How Amy Fox, a Community Philanthropist, Collected 50 Boxes of Clothes to Hurricane Sandy!

Amy Fox is a mother of two and got inspired to start giving after her daughter got really sick when she was two. After her daughter recovered, she has been an avid supporter of national and local charities. Not only is she a supporter, she always inspires others to give. Here’s her story and she’s going to give us some tips about how we can help and make a difference as an individual.

Melinda: I’d like to start by talking about Hurricane Sandy.  When I heard what you have done, that’s when I really wanted to speak with you!  You personally collected 50 boxes of coats after the hurricane and people were sponsoring your boxes to be shipped!

Amy: So I have family on the east coast, people there lost their home, clothes and belongings while it was winter. They had requested on fb just trying to collect some clothes locally.  I shared this information to my kids, they said that “We have clothes, we have coats and we have grown out of things.  Let’s send our stuff”.  We started collecting stuff and we sent some text to friends for their donations.  So we also sent out an email to our school and the response was overwhelming.  Our community really wanted to help but didn’t know how.  People gave us bags and bags of coats, hats and warm clothes for adults and children.

Melinda: What inspired you to start giving?  What inspires you now?

Amy: Originally, 11 years ago, I had a child who became critically ill. While we were in the hospital, People brought us food, they took care of our mail and our cat.  Just those simple things really warmed our hearts and made us think how we could do this for others in the future. We also got involved with the Ronald McDonald house because we had to stay there while our daughter was in the hospital.  We were so grateful that it was there.  The organization helps support families with sick children in the hospital so that the parents can be there with their children.  So when we got out of the hospital, we stayed active to help the organization, the hospital and kids on dialysis.  We also really stayed active with the Ronald McDonald house because we think that’s an organization that really just needs to be around.  Any parent can find themselves needing their services and it’s just great that they’re there for us.  What keeps us involved is that we are lucky enough to be involved with our school and congregation community that’s really big with community service.  So we get in involved with different projects.  It’s really fun and rewarding.  Every time we volunteer together with family or friends, we always end up getting something from it.  Not because we mean to but because we feel great about it.

Melinda: What is the next project?

Amy: I have 2 projects coming up, one is an annual donation for the Fleischer foundation.  We raise money to provide CPR training in school. They fund a program through the American Heart Association called CPR anytime.  Each kid gets a recessitation kit, learn CPR and they go out and train 3 other people.  We also put defibrillators in schools.  Automated external defibrillators are key when some body’s heart stops and sometimes you need to shock that heart back in.  The shock is needed within 5 minutes of a heart stopping or the person can die.  We had a few young adults who passed away for that reason.  And so, this is saving lives.  The other project coming on is for kids who are going through dialysis.  There is only 1 dialysis center for children here in the OC.  Kids are spending 3 hours a day getting their blood cleaned.  We support them with their child life coordinator by providing movies, personal dvd players and video games.  My daughter is going to teach the kids origami and make crafts with duct tape.  Giving them things they can do while doing dialysis.  It’s a hard life being in dialysis, they can’t swim, play sports because they have tubes coming in and out of the bodies.

Melinda: You are showing people how you can make a difference by taking action and not just about donating money.  That’s incredible.

Amy: There are websites you can visit to give you ideas.  Just find things you are passionate about and jump in and find ways to help.  I know a little girl who walks dogs and donates the money she makes to animal shelters.  Or she buys them gift cards so they can buy food for the animals.  My younger daughter loves animals, and so, for her birthday one year, she collected gift cards for her local animal rescue.    This year we just recued a cat from the rescue.  She noticed that the cat didn’t have enough toys so she wants to collect dog and cat toys for the rescue.  So you can turn things that you love and help that way.

Melinda: If you were to write a book, what would it be about?

Amy: I would love to write a book about inspiring your kids to just be good people.  How to do simple things to make a difference and change the world.  They can change the world by helping people in need.   Just being a kind person.  If you don’t have the money to give, there’s always time.

Melinda: You and your family are amazing not only because you give but you inspire others to give.  It’s contagious and it’s inspiring.

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