty where even renowned chef Guy Fieri was on hand to cook up culinary goodness. (Wondering what that looked like? Go inside the event I covered with the BosBabes in 2019 here!: The BosBabes: Best Buddies Challenge)

How much does it cost, you ask? Donations can range from $10-$100, designed to fit a range of budgets while offering additional entries to those who cough up a bit more cash for the cause. Ready to join in? Here’s the link!: Meet Tom Brady

MEET THE MERMAID BEHIND THE RISE UP DESIGNS

Chances are if you’ve recently been to Cape Cod, you’ve seen the (totally trending) Rise Up shirts floating around. You’ve probably been wondering what the meaning is behind the shirts, and on tonight’s episode we’ve got your answer! We sat down with Executive Mermaid Shari Assad-Aussant (aka “Shaz”) to learn the details behind the design (and it will probably make you tear up!).

“Rise up project started when I recognized that a lot of people on Cape Cod were losing their jobs. All of the fairs and festivals were closing down, all the little pop-ups were closing, and I wanted to be able to help,”” says Shaz, whose own small business had relied heavily on events like the Barnstable County Fair and local craft beer festivals where she met hundreds of other vendors like herself.

At a loss for how to help, Shaz sat down with her sketchbook and got to work doing what she does best: designing. “So it was probably 3 in the morning when I started drawing and I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to do. The sun was rising and I thought, when the sun rises a friend of mine used to say ‘a tide rises all ships’. So I saw the sun, and I saw the water, and I just kept seeing the tide rising up and bringing all of us up at the same time.” Once she had sketched out her vision, she knew she’d found her way to help and came up with a plan to donate proceeds from her sales this line to local food pantries. The idea began to grow the moment she made her first call. “I made a couple of really cute designs and I called my favorite printer, Cape Cod Textiles, and he said, ‘Well, I wanna do one too for the men!”

While she hadn’t been sure what to expect, within hours Shaz received an overwhelming response from her Mermaid Tribe that quickly allowed her to donate the first check. “I have to be honest the first time it happened I cried, because within probably 3 hours we had over three thousand dollars in orders and that’s not something we normally see.” As the Cape Cod community continued to support the cause, Shaz found herself giving more than she’d ever expected. “The first check was for $5,000, then another check for $5,000 and then another check for $5,000, and pretty soon we were close to $25,000 in three months’ time,” she explained with a big smile on her face. Yet the humble designer didn’t want the credit: she wanted those receiving the generous donations to know exactly where the funds came from. “I always wrote on behalf of your community. We’re all in this together- nobody has left COVID unscathed. Nobody.”

Want to snag your own Rise Up gear? Use our code GOODNEWS to get 20% off your purchase while still giving to the cause! Link to shop: https://www.mermaidsoncapecod.com/search?q=rise+up

Charity Blog

Good News for Sunday, January 3rd, 2021 | Evenings With Emmalyn: Episode 10

Kick off 2021 with some GOOD news! The first week of 2021 has given us much to be grateful for and has already boasted both large and small acts of kindness that made a huge impact to their own local communities.

Let’s start on Martha’s Vineyard, where an anonymous customer that shops at both Cronig’s and Stop & Shop decided to pen a heartfelt letter thanking the grocery stores for continuing to be absolute lifelines for the small island even throughout the pandemic. The letter reads, “You have braved Covid to keep stores clean and safe, and shelves stocked to meet our needs…we could not live here without the tireless and courageous efforts of essential service workers like you.” Inside the letters handed directly to management at each store was a $100 bill for each of their employees, an act that one manager says brought his staff to tears. (Honestly, it kinda got me going, too!)

Across the pond in Falmouth, a mother of six has been busy trying to keep her children happy, healthy, and learning – a well known challenge many have experienced throughout this pandemic. Her solution? Tiana Gualtieri began creating “Play-Doh” boxes unique to each child, all fitting a different them. “Decorated dough makes homemade play doh kits that stimulate creative play. I include sensory items, crafts, and anything else to use your imagination,” she explains. After noticing how happy the activity made her own children, Gualtieri began reaching out to other parents who might be interested in boxes for their own children – and wound up connecting with local officials to help sponsor boxes for students. “Before the holidays as a Falmouth community, we were able to sponsor over 18 classrooms with individual play-doh activities,” says Gualtieri, who now says she’s looking forward to connecting with other parents and has opened the door for anyone who’d like to sponsor a box for a child to continue the trend.

Closer to Boston, the owner of Alba Restaurant in the seaside City of Quincy is celebrating his 30th year of living in America after working his way through the industry in Boston to finally open his own location. With this in mind as he approached the holiday season, owner Leo Kaka wanted to do something special to thank his employees for working so hard to keep his doors open during the pandemic. He did: to the tune of $30,000 in bonuses to his staff he was able to give after tallying up all the businesses’ gift card sales of the season.

To learn more about these stories or hear JT’s motivational message for this week on JT’s Positive 5, watch the full episode below! Be sure to like & subscribe to “Evenings With Emmalyn” to automatically get good news alerts every week.

Charity Blog

Evenings With Emmalyn: Episode 6

Latest episode is now up on YouTube featuring JT’s Chronicles and some good news from Food Baskets MV, Boston Bruins Foundation & more!