7th Annual Tower Toy Drive Delivers $10,000 of Toys for Local Children’s Hospitals and Homeless Shelters

This is a special project for a special time of year – but none of us were prepared for what happened this year. We were excited to have raised and saved $5,000 for this year’s budget – our most ever, but then something happened – niceness. It started with a donation here, then another, then a grant, then a huge donation and other huge one, well – you get the idea. We filled our storage unit – several times, filled our garages, and still had boxes showing up and more shopping to do all the way up to Christmas Eve.

By the time all was said and done, we doubled our budget to over $10,000! Hundreds of toys, games, books, stuffed animals and more than a dozen deliveries later – you helped provide an amazing Christmas holiday for more than a 100 children and their families!

In addition to many generous individual donations, we’d like to recognize the following supporters for significant contributions that made this project possible…and bigger than ever.

  • The Liomin Family
  • The Virassammy Family
  • The Kaiser Family
  • Randy & Lisa Peters
  • Kathryn Pye
  • Maria Pietsch
  • Gary Levin
  • Jennie Stroup
  • John L. Sullivan Charitable Foundation
  • Wubbanub Toys
  • Randy Peters Catering & Event Center

Here’s what Christmas week looked like thanks to your niceness:

Delivery #1: Sutter Children’s Hospital

Our biggest drop off in a decade! A dozen huge boxes and half dozen full bags of new toys! These will be used for presents on Christmas for kids in the hospital as well as year round gifts to give out. We also supplied Legos, books and games for the Child Life playroom.

Delivery #2: Kaiser Roseville Women’s & Children’s Center

Huge delivery of toys, books, stuffed animals and games for Kaiser Permanente Roseville Woman’s and Children’s Center. Stuffed animals will be going to the ER and they will have enough toys for any kids admitted or staying during Christmas. Thanks to all our supporters and volunteers that will help make a difficult Christmas for some kids and their families in the hospital just a little bit better.

Delivery #3: Acres of Hope

A special drop-off to Acres of Hope just in time for the parents living in this transitional shelter to shop for their kids’ Christmas gifts! We were able to shop for the entire wish list and pack a car full of presents for the 15 children.
Thank you everyone for making this a very special Christmas for these kids who deserve it!

Delivery #4: Wind Youth Services – Teen Homeless Shelter

Not 1 but 2 deliveries today to our friends at Wind Youth Services! Two SUV loads of boxes full of new jackets, underwear, socks, sleeping bags and 100+ hygiene kits. These will be distributed to the nearly 40 homeless teens that use their emergency shelter each day. Thank you all for making a difference for these young people in need.

Delivery #5: Common Ground Teen Shelter

This year we had the opportunity to add the Common Ground Teen Shelter. We may have known someone that gave us a list we were able to shop for 🙄 . Today we dropped off Christmas presents and $2,000 in gift cards for the 25 teens staying there. Thank you for helping make a difficult time of year just a little better for these kids that deserve it.

Delivery #6 & 7: Adopted Families In Need

As part of our expanded project this year we were able to adopt some local families in need due to heartbreaking circumstances. We worked with some very special people to coordinate shopping lists, wrapping and deliveries to these families just in time for Christmas. There’s sure to be a lot of extra smiles and surprises on Christmas morning thanks to all the support Niceness Nation provided this year!

Delivery #8, 9 &10: Christmas Eve Surprise – Local Families In Need

Christmas Eve surprise for 3 families we adopted after meeting during our holiday basket drop off last week. They all told us they didn’t need anything for Christmas which made it all the better to surprise them with presents and gift cards today for the kids and parents.

Delivery #11: Christmas Dinner for the Salvation Army

Turkeys!!! We added a new stop to our drop off tour this year that included 24 turkeys delivered to the Roseville Salvation Army for Christmas dinner today! Big thanks to Randy Peters Catering & Event Center for helping make this happen. Along with the generous support of our community there will be dozens of warm hearts and full bellies on Christmas day!

Delivery #12: Secret Santa for a Special Family

Dinner and presents for some families in need we were able to adopt this year. The team did some last minute shopping from a Christmas list we were able to get for the kids. It doesn’t get any better than this. Merry Christmas!


THANK YOU

We are so grateful for the outpouring of support this year and making this by far the biggest and best Tower Toy Drive ever. Your donations, big and small, made a significant impact.

A HUGE thank you to our board member and project leader, Tanis Liomin, who diligently shopped all year and coordinated every last toy delivered! We are also grateful for all of Santa’s elves that helped with the deliveries Christmas week.

Also a big thanks to our project sponsors at John L. Sullivan Employee Charity Group and Wubbanub for their generous donations as well as our Toys for Tots coordinator, Jennie Stroup, who comes through big every year for us!

Thank you everyone for helping provide some much needed niceness to kids in need this holiday season.

7th Annual Help the Homeless Project Delivers New Clothing & Supplies to Hundreds of People In Need

What a project – made possible by all of you.

As part of our 7th Annual Help the Homeless project, we were able to deliver sleeping bags, hygiene kits, socks, shoes, jackets along with a warm breakfast to more than 100 people this morning.

Thanks to the amazing support we received this year, we were able to provide all of these items to nearly every person we met (usually we run out of the key items). In addition to funds already raised through grants and private donations, we were able to triple our goal of project donations this year!

Here’s a nice story that our friends at Good Day Sacramento came out to do for the project on Thanksgiving morning.

For the very first time, 100% of our supplies were brand new items this year. In total, we had nearly 500 hygiene kits, and hundreds of new clothing items that helped hundreds of people across Sacramento and Placer County. Here are some of the items your generous giving provided:

  • Hygiene Kits: toothbrush/ toothpaste, shampoo/conditioner, lotion, band-aids, Chapstick, hand sanitizer, deodorant, combs
  • New Clothing: Shoes, socks, underwear sweats, thermals, jackets, belts, gloves, hats
  • Sleeping Gear: tarps, sleeping bags, blankets, etc.
  • Backpacks & misc. supplies 

In addition, we were able to make a drop-off to help The Gathering Inn, who serves 150+ people per night at their two locations. We delivered 20 more boxes of supplies that included 40+ pairs of shoes, socks, jackets, thermals and 100+ hygiene kits – all of which were right off their wish list and put to good use right away.

We also were able to drop off sleeping bags, clothing and hygiene kits to Wind Youth Services who support homeless teens.

THANK YOU to all of you that donated your dollars, time and helped spread the word. Special thanks to Rock Creek Elementary School- Rocklin, CA for donating hundreds of hygiene kits that were very well received. A BIG thank you to our board members Ami Fetter and Tanis Liomin who led the project and gathered all the supplies and hygiene kits. And as always, we couldn’t do this without the Tower Team. Thank you to all our volunteers that shopped, shipped, and organized all the supplies and those that joined us this morning for the event.

Today, as you all enjoy the Thanksgiving holidays with your family and friends, we hope you will also take a moment to think of those living on the streets – and know today you made a difference. Thank you for your niceness & Happy Thanksgiving!

Pumpkin Carving Contest Raises Over $3,000 for Fall Projects

When it comes to finding ways to provide niceness for those in need, we’re always looking for new and creative ways. This year, unable to host our annual fundraiser due to COVID, we were looking for a way to raise funds for our core projects and determined to still help those in need however we could.  The idea needed to be something anyone could do, from anywhere, safely – and it had to be fun!  

Introducing our 1st Annual Pumpkin Carving Contest!


The Project

This event, led by our newest board member Tanis Liomin, was designed to have fun and help someone – and it did just that. We were not sure what the response would be, but it was awesome! In addition to a number of creative pumpkin entries, with your amazing support, we generated over 25 donations from literally around the world totaling over $3,000 to support all three upcoming projects:

This was a HUGE boost for our team that was frankly unsure how we were going to pull off all of these projects in the face of COVID. Your support has enabled us to allocate enough funds for each of these projects that will help hundreds of people. This year, more than ever, that means so much.

Putting Your Generosity to Work
We’ve already completed the Halloween Helpers project, doubling what we did last year. For our Help the Homeless project we are making adjustments to deliver to local shelters in lieu of a public outreach on Thanksgiving Day to make sure everyone is safe but still supported. And our Toy Drive will be adjusted to ensure we comply with any needs of the hospitals and local shelters.

Special Donors that Stepped Up!
Grateful for all of our supporters that made this happen, but we would like to recognize several special donors that went above and beyond to help us hit our goal:

  • The Trainer Family
  • The Melton Family
  • The Kaiser Family
  • Maria Pietsch
  • Sondra Nunez
  • The Liomin Family
  • And our newest sponsor – Sullivan Auto Group

The Winners
Yeah, we know you want to know who won! In addition to all the kids you helped who were the real winners, here are the pumpkin carving pros that took away the prizes.

🎃 Adults: Brian Liomin – Pumpkin #8
🎃 Kids: Michelle Thorton – Pumpkin #13
🎃Door Price: Tanis Liomin – Pumpkin #6
🎃Fan Favorite: Lisa Airola – Pumpkin #12


Thank You!!!

There are a lot of places that need help this year, and we’re grateful that you have supported us as you always do. Rest assured that EVERY DOLLAR donated is being put to good use, and you can watch our blog and social media pages for regular updates on each of the projects this holiday season. 

You all are amazing. Thank you for your niceness and helping make a real difference this year!

2nd Annual Halloween Helpers – Project Recap

You can imagine how difficult it is to be a child in a homeless shelter, particularly this year. You miss out on a lot of things, even something as simple (and fun) as trick-or-treating on Halloween. But this year, thanks to your amazing support, we were able to make sure some very special kids had some Halloween fun!

Our 2nd Annual Halloween Helpers project was a great success. This project helps provide Halloween costumes for homeless children living in shelters or attending local school programs for homeless families. 

 We are excited to share that this year we were able to over double the number of costumes donated allowing us to serve two different groups at Acres of Hope and Mustard Seeds School.

Over the course of the year we were collecting costumes to deliver and were able to buy more with your generous donations to the project and our Pumpkin Carving Contest. In total, we had over $1,000 in costumes purchased and donated! This enabled us to purchase ahead and deliver all of the costumes with plenty of time to be ready for the fun and spooky night.

“Thank you so much for your donations, without your support we wouldn’t be able to do this,” Project Leader, Melina Sanchez.

The kids were really excited to be able to celebrate and it helped provide a welcome distraction from what’s been a difficult year. 

Thank you to everyone who donated and helped share the project, we very much appreciate you and your donation! As always, 100% of your generous donations were used for this project. 

If you have questions about the project, or want to get involved to help next year, you can contact our project leader Melina Sanchez at melina@towerofniceness.org.

Thank you for your niceness!

The Tower Team

Project GrubHug Delivers Over 700 Meals to Help Those Impacted by COVID

From serious health risks to economic hardships, the impact from the COVID pandemic for our seniors, small businesses, low-income families and healthcare workers in particular has been devastating. As reality set in with how serious this was, we honestly didn’t know where to start. There was so much confusion, fear and concern in our communities. We were getting calls and emails from people that wanted to help, people that needed help and everything in between.

All we knew is that we wanted to do something. And as always, you stepped up, Niceness Nation.

After talking with our volunteers and partners it was clear the most urgent, short term need was simply food. One just one call with our amazing supporters at Randy Peters Catering & Event Center and we were able to quickly organize Project GrubHug.

Project GrubHug was our small way of helping make sure that those impacted most are not going without food. We committed to raising money for meals (and some love) to be delivered to those that needed it most:

  • Seniors that are living alone or in centers where they cannot leave, do not have food or any family to help them
  • Families in need who have lost their income due to layoffs or business closings
  • Healthcare workers who are putting their lives at risk to help those that are sick

Partnering with Randy Peters Catering we were able to purchase and deliver each meal for just $10. Clearly given the quality of their food and service, these meals would cost a lot more to make and deliver but by subsidizing the cost, we were able to feed many more people and help keep their staff working. Not only that, but we later learned that they were adding hundreds of meals on top of this at their own cost!

This was just a great example of some of the niceness we witnessed during this project. Think about it, catering and events were some of the most directly affected industries, and yet, they were the first to step up to offer help.

It was a true testament to their values, quite moving, and gave us the boost we needed. 

Inspired by their offer to support us, the Tower had recently received a $2,000 grant that had been earmarked for general Tower fundraising but the kids didn’t hesitate to make a decision to donate the entire thing to kick off the project. 

With a goal to deliver 500 meals, we put the word out and you responded. In fact, not only did we reach our goal, we exceeded it by raising $7,210 from 53 donations making it our largest direct project ever. To get there we had individual donations that ranged from $25 to $700 (a big donation from Julie Eddlemon to get us to our first goal)  and groups like 100+ Women Giving Circle of Placer County that came together to raise $1,625! You can see all of our generous donors on our donor wall

We also received some great support from local media including our favorite morning show at Good Day Sacramento. They hosted the boys for a morning interview via Zoom that really helped get the word out. 

We also had a great interview on the Be the Light Facebook Group that shares uplifting and inspiration stories from around the world.

In total, with your support, we were able to deliver over 700 meals to:

  • Feed an the staff of an entire night shift at Kaiser Hospital in Roseville, CA
  • Feed an entire low income senior home where they were worried about how to pay for their next meals
  • Feed multiple homeless shelters 
  • Feed individual families needing help after losing their income

We wanted to note that during the entire project we stayed quarantined as did all of our volunteers. The donations were routed to Randy Peters Catering and they did all the meal preparation and delivery under strict safety guidelines. This helped keep everyone safe while still running the project during the most critical times.

So, on behalf of our entire Tower Team, and the community you continue to serve, THANK YOU. While there is much more work to do as we recover and reopen together, this was one of many examples of hope that will fuel that process. 

Thank you for your niceness.

Project GrubHug

The COVID-19 outbreak and subsequent Shelter in Place requirements have caused a lot of challenges for our community. From serious health risks to economic hardships, the impact in particular for our seniors, small businesses, low-income families and healthcare workers has been devastating. And we want to do something about it.

Project GrubHug is our small way of helping make sure that those impacted most are not going without food. We’re raising money to have meals (and some love) delivered to those that need it most right now:

  • Seniors that are living alone or in centers where they cannot leave, do not have food or any family to help them
  • Families in need who have lost their income due to layoffs
  • Healthcare workers who are putting their lives at risk to help those that are sick

Partnering with our sponsors at Randy Peters Catering, we are able to purchase and deliver meals for just $10 each. And if you know the quality of their food and service, you know this is a meal that costs a lot more to produce. They are subsidizing the cost to enable us to feed more people and help keep more of their staff working. A testament to their “servant’s heart” values and a true win-win!

Inspired by this, the Tower had just received a $2,000 grant which the kids have decided to use to kick off this project and purchase the first 200 meals! Now we’re asking for your help to hit our goal of 500 meals delivered in the month of April.

As always 100% of your tax deductible donation will be used for the project. You will also have the option to request what group your donation is used for. Feel free to ask any questions or bring ideas on how to bring this project to other areas. And we can use all of your help sharing the project with your friends, family and community so we can provide even more niceness for those in need.

Thank you for thinking of others during this difficult time. ❤❤ Make your donation below ❤❤ and stay tuned for updates on how the project is going.


Project GrubHug

$7,260 of $5,000 raised

The Tower wants to share some love while we all have to shelter in place. During the month of April, we are raising money to provide meal delivery (what we are calling GrubHugs) from Randy Peters Catering & Event Center for local seniors, families and health care workers in need. As always, 100% of the proceeds will be used for the project which will be primarily in Placer County. Thank you Niceness Nation!

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2019 Help the Homeless Project Helps More than Ever

What a day.

Early on a cold, rainy Thanksgiving morning, 100+ amazing volunteers showed up to hand out a truckload of 200 hygiene kits, 50 sleeping bags, 50 backpacks, 60 beanies, 30 pairs of new shoes and dozens of jackets, blankets and sweatshirts from your donations (that came from 100 more!). Add to that literally hundreds more items brought by the volunteers along with a warm breakfast that was served.

[2019 Help the Homeless Project Photo Gallery]

Whether you donated money or clothing, helped shop or spread the word, or showed up to help – you made a difference. Because of you over 150+ people will have dry, warm clothes, sleeping bags, new shoes and hygiene supplies to help them for the coming winter.

Here’s a quick thank you video from our founders, River & Ryder. 

Our ability to help more people was due in large part to our partnership with the Rock Creek Elementary School WE Club. With the help of 70 students, their parents and staff they collected enough supplies to build all 200 of our hygiene kits. This allowed us to allocate all of our fundraising to purchasing new clothing to hand out. You can check out the Good Day Sacramento segments below.

Speaking of Good Day Sacramento, we’d like to thank them for once again covering our project. For the 5th year in a row they have come out to share the story with their viewers to help promote niceness and shed light on the homeless challenges so many in our community face. 

THANK YOU NICENESS NATION!

To everyone that supported this project, big or small, we just want to say Thank you. Thank you for caring, for contributing and making time on your Thanksgiving morning to help provide niceness for those in need. We are humbled and inspired by your support.

5th Annual Tower Toy Drive

It’s time for the Tower Toy Drive and this year we’re looking to support more kids than ever! We’re raising money (and collecting toys) to provide gifts that will be delivered to local children’s hospitals and homeless shelters in time for Christmas.

Your support will help put a smile on dozens of kids’ faces as they wake up to an unexpected gift (which makes their parents pretty happy too). We also provide gifts for the Child Life programs that provide support for the families staying in the hospital year round.

As always, 100% of your tax deductible donation will be use for our project which will include purchases of toys, games, books, movies, gift cards, tablets and a whole lot more! Want to do your own shopping? This year you can purchase and ship toys for our team to deliver using our Amazon Shopping List.

Thank you for your niceness this holiday season!

5th Annual Tower Toy Drive

$1,375 of $1,000 raised
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Halloween Helpers 2019

Hello there Tower Family! We are happy to share that our Halloween Helpers project was a success!

On October 28th, our project leader for Halloween Helpers, Melina Sanchez, collected the costumes and drove down over to the Mustard Seed School for the drop off. There she was given a tour of the school and a run down of what they offer. 

Thanks to your contributions, on Halloween each student was given their very own personalized costume and where able to trick or treat around the area. Many of these students have little stability in their life as they are all struggling through homelessness. Being given the costumes was incredibly meaningful to not only them but their parents who otherwise would not have been able to provide one for them.

Thank you to everyone who donated, we very much appreciate you and your donation! Without your assistance we could not have done this. 

As always, 100% of your generous donations were used for this project. 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

Volunteer Info & Opportunities

We recently hosted a live webinar to share some of the ways you can get involved with the Tower of Niceness as a volunteer. Watch the video above or you can browse the slides here.

There are a lot of ways you can help with opportunities to join the Tower Team, a Project Team or just participate in a project. From an hour a month to just one project a year – every bit helps.

Let us know if you have any questions or interest in a particular role – you can contact us via the website or email. We would love to have you join Niceness Nation!