Game on!! The Children and Youth of Elkhorn Hills UMC have challenged the rest of the congregation to a toy drive to benefit the Simon Says: Live A Better Life Foundation.
We can choose to be the light and hope for someone else by being the kingdom of God right here on Earth. –Simon Jones
About the Challenge
The two “teams” are (1) the Children and Youth, and (2) the rest of the congregation. There are two grocery carts in the narthex labeled for the two teams. Everyone needs to collect the most toys from April 15th through April 29th and put them in the cart.
If the Children and Youth team win the toy drive challenge, they get to go bowling!!! If the congregation wins, the children/youth will hold a breakfast one morning for us. (Goldfish and skittles for breakfast…who wouldn’t love that?)
If you have question, please contact Ashley Bossert.
About the Simon Says: “Live A Better Life” Foundation
The mission of the Simon Says: “Live a Better Life” Foundation is to provide Birthday Celebrations for children experiencing hardships and to provide meaningful volunteer opportunities to individuals who wish to help the less fortunate. Our goal is to build self-worth and self-esteem for both the children we serve and the volunteers who support our mission through their gifts and their time.
The inspiration for the foundation was Simon Jones. He lived a courageous, generous, and uplifting lifetime in 18 short years. The last 5 years he did so battling a rare, aggressive cancer. In the last year of his amazing life he began writing an inspirational Facebook blog entitled Simon Says: “Live A Better Life”. Through this blog he encouraged thousands with a simple message; “Find the blessings in what you think is a struggle and use it to make the world a better place”. We can choose to be the light and hope for someone else by being the kingdom of God right here on Earth. Simon lived that life lesson to the fullest and by doing so has shown us all how to Live a Better Life!
“Happy Birthday” Toy Drive
One of Simon’s passions was the Simon Says’ “Happy Birthday” Toy Drive that he created for the Living Hope Food Pantry. In a few short months his efforts collected over 300 toys. After he passed away his family decided to continue his message by creating the Simon Says: “Live a Better Life” Foundation.
Currently the foundation offers three types of Birthday Celebrations for children facing hardships. These programs are offered to any local outreach organization that benefits children ages 1-18.
- The Birthday Party Program provides a once a month party at local outreach organizations. Children ages 1-18 with birthdays in that month will be invited to celebrate. The foundation will provide all the party supplies, entertainment and a present for each birthday child. A Party Coordinator will work with staff members to organize and facilitate the party.
- The Birthday Kit Program provides a themed party kit filled with presents and supplies for children to celebrate their birthday at their own convenience. The foundation will make the kits available to the child by recommendations from the outreach organizations based on family circumstances, health issues and financial hardships.
- The Birthday Wish Program provides individual children with a party at a local business that partners with the Simon Says: “Live a Better Life” Foundation. Recommendations from outreach organizations, based on family circumstances, health issues and financial hardships will be considered for this program.
The foundation will also offer volunteer opportunities for those who, like Simon, can find the blessings in what they are struggling with, and choose to use it to make the world a better place. A few of the ways volunteers can help are:
- Volunteer as a Party Coordinator or Party Assistant
- Donate funds to fulfill a Birthday Kit or Birthday Wish in honor or memory of a loved one’s birthday
- Organize or Host a Toy Drive or Party Supply Drive
More About Simon
Simon Says: “Live a Better Life” Foundation also offers, through the Omaha Schools Foundation, a $2,000 scholarship to a graduating OPS senior that despite the, struggles of their circumstances, has strived to help others either through volunteer work or by the way they have chosen to make a difference in their community or family and at the same time continued to make school a priority.
Simon strived to make a huge impact in the 18 short years he had on this earth. He was an incredibly smart and a generous young man who had great plans for his future. So, to honor his legacy we will continue to evolve the foundation’s future with other opportunities as they become necessary. We are dedicated to continuing his mission to make the world a better place and to give his struggle meaning. Together we can help define what it means to “Live a Better Life”.