Niceness When It Was Needed Most – A Look Back at 2020

Plenty has been said about the challenges of 2020, but we would like to take a moment to recognize our donors, supporters and volunteers that rose to that challenge allowing us to continue our mission of providing niceness for those in need.

Last year there was no shortage of need, but figuring out to help was our greatest challenge yet. We were not sure if we would be able to do any projects, let alone make the impact together that we did. Below is a recap of our projects and what you made possible.

In spite of all that is going on in the world, this is such a great reminder of the good people that are out there doing good things – helping others when we all need a little bit of help.

Whether you donated your money, time, resources or just spread the word – we hope you take a moment to reflect on the positive impact you helped make, and the lives that were made just a little bit better because of your niceness.

We hope to have you join us in 2021 to continue providing niceness for those in need!

Project GubHug – April 2020

For months we had been planning to have our Annual Night of Niceness in the Spring, only to have to cancel it shortly after COVID started spreading. The kids had a simple idea – instead of hosting our dinner event with our partner at Randy Peters Catering, we would deliver meals to those in need. Only one problem – that event was where the money would come from. That week we received our first grant of $2,000 and used that to kick it off and 700+ meals delivered later, the rest is history!
>>>Read about the Project GrubHug project here

Pumpkin Carving Contest – October 2020

Having used all our fundraising to date for Project GrubHug we had to decide whether or not to do our Fall projects. The decision was made to find a way and the Pumpkin Carving Contest was born. An idea from our newest board member, Tanis Liomin, we quickly organized a way for our community to make donations via pictures of their best pumpkins. The result $3,000 raised to save our upcoming projects!
>>> Read about the 1st Annual Pumpkin Carving Contest

Halloween Helpers – October 2020

In the 2nd  year of this project, volunteer Melina Sanchez worked for months to organize enough donations to still deliver costumes to two local family shelters. In fact, we were able to double the number of costumes delivered to serve over 50 kids.

>>> Read about the 2nd Annual Halloween Helpers Project

Help the Homeless – November 2020

Our longest standing project to serve the homeless in our community required us to make a difficult decision to not host our Thanksgiving Day outreach event, however, we found a new and maybe even better way to serve by partnering with The Gathering Inn and Wind Youth Services to deliver nearly 1,000 brand new items for those in need including clothing, supplies, medicine and more. Much of this made possible by the generous donations from our community, our project sponsor Incredible Parents and the Rock Creek Elementary School WE Club.

>>> Read about the 6th Annual Help the Homeless Project

Tower Toy Drive – December 2020

It goes without saying that our hospitals had a difficult year, and so we were determined to find a safe way to still serve them. A small but mighty team led by Project Leader Tanis Liomin with the support of our community that purchased and shipped toys from our list, Jennie Stroup at Toys for Tots and sponsors from Sullivan Auto Group and WubbaNub Toys all stepped up to make it happen. In total, we were able to deliver hundreds of amazing new toys to local hospitals and family shelters in time for Christmas. 

>>> Read about the 6th Annual Tower Toy Drive

THANK YOU FOR YOUR NICENESS!

COVID Can’t Stop Christmas: Toy Drive Delivers Hundreds of Toys to Local Children’s Hospitals & Shelters

This time of year can be tough, particularly for children in the hospital or homeless shelters. Add on the challenges of 2020, and well, there are a lot of kids that deserve a lot of kindness. 

But COVID has presented its own set of challenges for our volunteers and supporters as we had to get creative to raise money, collect donations and distribute to those in need this year. Some hospitals were unable to receive any toys, while others were accepting only specific things on specific days – but donations were way down this year across the board so the need was even greater. With quarantine restrictions changing rapidly we were unsure how we were going to pull this off.

That’s where you come in.

Led by the spirit of our project leader, Tanis Liomin, our volunteers and supporters stepped up to find a way to make our 6th Annual Tower Toy Drive a huge success. In total we raised more than $3,000 together that helped us deliver hundreds of brand new toys to each of the following:

Acres of Hope – This is a homeless shelter for women and children in Placer County that does truly inspiring work. Toys provided for all the families to give to their kids on Christmas morning.

Sutter Children’s Hospital – This was our very first hospital and has one of the largest and best Child Life programs you will find. In addition to Christmas morning, toys are also used year-round for birthdays, new patients and their Child Life playroom. Nurses were volunteering Christmas week to come in and wrap all the presents!

Kaiser Pediatric Center – Our newest hospital we were able to expand to that has a smaller, un-funded program within a larger hospital. Toys provided for patients on Christmas and  year-round gifts.

“Thank you soooo much! It is appreciated more than you know!”

Traci Aoki @ Kaiser Hospital

Plus, we received tremendous support again this year from our partners at Toys for Tots that added hundreds of more toys! In addition we had a number of families that purchased and shipped up toys from our Amazon Wish List – Thank You!

And with some advanced planning we were able to get wish lists from each of the locations to make sure we purchased just what they needed (and the kids wanted). Not to mention we were able to get better deals and better gifts by purchasing over the past few months with the help of our Pumpkin Carving fundraiser.

Overall, there were too many to count – hundreds and hundreds of toys that filled multiple truckloads (and our garages) with bags and boxes everywhere! Just some of what we were able to get included:

  • Board games
  • Books
  • Headphones & speakers
  • Art supplies
  • Dolls
  • Sports toys
  • Remote control cars & helicopters
  • And so much more!

Whether you donated money, purchased from our Amazon list or just helped spread the word – you made a difference. 

We’d like to give a special thank you to our project sponsors:

We’d also like to thank a number of Tower supporters that went above and beyond this year:

  • Jill & Carlos Macedo
  • MaryBeth Miller
  • Maria Pietsch
  • Patricia & Joe Gorman
  • Gina & Jamie Melton

And there’s no way this project is successful without the determination of our Tower Team:

  • Project Coordinator – Tanis Perez 
  • Toy Deliveries – The Stephan Family & The Cable Family
  • Toys for Tots Coordinator – Jennie Stroup
  • Marketing – Callie Smith, AnnMargaret Dwyer, Hillari Bynum 
  • Social Media – Melina Sanchez 

So, as you enjoy the holiday season please know what a difference you made this year – a year when we all needed a little bit of help. Take a moment to think about the hundreds of kids in the hospital who will wake up on Christmas with gifts from people they’ve never met. Less fortunate families in shelters will experience the joy of wrapping presents on Christmas Eve and watching their children open them Christmas morning. All made possible by a community of people who care deeply about helping one another. 

Thank you for making this happen. Thank you for your niceness.

Project Delivers Over 1,000 New Clothing Items & Supplies to Local Homeless Shelters

Our 6th Annual Help the Homeless project may have been the most challenging, but also perhaps the most important. While we were unable to do our traditional outreach event in downtown Sacramento on Thanksgiving day, our volunteers and supporters still found a way to help hundreds of homeless people get the clothing and supplies they so desperately need this holiday season.

For years we’ve had more than 100 volunteers show up with clothing and supplies to hand out, but due to COVID we were not only unable to do our outreach event but unable to collect any used clothing items. So this year we had to depend solely on donations to gather new clothing and supplies – and you delivered! 

Through a combination of individual donations, sponsorship and a portion of the money raised from our online pumpkin carving contest we were able to raise over $3,000 plus hundreds of dollars of donated items that were purchased and shipped to us using the Amazon shopping list.  In addition, our continued partnership with the Rock Creek Elementary School WE Club made a HUGE difference as they were able to coordinate an online campaign to have families assemble and donate nearly 300 hygiene kits (valued at $3,000) which enabled us to spend 100% of our donations on clothing and supplies.

In total, we delivered nearly 1,000 brand new items on Thanksgiving day to three local shelters including:

  • Hygiene kits
  • Sweatshirts
  • Jackets
  • Beanies
  • Shoes
  • Pants/belts
  • Underwear
  • Sweatshirts
  • Gloves
  • Tarps
  • Medicine

“I cannot express how humbled and excited we are for everything that was provided! The larger sizes were perfect! The shoes, vests, backpacks, tarps, medical items, socks, undergarments, and everything else has blown our expectations out of the water!!”

Nick Golling, Director @ The Gathering Inn

Your support enabled us to support THREE local shelters between The Gathering Inn and Wind Youth Services that serve HUNDREDS of homeless men, women and children every day from Sacramento to Auburn. EVERY DOLLAR and EVERY ITEM DONATED got directly into the hands of those that need it most. 

Whether you donated money, purchased from our Amazon list or just helped spread the word – you made a difference. We’d like to give a special thank you to our project sponsor, Incredible Family, as well as a number of Tower supporters that went above and beyond this year:

  • The Stephan Family
  • The Miller Family
  • Katy Pye
  • Wally Smith
  • Tom Sullivan
  • The Kaiser Family
  • Lynn Aust

And there’s no way this project is successful without the determination of our Tower Team:

  • Tanis Perez – Project Coordinator
  • Holly Cable – Project Coordinator, Rock Creek Elementary
  • Mary Beth Miller, Jena Sprinkle, Krisa Radmilovic – Rock Creek Elementary WE Club
  • Callie Smith, AnnMargaret Dwyer, Hillari Bynum – Marketing
  • Melina Sanchez – Community Outreach 

As challenging as this year has been for some of us, there are many that are enduring so much more. Take a moment to think of them, but also know that today you made a difference in the lives of hundreds of them. That’s hundreds of smiles and warmer bodies because of you.

Thank you for your niceness.

Tower Toy Drive Delivers Over 1,200 Toys!

This is certainly a special time of year, but something really special happened with the Tower Toy Drive this year. Our family started this over 10 years ago with a single small bag of toys to the Child Life program at a local hospital that was so amazing during a very scary time for our family. Never in our wildest dreams did we see it growing to what it did this year:

  • 1,200+ toys delivered
  • $2,500 in shopping ($1,250 in new donations)
  • 20 donors
  • 10 volunteers
  • 7 deliveries
  • 3 Hospitals
  • 2 Homeless Shelters
  • 2 project partners
  • 1 storage unit

If you or any of your children have even been in the hospital, you know the impact the Child Life program can make. And if you have ever volunteered to help the homeless, you can imagine what a difference a few toys can make for a family in need during Christmas.

With your help, we did all of that and a lot more! This year not only did we nearly double the amount of toys we delivered, but we also were able to include more locations. Here are the deliveries we made:

Sutter Children’s Hospital – our first hospital with one of the largest best Child Life programs you will find. Toys also used year-round for birthdays and their Child Life playroom. It Takes Guts (another organization we partner with) brings a team to wrap presents. We ended up with 2 large deliveries here!

UC Davis Children’s Hospital – one of the largest children’s hospitals in Northern California with over 115 beds. Toys provided for Christmas morning and year-round services

Kaiser Pediatric Center – Our newest hospital we were able to expand to with smaller program within a large hospital. Toys provided for patients on Christmas.

Acres of Hope – homeless shelter for women and children in Placer County. Toys provided for families to give on Christmas morning.

Wind Youth Services – homeless shelter for children and drop-in services for homeless teens. Toys provided for Christmas at shelter and supplies/gift cards provided for teens

 

In addition to $2,500 in donations we used ($1,250 from this project alone), we also received wonderful support from our project partners. With their additional donations we were able to double our delivery totals this year (and needed a storage unit to hold it all)!

Toys for Tots Placer County
JL Sullivan Roseville Toyota

There were a lot of people that made this happen behind the scenes during a busy holiday season. We would like to thank this awesome team of volunteers:

Project Leader – Tanis Liomin
Volunteer Coordinator – Cindy Pratt 
Toy Deliveries – Diana & Paul Stephan, Holly Cable, Melina Sanchez, Ian & Kim Tipton 
Project Partners – Jennie Stroup, Lisa Airola

And of course, none of this is possible without Niceness Nation! Whether you made a donation, shipped us a toy, shared the project on social media or told a friend – THANK YOU. We hope you will take a moment to look at our donors wall to see all the amazing supporters that helped make this happen.

This year was a testament to what the power of our team can do. I hope you take a moment to think about the difference you made (and are making). Whether they are waking up in a hospital bed or homeless shelter, they know someone took the time to do something for them. Someone they will never meet put a smile on their face. We hope that makes you smile too.

Thank you for your niceness and Happy Holidays!

(PS – and look out, because we have even bigger plans for 2020!) 

5th Annual Help the Homeless Project


Five years ago this is where the Tower started, our first Help the Homeless project.  Unfortunately the homeless problem has only become a bigger challenge increasing another 19% this year – impacting over 6,000 men, women and children in the Greater Sacramento Region each day. So, this Thanksgiving we’re planning our biggest outreach ever with the help of our new project partner – Rock Creek Elementary School’s WE Club.

The Help the Homeless Project collects donations, clothes and supplies to deliver on Thanksgiving Day in Downtown Sacramento. We will serve approximately 200+ homeless men and women plus dozens of local youth living in or utilizing homeless shelters in the area.

Donations are used to purchase hygiene kits, shoes, socks, backpacks and warm clothing. On the day of the project, volunteers also bring new and gently used items as well. This year Rock Creek Elementary School will serve as the primary donation location where everything will be sorted, stored and prepared for delivery on Thanksgiving.

And as always, the ‘River Rule‘ applies to all our projects which means 100% of your donations are delivered to the people in need. In addition, your donations are tax deductible (receipt provided) as we are a registered 501 (c)3 non-profit.

How Can You Help?
While volunteers on Thanksgiving will be needed (see below), what we need most are key items to hand out that day. It costs approximately $10 per person for each hygiene kit we build, $15 for shoes/socks, backpacks and other warm clothing items. Every donation helps us help another person in need. You can make a donation or we’ve also setup an Amazon shopping list so you can purchase and ship the items in need!

DONATION PAGE: Click here to make a cash donation

AMAZON SHOPPING LIST: Purchase & ship direct to us

How Can You Volunteer?
Each year we are overwhelmed with the number of amazing people that want to help us. Unfortunately we can only allow a limited number of people on the project day. If you are interested, you can register here as a volunteer.
VOLUNTEER REGISTRATION PAGE

Have Questions?
If you are interested in supporting, sponsoring or have a question we have not covered – please contact us directly.

THANK YOU for your niceness and helping the homeless again this year.

Help the Homeless 2019

$1,560 of $2,500 raised

Your generous donation is applied to these critical items. Here is where your money goes:

Hygiene Kit: toothbrush/ toothpaste, shampoo/conditioner, lotion, band-aids, chapstick, hand sanitizer, deodorant, combs

Care Package: 1 Hygiene Kit + 1 Pair Shoes + 1 Pair Socks

Other Items: Backpacks, gloves, blankets

$
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Donation Total: $10.00

{amount} donation plus {fee_amount} to help cover fees.

Halloween Helpers Project – October 2019

We’re excited to announce a new project we’re kicking off called Halloween Helpers!

This project will help us provide Halloween costumes for all of the children at the Mustard Seed School. This amazing school is a free, private organization that provides assistance to children (ages 3-15) of homeless families entering or re-entering the public school system. Your support will help us buy Halloween costumes for the entire school (25 kids) ranging from preschool to 8th grade.

A $20 donation will provide a costume for one child and our goal is to raise $500 to cover the costs for the entire school. We will be delivering the costumes Halloween week in time for their school activities and of course, the big night itself!

>>>>LEARN MORE & DONATE HERE<<<<

As always, 100% of your generous donation will be used for this project. If you are interested in learning more you can watch our video or visit our donation page.  If you have questions about the project, you can contact our project leader Melina Sanchez at melina@towerofniceness.org.

Thank you for your niceness!

The Tower Team

Furry Friends Fundraiser Donates Over $4,000 to Local Animal Shelters

With a combination of funds raised from the Night of Niceness, our General Fund and the 2019 Furry Friends Fundraiser we were able to donate over $4,000 this year to benefit four different organizations!

This project led by Presley is able to support a variety of organizations including Itsie Bitsie Rescue, Foothills K-9 Association, Front Street Animal Shelter, and Friends of Camp Fire Cats.

All of these volunteer led groups are doing amazing work helping animals that have been abandoned, displaced, or retired from duty. Your support will help pay for medical costs and adoption fees for each of these causes. That means dozens or even hundreds of animals will be better off because of YOU!

Thank you for your niceness!

Furry Friends Fundraiser Kickoff

We wanted to update you on our latest project – the Furry Friends Fundraiser. This is our fourth year for this project but with your support this year we are able to add a new organization. We will be helping pay for supplies and adoption fees at two of our favorite shelters: Itsie Bitsie Rescue & Front Street Animal Shelter. And we’re excited to add Foothills K9 Association to our project who provide support for retired police dogs.

All three of these organizations do amazing work throughout the greater Sacramento Region with little funding lots of volunteers.Our fundraiser will provide much needed food, supplies, medicine and also help cover adoption fees and medical costs as well. 

As always, 100% of your generous donation will be used for this project. If you are interested in learning more you can watch our video or visit our donation pageThank you for your niceness!

CLICK HERE TO DONATE