Three years ago, our little Penny came into our world and changed us forever. An incredibly sweet baby from the start, Penny went on to wow us with a precocious love for animals. Asking her to make animal noises was one of our family's favorite things to do. It touched our hearts to see her living her life as full as she could in whatever she was doing: playing in the sand, searching her world inquisitively, or clutching her beloved stuffed animals tightly beside her. 

Just a few short months before Penny passed away, she visited her grandparents in Heber, UT, where she was overwhelmed by the natural wildlife around her. "TOUCH IT!" She wanted so badly to connect with all of the animals around her. When we could, we accommodated her, pulling off the side of the road to touch a cow, a horse. There were a ton of deer in the area at the time, and she seemed to have a special fondness for them. "TOUCH IT, DEER!" They were just too elusive. One day, one approached the car, and I don't think I rememebr her being so elated. She stammered in jubilation, both hands pressed to the car window: "TOUCH IT, DEER!" Penny continued to obsess over deer, and though she never got her wish to touch one, she seemed content to at least learn and love the song, Doe, a Deer. I wish every one of you could have heard her sing it. 

Penny was very tragically and sudddenly taken from us on August 29, 2012. In the days immediately following, a community came together to help us in a dark time of desperation. Within a few short hours, friends and stragers established and funded a project called "Pennies for Penny" to help defray big costs we'd incurred. Through this charitable act--and many, many others--we felt God's love like a reassuring arm around us, holding us tightly, letting us know that all was not lost. A little more than a year later, we continue to be inspired by these acts of kindness. We can never match or repay them, but they changed us forever, just like our little Penny did. Love, family, connection, service, curiousity--these were the important things in life. And so, we committed ourselves to them again.

 Let's do some good together now by helping others under a cause with a familiar name: Pennies for Penny. We'll use the money raised from this site to help three families in need this holiday season, just as we were blessed to be able to do last year. We're honored to have so many artists donate their time and talents this year to create these Penny items. Thanks for reading. More importantly, thanks for your generosity and kindness. We'll be sure to report back as appropriate on those you helped this year.

 "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me." Matthew 25:40

 much love, 

jill thomas