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What We've Been Up To Lately

Laurin Rivers

Fun in the Sun for Everyone! wasn't the only thing that kept us busy this summer. Our Rays of sun participated in all kinds of creative projects and fun events over the last few months. Check out a few of our new products, favorite activities and community events below!

As the school year wrapped up one of our supporters used our recycled sunshines to create "Box of Sunshine" end of the year teacher gifts! So creative! 

Our Rays created NEW sunshine stationary designs! 

A teacher friend came to PFS and our Rays helped her create bookmarks for her summer reading program! Awesome! 

We learned an awesome new craft technique and re-purposed some old mugs and small ceramics!

Which were the perfect accompaniment to our Sunshine Citrus Tea Bags, another new product! 

We celebrated the 4th of July with a patriotic sunshine craft using a recycled wood pallet! 

We had a vendor booth at the Bluffton Farmers Market several Thursdays this summer! Our Rays loved interacting with community members and we hope to have a booth several more times this Fall! Stay tuned to our social media accounts for dates! 

Our Rays painted some lovely birdhouses! One of our more popular crafts in the past! They go quickly! 

And last but certainly not least, our sunshines did some traveling! Our recycled sunshines went from Detroit to New York to the other side of the world in Thailand! Spreading the sun all around the world! 

What a great summer! Stay tuned for all the excitement to come as the weather cools down! 

Fun in the Sun 2016!

Laurin Rivers

Wow! What a great few months we have had here at PFS! Labor Day has come and gone and as summer comes to a close we have enjoyed looking back at our favorite summer event, Fun in the Sun for Everyone! 

This years event was a HUGE success! Our participation grew from around 20 in 2015 to over 100 in 2016! Amazing! 

With the support of our amazing sponsors we were able to offer surfing, paddleboarding, boogie boarding, beach games and more to special needs families all completely free of charge! It was a fantastic, inclusive, sunny day and fun was had by all! Check out some of our favorite photos from the event as well as a news clip by WTOC!! 

Special Thanks again to our outstanding sponsors; 

Crescent Moon Pictures - Hilary Kerr Graphic Design - Feiner Electric - 

Finger, Melnick & Brooks, PA - Go Surf Hilton Head - KingHorn Insurance - Louette Boutique -

Low Country Shelving & Glass - Lynes on Design - Northern Industrial Manufacturing -

Osprey Village - Outside Hilton Head - Palmetto Electric - Spencer Special Events -

Transportation Safety Apparel - Unfettered - Whole Foods Market


More on what else we've been up to this summer coming soon! 

Fun in the Sun for EVERYONE!

Laurin Rivers

Hope everyone had a nice Memorial Day! We have all been anxiously awaiting June 2nd and the day is almost here! It's almost time for Fun in the Sun for EVERYONE! 

We are so excited about this inaugural event and wanted to share a bit of history and some photos from last year to help you all get just as excited as we are! 

Last year, James, the 16 year old brother of one of our Rays decided that he wanted to do something special for his sister and her classmates. James is an avid surfer and thought his sister and her friends would enjoy having a chance to learn, something many of them had never had the opportunity to do. James gathered a few friends, a few surfboards and invited his sister and her class to the beach on their last day of high school! A day of fun and special friends trying something new ensued! Check out some of our favorite photos from last year below: 

PFS wanted to build on James's wonderful idea and decided to sponsor the first annual 'Fun in the Sun for EVERYONE! An inclusive day at the beach!' Our committee has been working extremely hard on the planning of this fabulous event and we have an amazing group of sponsors and volunteers who have helped to make the day possible! In case this is the first you are hearing of the event and are interested in attending, it is THIS THURSDAY! June 2nd, from 3-5 in front of the Marriott SurfWatch on Hilton Head Island. The event is FREE and open to all ages and abilities. Parking is at the SurfWatch and shuttles to the beach will be provided. We will have surf boards, paddle boards, beach games and a lot more! Come check it out and join in on the FUN! Hope to see you all there!  

Step Into Our Sunday!

Laurin Rivers

Hello! Hope that where ever you may be reading from today, the sun is shining! 

If you follow us on social media then you have probably seen some of our posts and pictures detailing our Sunday sessions. You may have thought, 'how fun! I wish I could come' (You can! Come any Sunday!) or you  may have thought 'This looks cool but their photography skills could use some work' (Hey! we're working on it, but if you like taking pictures and want to come photograph a session, come on down!) or perhaps you thought 'what in the heck are they doing?' in which case, read on, this post is for you! 

WHAT: Our current program is centered around crafting. Since the sunshine is a recycled material, we try to incorporate recycling and sustainability into as many of our craft products as possible. Craft projects often change every few weeks and there are usually several options for the adults to choose to work on during each session. Some of our past favorites include: bird houses, tissue paper votives and refurbishing bicycles! 

WHERE: We meet each Sunday at First Presbyterian Church on Hilton Head Island. They are kind enough to allow us the use of their 'creation station' craft room. Could that name be any better? I mean really. We are very thankful to have this wonderful, donated space that is such a perfect fit!

WHO: ANYONE is welcome to attend on a Sunday! We currently have 12 adults with various special needs who attend and that number is growing weekly! We always welcome new volunteers and participants! If you are interested in coming in any capacity at any time, please don't hesitate to contact us

WHEN: 1-3 weekly on Sundays excluding holidays and special events.

WHY:  Why do we do it? Read Here. Why should you join us? Easy! Because it's FUN, it's FREE and it will make your Sunday! We listen to music and develop relationships while we craft. Sunday sessions give caregivers a break (although many stay to help because it's just so fun!), give the adults a chance to learn and practice vocational skills and also give volunteers the chance to get to know an exceptional adult who will make their day (or life!) a little sunnier :) 

The pictures featured in this post are from last Sunday, we worked on sunshine cards, made key chains and painted beach scenes for a special upcoming project! 

Come check us out! You won't regret it! 


A Sunny Story...

Laurin Rivers

Hello world! We're so excited that you're here! We have discussed adding a blog to our website for a while now and are so happy to finally be taking the plunge! What better way to keep in touch, share sunny stories and spread the sunshine?!?

I'm Laurin, one of the co-founders of PFS and I guess the best way to start our very first blog post is with a brief history of Pockets Full of Sunshine (PFS) and where we are today!

My friend and partner Dayna and I started PFS in 2014. We both work in special education and could not love it more. The special students we teach are amazing human beings, kind and happy, literal rays of sunshine! Since we love our students and their families so much, it is only natural to think about where they will go and what will become of them when they finish school at the age of 21. Dayna and I soon found that the current options for adults with disabilities in our local area were quite limited. We know how capable our students are with a little assistance and how proud they feel of themselves after a job well done. We believe that when they grow up, they deserve as many opportunities as possible, just like their non-disabled peers. 

Although we had this conviction, it wasn't until Dayna's brother, who works in the automotive industry, sent her a box of "sunshines" that we got our inspiration. 

The 'sunshines' are the inside punch out or 'bi-product' of an automotive warning label that goes over a part in a car engine. This cute little piece of trash was not only yellow and shaped like a sunshine, but it was also not recyclable. Since this wonderful labeling company has a limited landfill policy, they wanted to find something to do with the bi-products. Dayna's brother thought that his very creative, environmentally conscious, special education teacher of a sister might have some ideas, and sent us our very first box of sunshines!   

Our first Roll of Sunshines! 

Our first Roll of Sunshines! 

Our wheels began turning as we brainstormed ways to use the cutest piece of garbage we had ever seen. One thought led to another and we decided that using the recycled sunshines to create jobs for adults with special needs was the way to go and Pockets Full of Sunshine was born!  

We wanted to create employment that was fun, creative and inclusive. For years people with disabilities have been limited to jobs that are repetitive, boring and tucked away from the public eye. We know from our teaching experience that people of every ability flourish and learn the most when they are included and stimulated, and this is what we envisioned for PFS. 

Two very special 'Rays' of Sunshine! 

Two very special 'Rays' of Sunshine! 

We began meeting with a small group of local adults with disabilities in our spare time and became a 501c3 certified non-profit in April of 2015. Fast forward to today, we have an amazing group of 12 adults with various intellectual and physical disabilities who meet every weekend to socialize and create sunshine crafts. Our crafts are often centered around the sunshines and almost always include sustainable or recycled elements. The sunshine products they create are sold on our website and at local events. Our number of participants as well as volunteers is growing weekly as we spread the sun (and awareness!) throughout our community!

A few of our Rays hanging out on our signature yellow couch! 

A few of our Rays hanging out on our signature yellow couch! 

Our hope for this blog is that it will serve many functions. First and foremost, keeping you up to date on all of our creative and sunny progress! We can't wait to document our work sessions and all of the fun events we participate in. We also hope that it will be a way to continue spreading awareness about our special needs population and their needs as they age. We want to introduce all of our adults (our "Rays" as we affectionately call them) to you so you can see firsthand what wonderful individuals they truly are. Our last hope is that if you are hoping to make a difference and are searching for inspiration that you may find that here. Dayna and I are educators, not business women and every day with this non-profit is a learning experience. Navigating this new world has been challenging at times but always extremely rewarding. Follow your dreams and find your sunshine, we believe in you!