Thursday, July 30, 2015

#ThankfulThursday: Check out Our Retreat Video

This #ThankfulThursday, we want to extend our gratitude to Stella and Nicole Doiron, who found CCA on and agreed to do videography of Family Night at the #CCARetreat2015. We think they did an awesome job!

We love this video capturing our Wonder Reader's Theatre and Family Night Dinner.

Thank you, Nicole and friends and family for volunteering your time and talents!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Bid Now in Our CharityBuzz Auction!

We hope you'll check out our summer CharityBuzz auction that just launched yesterday. You'll find amazing vacations, golf packages, and celebrity experiences. All of these lots were generously donated to CCA and the money we raise through this online auction will help spread kindness across the country and assist families facing craniofacial issues.

Please share our auction with your friends and tell them to #GetBidding!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

#ThankfulThursday: Retreat Entertainment

This year at the #CCARetreat2015 we had some amazing entertainment!

This #ThankfulThursday, we want to thank our friend and DJ, Matthew Figueroa, who played all of our favorite songs, A Tu'u Mai Entertainment for their amazing and exciting Polynesian show at breakfast, and The Event Consultants for the special stilt performer who graced our ice cream social.

Thank you for adding so much fun to the #CCARetreat2015!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

#EmotionRevolution for a Kinder Tomorrow

Last month, over 45,000 high school students from across the nation took the #EmotionRevolution survey, launching a youth-led movement to build a positive school climate. Along with the Born This Way Foundation and the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, we are all a part of the shared vision for a kinder tomorrow!
From coverage in Education Week to USA Today to Time, the #EmotionRevolution is already making a splash — and they're just getting started! 
Their work has led to a unique opportunity for young people to attend the Emotion Revolution Summit in October 2015. Using YOUR feedback, they're bringing together educators, academics, policy makers, and the fearless leaders of it all, Cynthia Germanotta and Lady Gaga, for a historic gathering to hear how young people currently feel in their schools, how they want to feel and what support they need to bridge that important gap.
Not only will the summit offer participants the chance to share their own experiences, it will also serve as the launch of a Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) Resource Center. In partnership with Facebook, this center will arm students with tools they can use to build happy, healthy and productive lives. 
Lady Gaga has said, “I think tolerance and acceptance and love is something that feeds every community.”  We couldn’t agree more.  But we can’t get there without you. Apply to attend the Emotion Revolution Summit. A kinder, braver world is possible and we hope you’ll play a part in the building of it.  

Thursday, July 16, 2015

#ThankfulThursday - Look at Us Alliance

We are thankful for Rob Williams and the Craniofacial Alliance, who set up an information table at the #CCARetreat2015 during the Educational Symposium. The Williams family participated in our activities during the weekend and we're so glad they shared their experiences with us and attended Retreat! 

Check out more about the good work they do on their website

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

10 Ways to Help CCA without Cash

Lots of times we are moved to help an organization, but don't have the funds to give a cash donation. If you want to help, here are 10 Ways to Help CCA without Cash.
  1. Passionately talk about CCA. Whenever you have the opportunity - or can make one - tell friends and strangers about the good work that CCA does for children with facial differences.
  2. Like & Share our social media posts. 
  3. Take surveys online. Opinions 4 Good (OP4G) is an online market research company that provides funding for nonprofits across the country. We have partnered with Op4G, so when you sign up and select CCA as your charity, we receive the survey incentive, which ranges from $1.00 to $5.00 per survey! For each new member joining the online survey community, OP4G will continue to donate to the Children's Craniofacial Association. Long term participation will provide additional donations throughout the year, with the average survey paying $3.50 for about 10 minutes of your time. Click this link to register -- it's a great, easy, and pretty fun way to raise money for CCA!
  4. Shop online through donation portals. When you shop through, and, select CCA as your charity of choice and a portion of your purchase will go to CCA each and every time! Make sure you bookmark these links so you never forget to shop via the donation portals. It may seem small, but when our whole community participates the funds really add up.
  5. Donate your time to write for the CCA Blog. We need writers to write about their experiences living with a facial difference as an individual or caretaker. If you're interested, please email Erica Mossholder. 
  6. Turn trash into cash! By collecting old cell phones, printer cartridges, laptops, and aluminum cans, you can raise serious bank for CCA. You can collect cell phones, print cartridges, and old laptops from your home, school, or office and mail them to CCA. Then, we can recycle them for money. We'll even send you a prepaid shipping label to get those hunks of junk to us! If you prefer to collect the "trash" yourself, why not collect aluminum cans and turn them in for scrap metal? Did you know about 33 cans equals $1? Get creative and collect cans from your break room and lunch room too; you're simultaneously helping the environment and CCA Kids! This funny video will inspire you to get your kiddos in on the action! 
  7. Donate your artistic talent. Are you a budding artist or up-and-coming photographer? Why not set up at a farmer's market or on local art nights and draw caricatures for donations? You can schedule portrait sessions with your friends and family and donate the usual session fees to CCA. Even better, if you have musical talent, spend a few hours each week busking for CCA. It's a great way to edge out of your comfort zone, hone your skills and make money for a cause you care about. Pro Tip: Wear a CCA shirt and post a flyer around your setup telling folks that you're raising money for kids with facial differences. We have a feeling your audience will shine through with generosity!
  8. Host a Fill Your Cup Party. Invite your friends over for an evening of fun and do-gooding with a "Fill Your Cup" Party. You provide a beverage of choice (coffeelemonade, sangria, beer) and your friends come over and fill their cups. You can plan games and activities (bocce ball, anyone?) or just hang out. The key is to charge a $5 or $10 "cover" and when friends come over to fill their cups, you have them place their donation in the a big CCA cup! It's cheaper than a night out and is super simple to organize. 
  9. Present Wonder at your school, workplace, or civic organization. One of CCA's main missions is to make the world a kinder place. We have prepared presentations that we can share with you so that you can take the #ChooseKind message to your school or workplace. It can be as simple as tying the #ChooseKind message into a Sunday School lesson or as complex as asking your HR department to allow you to present Wonder company-wide. If you'd like to present, contact the office and we'll get all the presentation materials to you and help you prepare.
  10. Sell your old clothes and donate the proceeds to CCA. Plato's Closet and many other consignment shops offer cash for gently used clothes. Why not clean out your closet and turn your clutter into donations for CCA Kids? Every little bit helps and we don't mind if you turn some of your used goods into new swag for you and a donation to CCA! 
Get creative and send us your ideas on how to help CCA without cash! 

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Cher's Inspiration

We know we have a ton of Cher fans at CCA!

Here are a few videos we wanted to "CHER" with you.
You see what we did there? ;)

Enjoy this fun video roundup.

Here's Cher's video message to all the families at Retreat...

And here's the #CCARetreat2015 Dinner Dance standing ovation we sent to Cher!

And the "Familiar Faces" of the awesome folks who have gotten to meet our celebrity spokesperson through the years send her a big wave!

Thanks to Cher and Paulette for getting us the video message all the way from Monte Carlo and a special thanks to Aaron Guzzo for the #CCARetreat2015 videos.

Finally, we leave you with this...

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

The Best Friends Bash

We're pretty sure this is the best thing you'll see all day.

We love CHOP & PennVet's "Best Friends Bash," a fun party which brings together therapy dogs, including many with physical differences, and kids with facial differences (including many of our CCAKids!). We could go on about how joyful and inspiring the result is, but really you have to see this video...

The Best Friends Bash from Carl Weiss on Vimeo.

Check it out in print and photos at PennCurrent.

Three cheers for everyone who put this amazing event together and all of our friends who participated! 

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Amy Tris for CCA

On today's blog, we have an interview with Amy Stone, who is running the Ironman Triathlon for CCA this July. Three Cheers for Amy! You are an inspiration and we appreciate your efforts to help the world #ChooseKind.

CCA: Please tell us who you are in a nutshell.
AS: My name is Amy Stone and I live in Miami, Florida. I am a mom, wife, photographer, runner and triathlete. I retired from the corporate world when my son was 2 years old and training and writing about running and triathlon fill my time now. 

CCA: When did you start running? 
AS: I started endurance running in my 20s. I was in a new town (Miami) and joined a fitness club at a local running store (Footworks). When the owner saw I was young and fit she graduated me to the half-marathon training group and then I went to the marathon group and the rest is history.

CCA: What's your favorite part about racing and fitness? 
AS: I’ve made my best adult friends through running and triathlon. It’s my community. Keeps me healthy and sane.

CCA: How do you define "healthy?"
AS: Healthy is a tricky word because sometimes health is out of our control. But I like to make good lifestyle decisions where possible. I have 4 daily goals: eat real food, drink plenty of water, exercise every day and get a good night of sleep. I’m not always perfect but good enough so far seems to be okay.

CCA: What do you tell yourself when you want to quit?
AS: I try to figure out why I want to stop. If it’s in a race I usually have a go to thought or mantra to pull me through. I think of those who have greater challenges than myself and that usually pulls me through.

CCA: Why did you choose CCA and specifically, CCA Mom Erin Dinsmore, as the cause for your race? 
AS: During my last training cycle I was helping a training friend raise money for Chrons and Colitis (a cause near to her) and during that time Erin was going through a fight with insurance over something to do with Eli’s care. She has always been open with information about Eli. I thought at the time I wish I could do something. So when it came time to train for Ironman Lake Placid, I reached out and said "I want to do something for you."

CCA: So, you and Erin were sorority sisters together. How did that experience foster this lasting friendship?
AS: Erin and I are getting to be OLD ladies and our friendship pre-dates Facebook. Ha! But we did live together in the sorority house for at least one year which binds us pretty well. Neither of us is what you’d call a "traditional sorority girl." Truth is there aren’t very many of those traditional sorority girls if you care enough to look closely. When we were out of school and older we reconnected via Facebook through our sorority sisters. Somebody had the nerve to post an old Bid Day photo which was a lot of fun. Our Kappa Kappa Gamma network is one that follows us as we age. I continue to be amazed at how the friends I chose in high school and college continue to be such wonderful people.

CCA: What's your motto?
AS: This week my inspirational saying is: Be miserable. Or motivate yourself. Whatever has to be done. It is always your choice.

CCA: What's your advice to others who want to make the world a kinder place?
AS: It’s one of the hardest lessons of growing up and everybody learns it a different way and at a different time but the truth is life is just hard. Even if we don’t know what challenges a person faces that doesn’t mean they don’t have any. I tell my kids just because you don’t know a person’s story doesn’t mean there isn’t one. Just be kind.