Our organization thrives on the smiles of those we serve throughout our community. The faces we meet along this journey will leave a lasting impression on our volunteers as well as those that follow our progress.
While we will continue to promote awareness of the illnesses and diseases that are affecting youth within our community, we will still host events around town catering to these youth. Letting them know that just like Jayla, they can smile through their trials. To date, we have conducted :
Annual Stuffed Animal Drive where we collect new and gently used teddy bears and stuffed animals to be donated to local venues. New bears were donated to Wolfson Children’s Hospital as well as Ronald McDonald House. Other new and gently used bears were donated to Community Connections and the Salvation Army. Volunteers had the luxury of hand delivering bears, meeting patients/students and speaking with them letting them know that they are thought about and loved.
We have successfully hosted our All Smiles Kick-Off Event which featured five children who have been diagnosed with a chronic illness. These children received free salon services such as hair cuts, hair styles, and manicures. Followed up by a pizza party with games and fun. Each child received a certificate for their bravery, a Jayla’s Smile t-shirt and goodies to remind them of the event. We will commemorate the All Smiles event every year and will occur in the month of May which is Lupus Awareness Month. With close to 200 people in attendance, Jayla’s Smile hosted their first city-wide Walk for Lupus 2012 at A Philip Randolph Park and has continued annually.
The children and volunteers got together for our first Jayla’s Smile Bowl-a-thon where teams of 4-5ppl competed for the title. We enjoyed games, lunch and each other’s company as families came out to support this event.
We’ve also hosted our Back to School Giveaway which was held in Jacksonville at Friendship Fountain Park. We had alot of help from motorcycle clubs such as Aftermath Ryders, Ruff Ryders, Black Coffee Ryders, Branded Divas, Aftermath social club, All 4 One, Altered Egos, Black Onyx, Black Out, Black Sheep, FLA Riders, Foxy N Furious, JVille Riders, Outcast, Ragin Bullz, Diamonds and Pearlz, Dem Divas and more…We are currently working with these groups to host a motorcycle ride for lupus awareness in the near future.
Also at the end of 2012 to wrap up our first full year of promoting awareness, Jayla’s Smile hosted their first Lupus Awareness benefit dinner “A Gala for Jayla”. We had about 100 family and friends to support the event making it a major success! Special thanks to Dr. Mohammed Ilyas and Lyricist Lawanda Purdy for bringing the dynamics of their words to bless the audience. If you would like information on sponsoring future projects, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for a sponsorship packet.
Finally, our organization is working very hard to coordinate a Lupus Seminar here in Jacksonville that will allow guest speakers to come in from different levels of Lupus Research, we would like to hear from doctors and other experts that can assist us in helping the community gain a better understanding of the illness and what’s being done to cure it. We have annually hosted each of these events and with your help, we will continue! Please check back for more updates!