Our Mission: To inspire kindness and unleash the power of giving
Meet the Artist Cherryl Galezewski
PassAlong Gifts are inspired by my journey. I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) in 2009 and it greatly affected my spine. In March of 2011 I had a 4-level Laminoplasty to plate open the spinal column to make room for the spinal cord. Six months later, I was in a car accident where the oncoming driver crossed the centerline into our lane — both cars were traveling at 55 MPH. My husband, teenage son and I were in the truck as it rolled twice and landed facing the opposite direction. Miraculously we all 3 walked out! One screw popped out in my neck, but the plates stayed in place. Had the accident happened a month or two sooner I would be a quadriplegic, before that I would have died.
The trauma aggravated the RA requiring several subsequent surgeries. By 2013 I was no longer able to work. Going through the disability process was a very dark time of incredible loss. Of course, when it rains it pours and my husband lost his job and a friend with cancer moved in with us because she lost her housing. I was numb!
I had gone to Cheers Pablo a while back and I decided to try painting on my own. As the colors spread across the canvas I felt something inside…so I began to paint…I began to feel again. I painted so many colorful bouquets of flowers that I didn’t know what to do with them. When anyone complimented my paintings, I gave them one. Sharing made me feel even better. This profound awareness inspired me to create a PassAlong Bouquet that is meant to enjoy for a while, then pass-along and share a smile. Four bouquets have been reproduced in a format that can stand or hang. On the back you record who the bouquet is given to, when, and why. An online tracking feature allows everyone to follow along. Because giving is so important to healing, each purchase feeds hungry children.
I’ve found that joy is there in all our circumstances, we just have to look for it. As we go through challenges, we heal by giving and sharing…moving beyond our circumstances. As a reminder I hide the word “JOY” in every bouquet. A great reminder on any journey because we ALL face challenges!