Complete List of Contributors to date March 24, 2020
A complete listing of everyone who has contributed to the Dr. Alan Metwally Presents Fund:
Boland, John and Eileen
Casavant, Lindsay and Jason
Cueto, Daniel and Ashley
Metwally Trotman, Natalia
Segovia, Aggie and Guido
Stanley Black & Decker Inc.
Dr. Alan Metwally Presents Fund: Spring 2020 Update March 24, 2020
Dear Fabio, and Friends and Family of Dr. Alan Metwally,
I just wanted to reach out and say that I’m thinking of all of you and all the people who have been connected with Aaron’s Presents and given us so much inspiration over the years. I would love to hear from you if you have time to write and let me know how you are doing. This is such a difficult time, and it’s hard to wrap my head around a crisis of this enormity and that has so many unknowns and affects the entire world, let alone our country. I am very concerned about what the next weeks will bring.
I regret that I haven’t been able to put together an update for you all sooner than this. However, I wanted to finally send you a list of the beautiful moments of caring and kindness that kids have created with your support. On the fund’s webpage, https://www.flipcause.com/secure/cause_pdetails/MTY3NA== (note: the original Fundrazr one is no longer in use) I have posted a complete listing of all contributors to date, as well as some pictures from the funded this past year (Jan-Dec 2019, last 15 pictures in the Gallery).
Projects included: making gift bags for a family shelter, leading an empowering bonding session for middle school girls, gathering together over 80 people to make 100 fleece blankets for homeless adults and families, a basketball clinic led by a group of middle school boys, making over 700 pastelitos and giving them out to homeless people all over the city of Lawrence, a photo project led by high school and middle school-aged youth featuring themselves displaying one of their insecurities, maintaining a school garden through the summer, serving dinner to over 100 homeless adults, sending 10 care packages to troops in active duty around the world, and visiting elderly veterans in a local VA hospital.
A few organizational updates:
1) For now, we have put our regular program on hold during this time of social distancing, and have turned our focus toward our AP Community Relief Efforts, supporting any of the 1,300+ kids and families, especially in the low-income areas of Lawrence, Lowell and Lynn where about 80% of our participants live, in any way that we can. We are reaching out to as many of our Alumni and parents as possible, and hope to be able to help in small ways as needs come to our attention, such as with groceries, supplies, small bills, and educational/creative/enrichment materials that can help our kids cope and stay productive.
2) A few of our grantors have given us General Operating grants, rather than program-specific grants, to help sustain us through this time, which we are very grateful for!
3) Our Board has approved a Covid-19 Compensation Policy continuing to pay all of our Mentors through June (they typically do not work much in the summers) and our part-time administrative staff continuously. I know that everyone has appreciated this policy, as most of our Mentors are college students or working in lower-wage nonprofit organizations and have depended on this work to pay their bills.
Any contributions made in the next couple months will be put toward our AP Community Relief Efforts. Our youth are so eager to get back to doing projects with us around the community, and one thing I know for sure is that after this has passed, there will be no shortage of ways to give and help their communities heal and recover from this experience and loss. When that time comes, we look forward to being able to help them channel their emotions and energy into these efforts and realize what an important role they have to play in bringing us all back to full health.
Please feel free to get in touch with me for any reason, and if there is a way for us help or support you at any time, please don’t hesitate to call!
We love you all, and can imagine all the ways Dr. Metwally would be wanting to help right now—in medicine, creativity, entertaining children, and much more. We feel his passion and compassion powering us all the more through this time. Thank you for all your love and generosity, and please stay healthy and be careful!
Sending you love always,
Update from 12/26/2018 October 02, 2019
Dear Family and Friends of Dr. Alan Metwally,
I’m writing to thank you once again for being such an
inspiring part of Aaron’s Presents over the past 4 ½ years, in memory and honor
of Dr. Metwally.
It has been the greatest privilege of my life to carry out
this work and hold his giving, loving, joyful spirit in my heart everyday.
I put together the attached slideshow of the projects and
Alumni activities that your generous gifts have made possible over the past
year. I cannot thank you enough, as I have seen the impact that they have had
on so many young people. You can see the spark in their eyes—that special look
that only comes from feeling like we have purpose, potential and a meaningful
role in the world.
Many of these kids are up against a lot—poverty, lack of
food and basic needs, lack of adult support, lack of transportation and
extracurricular opportunities, racism, immigration anxiety, low-performing
schools, unstable home situations, and on and on—and to have people come to
them and want to invest real resources and time in their ideas, and to be able
to do something that benefits others and be the “givers” seems like a small
thing, but is actually life- and perspective-altering.
One of the projects you funded this year was featured on
WCVB Channel 5 this fall: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uPmFcyGGGYc
Here is the main page for the fund for your reference, and I
have included a link to this slideshow and the TV piece:
Thank you again for your support, encouragement and love! It
has made a world of difference, and we are so excited for the growth we are
planning for in the next few years to reach more kids!
Happy New Year to you all,
Update to The Dr. Alan Metwally Presents Fund July 29, 2017
I hope you are all having a wonderful summer!
I wanted to thank you once again for the dedication and love with which you have filled this fund in honor of Dr. Metwally. The money in this special fund has been used to support 40 different ideas initiated by 120+ kids ages 7-14. Their projects have in turn impacted over 2,000 people and animals in their communities and numerous community organizations and programs.
Our four core values are Generosity, Human Connection, Caring and Positive Empowerment. These values are reflected in every project, both in how we mentor the kids and in how they carry out their projects. We firmly believe that the impact and excitement we are seeing in the kids can be traced back to the power of these simple yet powerful concepts.
And it all comes back to love. Our goal is to love them into loving others, and once they experience both the receiving and giving of love, they want more. And more.
With Fabio's blessing, and I hope all of yours, we are going to use some of the money raised this year to fund a new initiative we call Alumni Engagement. We want to stay connected with our Alumni who have aged out of our main program and are now in 9th and 10th grade, particularly the kids with the highest need for opportunity, experiences and self-development. We have been organizing larger group service projects, outings to colleges and companies, partnering with summer programs to get them near-full scholarships, and supporting their individual passions with things like art supplies. Our message to them is still the same: the more you develop yourselves, the more you know, the more skills you possess, the more you can give and contribute to the world.
I will share more about this work with you soon! Aaliyah, a 9th grader from the city of Lawrence, MA who did several projects with us this year, wrote this after touring an innovative tech company called Next Jump this past week:
"This tour changed my perspective on companies. My first thought about working at a company was that you would only be behind a screen for most of your hours then just go home. I honestly had no interest in companies at first but as soon as I went to Next Jump, I thought that the stereotypes that I have been creating in my mind were all myths now. Thanks to Next Jump I have taken consideration into maybe working at a company or even working at Next Jump. Thank you for showing me all the great things that a company could achieve as a team and as a family."
It is my hope that the work we are doing to empower our youth makes all of you proud and reflects the love that you all have for Dr. Metwally and that he had for all of you, and the legacy you would wish for him.
Thank you again, and please do not hesitate to contact me at any time with any questions or feedback!
With love and gratitude,
Founder & Executive Director
Casey Szesze contributed $50 July 01, 2016
June Update June 06, 2016
Dear Family and Friends of Dr. Metwally,
We are getting ready for our 3rd Annual Ice Cream Celebration being held at Phillips Academy in Andover, MA on Saturday, June 18, 2:30-4:30pm. We are thrilled to report that 283 children ages 7-14 have participated in Aaron's Presents this school year! The number took us by surprise as well... Kids are more excited than most people would believe to give and contribute to their communities in tangible ways, and we feel honored to be able to be a part of making that happen for them.
In the coming weeks, I will send another update with more details about the specific projects that your fund in memory of Dr. Metwally made possible. He is in our hearts and minds everyday as we do this work and feel the joy that he embodied as well, the joy that comes from making others lives brighter.
If any of you happen to be in the local area, please do let me know if you would like to attend this event or future ones! We would be honored to have you join us.
Very gratefully yours,
[email protected] | (978) 809-5487
Projects Sponsored by The Dr. Alan Metwally Presents Fund April 02, 2016
Cute and Girly Hair Bows: By Annette
Not a Simple Piece of Rope
Inspire Me Mermaid
A&J Family Walk/Run
Project Feel Good
Bundles of Joy Blankets
A Healthy Outlook
Pop-Up Project #1: The Wish Project
James' Emergency Toybox
Want to Join?
Pop-up Project: Cotting School
See www.aaronspresents.org/projects for more details about these projects, and THANK YOU!!
3 More Projects Funded! December 14, 2015
Amount remaining to date: $1,789.36
Total # of Projects to date: 18
Total # of Youth Participants: 55
James' Emergency Toybox | $345.29 | 7th grader Alyssa designed and assembled “toyboxes” in honor of her 2-year-old cousin who underwent successful treatment for a brain tumor in June 2015. Each toybox contains phone chargers and a charging station to be placed in hospital waiting rooms. She delivered her first 3 boxes to Tufts Medical Center, in November, and is planning to make more in the coming weeks for other hospitals.
Want to join? | $349.20 | 4th grader Kelsey wanted to help spread the word about her excellent but small after-school tutoring program in one of the projects in Lawrence, MA, so she designed a t-shirt that will be given to 50 participants to wear and increase visibility.
Pop-up Project: Cotting School | $212.29 | Five returning 8th grade participants were invited to lead face-painting and craft activities at the Cotting School’s (specialized school in Lexington, MA for students with severe disabilities) annual Chili Cook-off. They also toured the school and learned about the students’ challenges and adaptive technologies and devices used.
July 2015 Update July 31, 2015
Costume Collection | $375.99 | Assembled Halloween costume packages for 21 children living in transitional housing
Cute and Girly Hair Bows: By Annette | $228.72 | Created handmade, original hair bows and packaged them to be sold at a fundraiser for PEER Servants (a microfinancing organization that helps people living in poverty around the world start their own businesses) and a school craft fair to benefit Bundles of Love (program by AMG International that sends care packages of school and other supplies to children in Guatemala). Annette made over 100 hair bows and raised $50-75 for PEER Servants and $220 for Bundles of Love (equivalent of 11 packages!).
Not a Simple Piece of Rope | $470.65 | Made over 400 paracord bracelets for soldiers, through Operation Gratitude.
Scrapbook Kids! | $287.23 | Planned scrapbooking activities for seniors and spent 2 weekend afternoons creating scrapbooks with groups of residents at Wingate at Andover and Academy Manor in Andover, MA.
Inspire Me Mermaid | $320.57 | Led storytimes and crafts for little kids at the American Textile History Museum and The Mary Baker Eddy Library in Boston.
Papa’s Painters | $195.53 | Organized an art and painting session for people with Parkinson’s Disease at the Peabody Senior Center.
A&J Family Walk/Run | $441.72 | Organized a run/walk at the Lawrence Reservoir open to the community, with volunteers and activities for little kids.
Angelic Helpers | $393.76 | Assembled individualized gift bags for 35 children and other general supplies for families living at the House of Hope in Lowell.
Project Feel Good | $340.98 | Organized an afternoon sports and games for 1st graders at their school on a Saturday at the Boys & Girls Club in Lowell.
Bundles of Joy Blankets | $101.88 | Made fleece baby blankets for newborns at North Shore Medical Center in Salem, MA.
A Healthy Outlook | $372.15 | Organized and led a morning of group discussion and individual meetings with a doctor about health issues facing single clients living at the Lowell Transitional Living Center, a homeless shelter in Lowell.
River House | $159.06 | Assembled toiletry gift bags for men at the River House Shelter in Beverly, MA.
LAX Clinic | $414.14 | Organized a lacrosse clinic for U9 and U11 players led by four U13 lacrosse players; covered the basics of a game of lacrosse and taught the kids different skills and practice drills to become better players; ended clinic with a cookout and gave the kids visors.
Operation Farewell | $29.95 | Created CD’s containing class photos for the whole 7th grade.
Pop-Up Project #1: The Wish Project | $301.53 | Volunteered for 2 hours on Saturday morning, July 11, 2015 at The Wish Project warehouse in Lowell, MA.
John and Eileen Boland gave $100 June 25, 2015
Anonymous gave $20 June 23, 2015
Joe Drago gave $100 June 22, 2015
Del Zalesky gave $100 June 22, 2015
Anonymous gave $20 June 19, 2015
Tim Dumm gave $20 June 19, 2015
Fabio Malagisi gave $500 June 18, 2015
Maureen Boland gave $1,000 June 18, 2015
Rory Heath gave $20 June 18, 2015
Mark Metwally gave $500 June 18, 2015
Zach Lyons gave $50 June 18, 2015
Aaron's Presents Comment June 18, 2015
Aaron's Presents Comment June 15, 2015
All the best,
Aaron's Presents Comment April 06, 2015
Sorry that it has been a few months since I have sent an update. It has been a full (of snow) winter, and we also celebrated the birth of our daughter 6 weeks ago.
I'm very excited to share with you 2 new projects that have been funded by all of your contributions to The Dr. Alan Metwally Presents Fund!
First is a project called "Scrapbook Kids!" This was conceived by a group of three 3rd graders and one 2nd grader in Andover, MA. Their initial idea was to do scrapbooking with kids who are in the hospital. I agreed with them that this seemed like a perfect activity for kids who are facing health challenges, but unfortunately the law doesn't allow kids under 15 to volunteer in hospitals. We brainstormed further, and I suggested scrapbooking with residents at a nursing home, and to my surprise they all said, "Yes!" and were excited about the idea. So, in November and January, we arranged for them to scrapbook with seniors at two different nursing homes and they rose to the challenge beautifully! They adjusted to the wide range of abilities and understanding and overcame any nervousness within a few minutes. The finished products were so charming and full of youthful energy and kindness. I happened to see a couple of the kids last week, and they asked me if I could arrange another date! Very impressive and inspiring work from 7 and 8 year olds!
Second is a project called "Not a Simple Piece of Rope." 7th grader Nathan, from Chelmsford, MA, heard about Aaron's Presents and spent the entire evening combing the website and learning about our process. His mom said he was so excited about applying that he neglected his homework for a few nights! He decided that he wanted to make 400 paracord bracelets for soldiers, according to the specs laid out by Operation Gratitude, an organization that encourages helpful projects to benefit soldiers. Paracord can be used for hundreds of purposes, including tourniquets, and can hold 550 lbs. of weight. Making this many bracelets was a tall order, but he taught himself how to make them, researched all of the supplies and costs, and brought together members of his extended family and his synagogue to help him. Within a few months, he had achieved his goal! He was so proud of what he had accomplished as he packed them all up and took them to the post office.
I hope you will enjoy taking a look at the pictures in the Projects Gallery and know that you gave 5 more children an opportunity to practice leading, helping and seeing firsthand their ability to make a positive difference in other people's lives. They all took such ownership of their projects and LOVED leading the way at every step. I know for sure that this experience was memorable, meaningful and fun for each of them.
Thank you again for your continued support of these kids and our work and mission. Dr. Metwally truly inspires us everyday.
This spring we will be completing another 35+ projects with 100+ kids, so there will be more to come soon!
All the best,
Leah 6 April 2015
Leah, thank you for continuing the work that my father set out to achieve, bringing joy to the lives of others. I am thrilled with the projects that have been executed thanks to this fund. I am ever so grateful for your efforts and for perpetuating my father's legacy.
- Natalia Metwally 8 April 2015
Natalia, Thank you so much for writing. It means everything to me that you feel your father would have been proud to have these projects and children be part of his legacy. Joyful is the word I would use to describe these kids when they're working on their projects and when they have finished and are reflecting back on what they accomplished. There is also much joy felt by those who receive their acts of kindness and service.
Wishing you and your family the best this spring,
Leah 8 April 2015
Ameet Talwalkar gave $50 April 05, 2015
David Pepi gave $100 January 16, 2015
Margaret Metwally gave $300 January 02, 2015
COMMENT FROM Aarons Presents
Dear Margaret, Your note just put a huge smile on my face. Thank you so much for including these three young grandchildren! I will have much more to share with you all this winter. Much love, Leah
Aaron's Presents Comment December 15, 2014
I wanted to share with you our second project of this year, "Cute and Girly Hair Bows: By Annette," funded by Dr. Metwally's Presents Fund. Annette is a 7th grade girl who loves crafts and had just learned how to make hair bows. She came up with the idea to make and sell them in order to benefit a couple organizations that she felt strongly about. One is a microfunding organization that helps people in poverty around the world start businesses, and the other is a program that sends care packages with needed supplies to children in Guatemala.
She did an incredible job, going above and beyond and sending me photos and updates all along the way. She really "got" out of the experience exactly what we hope for--that she can use her interests, skills, and work ethic to help others both now and at every stage of her life. What she learns to do and then does can benefit others in significant ways.
Thank you again for making this all possible! I hope that reading about her inspiration will bring some joy to this season, that can be hard and bittersweet for all of us who are missing those special people we were blessed to know and love.
With much love and good wishes to all of you,
15 December 2014
Aaron's Presents Comment October 15, 2014
Thank you for bringing so much joy! And there is much more to come.
- Aaron's Presents, 15 October 2014
How appropriate that the first project be of a theme to allow children to enjoy their Halloween and party in costume. Alan was a great host and loved to have a party and catering to everyone's needs was always primary for him. Congratulations to this little girl who follows him in receiving joy from the ability to provide for others. Happy Halloween
-Maureen Boland, 16 October 2014
That is really wonderful. Thank you so much for sharing these memories.
-Aaron's Presents, 16 October 2014
Mark Metwally gave $500 October 09, 2014
Helene Gwizdak gave $100 June 23, 2014
Fabio Malagisi comment June 21, 2014
Brad Dolian contributed June 20, 2014
Steve Rasch contributed June 18, 2014
Dan Puza gave $100 June 17, 2014
Eileen Boland gave generously June 16, 2014
Anonymous gave $100 June 14, 2014
Anonymous gave $50 June 13, 2014
Maureen Boland contributed June 13, 2014
Aggie Segovia gave $100 June 13, 2014
Joe Drago contributed June 13, 2014
Anonymous gave $100 June 13, 2014
Aarons Presents Comment June 13, 2014
COMMENT FROM Fabio Malagisi
Leah, Thank you for your leadership at Aaron's Presents. I'm hopeful the Dr Alan Metwally Presents Fund will serve as an example of how powerful Aaron's Presents can be.