In November 2020, we were limited again in what kind of event we could put on, due to the pandemic. We obviously still wanted to celebrate Caleb’s birthday, and since he obviously loved pizza, what better way than pizza to celebrate Caleb!
We partnered with Uccello’s in Standale MI, who generously offered to donate 15% of every sale to Caleb Smiles! Sales included in-person dining, take-out and delivery! We are excited to partner again with Uccello’s this year, 2021, for another event!
The pictures below are some of our friends and family who ate good on Caleb’s birthday. We are so appreciative of all of them, and can’t thank them enough for their support!
One year after Caleb passed away, we celebrated his birthday in the best way, and what will now be a tradition…a pizza party! Caleb loved pizza, so we got together with family and friends and ate pizza and remembered our Caleb. This was after we had established that the Caleb Smiles organization was going to be a for sure thing, so this was a donation based pizza party, and we raised a lot of money! $2189 to be exact! Since we were so new as an organization, we didn’t have any individual families lined up to donate things directly to, so we did something a little different, and donated the money 3 different places.
Lincoln Developmental Center is near and dear to our hearts. When Caleb started going to school, he first attended Ken-O-Sha, and then moved to Lincoln, and we are still close to some of the staff there (Bev and Ann, for starters, who are 2 of our Board members!). They truly cared about Caleb, and we wanted to find a way to give back to them. The money we donated to the school was used to add items to Caleb’s Cart, a mobile cart loaded with sensory items and activities for all then students at LDC. The school was also able to purchase 3 HOPSA dresses for school, which are like “Johnny-jump ups” for kids with mobility issues.
We also donated money to Gilda’s Club GR, which is a support group for anyone on a cancer journey- survivors, family members who have lost someone, children, etc, but also for grief support. As parents who have lost a child, we started attending a parent’s support group and found a community that we were sad to be a part of, but appreciative to share with those that truly understand the journey we are now on.
Lastly, we donated to Hospice of Michigan. Caleb was on hospice in our home for 3 months, and I couldn’t imagine spending those last 3 months anywhere but at home. Hospice supported us and were there for anything we needed for us and for Caleb. They also provided us with memorial items that we treasure to this day. A teddy bear and a pillow sewn from shirts of Calebs, hand and feet molds, and Caleb’s heartbeat recorded.
With the pandemic putting a halt on organizing big events, we had to pivot a little bit, and decided we didn’t want to wait any longer to put on our first big official event. We are planning to do a yearly walk every November to celebrate Caleb’s birthday and honor his life. This first year, our walk/run will be virtual. With social media, we have the ability to connect with everyone, even if we can’t all be together in person!
With Facebook and Instagram, we encourage participants to use the hashtag #WalkForCalebSmiles, so we are able to see everyone’s participation no matter where they are!
On November 6, 2021, whether you choose to run your favorite trail, take your family out for a 5k walk through your neighborhood, or jog on your treadmill, we welcome you to join us! Snap a photo of yourself, or your group, and upload it to whatever social media platform you choose (don’t forget to use the hashtag!) Or, email your photo to firstname.lastname@example.org
We will share photos here on our website after the event!
We had a great turnout for our first Annual Walk and here are the photos to prove it!