Tuesday, July 15, 2014

A Christmas in July Event To Help The National Stroke Association

Summer can be a busy time for most of us.  Usually we're focused on having fun, doing what we want to do and making the most of our carefree, sunny days.  Helping out those in need or thinking about charity sort of falls off the radar until the holiday season comes around again. Last week I shared a free ornament pattern to get the "Christmas in July" mood flowing. Now I'm working on the holiday giving aspect too. Christmas is when we feel most charitable, right?  

Balsam Hill, the makers of beautiful artisan artificial trees, wreaths and decorations, helps fund those in need throughout the year.  I've partnered with Balsam Hill's Christmas in July Charity Event to help raise funds for a charity that has personal meaning to me: The National Stroke Association.

My grandparents had just retired when my grandfather suffered his first massive stroke.  It wasn't long after my first birthday.  He had numerous recurrent strokes over the following years.  He was left permanently paralyzed and unable to walk, talk or write and it dramatically changed life for our entire family for over a decade.  Some of my earliest memories are of trying to re-teach him to write and talk as I was learning how myself.  The National Stroke Association didn't exist back then and there wasn't much in the way of technology, therapy, medication or emotional support to help stroke victims and their families.  Through our experience, I know how important advancements in those areas are, as well as being able to connect with others and educating the public about stroke.

Me & my grandpa post-stroke

Stroke can effect almost anyone - young or old, man or woman, seemingly healthy or not. My grandpa had actually had a routine physical, with a clean bill of health, just hours before his first stroke occurred.  Many people still don't know much about preventing or identifying stroke either, despite it being the 4th leading cause of death in the US.  My grandfather was a multiple stroke survivor, so it means a lot to me to see an organization bringing awareness, reducing incidence and providing much needed emotional & practical support to other families faced with this disease. 

100% of the donations on my fundraising page will go to The National Stroke Association. The best part is Balsam Hill will be matching all donations up to $1,000!  This means every dollar contributed will get a matching dollar from Balsam Hill for The National Stroke Association.

And as a thank you for giving...

- Anyone who donates $5 will be entered for a chance to win a full set of Balsam Hill's new 2014 Mistletoe and Holly ornaments!

- For a donation of $25 or more, you will receive an exclusive surprise ornament from the Mistletoe and Holly collection. This collection doesn't premiere until September so it's a chance to get one before they're available to buy.

Some of the not-yet-released 2014 Mistletoe and Holly Ornaments from Balsam Hill

This is a great opportunity to do some spirited giving for a good cause and get a little holiday gift for yourself - it's like Christmas is coming twice this year! My fundraising effort begins today and will run through July 31, 2014. I'd love to raise $1,000 for stroke support and see Balsam Hill match those efforts to make it $2,000!

To make a donation to my fundraiser, find out how to spread the word and learn more about The National Stroke Association, just visit my IndiGoGo page: 

Thanks so much for your support in something that means a lot to me & to others who could really use help overcoming stroke!


  1. This is a great cause. I just contributed and I hope that all of your readers do, too. Stroke damage changes life for the entire family. Understanding and support are very much needed.

    1. Thanks so much - it's great to see people getting more help and support today thanks to places like The National Stroke Association.

  2. Thanks for sharing with us Cheryl! Very worthy cause!

    1. Thanks so much for contributing. I know how much the help matters to families faced with stroke, so it means a lot to me to have the support!

  3. My Dad had a stoke in January this year. He is working so hard and recovering well but it was such a leap for a healthy, active, always busy even though retired man to be, in a matter of hours, lying in a hospital bad unable to speak clearly. Like I said he is making great progress but it is a long recovery road and there is no knowing how far along it he will get.
    I do resist even thinking about Christmas in July but can overlook that for this great cause. I am in the UK so have made a donation to the Stroke Association UK - hope that's ok.
    Finally (sorry about such a long comment) I LOVE the photo of you and your Grandpa, thanks for sharing it.

    1. Thanks so much Julie and I hope your dad's recovery is strong and successful. I think the thing most often felt by survivors & their families is how dramatically life is changed in an instant, yet how long and challenging the road ahead feels. It's so important to stay hopeful and determined - I'm sending my best wishes & positive thoughts your way.

  4. "Thanks so much, Cheryl! I applaud you for your efforts in this cause. My step-dad suffered from a brain stem stroke and he had to go through therapy. Looking back at what happened, it would have been helpful to him and the whole family had we known that such an organization like the National Stroke Association existed. It could have improved his condition or at least given us some advice that would have assisted us in the challenges we faced. Awareness can alleviate pain, save lives, and make it easier for everyone to deal with the struggles that come with such a terrible condition, so I think what you’re doing is truly worthy and wonderful.


    1. I'm sorry to hear your family was faced with a similar situation as ours. I'm so glad to be able to support a group that makes it easier for families going through it today. That help, advice & support can really make a difference!


Getting your comments brightens my day. I'd love if you left one:)


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