Our Mission: To provide a positive and tangible point of focus, through a fun tool kit, inspiring, empowering and uniting the patient and caregivers toward the deliberate use of love, laughter and joy within the healing process.

Greetings Giggle Bugs,

I have so much good news to share that Iím not sure where to start. This fall has been awesome, full of fun stuff and a lot of hard work. For starters, we participated in Wickman Gardenís Fall Festival in September. It was a two day event and we were able to spread lots of laughter and joy, as well as do some fundraising. We had 4 clowns helping us out, creating the most awesome balloon animals for donations. Hiland Dairy donated ice cream Push-ups and Jackson Brothers donated cookies for us to sell. We were able to raise about $350.00 and I still have 200 Push-ups in the freezer for next time. Yeah! We also had some great community exposure as the weather was perfect and the turnout incredible.

On Oct. 15 we were able to support two other organizations with the Giggle Bus and friends. Spangle the Clown came with us to St. Johnís Hospitalís 32nd annual Sunshine Fun Run. We began spreading laughter and creating balloons at 6am for the kids involved. We were able to raise $50 to donate to the Hospitalís Foundation. From there we drove the Giggle Bus across the street to Little Hands, Big Helpers 1st annual Trike-a-thon at Jordon Valley Park. Kids of all ages were participating to raise money for St. Judeís Hospital and the Jane Pitt Pediatric Cancer Center. We were thrilled to be involved.

Now for the really exciting news!

Community Foundation of the Ozarks, our fiscal sponsor, granted The Giggle Box Project two educational grants! The first includes 9-half day monthly seminars through Missouri State Universityís Go Lead program, on "The Nuts and Bolts of Nonprofit Operation". I have been to 3 so far and learned a lot. Some of the presenters were Jim Burris, Springfieldís city manager and Bonnie Keller, the CEO and president of Springfieldís Ronald McDonald House. I left with lots and lots of new ideas to implement. The other grant is for up to 3 members of the organization and includes 4-day long monthly sessions presented by X-Factor Nonprofit Consulting. In attendance with me were Giggleboxes two new dedicated and inspired volunteers, Mike Asberry, a Microsoft specialist/bookkeeper and Maggie Krogh, a multi-talented, computer savvy, administrative assistant. X-Factor consulting delivered an incredible amount of material on the subject of funding our organization. Included in the grant is a 3 hour, on-site consultation after each seminar, to help implement the new material. Our first consult was November 1st. We learned so much and are very excited to continue our journey. We have submitted our articles of incorporation to the state.

Now for the Super Duper Incredibly Exciting and Wonderful News!

The St. Johnís Hospital Foundation has granted The Giggle Box Project a $2500.00 grant a beginning toward our goal to purchase 1000 printed and manufactured (to our specifications- corrugated, handled and latched) Giggleboxes!

Thank you St. Johnís Childrenís Hospital!

Wahoo! Whoopee! Shazam!

We are off and running! We have already taken the next step and applied for a $10,700 grant from the Lloyd Symington Foundation in California, to finish purchasing the 1000 boxes and begin filling and delivering them. We should hear from them in November. I have spoken to the foundations director and our goals and missions align perfectly. I will let you know as soon as we hear from them.

Well Friends, since originally composing this edition of the Gigglebox Gazette, I have heard from the Symington Foundation. They loved our project but due to their previous commitments and available funding, they were not able to fund our project. So this newsletter has turned into a request for assistance in reaching our goal of creating and delivering 1000 Giggleboxes to kids with cancer this year. We have tax deductible status through our association with the Community Foundation of the Ozarks and will appreciate any amount you feel capable and inclined to give. Donating is easy online through our web site or mail us directly.

Well, I promise not to wait as long to write next time and hope to be hearing from you soon. You all have been with us since the beginning in our attempt to get funded with Pepsi and many of you have continued your support. We appreciate all of you for hanging in there and "Keeping the Faith!" Please remember us in your year-end giving and have a Love and Joy filled Holiday Season. Thank you! You are Loved!!!

Keep Laughiní and Loviní,

Susan Dempsey
Executive director