learning to navigate the world, j-bear style

Tag: fundraising (Page 1 of 4)

Everyday Miracles


J doing what J does best: consume donuts.


Where do I even start this post. I am going back and forth between shaking and crying and for one of the rare few times in my life, it is not over something horrible happening.

That’s what I am used to, you know? Bad news, all that good stuff. I am a pro at disasters. You give me something amazing and I walk around it warily like it’s a velociraptor preparing to strike.

But goodness comes. Miracles happen, and they come out of the clear sunny blue.

Not too long ago the organization Ride to Give  helped one of J’s classmate’s family fundraise to get them from their home to Ohio for training with their service dog. We applied, but we continued fundraising on our own. And everyone – We did a great job. Every one of you who shared, who donated, who participated in the giveaway, and who just supported us made it pretty good. We raised part of what we needed – enough for one major cost, but we still had a shortfall.

Then I get a message: We can help. We had, that same day, sat looking at numbers and realizing the enormity of what lay before us. Medical bills, car repairs, household expenses… Life adds up, and it’s been adding up fast this year. J’s dog is so, so important to him; to his future and his comfort that any sacrifice was on the table to make this happen for him.

This tremendous organization showed up and has reached out to help remove our greatest burdens of fear and stress. Ride to Give has taken up J’s cause and is helping us raise additional funds for our travel and our dog’s care.

There are not enough words. There are not.

To those who found us through Ride to Give, thank you. You are giving a family peace. You are helping my son meet a service dog who will see him through hard days to come. Medical tests will no longer need to require horror. Visits to new places will not need to be faced like a battle in a long war but instead the adventure they actually are. He will have comfort. He will have security. He will have an even brighter future, and now, you’re all a part of it. Welcome to our little online family. I look forward to sharing J meeting his dog with all of you.

Thank you. The words are small, but they’re from my heart and I cannot say them enough. Thank you.

J’s campaign can be found here: https://fundrazr.com/campaigns/bsve8/ab/b3pd72

The Great Mini Update

The Great Mini Giveaway has thus far raised $2100 of our $3500 goal!

There’s 11 days left to enter, so share this around as much as you want. We are super excited to have done this well so far!

The link to the giveaway page is: https://www.jbearandme.com/the-great-mini-giveway

In other news, J has himself his first cold of the new school year. Nothing horrifying but certainly upsetting enough to him. He is at home today since he had a fever last night but we’re hoping school resumes as normal tomorrow. He loves school, and his routine, and he’ll be happiest returning to it as quickly as possible.

Here’s how he spent half his day… The half he wasn’t napping anyway:


60 Days and Questions

Today marks 60 days until J meets his fur-ever friend. It would be a complete understatement to say we are excited. He is understanding finally what we are going to be doing and he, like most 4 year olds, wants results right this second. He has a stuffed Nonie (Baby Nonie Dog) and I am trying to keep him as busy as I can manage. He does not start school until September 9th however, so until then I am going to be hearing a lot about “Yeh-no” and “Nonie Dog”.

I could not be happier.

Since we have engaged in full boogie tilt fundraising for our trip, I have received a lot of comments and questions various places. The biggest comment is on the amount we fundraised initially to receive J’s dog: $13,000.

That’s a big amount, unless you’re some ginormously wealthy soul. That’s an overwhelming on paper to a small family. It is true that most if not all of the people I talk to regularly or know cannot simply plunk that down. It’s just not possible, and thus makes a service dog for our children seem wildly out of reach.

4 Paws knows this. They get this. They do not want their dogs to be inaccessible due to money. This is why when you get accepted into the program, the agreement you sign is not to pay $13,000* but to fundraise and share the mission of 4 Paws for Ability. It is but a part of the cost to raise and train our dog, and in fundraising we’re raising community awareness of just what service dogs can do for the disabled – both children and adults, though 4 Paws keeps their focus on children and veterans.

We spent 6 months fundraising. It was hard. There were times it was absolutely painful, I dare to say, yet it is so worth it. It is worth it beyond the amount we raised, and worth it beyond what I can put into words. That money will provide my son with something I could not otherwise give him: He will have a companion and a guardian in this dog. He does not have to be scared. His family does not have to be scared. If, God forbid, J ever got away from us this dog will track him down straight away.

That. That right there, added to everything else this dog will be trained to task for, can’t have a price tag placed on it.

We have also gained through this process a phenomenal support group of 4 Paws families. I have made some fantastic friends and look forward to making more through this journey. We also gain a backup. If anything should happen with J’s dog, they’re there for us. If the dog needs refresher training, they are there for us. If we have any confusion or struggles once we are home, they’re a phone call away. They want us to succeed and give us every tool by which to do so.

Is it worth $13,000? Yes. Again and again, yes.


*= The current amount one must fundraise if they join the program today is $14,000. This is still just a part of the $22,000-$24,000 it takes to breed, raise, train and support a well-trained service dog.

Odds and Ends

For those just joining us this evening, there is a fundraiser you can find information on here: https://www.jbearandme.com/fundraising-with-thirty-one/ — It’s a Thirty-One party and 20% of all the sales go to Operation J to Dog. The party ends April 24th!


J actually missed school today because of, get this, an extreme aversion to pants.

Don’t we all have these days? Today just happened to be his.

Pants eventually did happen, but it was a tough day. There really does seem to be a pattern developing between unsettled weather and J having a more difficult time coping with things that otherwise are not an issue. I am hoping that this passes as the weather passes but it remains to be seen.


Progress is the name of the game for J of late. Listening to how his language is developing is quite simply fascinating. He is communicating, with people he is comfortable with, in his own way and in his own time. He mimics like a pro of late, and he uses what language he does know to try to make his wants and needs known. “Get out!” when I am not turning into the parking lot he wished me to, “Push!” when he wishes me to be in a different lane while driving, “Hop on!” to demand me join him on the bus (LOVED this one)…. Lots of little phrases and mega personality.

Today he met several babies when we were out and about and he was so curious and actually initiated teaching one small girl how to take turns! This is huge, both for his communication struggles and for the fact… he’s not even four, and what child of that age group is an expert in sharing?! I was blown out of the water and proud. He can be a bear when he wants but at heart, my son is so very sweet, caring and gentle. It amazes me. He has a lot of cards in his past that pull towards a manner very opposite that and he’s proving he can overcome genetic predisposition in that regard.


There are days I worry about the service dog decision. I wonder if I am overstating need and so on, because a brain on an anxiety disorder is frankly a jerk and loves to create doubts and fears. This past week it has occurred to me that the dog could provide something huge for J I had not anticipated and that is a constant to allow for him to better generalize his skills. The dog can be everywhere with him, and provided that others will be willing to be consistent handlers, he or she can go where I will not be. This is tremendous for J. It will help him carry skills that only occur in specific locations with specific people translate to other places and folks. It will be the invitation for him to open more doors and leave them open, sharing himself with the world at large.

That is so very exciting! I do want the world to see what a hilarious and engaging child he is when he’s with those who know him best. He’s trying to be it everywhere, but something gets lost in translation. It can be yet another thing his dog can help with.


Opened with fundraising now ending with fundraising: Mid to late May we might do an iPad Mini raffle. Details will follow about how to purchase tickets and the date of the drawing. Hopefully this can be our biggest fundraiser to get J to his dog in October!

Fundraising with Thirty-One!

Our current fundraising for Operation J to Dog stands at $250.

Let’s blow that out of the water!

I am hosting a fundraising party through my Thirty-One business! You can check it out here: https://www.mythirtyone.com/shop/catalog.aspx?eventId=E4431134&from=DIRECTLINK

This April, you can get the All Pro Tote or the All Pro Duffle for $25 with every $35 spent!


they are indeed as awesome as they look!


check out all the fancy colors!

Now, the straps are $10 each but $35 dollars for a sturdy, spacious and good looking gym bag is pretty great if you ask me. I have the Graffiti Dot tote and LOVE it. A few weeks ago I put an iPad, two chargers, a pair of little boy sneakers, two changes of little boy clothes, a teddy bear, a stuffed Chica, my wallet, and two cups into the tote with a little room to spare. It blew me away and truly saved the day.

Personalization is extra and you can view all the personalization options here: https://www.mythirtyone.com/content/embroidery.aspx

Please note that nothing in this blog represents the views of Thirty-One and vice versa. I’m just excited to offer nifty bags to help raise money to get J to his pup! 20% of all sales will go in the travel fund.

If you have any questions, please contact me at mamabear @ jbearandme.com — If you would like to donate directly to us, you can do so at our Razoo page! It’s located here: http://www.razoo.com/br/causes/Operation-J-To-Dog

This party will end at midnight on 4/24/2014 with all orders being processed at that time – If you need something sooner please contact me and we can see what can be done!

The New Fundraiser

The time has come that I finally write a post about this.

In October of this year, J will meet his service dog. This requires a two-week stay for us in Ohio for the training required. That means hotel, gas, food, and so on… It adds up, and it adds up fast. The current forecasted need we have for this is $3,500.

Now step back and consider that number. It seems an easy number for a family to reach, right? Yet, it’s not. It’s actually almost as scary as the $13,000 goal we raised for 4 Paws for Ability last year. This time though, we’re fundraising for ourselves.

If you’re interested in helping, you can read more about this latest endeavour here: https://www.jbearandme.com/operation-j-to-dog/. The link to our Razoo page is both on the sidebar and on that page. There are special rewards for different levels of donations! We’ve already gotten two! If you don’t want to donate, please consider sharing that page around. Every drop in the bucket helps.

Red Sox and Thesaurus Tea Auctions!

Tonight, Game 6 of the World Series will begin at 8:07pm EST.

That’s when our auctions END!

Are you interested in our autographed John Lackey photo courtesy of the Boston Red Sox?

Are you dying to try some of Thesaurus Tea’s amazing blends?

Bid away and help an amazing cause! All proceeds will go to 4 Paws for Ability!

Our Autographed Photo auction is here: https://www.jbearandme.com/auction-1-autographed-picture-of-john-lackey-red-sox-pitcher/

Our Thesaurus Tea Large Gift Basket auction is here: https://www.jbearandme.com/auction-2-large-gift-basket-from-thesaurus-tea/

Go forth! Bid! Share! Be Merry! Let’s make our final 4 Paws fundraiser a rousing success!

A Blessed Event!

We are excited to announce that on October 27, 2014 we will be welcoming a blessed new arrival to our family!


actual dog may vary

Just a few minutes ago I got confirmation that we are finished with our fundraising! We will be a part of the October/November 2014 class at 4 Paws for Ability where my son will receive his autism service dog.

I am in shock. I am literally shaking. I cannot believe this. I likely won’t fully believe it until we have our arms around his dog!

But we did it. WE did it. This post would not have been possible without all of you who have donated, who have shared our story, who have cheered us on, who have been phenomenal in your support of not just myself but Jacob and 4 Paws for Ability. Because of you one little boy and not other children will have a life changing opportunity.

And just how are we helping other children?

The auctions are still going. They end 10/30/2013 at 8pm EST. Yes, J is done with earning his dog but other children are far from. The donations from the auctions will be donated in J’s name to be shared with other children whose families are still working hard. You, auction winners, could be the donation that helps another child finish their fundraising journey! These items are promised to help the 4 Paws mission and we’re going to honor that entirely!

Where do we go from here?

Over the next year, we must save/raise around $3500 for travel expenses to bring J to his dog. I’ll post more details later but the training we go through is about 2 weeks total including travel and takes place in Xenia, OH. This is no small undertaking but we have a year to plan it all out. We must also complete a video about day to day life with J to help them get him the best match possible, so if anyone has tips on how to make the video please let me know!

Again, everyone, thank you. The words sound empty and hollow for what everyone has done but I will say them again and again. Thank you, thank you, thank  you.

Auction 2: Large Gift Basket from Thesaurus Tea!

teaParty_giftcert copy

The finest teas are enjoyed by the most discriminating of prehistoric connoiseurs and Thesaurus Tea caters to their elegant tastes! The winner of this auction will receive a gift basket from Thesaurus Tea inclusive of: a selection of seven 50g bags of tea, a Perfect Cup of Tea spoon measure, a Tea Rex tea infuser and a tea ball! Your choices of teas are black, rooibos, herbal, house blend or green gift sets, or if you want to mix and match, that’s fine too!

To check out our friends at Thesaurus Tea please visit http://www.thesaurustea.com to see their fine selections and meet their distinguished dinos.

If you wish your donation to Team Jacobly to be tax deductible please contact me at mamabear@jbearandme.com to make arrangements for completing this transaction!



  • Comment to bid. Enter your name and email address of preference and comment with your bid. Please pay heed to comments entered before yours. All comments are timestamped, so in the event of a dispute I will side with the comment stamped first.
  • Bids are in increments of $5 and start at $35. Shipping is included in winning bid.
  • Upon close of the auction at 8pm EST on 10.30.2013 the winner will be notified and arrangements will be made for payment. Donations can be made by check, PayPal or FirstGiving to complete the transaction and item will not be mailed til the donation is verified.
  • If someone wishes to forgo bidding and purchase the autographed photo outright the price is $100. Please comment stating you wish to do this and contact me at mamabear@jbearandme.com.
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