Mikey's Helping Place - Tallahassee, FL

Founded in early 2011, Mikey’s Helping Place is a special sort of charity. It was created from the heart of a five year old who wanted to help raise money for local children in need. After his first successful event, a two week read-a-thon for the Children’s Home Society, he was inspired to continue his charitable work by organizing more ways to give. If you have a heart to help others, you can contact Mikey’s Helping Place at mikeyandzoe@comcast.net to learn more about their current projects.

We have chosen to highlight and help this charity as an ode to our 200th blog post (coming up on March 20th). The founders not only are a huge inspiration to us, but some of you might recognize the two youngest members as the Flower Girl and Ring Bearer from Lauren and Scott’s wedding. Mikey (or “Michael” as he likes to be called these days) was reading at a very early age. His parents found out quickly that he needed to be challenged and were always finding ways to keep him motivated. However, it was Mikey who came up with the idea (when he was only five years old) to start his own charity to give to children in need. In his first attempt he raised $799 by participating in a read-a-thon.

In the past two years, Mikey and his family have continued to find creative ways to give. For example, they collected toys to give to the kids at the local hospital for Mikey’s 6th birthday. His younger sister, Zoe has recently taken an interest as well, and they created “Zoe’s Corner” (a blog to let people know of places where they can give). One of the many organizations they have been working with recently is Operation Smile. Mikey’s Helping Place collects seasonal and birthday cards to give to their local hospital and other children in need of a little cheering up. Operation Smile informs them where to send these cards, which get sent all over the United States. Parents have come back many times to thank Mikey’s Helping Place for the kindness they have given to their child and the smile that it has brought to their faces.

In honor of our 200th blog post, we have chosen to collect 200 handmade cards to send to Mikey’s Helping Place for Operation Smile. Our Craft Club has already created a large number of these cards, but we are still hoping to obtain more in order to reach our goal. This is where you (our readers) come in. If you feel so obliged to help out a great cause, create a couple cards or even get a group together and work on them Side by Side to send in. We are also looking for other craft clubs to challenge to see if you can make even more than we did. For more information (including where to send this donation) please contact us at sidebyside.design@yahoo.com.

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The dynamic duo of Mikey’s Helping Place
Michael (age 7) and Zoe (age 6)

We are so happy that we are able to celebrate such a special time for our blog by giving to others. When we spoke with Mikey and Zoe’s mom, Courtney, she shared these feelings with us. She said that it has been a lot of work keeping this charity going but that it is totally worth it. She said, “I can’t imagine … I have three children that are healthy, and that makes me feel like I should do something to help.”

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