It's been a while since my last blog, so I do apologize. I believe the last post that I may have had was when I was doing the Extraordinary Minds - An Autism and Aspergers Vendor Event.
So a quick brief on me: My name is Rhonda DiMaggio, a mother of 3 beautiful children, 21, 17 and 2 years. I am a stay at home mome and it's unnatural for me to not have a job cause I have worked full time since I was 13/14 years of age. As I got older, I worked 2 to 3 jobs. This is the first time that I haven't really worked at least a full time job. Any how, some of you know me as a Montvillian and some of you also know me as the person that can't say "No" to anyone. I'm always donating my time, donations, food, whatever, I just can't say no. In November 2011, I was made aware of a friend at my boyfriends workplace, whose wife was diagnosed with Stage 4 colon cancer. It spread and her prognosis wasn't good. There medical insurance was telling them that a lot of this wasn't going to be covered and amongst it all, he feared that he was going to loose his life, his love, the mother of his children, his best friend. At this time, I was doing At Home America and Tastefully Simple and I was doing a lot of vendor fairs and festivals to try and get my small business name out there. When my boyfriend was telling me the story, you could see how sad he was about the whole issue and asked if we could do something to help. The first thing that came to mind was to do a vendor event...it wasn't something unusual for me, I had been at a few, how hard could it be. This event took a life of it's own. I knew that I would want to get the press involved, in some way and the news stations too. I knew that I could network on facebook, easy as pie. By the time her event was schedule to take place, we had the Day, Norwich Bulletin covering the story. We were front page of the Day. WFSB, WTNH, FOX, the radio stations such as 106.5 and 107.7 were doing PSA's for us. As soon as it hit the media, we were getting donations and phone calls from people all over the country, offering help and money. We got donations from places too, such as Coke and Pepsi, Friendly's Pizza, Chili's in Montville, Big Gary's, Kraze, Montville Florist and the list goes on, helping us with food and beverages. It was a tremondous outpouring of love and help for her and her family. Even one company, became so involved they took their holiday bonuses and set it aside and bought the entire family, including the children, their Thanksgiving Dinner, with all the fixings and during Christmas bought them all gifts for their holiday. AMAZING. The day of the event, we were wall to wall people, from every walk of life...politicians, cops, teachers, casino workers, everyone came out to support her and her family. We made alot of money that night for her and subsequently, we did two more events for her as well. Because of what we did through these events, she was able to go to Sloan Kettering Cancer Center to have evasive procedures done to upgrade her quality of life. She is doing much better now and even though she is not completely out of the woods and into safety yet, if it wasn't for a grand collection of people, she may not have had that option to get to this Cancer Center to have these procedures done. This wonderful person and my new friend is Jennifer Crouch. I'm sure you all have seen my posts on Facebook, Twitter, heard the Event Postings and PSA's on radio and tv...and as I know, you all either love or hate me. I will drive you crazy to get the word out there to everyone, one way or the other. So after Jennifer's successful events, I thought that my life would go back to normal. It didn't and thanks to her, she is a blessing because she opened my eyes and my heart to my true potential in life. It wasn't clear at first but it slowly revealed itself to me. I had gotten an email to help someone who wanted to do an Autism and Aspergers event. She said her friends had put trust into the wrong people and lost money trying to get an event together to raise money for their charities. How could I resist? Not only was it a travesty that someone would steal money from a charity and two people that trusted them but how could I say no to kids. I couldn't so I decided to email them and offer my help. Once again in the form of a vendor event. Another great event was born - Extraordinary Minds. So then I received an email from my friends Cheryl and Noreen next. "We want to know if you can help this baby who needs to raise money for cord blood procedures." They even sent me a link to view a story on youtube and a webpage dedicated to collecting donations for her. After I saw all this online, I was like, Boy, how can I say no. So that night I emailed Crystal and offered my services again. Boom, Pow - The Vendor Event to Raise Money For Baby Gabriella was born. We raised close to $4000 at the event, had over 60 raffle prizes donated by area businesses, all the vendors and private donations. It was a site to behold. Truly beautiful. Plus with all the networking we did, we were able to raise money on her website, in a hurry. It went from $1000 to $6000 in a little over a month. With word of mouth, with all of us working as a team to get the word out about this little bundle of joy who needs our help.
So I said to myself, look Rhonda, this is what you are good at. You bring people together to help one another. I can get the community to pull it's resources one way or the other and it all works. With great results!! And each time I have done the events, I have gotten better and better. Able to get more done, got more politicians to take notice, got more businesses to care, got more notice for the causes, more attention showing that each one of these people, these causes are worth it, they deserve this attention and spotlight cause each person is important. And Heart Strings Event Planners was born and like Jennifer Crouch said, everyone pulls on my heart strings and I can't say no.
Such is the reason why I named this article the way I did. Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life. I couldn't be more happier in life right now. Not only do I love what I do but I love seeing that smile on someone's face, showing them that someone does care, giving them that love and support and help that they need and showing them that they are not alone...that a whole community is there, behind them ready to help.
Quickly, here are some more events that I couldn't say no to but now, it's a business for me and I love my job more than you know.
September 16, 2012 - Vendor Event to Raise Money For Homes For Our Troops. Montville VFW from 12-4pm
September 22, 2012 - Groton Moms - Walk Now For Autism Speaks - Vendor Event. Mohegan Fire Co, Uncasville, from 12-4pm
October 13, 2012 - Shop 'Til You Drop Event to Raise Money for Montville Pound Puppies and Kitties. Mohegan Fire Co, Uncasville, from 12-5pm
October 21, 2012 - Zombie Fest 2012 and Costume Contest to Raise Money for Scares That Care. Bank Street Cafe and El N Gee Club, from 5pm - Close
November 3, 2012 - Realty World - Signature Properties 3rd Annual Craft and Vendor Fair. Mohegan Fire Co., Uncasville, from 9am-4pm
I'm sure you will see my postings on Facebook, Twitter, it's already being announced on the radio, in the papers...I'll be posting them in local businesses.
Anyone that is interested in helping or donating, please contact me. These families and indvidiuals would love to hear from you and accept any help you have to offer.
It's a beautiful thing to be able to help someone.