CrossFit RowRaiser!

Laurin Rivers

This weekend Pockets Full of Sunshine had the chance to participate in a very special fundraiser. The Reebok Coastal Carolina Crossfit facility put on a RowRaiser to raise money for its exceptional crossfit class for adults with disabilities.

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Health and fitness is important for all of us, especially as we age, and it is even more important for our population of adults with disabilities who often have less access to physical fitness activities.

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Several of our Rays participate in this weekly CrossFit class and they all love it! Exercise and being with friends out in the community is good for both their physical and mental health!

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We sponsored a rower and got a team of adults and several of our wonderful volunteers and dear friends to participate in the event. As you can see from these photos there was a big turn out and a great time was had by all!

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It’s so nice to see the local fitness community supporting the local special needs community. Together we are all better!

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Festival of Trees!

Laurin Rivers

The holiday season is upon us and thus far it has proven to be a very busy one indeed for Pockets!

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Our Rays have been hard at work for several months already on the various projects we have had this season, making bookmarks and totes for the book festival, working on our Recycled Art Project and creating some beautiful decorations for the annual Festival of Trees!

The Festival of Trees is a local fundraiser benefiting Hilton Head Preparatory School. Our Rays have participated for the last several years, each year creating a differently themed “Sunshine Tree”. The beautiful trees are then put on display at a local resort for several weeks and auctioned off to raise money for the school. What a festive and fabulous fundraiser!

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Besides supporting our local schools, this fundraiser provides the Rays with a fun and creative crafting opportunity and also gives them a chance to be active participants in a local event and connect with their community, all part of the PFS mission!

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This years tree was beach themed and under the guidance of our friends Danielle and Crystal, the Rays made beautiful air dry clay ornaments to adorn it. Everyone had a lot of fun creating this years tree and its beauty certainly speaks for itself!

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Bluffton Book Festival!

Laurin Rivers

One of our favorite parts of living in the lowcountry is experiencing all the fun outdoor activities. The weather is beautiful for most of the year and you can enjoy it at an outdoor market or festival almost every weekend!

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This year we had the opportunity to participate in a very special new festival, the Bluffton Book Festival!

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Just as it’s name implied, the festival boasted lots of great books, meet and greet with authors and key note speakers, fun vendors and even a visit from world famous ballerina Misty Copeland!

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The Rays created one of a kind hand painted book marks and screen printed “book” bags in anticipation of the day.

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When festival day came in mid November, the weather was perfect and the day was a huge success! We can’t wait for next year!

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Port Royal Sound Recycled Art Contest

Laurin Rivers

The Port Royal Sound Foundation held their first annual Recycled Art Contest this fall. The purpose of the contest was to bring awareness to Beaufort County’s plastic bag ban and to keep our local waters clean and healthy.

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The theme for the contest was anything related to the ocean and fun in the sun! We knew upon reading this description that this contest was right up our alley and our Rays went to work!

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Many hands helped and many Sundays were spent working on our piece, which we titles “Time is of the Essence”. It was made out of 99% recycled materials and depicted a giant hour glass with each side representing day and night.

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It was adorned with ocean animals who were picking up pieces of litter and filled with recycled bottle caps so that it became interactive and made sound when flipped over.

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We were thrilled with the finished product and even more thrilled when we received one of the 10 honorable mention awards at the ceremony! There were over 100 art entries, many of which were outstanding so we felt honored to have been chosen as a favorite!

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Art pieces are on display through December 31st at the Maritime Cultural Center in Okatie, SC if you would like to visit and see them for yourself!

Remembering Hope and Introducing Mr. Dave!

Laurin Rivers

Halloween is always a special time of year for Pockets Full of Sunshine. October kicks off the holiday season which is always full of crafting, celebrations and lots of fun.

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One celebration in particular is always near and dear to our hearts, and that is Hope’s Halloween Party. Hope was a very kind and talented adult with special needs who passed away several years ago. Halloween was Hope’s favorite holiday and her mother Nancy plans a party for the Rays in her memory each year.

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They all look forward to dressing up, having fun with their friends, seeing photos of Hope and hearing stories about her from Nancy. All of the Rays also love to listen to Hope’s poetry which Nancy is kind enough to share with us each year. Hope was a very talented writer and illustrator!

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This year Hope’s party was made even more special by the addition of a special musical guest, Mr. Dave!

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Mr. Dave has been attending Pockets Full of Sunshine for the last few months and the Rays absolutely adore him and his guitar!

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They have memorized most of his songs and he has even written a few special songs just for the Rays! A session that ends with singing and dancing from the Rays and Mr. Dave is ALWAYS a good one!

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We are grateful to Nancy Anderson and David Carroll for spreading the sunshine with us!

Even More Eggs....with the Zonta Club!

Laurin Rivers

Remember the 20,000 eggs the Rays are stuffing? Well we decided a party would help get us to the half way point…10,000 eggs!

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Our goal was to have 10,000 eggs completed by Christmas and while the Rays were dutifully working through them, we were starting to crack just a little (please excuse the bad pun!).

Hilton Head Christian Academy Z Club to the rescue! We invited our Zonta Club friends to an egg stuffing party! The Z club brought toys for the eggs and helped our Rays knock out the final numbers to bump them to their 10,000 goal!

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We hope to have a few more parties in the spring to complete this project in the most fun and inclusive way possible! Thank you Z Club for always being such wonderful supporters and eggcelent friends!

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Back to School Screen Printing!

Laurin Rivers

It has been almost a year now that our Rays began working at local safety apparel business, TSA. The year has flown by and they have absolutely loved working alongside the TSA employees each week, completing office tasks like filing, shredding and unpacking boxes to count orders.

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Everyone has a favorite part of their job though right? For the Rays it is hands down screen printing! The Rays have worked hard to perfect the screen printing process with the help of the TSA employees and have even completed several jobs of their own!

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This summer we were given the opportunity to screen print t shirts for the Hilton Head Highschool PTO. The Seahawks t-shirts are sold in the school store and students are able to wear them in place of collared uniform shirts. As you can imagine, they are quite popular!

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Many of our Rays are themselves Hilton Head High graduates so this was a job they were very excited to take on.

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The Rays completed their first batch of shirts and were proud to hand deliver them to the school! They are ready for more orders!

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An Early Easter Eggstravaganza!

Laurin Rivers

Have you ever heard the one about the woodchuck? How much wood could the woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood? I wonder how many Easter eggs a woodchuck could stuff? My guess is not near as many as our Rays!

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They have been working diligently on an exciting new project for the Island Rec Center. Earlier this year we were hired by the Island Rec Center to stuff 20,000 Easter Eggs for their annual community egg hunt. Yes, you read that right…20,000!

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This number seemed daunting until we got to work and were amazed as our Rays stuffed 2,000 eggs during our Sunday session. They were pros already!

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We will continue to stuff eggs with toys and later candy as we get closer to next Easter.

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We can’t wait for our Rays to see the joy on the faces of all the children during the egg hunt next year! We know they will take pride in a job well done!

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Fun in the Sun for EVERYONE 2018!

Laurin Rivers
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There are few things in life that inspire joy more than smiling faces at the beach. When those smiling faces belong to people of every age and every ability, all having fun together, the joy is truly indescribable.

This was exactly the scene I had the pleasure of witnessing on June 7th at Pockets Full of Sunshine’s 4th Annual Fun in the Sun for Everyone inclusive beach day. I have been in the unique position of attending this event all four years, watching it grow from just 25 participants to over 200 this year. The sun shines brighter and the joy gets bigger each year!

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Pockets Full of Sunshine hosts the day of fun with the intent to bring the community together and provide a truly inclusive experience. Our belief is that everyone benefits when we all come together, those with and without disabilities. Looking around during the event you can literally see the benefits. New friendships are made in the sand, fears are conquered as a timid swimmer wades into the ocean holding hands with a volunteer, laughter is in abundance as a new surfer experiences their first ‘wipeout’, tears are shed as parents watch their children of all ages get to have fun just like everyone else. Magic happens at the beach, and this was certainly a day full of it.

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Special Thank You to our planning committee Annie Bartholomew, Lindsay Finger, Hilary Groff, and Brian Kinard and our wonderful volunteers and sponsors who help make the day possible: 

Agapi Behavioral Consultants; Ameris Bank; Apple Appliances; Bluffton Veterinary Hospital; Brackett Photography; Century 21 Diamond Realty; Coastal Marketing; Core Pilates; Crescent Moon Pictures; DJ Crush, Feiner Electric; Finger, Melnick and Brooks, PA; Forest Beach Surf and Cycle; Go Surf Hilton Head; Hilton Head Outfitters; Hilton Head Preparatory; HHCA Zonta Club; H2O Water Sports; Hudson's; Island Printer; James L Van Grouw, CPA; Kinghorn Insurance; Leftover Ladies; Lighthouse Realty; Low Country Shelving and Glass; Louette Boutique; Lynes on Design; Marriott Surf Watch; Native Son Adventure; Northern Industrial Manufacturing; Osprey Village; Outside Hilton Head; Palmetto Electric; Quiet Storm Surf Shop; Reebok Crossfit Coastal Carolina; Reno Pro Construction; Spencer Special Events; Suntrust Bank; Sunny Daze; Transportation Safety Apparel; Tree Wisemen; Unfettered; Walgreens 

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Mother's Day Market and a Lowcountry Craft

Laurin Rivers

Our Rays have been working hard over the last year to create several annual crafts that are sure to be crown pleasers. Our sweet little recycled tree branch garden gnomes have been a big hit over the last two years, particularly the holiday version. The gnomes have become our yearly winter craft but we were still in search of the perfect summer version to accompany it.

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This year we were asked by our wonderful friends and supporters at the Wexford Village to participate in their Mother's Day Market, 'A Celebration of Women' to kick off the holiday and the opening of their summer Market. We knew we needed a great new craft product that would be beloved by the market goers and would be sure to make a special Mother's Day gift. 

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Once again, we took our inspiration from nature and the beauty of our lowcountry landscape and decided to try a new craft with Oyster shells!

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The Rays had a blast creating these one of a kind mini oyster paintings and they loved the fact that just like us, no two are just alike! Like our gnomes, this craft presented a perfect opportunity for Rays of varying fine motor abilities to work together. We find that working with your friends is always the most fun way to create!     

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The paintings sold so well that we have decided to make them our official summer craft! Be on the lookout for them (in two sizes!) at local events this summer and contact us if you are unable to attend but would like to own one of your own!  

2018 CRF Sporting Clays Shoot

Laurin Rivers

This year marked the 7th Annual CRF Sporting Clays Shoot and lucky number seven it was indeed! We had a fantastic event! The sometimes unpredictable March weather was beautiful, the barbecue was tasty, the auction was busy, the smiles and laughs were plentiful and many a sporting clay was demolished mid-air! 

Thank you to all of our participants, volunteers and sponsors who helped to make this annual fundraiser a smashing success! 

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Night to Shine 2018!

Laurin Rivers

In February our Rays participated in a very special evening sponsored by the Tim Tebow foundation, A Night to Shine. 

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Night to Shine is a prom night experience for individuals of all ages with special needs. Attendees are treated like royalty during the evening! The ladies are pampered with hair and makeup to compliment their dressy attire. There are photo booths, a catered meal, limo rides and of course dancing galore! 

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Night to Shine is a national event with locations all over, visit their website for your closest location! Our closest local event is right down the road in Beaufort, SC. PFS took a bus full of adults and volunteers who all had the time of their lives! Attending and volunteering at this event are truly life changing!

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We can't wait for next year! 

Friday Night Club: Sunshine Socials!

Laurin Rivers

Last year we were fortunate enough to receive yet another generous grant from the Long Cove Charitable Advisory Committee. This wonderful group of individual donors has been so supportive of Pockets Full of Sunshine since our inception and were actually the first grant request we ever received! They helped us buy our beautiful blue sunshine tent years ago and it is still serving us well! 

Most recently, we went to Long Cove with a request for funding for a new Friday night social program. Our mission is two-fold, vocation and socialization. Our Sunday craft sessions and Thursdays at TSA are helping fulfill the vocational aspect of our mission, and although both of these programs are socially inclusive, we wanted to add a program that was all about fun and being together socially. After all, learning social constructs and getting out in the community is certainly just as important if not more so than learning a vocational skill!

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Long Cove was kind enough to grant our request, and the church generously offered us space, and now we have Friday Night Club!

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Our Rays come on Friday evenings from 6-9 to participate in a variety of fun activities that are planned and facilitated by our wonderful friends Danielle and Alex. Every other Friday the Rays go out into the community where they do a variety of fun activities; movies, plays, putt putt, dinner in a restaurant, frozen yogurt, a concert etc.

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On the opposite Fridays they participate in activities within the church; kareoke night, pizza and a movie, board games, craft projects, preparing their own meal, etc. 

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Everyone LOVES Friday's and the Rays are learning and growing so much in their relationships with one another and the community. 

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Friday Nights also offer a break for parents and caregivers which is so necessary and not always easy to find. 

We have loved adding this program and look forward to it's future! If you are interested in volunteering or know an adult who would like to attend, check out our monthly schedules on the Upcoming Events page! 

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

Laurin Rivers

Happy Holidays from Pockets Full of Sunshine! 

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Wow, what a fantastic year it has been here at PFS, we can hardly believe it is coming to a close so quickly! This year brought lots of growth for Pockets Full of Sunshine and the adults we serve.

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Our Clay Shoot fundraiser grew, becoming our best attended and most profitable event to date. Our Surf Event grew, with even more volunteer help and over 200 attendees! Our programming grew, expanding to include Thursdays and Fridays. Our attendance at local events grew as we added the Wednesday Wexford Market to our repertoire. Our number of Rays grew as we met and included many special new friends throughout the year. 

This past year, and all of our growth would not have been possible without the love and support of our local community. Thank you to the foundations who have generously supported us through grant funding; Long Cove, Wexford and First Presbyterian Church. Thank you to the companies and families who have generously done the same through private donations, most recently the Izant family, the Spangler family and Northern Industrial Manufacturing. Thank you to all of our wonderful volunteers who were recognized with special holiday gifts made by our Rays. Thank you to everyone who supports us through event attendance and sponsorship and gives so freely of their time to help us keep things running smoothly like James L Van Grouw, LLC and Graphic Designer Hilary Kerr. Thank you to the local businesses who are embodying inclusivity and helping us realize our mission such as Branches Designs and Transportation Safety Apparel. Pockets Full of Sunshine could not be what it is without each of you and with your continued belief and support we look forward to even more growth in 2018!  

On that note, we want to highlight our final community event of the year and the spirited new craft we showcased! 

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The Rays attended the Village of Wexford Holiday Market to kick off the holiday season and wind down the year at PFS. The Market included a gingerbread trail, pictures with Santa and of course our signature blue Pockets Full of Sunshine tent full of festive adults showcasing their wares.

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During craft sessions the adults had turned our sunshines over to create "snowflake cards" rather than our signature recycled "sunshine cards" which were pretty adorable, but our best seller was their special seasonal project; Holiday Gnomes!

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Inspired by the garden gnomes they created from the limbs downed by Hurricane Matthew last year, the Rays created a collection of Holiday themed gnomes. This years collection included Santas, Mrs. Claus's, Elves, Reindeer and Angels and boy were they a hit! 

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Aren't they cute? As with each of our gnomes, the Rays not only painted and embellished them, but also gave each gnome a name and bio to describe their unique personalities.

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Much to the delight of the adults, these darlings sold out at the market! But don't fret if you wish you had snagged a few of your own, we plan to make these a yearly seasonal product! The adults are already dreaming up new designs for next year so be on the lookout! 

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Thank you again to all of our friends and supporters for a wonderful year. You are so very appreciated and your giving throughout the year is especially celebrated during the holidays as it is the "reason for the season". Happy Holidays to all, see you in 2018!  

 

A very special Sunday with the HHCA Z Club!

Laurin Rivers

Last year Pockets Full of Sunshine received a generous donation from the Hilton Head Christian Academy Z Club, an incredible service club for high school girls. 

To thank them for their generosity we invited the Z Club to come participate in a Sunday crafting session and spend some quality time with the adults. The Rays were so excited to spend time with the Z Club girls and show them what Sunday's were all about! 

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Last Sunday the day was finally here and we had a roster of fun activities planned! After introducing themselves to each other, the Z Club girls and the adults paired off to create an adorable No Sew Snowman craft!

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Once the group was finished crafting they got into the holiday spirit by decorating Christmas Cookies! 

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After we were finished crafting and snacking we had a special surprise in store for the Z Club. The adults had created a one of a kind palm frond fish in the Christian Academy colors! The fish highlights what the adults do each Sunday, craft using recycled materials, and was a special Thank You to the Z Club for their donation! The girls loved their fish and promised to find a special place to hang it at HHCA.

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Little did we know a member of the club had an even bigger surprise in store for us! Chloe and Natalie Izant took the opportunity to present Pockets Full of Sunshine with an extremely generous donation from the Izant Family Foundation! 

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We were absolutely blown away and are so thankful to both the Izant family and the HHCA Z Club. We look forward to many more collaborations and fun times to come! 

New Adventures: Transportation Safety Apparel Partnership

Laurin Rivers

This summer we embarked upon an exciting new adventure with an outstanding local business, Transportation Safety Apparel. 

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TSA specializes in reflective safety gear, (think what you see road construction and flight crews wearing) but also produces all types of screen printing, heat pressing and embroidery needs. They are a small business with some big clients (like Delta and Pepsi!) and some not so big clients, like us! TSA has previously provided the t-shirts and hats we have used at our various events and fundraisers. This summer TSA approached us about coming into their business and working each week! What an amazing opportunity, and one that is helping us reach our goal of meaningful employment for our adults! 

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John, the owner, has a big heart and big vision. He believes that having Pockets Full of Sunshine in his workplace not only helps our adults find purpose and our local community, but also helps create a culture of kindness within his company. This is a vision we hope to see many business owners adopt when it comes to employing those with special needs. 

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The staff at TSA could not be more kind, welcoming and overall wonderful to work with! Each week we take a group of Rays into TSA with a job coach to complete administrative tasks. We file:

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We shred:

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We "pick orders" which means we count out and un-package items so that they are ready to be printed:  

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And the Ray's favorite, we screen print and heat press! Special thanks to Bob, who is patiently teaching us these new skills! 

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The possibilities of this partnership are limitless but one of our goals is for the adults to be able to procure orders and complete the entire process independently! We are on our way there as we have already completed an order and several re-orders from our favorite local band, The Nice Guys! 

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If you are interested in placing an order contact us today! We look forward to the future of this exciting partnership! 

Wednesdays at the Wexford Market

Laurin Rivers

This summer we were invited by the Village of Wexford to participate in their new Wednesday Market! We had previously participated in the Bluffton Farmer's Market on Thursday afternoons so we couldn't wait to spread the sunshine and add a second regular market to our roster! Our adults were so excited for the opportunity and absolutely loved working the market under our signature blue sunshine tent! 

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We sold a variety of Sunshine Products including our signature cards and stationary.

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As well as our Garden Gnomes! The Garden Gnomes are extra special works of art created by the Rays. The Gnomes are made of fallen tree limbs from Hurricanes Matthew and Irma and they allowed the Rays the chance to make something beautiful out of the devastation the storm caused to our beautiful island. The Gnomes were dreamed up by a 12-year-old volunteer who had a great time teaching the Rays how to paint them!

The adults spent time not only creating the Gnomes but also naming them and coming up with their backstories and personalities. How cute are they? 

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The best part of the Wednesday market? Spreading awareness and meeting new friends each time our adults attended! Thank you Wexford Village for this great opportunity! We look forward to participating in your holiday market and next summer! 

Fun in the Sun for Everyone 2017!

Laurin Rivers

In June we held our 3rd annual Fun in the Sun for Everyone! Fun in the Sun is our inclusive beach event for individuals with special needs, their families and friends. Individuals of all ages and abilities are invited to enjoy beach games and activities, snacks and fun with friends, all free of charge and in a welcoming and inclusive environment. 

This year's event was our largest yet with over 200 participants and volunteers! DJ Crush provided music and Emcee'd the event, Go Surf Hilton Head provided surf boards and Outside HHI provided Paddle Boards along with some outstanding instructors.

Special thanks to the following sponsors who made this year's event possible: Bluffton Veterinary Hospital, Coastal Marketing, Core Pilates, Crescent Moon Pictures, DJ Crush, Feiner Electric, Finger, Melnick and Brooks, Go Surf Hilton Head, Hudson's, James L Van Grouw, CPA, Kinghorn Insurance, Leftover Ladies, Low Country Shelving and Glass, Louettes Boutique, Lynes on Design, Northern Industrial Manufacturing, Osprey Village, Outside Hilton Head, Palmetto Electric, Publix, Spencer Special Events, Transportation Safety Apparel (TSA), Tree Wisemen, Unfettered, and Walgreens! 

Check out some of our favorite photos below and be sure to join us next year!

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2017 CRF Sporting Clays Shoot

Laurin Rivers

Wow! We are two weeks out from our annual Sporting Clays fundraiser and what a wonderful event it was! 

Just a few years ago, this fundraiser was started by our very own Carol Bartholomew and Fuzzy Davis who were happy to have four teams participate. Thanks to lots of community support and hard work the event has grown steadily and this year THIRTY teams gathered to shoot clays for a great cause on March 10th! 

The shoot took place at the historic Forest City Gun Club in Savannah, GA and the weather was perfect! 

Participants enjoyed a warm up 5 stand, a delicious lunch catered by Jim N Nicks BBQ, a safety clinic and exhibition featuring Forest City's own Zac Guerrattaz, the sporting clays shoot, a Yeti Cooler raffle and an awards reception to end the day in true celebratory fashion!

Attendees also got the chance to participate in a great silent auction and to purchase a variety of Sunshine Crafts made by our wonderful adults! The adults worked diligently for months to create one of a kind 'Sunshine Stick' garden art poles and 'garden gnomes' re-purposed from wood felled during Hurricane Matthew. They were extremely proud of their art and were thrilled that every Sunshine Stick and most of their gnome village found new homes that day!

In addition to our participants, we would like to extend a Special Thanks to the sponsors and committee who helped make this year's shoot a success:

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Thank you for helping us make this year's shoot a success! The annual shoot is Pockets Full of Sunshine's main source of funding and we are very grateful for everyone who sponsored and attended! We couldn't do what we do without you! 

If you weren't able to attend this year's shoot, we hope you'll join us next year! If you are interested in being added to the e-mail list for more information about next year's event, contact us today! 

 

 

Thank You Wexford Plantation Charitable Foundation!

Laurin Rivers

Recently Pockets Full of Sunshine was awarded $1,000 from the Wexford Plantation Charitable Foundation! We are so honored to count the Wexford Charitable Foundation as one of our local supporters and can't wait to put these funds to good use! 

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When our Rays begin a new craft project at Pockets Full of Sunshine we always try to incorporate as many recycled or re-purposed elements as we can. We have made creative use of old fabric scraps, which were sewn into bike covers or glued onto flower pins; we've used old bottle caps to make a beautiful collage on a discarded piece of scrap wood and most recently, we used fallen limbs from Hurricane Matthew to create garden art. Even our signature sunshine which makes its way onto every card, magnet or key chain, is itself a recycled piece of automotive plastic! As much as we love recycling, many craft projects include elements that must be purchased anew, like paint, glue and tape.

Pockets Full of Sunshine plans to use the grant from the Wexford Foundation towards the purchase of these necessary, non-recycled craft supplies. We can't wait to share the fun future art that is made possible through this funding! Thank you Wexford Foundation! We truly appreciate your giving hearts and gracious support!    

 2016 Grant Recipients 

2016 Grant Recipients