Mayfield Family Shares Story of Miracles for Prematurity Awareness Month

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Hanna and Matt Mayfield are familiar faces in Pascagoula, Mississippi. With Matt co-owning ‘Goula’s famous, Tay’s BBQ a lot of people recognize the family name and their deliciously famous menu items. However, they are also known for their survival story of their two little miracles.

November 17 is recognized as World Prematurity Day and serves as the focus of the March of Dimes’ Prematurity Awareness Month observance each year. The Mayfield family relates to this day as they recall the miraculous story of the birth of their premature twin daughters.

In October of 2011, Hanna Mayfield was taken into emergency c-section at USA’s Children’s and Women’s Hospital in Mobile, Alabama. Mayfield says there was no explanation as to why she went into labor so early, but prepared to face the reality of giving birth to premature twins. She was only 5 months pregnant at the time, barely mid-way through her 2nd trimester. 

Bowen and Taylor were born at 22 weeks and 5 days and were considered to be ‘micro-premies’- weighing even smaller than a typical premature baby. Bowen weighed 1 pound and Taylor 15.3 ounces. “Their lungs weren’t working like they were supposed to- it was a lot of treatment and things to keep an eye on every hour, every few hours”, says Mayfield. 

But the family decided to remain positive with lots of prayer and trust in the top-rated NICU center at Children’s and Women’s. “Every one of the doctors and nurses at the hospital are angels”, she said. “Being able to do their job with a smile on their face, while helping these parents is incredible”, says Mayfield. In fact, USA’s NICU center is one of the only local hospitals to give babies born before 24 weeks a chance to survive by putting them on a ventilator. “If we lived in any other city, we may have not been accepted into a hospital to keep our babies alive”, she said. The babies remained in the NICU for the next few months, with Taylor having additional complications and surgeries which kept her there for a total of 7 months. 

The challenge of having premature babies doesn’t stop at the hospital. After bringing the girls home, Matt and Hanna were given strict schedules and guidelines to follow to ensure they were being taken care of properly and would remain healthy. Parents of premature babies have to take caution when bringing them home due to their low immune system. “We couldn’t go out in public and they advised against bringing people around our babies”, said Hanna. “They even told us, ‘If you go out to the grocery store and come back, you have to shower and change clothes before you can even hold your baby'”, she said. The family had to be conscious of every move they made to ensure the girls’ health remained in good state. 

After many routine checkups, the girls caught up to their appropriate weight and grew to become wonderfully excelled children. The twins recently celebrated their 6th birthday last month. “They’re healthy, thriving in school, running around and taking dance lessons-perfectly normal little girls”, said Mayfield. “We could have easily had many difficulties with the girls, but we were fortunate they grew up without any problems”, she said. “I think it’s just being aware of germs, being mindful of their low immune systems and sticking to the plan the nurses and doctors give you is the reason for it”, says Hanna. 

According to the March of Dimes, 1 in 10 women will give birth to a premature child. Like the Mayfield family, many women, including those in Jackson County, will face the difficulty of having premature children. “It’s very easy to get down and depressed that you can’t hold your premature baby like an average-sized one”, says Hanna. But she encourages families who are facing this, “Keep your chin up, stay positive, pray and get your prayer warriors around you”, she said. 

For more information on World Prematurity Day or the March of Dimes, visit their website



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Pay it Forward Friday: Scott Lemon Awarded Humanitarian Award

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Last week, The Mississippi Gulf Coast YMCA appointed Scott Lemon as the 2017 recipient of the John R. Blossman Humanitarian Award at their annual banquet. Scott has been a key leader in the Gulf Coast area for the past three decades, serving the area not only through his profession, but also by his dedicated volunteering and the high standard he has set through his example as a husband, father, grandfather, and colleague and friend to many.

After graduating from Mississippi State University, Scott began his career in textile manufacturing. However, it wasn’t long before he felt led to follow in his grandfather and father’s footsteps and pursue a career in the insurance industry. He and his wife, Barbara, moved to Ocean Springs with their three daughters where Scott stepped into his dad’s shoes to co-manage Lemon-Mohler Insurance with Mark Mohler after his dad’s retirement.

Scott’s influence has been and continues to be widely felt along the Gulf Coast. He is involved with numerous boards, associations and affiliations, including the Mississippi Gulf Coast YMCA, St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, Young Life, the Women’s Resources Center and the Home of Grace. He values integrity and accountablility, which stem from his deep faith in God, his love for the church, and for his family. “We certainly believe the young people of our community are our future and that’s why we support these organizations”, says Lemon. 

Scott knew when he married Barbara 29 years ago that he “married up;” she is gracious, genuine, and compassionate with a servant’s heart. Scott says she completes him. He and Barbara enjoy spending time with their daughters and families, which now includes grandson, Charlie, and they are excitedly awaiting the arrival of their second grandson.

The John R. Blossman Humanitarian Award was created in order to recognize individuals, like John, who put his fellow man first and is given each year at a banquet proudly hosted by the Beau Rivage Resort Casino. All who knew John Blossman felt his deep love for the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Much of his life was spent in service to organizations that positively impacted the lives of others. The sponsorships and proceeds from the banquet help support the YMCA’s Strong Kids Campaign. With your financial assistance through sponsorships or donations, the YMCA is able to have a lasting impact on thousands of Gulf Coast children, teens and their families every year.”The YMCA has been a huge part of my life”, he said. “I’ve grown up there and have seen the organization help so many people through working with the mind, body and spirit”, says Lemon. 

It is clear that Lemon makes consistent efforts to help others and is a deserving community member to receive this award. When asked how people can get can get involved in the community, he encourages others to seek out and help your neighbors in times of need. “Find an organization you dearly love and serve it with all your heart and soul, and you won’t feel like you’re giving anything up.”  

Pay it Forward Fridays:

JaxCoHome would love to hear about people doing good in our community. If you know someone that is a champion for our community, the environment, education or local business, fill out the nomination form by clicking here.

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Giving Back for Thanksgiving

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If your family is looking to give back this Thanksgiving, here are a few ways you can help:

Our Daily Bread – Pascagoula

Our Daily Bread aims to show those in need that Jackson County cares. The non-profit soup kitchen has been serving the hungry in Jackson County for 36 years and continues to offer the opportunity for anyone to come and volunteer.

“Our Daily Bread belongs to the people,” Director Mary Meldren said. “That’s why we’re here. People are just hungry – that’s all. We want to show them they are no judgements here and that they are loved.”

Meldren said Our Daily Bread typically sees an increase in the number of those needing meals around the holidays. Last year, 187 people were served on Thanksgiving. 

Those who would like to volunteer on Thanksgiving (or beyond) can call 228-201-2303 for more information. Families are welcome to volunteer together. 


The Lord is My Help – Ocean Springs

Each year, The Lord is My Help aims to provide local families in need with a full Thanksgiving meal. For a $20 donation, you can sponsor a meal for a local family of six, including a turkey and side items like green bean casserole and more.

Liz Sekul with the non-profit organization said the annual Turkey Drive fundraiser has continuously been successful in combating food insecurity and hunger around the holiday season.

“Families can come in let us know they need a meal – no questions asked,” Sekul said. “We serve about 150 local families each year.”

In addition, those who wish to volunteer the day of Thanksgiving can contact Barbara at 228-872-2331 for additional volunteer opportunities. 


Help a Family

Through the University of Southern Mississippi School of Social Work, River Rock Yoga is accepting donations to support a family in need for Thanksgiving.

Food and clothes are being collected for a single mother and her 4-year-old son. The mother wears a size 7 shoe, size 7 pants and a medium top. She needs winter boots or shoes and winter clothes. Her son wears a size 10 shoe, and 5T pants and tops. He is in need of winter clothes. Donations of toy cars, trucks and construction toys also will be accepted.

Please bring donations to River Rock Yoga in Ocean Springs by Nov. 21.


Donate a Meal

Waitr, the on-demand restaurant platform, is starting a Thanksgiving food drive using its food-delivery app to help feed the needy in the communities they serve.

When anyone orders from Waitr, they’ll have the option to help feed a family in their own community with a donation. Called “Share Thanksgiving”, the food drive allows Waitr users to click on the designated “Donate a Meal” button after they order.

After ordering, they will then be prompted to select a dollar amount ranging from $2 to $10. Waitr and its participating restaurant partners will also match a portion of their customers’ donations.

Using all of these donations, Waitr will deliver free hot meals prepared by local restaurants to hungry families during Thanksgiving week.


Be a Santa to a Senior

Although extending beyond Thanksgiving day, families interested in giving back throughout the holiday season can look into being a Santa to a senior. Home Instead Senior Care invites the community to help provide gifts to area seniors through its Be a Santa to a Senior program. Now in its 13th year, the program serves more than 1,800 seniors in Jackson County and beyond.

Be a Santa to a Senior trees will be on display through Dec. 4. The trees are decorated with paper ornaments featuring seniors’ first names and their desired gifts. Holiday shoppers can choose an ornament, buy the requested gift and return it to the store with the ornament attached. Volunteers and program partners will wrap and deliver the gifts.

The trees are at these CVS Pharmacy locations in Jackson County: 2109 Bienville Blvd., Ocean Springs and 3657 Market St., Pascagoula.

Details: or 228-818-6110.

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Remembering Sophia by Helping All Creatures Big and Small

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Today marks what would have been Sophia Myers 8th birthday. After a rough eight month battle fighting the onset of DIPG, the Myers family and community continue the fight for more DIPG research and funding. And there’s no better way to have honored the precious girl’s life than by celebrating her and her love for animals. 

The Ocean Springs Lions Club is organizing a Coast-wide pet food and supply drive honoring Sophia Myers birthday.  “All Creatures Big and Small Pet Food and Supply Drive Honoring Sophia Myers” is an answer to the plea of Sophia’s mother, Angel Myers.

“I know I’ve asked a lot of you, but I’m asking just this one more thing,” Angel Myers posted on Facebook. “I need help putting together a food and supply drive for the Jackson County Animal Shelter in her honor.” After her original post, dozens of businesses and residents, who have been following Sophia’s journey, responded to her post asking to be a part of the project. The Ocean Springs Lions Club stepped up to spearhead the drive and pet adoptions.

There are more than a dozen drop off locations in Jackson and Harrison counties, including Ocean Springs City Hall and Gautier City Hall. Donations can include dog and cat food; Clorox bleach; towels; metal bowls; pet treats; nail clippers; dawn dish soap and non-clumping cat litter. An extended wish list for the Shelter can be found at

“This drive could not have come at a better time,” said Joe Barlow, Director of the Jackson County Animal Shelter. “We are honored and humbled by how much Sophia supported us.”

The campaign has been running for the past two weeks and will be wrapping up today for Sophia’s birthday. “A u-haul van has already been filled up with tons of donations from the community”, says Leigh Coleman, a representative from Ocean Springs Lions Club. “We hope this will encourage people to donate and adopt more animals from the Jackson County Animal Shelter”, she said. Coleman also stated that they plan to host this event each year in Sophia’s honor. 

Sophia Myers was a student who recently passed away after an eight-month battle with DIPG. She loved animals, and also loved helping the Jackson County Animal Shelter. The pet drive and adoption promotions are being held in honor of her upcoming birthday. A Gold Keepsake Ribbon Collar will be given to every individual who adopts a pet in Sophia’s name.

“Please know how grateful I am for everything. I really am,” said Angel Myers. “I don’t have the right words or enough words, but my heart is right with you loving and appreciating all you have done and are doing.” 

For more information on the drive, visit their Facebook page:

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Peter Anderson Brings Thousands To Ocean Springs

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The 39th annual Peter Anderson Arts and Crafts Festival is coming to a close, as today marks the last day for all of the vendors and festival attendees. Over 40,000 were expected to attend the festival to check out the arts in all forms. 

Five hundred vendors were set up along the streets of downtown Ocean Springs. From local pottery and jewelry makers to arts and crafts, there are a bountiful range of interesting finds at the festival. Many of the vendors traveled from places like Louisiana and Texas to sell their specialty products. Michael’s Pickles is one of the busier non-local booths with their homemade jellies and candied pickles coming all the way from Folsom, Louisiana. “We’ve enjoyed sharing our products with the people of Ocean Springs”, says a representative of the small business. 

A lot of Jackson County’s own local shops and businesses were set up as well. The Walter Anderson Museum of Art has had a booth for as long as the festival has existed. The art history behind the Anderson family is the reason for the founding of the museum and festival. According to WAMA, Peter Anderson had a love for pottery that was considered both functional, and artistic. 

Deadwood Studio’s featured pieces of their driftwood is another big-hit amongst the crowd. Steve Lankford says, “I’m not really sure on how I plan on using it, but I think it can serve as a cool piece for a hummingbird feeder.” 

The festival brings people and their love for art, music and food together, while being able to give back to the city of Ocean Springs. “It’s really all about shopping locally and being outside, walking the streets of downtown”, says Heidi Borque of Ocean Springs. “I love when I find an interesting piece from a shop right here within the community”, she said.

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You’re Going To Love This Pascagoula!

IMG_3922-300x225 You're Going To Love This Pascagoula!Get ready Jackson County! “The Menagerie on Market” is now open for business and just in time for the holidays. Tina Thames and her son Brent renovated the old, long time saloon Johnny Joes and created a wonderful hometown emporium featuring local known artists, craftsmen, cooks, and more. “This is not a flea market, this is not an antique mall, this is an emporium. It’s inviting, warm, and it is going to be great for Jackson County,” says Thames. The Menagerie holds 44 spaces for local unique vendors which 42 of them are already taken. You can find clothing, sports, children’s accessories, cooking, and so much more, that you couldn’t find in other stores because of the overhead associated with starting a small business. The city of Pascagoula has stepped in to help get the idea off the ground and according to Thames, they have been more than helpful, “Absolutely wonderful, they have been phenomenal helping me get in here. I could not have done this without them.”

Future plans for The Menagerie include a coffee shop in the rear which is almost complete and an outside sitting area. Locals may notice some of the old remnants of Johnny Joes,

IMG_3922-300x225 You're Going To Love This Pascagoula!

and enjoy the unique styling of each micro store. “The Menagerie is going to be a great concept when we get everyone in here, filled with all types of unique items. What excites me is that small businesses will be able to broaden their perspectives and be able to sell some of their items without quitting their day jobs so to speak,” says Chelsea Thames, owner of “Fabricology.”

The Menagerie promises to be good for the economy in Pascagoula, and help add to the revitalization of the Market Street area. It will also offer it’s own brand of jams, jelly’s, and other goodies.

Check it out at 2302 Market Street in Pascagoula.








IMG_3922-300x225 You're Going To Love This Pascagoula!
IMG_3922-300x225 You're Going To Love This Pascagoula!
IMG_3922-300x225 You're Going To Love This Pascagoula!
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Chevron’s Fuel Your School/ Gift Card Winners

Chevron’s Fuel Your School program came to a close last week after successfully donating $50,000 to Jackson County schools to help teachers fund their projects with 

Last week, JaxCoHome asked Jackson County teachers to tell us what projects or items they needed for their classroom. These items could include a new microscope, books, computers- anything that encourages learning in the areas of S.T.E.A.M. Chevron believes that effective education including Science, Technology, Engineering the Arts and Math (S.T.E.M.) will foster bright young talent for the future workforce and healthy economic growth for the country. 

We had almost 30 submissions from teachers who needed a variety of items, but 5 winners were chosen who best fit the needs within each part of S.T.E.A.M. Each winner received a $100 gift card to be redeemed on the site to help fund their project. Our ‘Science’ winner was Brieanna Bean with the Jackson County Technology Center. Brieanna teaches high school students interested in the healthcare field as a career. Bean’s project needs included hands-on science/life health kits that helped the students get a real-feel experience of working and studying in the medical field. “The kits allow them to see the enzymes working, as they would in the gastrointestinal tract, of the future patients these students will be taking care of; the actual work the kidneys do in filtrating the blood”, says Bean. “The seeing of the process makes the process of learning significantly easier”, she said. With the help of the gift card, Bean’s project became fully-funded, so the students dream of having these kits will now become a realityIMG_3464-300x225 Chevron's Fuel Your School/ Gift Card Winners

Pictured: Brieanna Bean’s Class at Jackson County Technology Center

Our ‘Technology’ winner is Mrs Oreta McMillan’s robotics students at Vancleave Upper Elementary. The 5th and 6th graders compete in robotics competitions with VEX IQ kits. “These DASH robots will allow our 2nd, 3rd, and 4th graders to practice coding and allow them to prepare for future robotics events”, says McMillan. “The tablets will allow them to download APPS to help them program and control the robot”, she said. After receiving her gift card, McMillan’s class now needs $700 to be fully funded for their project. To donate to the project, visit this link:

IMG_3464-300x225 Chevron's Fuel Your School/ Gift Card Winners

Pictured: Oreta McMillan’s class at Vancleave Upper Elementary

The ‘Education’ winner is Bridget Mudgett at St. Martin Upper Elementary. Mudgett’s Donors Choose project asked for a class set of the novel, Wonder, for her 5th graders. “My students love to read!”, said Mudgett. “They stay after school for book club, give up recess time to volunteer in the school library, and walk to the public library in a small town that’s not very ‘walkable'”, she said. With the help of the gift card, Bridgett’s class has also reached their project goal of $360! “We’re so grateful for this gift card! Now my kids can finally engage like never before”, she said. 

Our ‘Arts’ winner is Casie Duffy with Moss Point High School. Duffy’s class needed several iPads for her art class. “With this funding, it will allow my students access to art history research, graphic design experiences, and expand their capabilities as artists by incorpoarting a technological aspect”, says Duffy. 

Last, but not certainly not least, the ‘Mathematics’ winner is Lorraine Boleware and her class at Eastlawn Elementary. Boleware teaches special education, but is in an inclusion setting with the general education students. She primarily works with 3rd grade, (Reading gate) and fourth grade (MAAP) state testing classes. “These students must reach the same benchmarks as students who do not have special needs, but they are working and they are trying”, says Boleware. “I have found that the biggest hurdle right now is in multiplication facts for my students. I would like to use different resources that may help them increase their fluency and give them a firm foundation to build on for the rest of the standards in math”, she said. After applying her gift card, Boleware’s class still needs $500 to fund this project. You can donate to this project by visiting the following link: Chevron's Fuel Your School/ Gift Card Winners

Pictured: Lorraine Boleware’s class at Eastlawn Elementary

JaxCoHome would like to thank all of the participants for submitting their projects. “We are so happy we were able to help fully fund 2 of the 5 project winners”, says Chelsea Gee, a representative from JaxCoHome. “This opportunity would not have been possible if it weren’t for the people at Chevron and their consistent efforts to help their local schools”, she said. 

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Halloween Happenings in Jackson County

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If you’re not going trick or treating in your neighborhood for Halloween, there are plenty of other events going on within Jackson County. Here’s some spooky details for events near you: 

Trick or Treat Down the Street

The Historic Ocean Springs Association and the Ocean Springs Chamber of Commerce are hosting their annual Trick or Treat Down the Street in downtown Ocean Springs. Businesses and merchants along Washington Avenue and Government Street will be distributing treats to costumed children from 6-8 pm. Students from Ocean Springs High School will be performing “Thriller” and other Halloween themed dance performances at the intersection during the two hour holiday event. 


Visit merchants throughout the Edgewater mall in Biloxi who will be giving out goodies to kids in costumes. Take home a complimentary photo from an on-site photographer. The fun begins at 5pm with a performance from La Santa Damiana the fire dancer. There will also be (4) 10 minute performances from the Fire Dancers from 5:00-6:30 PM. At 6:40pm enjoy a Halloween dance performance from Kelli’s Step School of Dance.

Hallow-Read Day

Read a spooky book and trick or treat at the St. Martin Public Library. The event is for area teens during library hours. Families are welcome to trick-or-treat at the library. Costumes encouraged. Take a Spooky Selfie at photo booth, create “BOOk-marks.” Treats provided. Details: 228-392-3250.

‘Rocky Horror Picture Show’ Movie Madness Experience

The Biloxi Little Theatre will be showing the classic Halloween movie, ‘Rocky Horror Picture Show’. Featuring a professional shadow cast in front of the movie screen, this is an interactive event. 220 Lee St. $15; $5 prop kits. This event is R rated. No outside props allowed; prop kits will be sold for $5 at the theater. Costume contest, door prizes, cash bar. 228-432-8543. 7:30 p.m.-11:30 p.m.

Tiki Trick-or-Treat

Margaritaville Resort, 195 Beach Blvd., Biloxi. Free. Halloween candy will be given to trick-or-treaters who come dressed up in their costume. Candy will be on second, fifth and 10th floors of the resort. 228-271-6377. 5 p.m.-8 p.m.

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Chevron and Fab Lab Unit Deliver Supplies to Houston

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The Jackson County Fab Lab mobile unit is being used for more than just educational purposes. On October 20th, the Fab Lab trailer was packed full of cleaning, safety and toiletry supplies and made its journey to Houston, Texas to help benefit the people who are still affected from Hurricane Harvey. 

Earlier this year, Chevron and Fab Lab partnered to create the unit to provide students and aspiring inventors in the area the resources to create, experiment and build their skills in STEAM. The Fab Lab provides educational programming and opportunities to advance STEAM education, human centered design, collaborative projects and the creative economy, connecting people and creating opportunities for learning, research, experimentation and business.

Scott Beebe, Fab Lab Manager, saw the perfect opportunity to utilize the trailer and partner with the Fab Lab in Houston to help pass out the supplies within the area. The donations were collected from Jackson County school district students and teachers. Vancleave, St.Martin and East Central schools collected goods for a month to help fill the Fab Lab unit. A parent of a teacher at St. Martin also donated 400 purses filled with personal toiletry items. 

“I wanted to personally be involved and give back to a community who once gave to us”, said Scott Beebe. “We wanted our people to help a not-so local community that was in need”, he said.

The Fab Lab unit delivered the items to BakerRipley, a non-profit dedicated to connecting low-income families and individuals to opportunity so they can achieve the life they’ve imagined. BakerRipley has also partnered with Chevron and the Fab Foundation and is planning to open their own Fab Lab next summer, which will make the tenth mobile unit within the organization. 

“It’s a big deal to have the Jackson County Fab Lab partner with BakerRipley to help these families who were affected by the flooding”, says Brent Richardson with BakerRipley. “It’s a great support to have friends we can count on at another Fab Lab”, he said. 



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Free Gift Cards for Jackson County Teachers

Jackson County Teachers: The Fuel Your School Program with Chevron is back. During the month of October, Chevron is donating $50,000 to help fund classroom projects for teachers in Jackson County. Last year, Chevron funded 71 Fuel Your School projects at 41 schools in Jackson County. It’s back again and ready to keep students excited about learning. 

The program works with to help K-12 teachers in public schools get the supplies they need for eligible public school classroom projects. Teachers may create an account on the site (free of charge) and post a project needed for their classroom. Teachers can request books, technology, field trips- anything you’ve been dreaming of for your students. Science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) related classroom projects will be considered for funding.

JaxCoHome will be handing out gift cards to be redeemed at for teachers to fund their projects. We have gift cards for amounts ranging from $50-$150. We are asking Jackson County Teachers to tell us what project they need and why and we will reward the gift cards to the selected submissions. Gift cards are on a first come, first serve basis, so act fast in order to get your dream project funded for your classroom!

Here’s what you need to do: 

  1. Go to JaxCoHome’s Facebook page 
  2. Fill out the form on our page with the ‘woobox’ link and tell us what project you need and why
  3. Select ‘Submit’

The form will be available to access by end of day today. We will be announcing who receives gift cards as the submissions come in, so stay tuned to our Facebook page to see who will get their dream project funded! 

*UPDATE* Here is the woobox link to fill out the submission form:


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