presenta plaque heroic acts

Heroic Acts: Bucket List Foundation

by Presenta Plaque | on Oct 09, 2012 | No Comments

For this month’s Heroic Act, we are bringing you an exceptionally inspiring and heart-wrenching organization: the Bucket List Foundation. The foundation was established by Kimberly Iverson, a hospice nurse who had the desire to help her terminally ill patients fulfill their last and deepest wishes. She began to ask her patients what they most wanted to do or experience in their life, and through her own resources, she would make these dreams come true. Of the dreams she’s heard, she says, “Most are not looking for a fantastical wish. In fact, many of the responses seem like such simple requests; however, because of their disease process and physical limitations, financial means or emotional outlook on life, these simple wishes seem grandiose and unattainable.” In 2011, Kimberly turned her heartwarming passion into the Bucket List Foundation with a dream of her own to enhance the lives of terminally ill seniors and promote the optimism of making the most out of life.

The generosity of the foundation has granted a multitude of wishes to terminally ill seniors; they wish to be reunited with loved ones, travel back to their hometowns, ride in a helicopter, fly a fighter plane, or go deep sea fishing, none of which they would be able to manage or afford on their own. The foundation makes travel arrangements for family to visit or medical arrangements which allow the patients to travel. Sometimes the wishes take creativity and resourcefulness to fulfill, but sometimes, like in the case of 84 year old Delores who simply asked for the chance to ride the metro light rail through Phoenix and then go out for lunch, all it takes is time and compassion. The foundation always gives more to the seniors than is asked of them, as Kimberly and her family often are personally involved in aiding and spending time with the seniors in their last days. Kimberly involves her children in each wish granted and says she hopes to “teach our children at this young age to appreciate, give back unselfishly and love this generation who has given so much to theirs.” That is undoubtedly a lesson that should be imparted on all children.

In taking on volunteers for wish fulfillment, Bucket List Foundation takes the time to match volunteers purposefully with each need to guarantee a valuable experience for all. Their volunteers work both directly and indirectly with the terminally ill seniors from granting wishes to participating in community outreach and fundraising opportunities, so anyone willing to volunteer will be able to find their calling within the foundation.

To get involved with Bucket List Foundation, or to read more about the end of life wishes they’ve granted, grab a box of tissues and visit their website.

Heroic Acts: Military Family Support Group

by Presenta Plaque | on Sep 10, 2012 | No Comments

Last month for our Heroic Acts blog series, we presented you with Rebuilding Together Valley of the Sun and their annual Rock & Roll Paint-A-Thon. Turns out, there are even more heroes in our community,  giving back to those in need, and we at Presenta Plaque regard it as our mission to bring you the stories of these admirable people.

This month we are recognizing the local Military Family Support Group and their efforts to send care packages to troops positioned in Afghanistan. Contrary to their name, Military Family Support Group is not limited only to family of the military. Their volunteers consist of veterans, military parents, spouses and children, local high school students, scout troops, and anyone just wanting to show support for the troops. They declare “all are welcome,” and they truly mean it. Launched in 2003, the group meets weekly to share their experiences, stories, letters, pictures, and concerns about their loved ones who are, have been or will be deployed. The group supports all branches of the military, they are not politically or religiously affiliated, and they do not use their time together to discuss political views on the war. Rather, their weekly meetings are a chance to support one another in their individual struggles and plan their involvement in charitable community events: blood drives, angel trees at Christmas, making quilts for fallen Arizona soldiers’ next of kin, serving lunches at the Veteran’s home, and more.

On the last Wednesday of each month, however, these meetings have a different purpose; they become packing parties where members gather the donations the group has accumulated throughout the month and assemble the care packages that will be shipped to Afghanistan. Each month, they manage to send over 350 care packages to troops overseas. They collect everything from canned food and toiletries to calling cards and games. The troops provide grateful feedback when there are shortages of particularly needed items that the Military Family Support Group needs to focus on collecting, or when a fellow comrade has no family or is not receiving mail. For those soldiers who have no connections to home, the group becomes their link. They send care packages to these troops as well as personal letters and email.

In order to continue their hard work, the group is continually in need of donations to support their care package assemblies. They encourage businesses, schools and churches not only to get involved in collecting items or giving donations, but to join their group and be personally involved in the packing parties. For a full list of requested donation items or for more information on how to donate or get involved, visit their website.

Heroic Acts: Junior Purple Society

by Presenta Plaque | on Jul 10, 2012 | No Comments

At Presenta Plaque, we are constantly hearing of the wonderful heroes in our community, especially through our Presenta Plaque to Your Hero campaign. With so many stories to tell, we decided to begin a new monthly series on our blog and share these amazing heroes and their touching stories.

For our first story in the series, we chose to highlight the Junior Purple Society. As you’ll see when you watch the video, this is a school sanctioned, student run club for students grade 1 through college. The Junior Purple Society club involves students in providing local resources, hope, and inspiration to childhood cancer patients and their families. While engaged in community service, the students learn valuable lessons in humanity, compassion, and leadership. The Junior Purple Society Clubs visit local hospitals, deliver food to families in active treatment, deliver Nitalia’s Blankets to children in the hospital, visit children in treatment, plan and execute awareness campaigns, and many other activities.

For more information about this great club, visit their website  and to get involved with their September walk, click here.

Thanks Junior Purple Society for all you do!