Wednesday, June 19, 2013

An Apple A Day Is Making A Way

It’s a given that writers have pet projects.  Darlene Arden promotes animal rescue. Brenda Novak is legendary for diabetes research. Many authors support the American Literacy Foundation. Just as many support various college foundations throughout the country. 

Over the years I've supported some great 
charities and I'd like to say that I've been a great support to one particular project as of late, but, in all honesty, I’ve avoided most charitable projects for a few years. Sadly, illness, death, moving, three or four book releases, a little thing called Graduate School and my internships -  a lot of stuff got in the way.

Recently, though, I discovered a really great 
project that I feel everybody should know about! But first...a little background about how I found this project...

That hair could very well be me 
first thing in the morning...

Every morning, at the crack of dawn, during the school year I had to drive my daughter to high school.  Since school started at 7:00 – that meant we left at 6:30, which, depending upon how late I stayed up either writing or studying the night before, meant that I was barely awake when I walked out the door. 

For most people, this would mean lots of coffee.  Alas, I'm not a coffee drinker - music and banter are usually how I can wake myself up early in the morning. Enter the most awesome morning show ever:

Jayde & Her SO
I started listening to this
show when Jayde was extremely pregnant and losing one morning partner for another (To this day I have no clue what happened to obnoxious Ed…but Seth is so much funnier anyway!).  Every day it was something new and improved - if they weren't making fun of celebrities, they were making fun of Jayde for her pregnancy idiosyncrasies or drinking monumental amounts of coffee as they  hashed over life's little mysteries such as - if a guy wanted to have sex with just your feet would you dump him? They make for excellent radio, ladies and gentlemen. 

Seth's the hairy one 
to the left I believe...
If it wasn’t for Jayde and her buddies there were many days where Em might have not made it to school on time or I would have fallen asleep at the wheel to drive into the median. (No, I'm not kidding, I'm 47, it takes me a while to get moving in the morning these days!)  They’re always funny, always thought provoking, and some days, yes, total perverts, it makes for a great listening experience! 

Many times, morning hosts are considered irreverent individuals who completely separate their personal world from their professional world.  Other than the occasional public appearance they rarely, if ever, mingle with their fans and if they do, they’re usually pretty damned rude (Howard Stern, anyone? Those from Chicago might remember the great Kit Pareventi debacle of the late 80s'....or the Man Cow situation in the mid-90's...What about that nappy Don Imus? You get the picture...) 

Don't Let The Smirk Fool You...

Not so with Ms. Donovan – she has succeeded in healthily combining the two worlds – which, in my  opinion, as a former publicist, is something that's actually pretty rare. The audience is privy to exactly what she wants the world to know within limited boundaries and details. Her fans get to hear about her two adorable children, life with her significant other, her career path and how she handles life in general - all without giving too much away.  Now that's a professional!

By now, you’re wondering what the hell I’m talking about, aren’t you? Never fear, we’re getting to that.   

This past month (that would be May), Jayde’s show presented a project that I thought was worth sharing with the world.  It’s a smaller endeavor compared to some but the benefits it provides are monumental. 

An Apple A Day is a program that Ms. Donovan started in memory of a young friend, Brittany Hamilton, who lost her battle with bone cancer in 2010.

Jayde & Brittany

What spawned the idea was Jayde getting an iPhone for Brittany for her sixteenth birthday.  In sharing with a friend how happy the phone had made Brittany, allowing her increased contact with the outside world, as well as further media outlets, the friend suggested that Jayde take the idea and turn it into something much bigger – which is exactly what she did.

Jayde & Dominic
Partnering with the Give Hope Foundation of Longwood, Florida, Jayde created the Apple A Day Program which provides mobile devices, such as iPhones, iPads, iPods, other smartphones and even laptops to children ages 2 to 17 undergoing cancer treatment, at no cost to them or their families.   

They take donated devices and restore them to factory settings or refurb them. The foundation also accepts donations to pay for the services. This way the families won’t have to worry about any type of bill regarding the device when they already have enough on their minds.  

Even if a device a person would like to donate
isn’t in top shape, the foundation will still take them. If they can’t get it running again, they’ll sell it for parts to raise the money to help pay for a new or used one.

Jayde & Riley
Think about this for a moment – you’re a child. Depending upon your immune system at any given moment your contact with the outside world is minimal at best sometimes, you’re trapped in the hospital, some days you feel great, others you feel horrible, you’re tired of television, tired of reading, you’re too tired or weak to mess with the phone.  How would that make you feel?  

Jayde & Talia

I know plenty of adults who can barely handle
long term hospitalizations – think about how seriously ill children have to deal with that. This item – whether it be an iPad or an iPhone, can improve that child’s quality of life during – and even after – their hospital stay.  It can change their entire world.

Jayde & Ava

As writers we often talk about how important it is for kids to read and be engaged in both literacy and educational media. Many times, seriously ill children lose out on these options, not to mention sometimes they can't even attend school. The Apple A Day program can assist in alleviating all of that and I'd like to encourage everybody - writer and reader alike - to consider donating towards an Apple A Day

To be honest, I don’t use Apple anything – I’ve been a PC person for way too long, old habits die hard – but I’ve already started lobbying my buddies that DO use Apples to consider donating their older items to the Apple A Day program and hey, if all else fails, monetary donations are definitely welcome! (Yes, of course I've donated! You should too!)

For those technically inclined when it comes to donations, here is Apple A Day’s mission statement, vision and objective:

Mission Statement:
Our mission is to bring joy into the lives of pediatric cancer patients though friendship, communication, sharing, and entertainment. When cancer treatment prevents or hinders normal childhood experiences and interaction, technology can become a welcomed bridge. This bridge also brings comfort, security, laughter, and a sense of normalcy in an otherwise scary and isolated battle.

Our vision is to provide Apple products (iPhone, iTouch) to pediatric cancer patients ages 8-17 years-old, so that they may experience simple joys such as listening to music, taking pictures, text messaging, playing multi-user games, reading books watching movies, keeping up with schoolwork... basically the ability to stay in contact with family, friends, and the world.

Our objective is to successfully launch Apple A Day in Orlando and establishing branch offices in major cities that have a a pediatric cancer hospital in the United States.

My son, Drew, the year after
he decided that crawling on the stove
would be a good idea. NOT. 
As a parent who, at one time, had to keep a burned sixteen month old happy for a week in the hospital, I cannot imagine having to keep a very sick child happy for the weeks and months it can require to deal with pediatric cancers.

Hubby The Week
Before He Passed Away
Keeping the late hubby happy and occupied for 58 days was hard enough and he was an adult.  I honestly can't imagine what these parents go through trying to keep their sick child entertained, engaged and in a positive frame of mind for an extended period of time.  
The Apple A Day project helps with that and then some. 

Jayde & Matthew

Currently providing for pediatric cancer patients in the Orlando and Tampa areas, an Apple A Day is something Jayde really wants to take to a national level and I think it would definitely be worth it. 

Jayde  & Ella
Already this program is a Godsend for a lot of children and while the program isn’t all that old – it’s only been up and running for about two years or so – it’s still worth a long, hard look and everybody's consideration. 

And something that I truly like about this program is the reality that its founder doesn't just sit back and do photo ops every so often as so many celebrities who 'work' in charity do. 

Jayde & Isha

Jayde gets right out there and meets with as many children as she can. She goes to them in the hospital, at home, at the Apple store even - she takes this calling very seriously and that is the type of dedication that I can get behind.

Gearing Up For The End Of The Apple A Day In May Celebration

Yes, there are many other charities out there that have been around a long time and have raised millions - that's great. At one point those charities were just starting out as well and needed extra publicity to get the word out there.  That's why I decided to skip the usual self-promotion and book talk this time around to share about Jayde's project.  

The Big Celebration Following An Apple A Day In May With Jayde & Hot 101.5

I know that time's are tough for everybody - but the reality is that almost everybody I know has at least $5.00 to spare. Or an iPhone that they don't use anymore. Or a dead laptop just gathering dust in their office closet.  To donate something to an Apple A Day would bring happiness to a child who truly deserves it, a child that may not live to grow up to enjoy adulthood. Please, consider donating to this awesome cause - to see the smiles on their faces, you definitely won't regret it. 

For more information regarding an Apple A Day, click on the heart logo above, or go directly to the Give Hope Foundation's website: The Give Hope Foundation    You can also access the program directly through my website's  Important Projects page now as well. Check it out, consider donating and pass the word along - the more people who know about an Apple A Day, the more children with cancer can benefit!  

Until next time friends, fans and writer-buds!

1 comment:

  1. What a great program! Thank you for sharing. Things like that make such a difference.