giving back

I like exchange students

July 29, 2014
By

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
By

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
By

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
By

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
By

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 service@catchingfireflies.com 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
By

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

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
By

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
  
pollcode.com free polls 

cupid strikes again

January 18, 2013
By

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!

letting our light shine

January 8, 2013
By

I know the new year is all about making resolutions for the future, but I like to take this time to look back.  I’ve never been a big resolution or goal gal, but one thing I strive to do is live with intention.  In recent years, I’ve looked for ways catching fireflies could make days brighter for those outside of our store doors and with your help we really shined in 2012.

handmade valentine cards

 

1,100 handmade Valentine cards were delivered to kids who had to spend February 14th at DMC.

Over $1,200 of our Rochester & Berkley birthday sales went to The Pink Fund & Cass Community… two great non-profits who are making tangible differences in our city.

school supply drive

Loads of school supplies helped local kids in need get a smart start to the school year!

For our holiday open house, we collected many pounds of food for families in Oakland County who need a little help filling their pantry.

ddr drive

 

Gus could hardly believe his ears when we piled up all the donations to Detroit Dog Rescue!  Plus we also gave DDR a $1000 check since we gained 1000 facebook fans during Adopt a Shelter Dog Month.

During the holidays we wrapped oodles of packages for our firefly fans and were able to collect over $1,100 in tips for the THAW fund.

mudlove and charity water

In the spring we started selling these handmade mudlove bracelets and donated $4 from every one to charitywater.org.   I’m thrilled to say we’ve given over $1500 to them which means 75 more people have been blessed with clean water this year!

Thanks again for partnering with us in these great projects.  We look forward to adding new non-profits to this list in 2013!

making days brighter for dogs in detroit

October 1, 2012
By

We’re big animal lovers at catching fireflies so in celebration of Adopt a Shelter Dog Month, we’re partnering with Detroit Dog Rescue to raise money & collect supplies for the many dogs in our city that need forever homes.  Detroit Dog Rescue is focused on raising awareness for the plight of the forgotten, homeless and stray dogs of Detroit.

There are more than 50,000 homeless and stray dogs running loose on the streets of Detroit. With only twenty-three City of Detroit Animal Control Officers to perform rescue operations, nearly 90% of dogs picked up by the city are euthanized. With limited resources and funding allocations to humane animal rescue operations, Detroit Dog Rescue is a small group of highly committed individuals dedicated to help make a difference in the city, one dog at a time.

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 Detroit Dog Rescue.   Our goal is to get 2,000 likes so we can write a check for $2,000 that will go to helping DDR build a state-of-the-art no kill animal shelter in Detroit.

Our rescued Basset Hound, Gus is already on the job spreading the word.  You can help him out by clicking some of those social share buttons at the bottom of this post too!

Second, we’re also collecting supplies at our Berkley & Rochester locations all month long.  DDR’s wish list includes: dog food, used towels, paper towels, used blankets, large dog bowls, durable dog toys, chewy dog treats, gas cards, large dog collars and leashes

And when you bring in 5 or more supplies, we’ll even throw in this great sign with any purchase.

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!

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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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