giving back

c and g news feature 10.23.14

October 23, 2014

Local business using Loops of Love to raise money, awareness for breast cancer

By Joshua Gordon


BERKLEY — Through family and friends, April McCrumb knows three people who have had to deal with breast cancer in one way or another.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and the outreach spans fundraisers all over the country.

But McCrumb is trying to reach out to the local men and women dealing with breast cancer by offering her own recognition program, Loops of Love, at her business, Catching Fireflies, in Berkley, Rochester and Ann Arbor.

“My cousin dealt with breast cancer, my sister-in-law’s dad and my friend’s mom, so with me alone there are three people in my life that have dealt with this,” McCrumb said. “Our company is supported by people who are mostly women, and there are plenty of other problems out there, too, but this made sense for us. We have been around for 14 years, and we thought it was time to do something that celebrated this month.”

Through Loops of Love, members of the community can nominate someone they know who has battled breast cancer and create a pink loop of paper that will be intertwined with other loops and displayed in all of McCrumb’s stores.

For each loop created, Catching Fireflies will donate $1 to The Pink Fund, a metro Detroit organization that helps people affected by breast cancer handle their bills.

“It is surprisingly crazy how many people who know somebody affected by breast cancer, as we have been doing this for about two weeks and we have over 300 loops between the stores,” McCrumb said. “We are able to use our stores, email contacts and social media sites to reach out so people can recognize someone they know that has gone through this horrible phase. People who may not know about it come into our stores and see the loops behind the counter, and we can explain it to them.”

And it is the chance to talk about breast cancer that made this program attractive when McCrumb and her workers were trying to come up with ideas on how to recognize Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

“Like anything, when the spotlight is on an issue or problem, it does bring more money in for the cause,” she said. “The ALS (Association), they did the ice bucket challenge and that raised a ton of money. The fact that there is one month to shine the spotlight on breast cancer and that helps to boost the money raised, we want to be part of that.”

Molly MacDonald founded The Pink Fund in 2006 after being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2005. As she stood in line at the local food bank, she said she couldn’t believe there wasn’t something out there to help families like hers.

“I could not believe there was no support to help working women like myself,” MacDonald said. “Me working was critical to my family’s survival, so I bought a book on how to start a nonprofit organization, and we have helped close to 700 people and had close to $1 million in funding.”

Now cancer-free, MacDonald and The Pink Fund look to pay nonmedical bills for men and women with breast cancer who are unable to work or who lost income because of treatments. The organization gets between 80-90 new applicants every month, and it funds every qualifying applicant for up to 90 days. The Pink Fund usually spends up to $3,000 during that time.

“I think a lot of people are very much aware of breast cancer, but they are not aware of the financial side effects of treatment,” MacDonald said. “With treatment often comes the physical and mental inability to work, but if you can’t work, you can’t collect a paycheck. Some people won’t complete treatment and return to work because they can’t afford to lose everything. We are trying to help people understand that one side effect is the financial toxicity of care.”

Throughout the month, McCrumb has been picking random, nominated people to send a care package that includes a gift card and a bracelet. Thus far, she has sent about 40 packages.

Even when the month is over, McCrumb hopes her small effort can help someone in need.

“I think it is sad that people are going through this, but it is beautiful to take this time to recognize them,” she said.

To nominate someone for Loops of Love, visit Catching Fireflies at 3117 W. 12 Mile Road in Berkley or at 203 E. University Drive in Rochester. You can also

loops of love

September 16, 2014

Many of us know someone who has fought, won or lost the battle of breast cancer.  Our relationships with these women and men connect all of us in a unique way and we want to celebrate that with our Loops of Love campaign this October.

Loops of Love

To honor these amazing people in our lives we are linking together pink paper loops with the names of women and men you know that are fighting or have battled breast cancer. These loops of love will be displayed in all our shops during Breast Cancer Awareness month and we’ll be donating a dollar for every loop to The Pink Fund who provides short-term financial aid to breast cancer patients in active treatment, so they can focus on healing.

loops of love bracelet

In addition to donating dollars for loops, we’ll also be selling these handmade silk heart bracelets at all our locations and online now through the month of October for $5.95 with all proceeds going to The Pink Fund.  They’re the perfect accessory to wear during this month of awareness in celebration of the women and men in our lives who have fought breast cancer.

surprise snail mail

And for some extra fun, we’ll be selecting a number of our nominated names to send surprise snail mail in hopes of making their days brighter this October.

Ready to help us start making long chains of pink paper loops?  

1. Email your Loop Love name(s) to with subject title: Loops of Love  (please do not leave info in the comments section on this blog post)

2. Include their full name(s) and mailing address(es) if you would like them to be eligible to possibly receive surprise snail mail.  (There will be a note explaining Loops of Love but the surprise pink envelopes will be sent anonymously)

3.  Please let us know if they are currently fighting, have won or lost the battle to breast cancer

4.  Include your full name and your relationship to the nominee.

Thank you for partnering with us to make days brighter this fall! 

I like exchange students

July 29, 2014

Three years ago about this time Steve & I made the decision to host our very first exchange student.  It was a little scary and exciting all at the same time considering it had been just us two since we tied the knot over 10 years ago.   Now we are happy to say our little international family consists of three lovely European daughters… Tessa, Jule and Iitu.

It’s been over a month since Iitu returned home to Finland and her exit was definitely not without tears… but it didn’t start out that way.  Iitu was the first girl we hosted that let us know being an exchange student wasn’t necessarily her idea.    This made me a little nervous about our upcoming year together but it wasn’t long until she stole our hearts with her silliness, seriousness and her full rainbow of other characteristics in-between.

iitu blog

So when it came to creating a going-away gift, this quote leaped off my pinterest page.  I’m all for carefully plotting out safe and secure plans but sometimes when a wise person suggests you make a right turn down a road you’ve never been on before… that’s often when your trip gets more interesting… more rewarding … more rich… more memorable.

That’s why I like exchange students.  What do you like?

i like giving

You don’t need to have teenagers live with you for 10 months to make that right turn (but if that does interest you… check out YFU)  This inspiring book and website is jam packed with loads of simple stories that change the direction of your normal routine.  A quote from the book reads, “When we choose to give, we change, and the people around us change.  When we move from awareness to action, miracles happen.  When we allow giving to be our idea, a world of possibilities opens up before us, and we discover new levels of joy.”

the girls

And I definitely can attest to that.  This summer, both of our German daughters came to visit and I enjoyed some fantastic times I would have never experienced if they were not here.

I know I’m in the business of selling gifts, but I’ve found that often giving is one of the the best gifts you can receive.

cupid call love

February 25, 2014

It’s been a couple weeks since we sent out a load of love to deserving souls and I must say we’re tickled pink to hear some of the stories about our surprise packages.  We originally planned on sending 100 packages, but due to the volume of nominees we ended up wrapping up around 180 cupid calls.

We’d like to express our thanks to all the journalists who help spread the word, the nominators for taking the time to share their stories and Kitchen with a Cause , Cellar Door Soap , Seeds of Happiness and Hydra for donating products.  Plus, I can’t leave out our catching fireflies team who read, sorted, typed, wrapped and shipped our boxes of happiness.  You have all played an important part of making this Cupid Campaign a wild success!

Here are some sweet notes of appreciation from some our our surprise smile recipients…

cupid call thank you notes

cupid call

  cupid call thank you notes cupid call thank you notes

cupid call thank you

cupid call thank you notes

This Cupid Campaign has been an amazing experience for me.  It has opened my eyes to the stories people are living with everyday.  It has opened my heart to be more compassionate and opened my hands to be more giving.

This Valentine’s Day ranks as one of my favorites.  Even though we were essentially giving the gifts… being able to use my talents and resources to bring a little heaven to earth has been one of the best gifts I have received yet.

cupid call press

February 5, 2014

WOW~ We cannot thank our local journalists and bloggers enough for helping us get the word out about our cupid calls!

cupid call press Because of you we have received well over 400 heart-warming and heart-breaking stories of people in our community that could really use a ray of sunshine delivered to their door.  We are truly humbled to have the opportunity to send these surprise smiles next week (and have a feeling we might need to surpass our original plan of only sending out 100)

So… THANK YOU Fox 2,  Detroit Free Press, Woodward Talk & Rochester Post, Observer & Eccentric, Royal Oak Tribune, Ann Arbor Mom and Macaroni Kid!

fox 2 cupid call segment 1-28-14

January 28, 2014

A BIG thank you to Fox 2 for having us on to talk about our Cupid Calls and Valentine Goodies!

Fox 2 Detroit Here’s a replay of April chatting with Deena Centofanti

Fox 2 News Headlines

Some of the goodies talked about included seeds of happiness, custom photo frames and photo blocks, husband & wife trivia books, cellar door soap, 52 ways to stay in love forever, hand warmer mugs, shower bursts and kissing salt & pepper shakers.

The LOVE Michigan t-shirt, sweatshirt and cards are available at our Berkley, Rochester & Ann Arbor locations.

Shop for even more Valentine goodies HERE.

Like hip gift ideas to surprise your Valentine?  We love sharing our finds. Don’t want to miss out on our future features… simply sign up to receive these blog posts in your email in box.

cupid calling

January 5, 2014

I’m sure I’ve mentioned this before but Valentine’s Day is one of my favorite  holidays.  Not because I like roses, fancy restaurants or chocolate (well, I do like chocolate) but because I like to surprise some of my girlfriends by sending them little treats in the mail.  I like to look at February 14th as an opportunity to bring a bit of color and joy into those grey cold days of February… because who doesn’t get a smile on their face when a pretty package arrives on their door step?

cupid call

This year I’ve decided to expand my cupid arrow radius by including friends, family or special people YOU know who could really use a cupid call to cheer them up.  It could be they had a hard holiday season, are dealing with health problems, recently lost someone special or maybe it’s a struggle to keep a smile on their face… just let us know in a short paragraph why you’d like to nominate them to get a box of love delivered to their door step.

cupid call boxes So here’s how it works…

1. Email your submission to with subject title: CUPID CALL (please do not leave info in the comments section on this post)

2. Include your nominee’s full name, age and mailing address.  One submission per email please. (there is no age limit for nominees)

3.  In a short paragraph, let us know why they need a cupid call.  Also let us know a little about the person & what they like (bath & body goods, kitchen gadgets, fashion accessories, inspirational items, funny things, etc…)

4.  Include your full name and your relationship to the nominee.

Deadline for entry is February 5

We’re going to do our best to send out as many cupid calls as possible the week of February 9.   You will not know if your nominee was chosen, but if they were, the package of love will be delivered anonymously with a short note reading, “A bit of love wrapped up just for you to make your day brighter.  xoxo ~ cupid”

If you do have additional questions, please ask them in the comments box and we will reply so everyone can see them.

Like to see how you can help us make days brighter for those who need some extra love? Stay in the loop by signing up to receive these inspiring updates in your email inbox!

making days brighter for our furry friends

October 2, 2013

We’re big animal lovers at catching fireflies so in celebration of Adopt a Shelter Dog Month, we’re partnering with Michigan Animal Rescue League to raise money & collect supplies for the many dogs and cats in Metro Detroit that need forever homes.

The Michigan Animal Rescue League believes that every animal deserves the highest quality of life. Each and every animal that comes through their door is given unconditional love and regard in the form of physical care, socialization and the day to day joys that an animal would receive in a home.


MARL rescues animals out of desperate situations & gives them consistent, dedicated care and attention in an effort to help them retain or regain their ability to connect with people and enjoy life.  They offer medical care, socialization, training and most of all love and acceptance.  As a result, their animals receive personalized placement, whether that be with an adoptive family, in long term foster care or living as part of the MARL family for an extended period of time.  MARL does not euthanize their animals except when injury, disease or temperament make other options impossible.

We’re invite you to help us make days brighter for our four legged friends a couple different ways.

First, you can help us spread the word that we’re donating a dollar for every new  facebook like we get in the month of October to MARL.   Our goal is to get 1,000 likes so we can write a check for $1,000 that will go to helping MARL continue finding dogs and cats forever homes.

Michigan Animal Rescue League

Our rescued Basset Hound, Gus is already on the job spreading the word.  You can help him out by clicking HERE and sharing this photo on your facebook page.

Second, we’re also collecting supplies at our Berkley, Ann Arbor & Rochester locations all month long.  MARL’s wish list includes: dog food, cat food, cat litter,  dog treats, paper towels and gift cards from Petco, Petsmart or Pet Supplies Plus.

pet supply drive

And when you bring some supplies, we’ll even throw in this sweet & oh-s0-true magnet with any purchase.

gus thanks you

Like to see how you can help us make days brighter for those in need? Stay in the loop by signing up to receive these inspiring updates in your email inbox!

help us pick our birthday charity

September 9, 2013

We’re looking to celebrate 13 years of making days brighter at our Berkley store this fall.  Because of our birthday, we’ll be offering 20% off EVERYTHING at all our locations and online Saturday, September 21 + donating 7% of all our sales that day to a Detroit charity. There are so many fantastic non-profits making a difference in our city, it’s hard to choose just one.

So we need your help! Our Berkley manager, Danielle selected 3 charities and would love for you to vote for your pick.

yatoomas foundation

Yatooma’s Foundation For The Kids is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing guidance, stability, and financial assistance to families with children who have suddenly lost one or both parents. This all-too-common tragedy transcends the lines of race, religion, and status and often forces children to prematurely assume the burden of adult responsibility.

In addition to immediate financial resources for living expenses, Yatooma’s Foundation For The Kids attempts to provide at least some semblance of the parent’s mentoring hand, now reduced to memories and photographs.

south oakland shelter

For over 25 years, South Oakland Shelter (SOS) has worked with its 67 partner congregations to provide temporary lodging and supportive services that help homeless individuals and families break the cycle of homelessness, and live independently. With an emphasis on homeless prevention, sustainable housing solutions, and career development, SOS implements strategies and programs that provide realistic options for homeless and at-risk individuals and families seeking stabilization and self-sufficiency.

catch charity

CATCH is an acronym for Caring Athletes Team for Children’s & Henry Ford Hospitals, but is more commonly known as Sparky Anderson’s Charity for Children. Through a series of special fund-raising events and annual donations, CATCH funds items and services that help improve the quality of life for sick, injured and needy pediatric patients who receive care from Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation and Henry Ford Health System.

We’re looking forward to blessing one of these amazing groups this September.  And don’t you agree… it’s soooo hard to choose!  Help us decide with your vote below.  Thank YOU for helping us make days brighter for those in our community.

Voting ends September 17, 2013

Choose Our Birthday Charity free polls 

cupid strikes again

January 18, 2013

We are happy to be partnering with Children’s Hospital of Michigan again for our 4th annual Valentine Card Campaign.

dmc valentines

So we invite you to put your crafty hat on & whip up some sweet sentiments for kids who could use a smile on February 14th.

We’ll be collecting your handcrafted cards at our Berkley & Rochester locations until February 8.  And if you don’t live near by and want to participate, please send your cards to: catching fireflies 3117 W 12 Mile Berkley, MI 48072.

A note from The Children’s Hospital:

When making your cards, please consider not signing the cards so family members and/or staff could personalize the cards themselves and give them to the patients. It means more to the patients to receive a card from someone familiar vs. a stranger. The patients also like to be able to give cards to their family members or the nurses and staff caring for them.

Also if you could avoid messages like “Get Well” or “Feel Better Soon,”  as well as anything with a religious connotation. Some of the patients here, unfortunately, have life long illnesses like cystic fibrosis, sickle cell disease, etc. that they won’t necessarily be “getting well.” We service so many different cultures and religions that we try not to offend any of our patients/customers.

dmc valentines

As a thank you for bringing in 3 or more cards, we’ll give you 10% off your purchase that day.  We may not be doctors or nurses, but we can still prescribe the best medicine around… LOVE.

Thanks again for helping us spread JOY & LOVE to those in our community!

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April McCrumb

I'm April McCrumb ~ a creative gal from Michigan that loves to share clever gift ideas, simple recipes, my favorite tunes & all things crafty. Thanks for stopping by my whimsical world. I hope you enjoy your visit.

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