“TLC Massachusetts Style”…..with Project Smile


On February 15, 1903, toy store owner-inventor Morris Michtom placed two stuffed bears in his shop window, advertising them as Teddy bears.  Previously, Michtom petitioned President Theodore Roosevelt for permission to use his nickname, Teddy. The president agreed and, before long, other toy manufacturers began turning out copies of Michtom’s stuffed bears, thus spawning a national childhood institution.

According to legend, naming the beloved Teddy Bear came from one of President Roosevelt’s famous big game hunting trips that lasted four days. In 1902 Roosevelt traveled to Mississippi to settle a boundary dispute between the states of Mississippi and Louisiana. Although he was an accomplished hunter, he failed to shoot a single bear during the trip, but he did manage to capture a small bear cub. They tied it to a tree so the President could shoot and claim it as his own, but Roosevelt refused, sparing the cub’s life.

Political cartoonist Clifford Berryman recorded the episode in a sketch entitled “Drawing the line in Mississippi” and published it to wide acclaim in The Washington Post. The sketch attracted so much national attention that the popular cartoonist hereafter included the appealing little bear character whenever he portrayed the President.

Catherine Pisacane’s story is very different… As the Founder of “Project Smile” in Hopedale, Massachusetts, the impetus for her non-profit was created from unimaginable tragedy…

“I read a newspaper article about three brothers in New Jersey who were starved by their adoptive parents. When the police arrived to remove the brothers from the house, an officer gave one of the children a small stuffed tiger that he had with him. The child clung to it during his entire time at the police station and refused to let it go. After reading about that, I wanted to start a program which would allow as many police officers as possible to have something to give to a hurting child. A stuffed animal may be small, but its significance is huge.” – Catherine Pisacane

Guest Co-host Kim Kolton and Ladyjustice spent an hour learning about this very laudable venture which assists children, seniors as well as first responders.

 To listen to the podcast, CLICK HERE:  

  • Introductions:  co-host and guest…
  • Child neglect…a beginning…combined with a middle school contest;
  • Keeping the overhead low….
  • A mother figure versus emergency situation; 
  • Grants for neglected seniors who have dementia;
  • The fruits of her rewards …during the holidays;
  • Discussion of their relationship with the Department of Children and Families…
  • Funding – where it comes  from;
  • Calling all beanie babies….;
  • Getting the word out…;
  • Student interns as volunteers;
  • A heartwarming e-mail regarding a traumatized child in a car accident;
  • Running a chapter is different from Catherine’s job;
  • Information about drop off and donations by mail;
  • “The fundraising never stops….”
  • The Virtual AID Drive-What it’s about?  A way to fundraise…
  • Catherine’s background and how it lent itself to Project Smile…
  • A criminal justice degree… I don’t want to be held back; 
  • (A temporary pause in the action –technical difficulty…) 
  • The Boston Celtics recognition story…. 
  • Discussion of the difficulties of fundraising;
  • Details of Project Smile’s Fundraisers – a marriage and baby… 
  • A spring fashion show at Copley Place – April 25th…;
  • www.smilingstiletto.com/ with a shoe walk off;
  • The major goal of Project Smile and its status – 184 po0lice departments;
  • Contact Info:www.projectsmile.org or Tel: 508-634-0203;
  • The Financial Need is the greatest need from Aid Matrix  with PayPal Option;
  • Some Advice: If you have an Idea for a charity or business in YOUR neighborhood; 


Questions elicited from this podcast:

  • What was the incident that started “Project Smile?” 
  • How did the business grow?
  • What is the real value of a teddy bear?
  • How are the animals selected for distribution?
  • What are the guidelines of donation for stuffed animals and toys?
  • Why are webkin donations with computer game codes a good choice?
  • How can one begin a new Chapter for Project Smile?
  • What does Catherine’s job involve as a single person operation?
  • If you don’t have items to donate, how can you still assist?
  • What is the effect of the continued economic downturn, particularly in New England?
  • What is the “Smiling Stiletto Shoe Club “?
  • What’s the scoop on the Annual Charity Date Auction (40 Most Eligible First Responders)?
  • What is the history of the formation of the Stiletto Shoe Club?
  • How do first responder organizations sign on sign up to be a recipient?
  • Which first responder organizations are eligible to be recipients?

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