Updates

Update to The Dr. Alan Metwally Presents Fund July 29, 2017

Dear Contributors,

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,

Leah


Leah Okimoto

Founder & Executive Director

www.aaronspresents.org

(978) 809-5487

lokimoto@aaronspresents.org

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,
Leah

lokimoto@aaronspresents.org | (978) 809-5487

Projects Sponsored by The Dr. Alan Metwally Presents Fund April 02, 2016

Costume Collection
Cute and Girly Hair Bows: By Annette
Not a Simple Piece of Rope
Scrapbook Kids!
Inspire Me Mermaid
Papa’s Painters
A&J Family Walk/Run
Angelic Helpers
Project Feel Good
Bundles of Joy Blankets
A Healthy Outlook
River House
LAX Clinic
Operation Farewell
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

Total Contributions to date: $7,130.00
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

15 Projects, 49 Participants, and approx. 763 people directly touched by young people caring, leading and giving!

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

Contribution

Anonymous gave $20 June 23, 2015

Love seeing all the great work of Aaron's Presents & connections made! I wish we could have celebrated with you all last weekend!

Joe Drago gave $100 June 22, 2015

Contribution

Del Zalesky gave $100 June 22, 2015

in honor of Dr. Alan Metwally

Anonymous gave $20 June 19, 2015

Contribution

Tim Dumm gave $20 June 19, 2015

Contribution

Fabio Malagisi gave $500 June 18, 2015

Contribution

Maureen Boland gave $1,000 June 18, 2015

Happy Father's Day in Heaven!

Rory Heath gave $20 June 18, 2015

Contribution

Mark Metwally gave $500 June 18, 2015

Contribution

Zach Lyons gave $50 June 18, 2015

Great Man, Family and Cause. Thanks Fabio for sending out.

Aaron's Presents Comment June 18, 2015

I am so honored to be connected to all of you, and especially to Dr. Metwally. It is inspiring to witness the love you all have for him and for each other. I know Father's Day is a day that will bring a lot of emotions and memories. All of you embody one of the large messages that I try to impart to the kids--that giving is healing. Thank you for continuing to be a part of making our work and the kids' work possible. I had wanted to have the Projects Gallery updated by this weekend, but I just did not have enough time, but I think you will really enjoy seeing the projects that you funded--there will probably be about 15-20 of them, out of the 48 we did this school year, which is incredible. I wish you all a restful and beautiful weekend,
Leah

Aaron's Presents Comment June 15, 2015

Hello! Just wanted to let you all know that this Saturday, we are going to be celebrating the 129 young people who led their own projects to benefit others this year! I will be putting up all of their projects on the website shortly after that and will send you a larger update so you can see all of the projects and meaningful experiences that you made possible. I look forward to sharing more with you very soon!
All the best,
Leah

Aaron's Presents Comment April 06, 2015

Hello!
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

Mr. Metwally was such an inspiring coach!

David Pepi gave $100 January 16, 2015

I owe him a lot more than this.

Margaret Metwally gave $300 January 02, 2015

This contribution is being made for Alan's adorable grandchildren Owen Alan, Colin John, and Nora Rose. He would be so proud!!! May this wonderful Fund continue!! Thank you, Fabio.


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

Hello again,
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,
Leah

15 December 2014

Aaron's Presents Comment October 15, 2014

Hello! I am incredibly excited to tell you that we have just completed our fist project of the 2014-15 academic year, and this project has been funded by The Dr. Alan Metwally Presents Fund. A third grade girl applied for a grant to provide Halloween costumes for homeless children, and she went above and beyond, creating individual cards and packages with costumes for 21 children who live in transitional housing for victims of domestic violence in Lawrence, MA. We delivered the packages tonight, and the staff was moved and thrilled to tears to be able to give them to excited children. They told us that last year, only 2 children were able to go to their Halloween party in costume.Please see more details and photos at this page by clicking on "Costume Collection."
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

Thanks so much Fabio. What a great tribute.

Helene Gwizdak gave $100 June 23, 2014

Fabio speaks so highly and fondly of Mr. Metwally. Aarons Presents seems only fitting.

Fabio Malagisi comment June 21, 2014

It is great to see so many old friends contribute to this fund. I am excited to see this fund grow and help many young children to realize their giving potential.

Brad Dolian contributed June 20, 2014

Contribution

Steve Rasch contributed June 18, 2014

Contribution

Dan Puza gave $100 June 17, 2014

Thanks to the Metwally's for being the Metwally's and thanks to Fabs for organizing this.

Eileen Boland gave generously June 16, 2014

Alan would love this. thank you Fabio for starting this.

Anonymous gave $100 June 14, 2014

Contribution

Anonymous gave $50 June 13, 2014

Contribution

Maureen Boland contributed June 13, 2014

Alan was the most kindest and generous person that I had the privilege to know in my life. He not only donated generously for countless causes but he also gave generously of his time to listen to and to help so many people. He left us too early but his spirit still lives on in the hearts and minds of all us. Thank You Fabio for keeping his legacy alive in establishing this fund. He would have been thrilled to know that his generosity was passed on!

Aggie Segovia gave $100 June 13, 2014

His generosity will live on. Thanks Fabio!

Joe Drago contributed June 13, 2014

What a fantastic way to honor Alan and his legacy!

Anonymous gave $100 June 13, 2014

Contribution

Aarons Presents Comment June 13, 2014

I just wanted to thank all of you for incredible generosity and trust. As this entire program is essentially a Presents Fund for my son Aaron, from the very beginning it has been an important part of our overall vision to offer other people the opportunity to create a meaningful living legacy for a loved one they are missing and remembering dearly. It is my sincere hope that seeing the purposeful, thoughtful work of young children will bring a small amount of comfort and healing as it has for our family. I can't wait to share with you details of new projects funded by all of you in memory of Dr. Metwally this coming fall during our next grants cycle. Reading about Dr. Metwally and all that he embodied as a loving, brilliant, fully engaged human being has already inspired me, and I know that his life will touch many others for a long time to come. I feel honored to be connected to each of you through him. More to come soon... Thank you.


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.

Fabio Malagisi gave $500 June 12, 2014

I am proud that we are setting this fund up for Mr Metwally and hope that it lives on for many years.

Margaret Metwally gave $500 June 12, 2014

Fabio's choice to keep Alan's memory alive is so appropriate. He loved children. His grandchildren will be able to share in his legacy.

Natalia Metwally contributed June 12, 2014

Thank you for all of your support. I am sure my dad would be proud.