Love Drop #2: Ethan & Alex

February 2011 – Ethan & Alex

This month we’re coming together for two beautiful kids with severe autism. Our goal is to raise $13,000 to help cover the costs of placing and training a highly skilled service dog with the family through the 4 Paws for Ability organization.

It’s a lot of money, but we also have a lot of heart. Watch as the story unfolds below. Let’s make this happen :)

Episode 1 | Episode 2 | Final Drop video!


(Scroll down to check out the entire story :))

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Introducing 4 Paws for Ability

4 paws for ability logoHi guys! We wanted to introduce you to our friends over at 4 Paws for Ability ( – the amazing organization that trains and provides service dogs to those who are disabled.  We took a tour of their place last week and were absolutely blown away at what they”re doing. Their facility over in Xenia, Ohio is just incredible, and we”re proud to be working with them in order to raise money and awareness of how life changing these service dogs can be. (If you get a chance, you have to check out Karen”s story on why she founded 4 Paws — her dog saved her life!)

graphic of golden retriever with newborn pups4 Paws was the first agency to begin placing skilled autism service dogs and continues to be the largest organization in the United States and the only organization placing autism assistance dogs with tracking. 4 Paws remains the organization that many autism groups both at the national and local levels recommend to their families.

As the founding agency of autism assistance dogs with tracking, they continue to provide the highest quality of dogs to every child that applies. 4 Paws unlike almost every other agency, does not pick and choose whose child will get a dog. As long as the child”s physician approves the dog and it is safe to place a dog in the home, no family is turned away.

Angie and her family have been approved by 4 Paws to receive a dog at no financial cost to them, but it will cost 4 Paws $22,000 to train and place a dog with their boys. Most agencies have a 3 – 5 year waiting list after acceptance, but 4 Paws offers a unique opportunity for their families to volunteer raising funds for 4 Paws so that they can place the dogs as their training is complete. Angie and her family are committed to raising $13,000 in support online casino of 4 Paws, and we at Love Drop are here to help them :)

Here are the three main goals of 4 Paws for Ability, Inc:

  1. Provide as many people as possible, within the scope of their ability to serve, and with disabilities falling under the definition of such in the Americans With Disability Act (1990) with access to a qualified service animal trained specifically for their needs, regardless of age and severity of disability.
  2. Reduce the number of unwanted animals who would otherwise be destroyed by obtaining the majority of our animals from shelters and rescue groups.
  3. Increase public awareness of the laws regarding service animals and the value they provide their owners.

And here is why 4 Paws really stands out from the group:

  1. Photo of Allen, Charlotte, and RileyThey have a faster turnaround time for training and receipt of a service dog. The process typically takes 12 – 18 months from start to finish with 9 – 12 months of this being after the funds are raised. These months (9 – 12) are the months the dog is in training. The waiting period for most service dog organizations is 2 – 3 years, with some waits as long as 5 years.
  2. They welcome challenges. 4 Paws is willing to reach out and tackle the more difficult placements.
  3. They have an enviable success rate. 4 Paws has a 98% success rate in placements using donated and rescue animals; a 90% success rate with the first dog placed in the home and an overall success rate of 98%.
  4. They have flexible training. Training that can provide unique and highly customized kinds of placements.
  5. They are nationwide.
  6. They”re open to more individuals. No restrictions placed on age at placement. 4 Paws has no minimal age requirement and does not discriminate based on severity of disability within the programs it provides.
  7. And they are pet friendly. 4 Paws does not require that recipients give up their pets to receive a service dog as many agencies do.

Please help us spread the word and raise money so we can give Angie”s son – Alex – the dog that would change his life.  You can sign up via Love Drop and participate, or if you”d like to give a larger amount and receive a tax deduction, you can donate money directly to 4 Paws by clicking here (just note that the money should go to the account of “Alex Rewolinski”).

Thank you so much, guys!!!  Here”s to doing GOOD.

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Episode #1: What Life is Like with Autism

Living with autism
(Episode #1 of 3)

A peek into the Rewolinski’s home on what life is like when two of your children have severe autism. From the realization that’s something’s wrong, to understanding why both Ethan and Alex are the way they are.

Although life is now more challenging for Angie and her family, they continue to learn and gain strength from their two kids who are hurting the most — Ethan and Alex. They have taught their parents a lot about life. That not only are the simple things the best things, but that love doesn’t take work. It’s just there.

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Episode #2: The Benefits of a Service Dog

Benefits of a Service Dog
(Episode #2 of 3)

It’s interesting to hear from Angie and Andy how doing the simple things that most of us take for granted can become a huge endeavor with the autism situation. When you start to think about all the hundreds of things they have to think about when taking care of the kids, you begin to understand how much a service dog could help.

We had a lot of questions for the family in the beginning, because we wanted to make sure that getting this dog was the absolute best solution for them right now. We want you guys to know that they’ve done their research on the topic. Reams of it, in fact. And yes, this dog, specifically one that is trained in tracking in case Alex escapes, is literally going to change their lives. Let’s keep working on it. :)

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Kids Helping Kids

Love Drop gifts from St. Robert kidsI was recently invited to speak at St. Robert elementary school here in the Milwaukee area. They had heard about Love Drop through our local paper, and they had been following along with the Rewolinski story in their classrooms, watching the videos online and reading the blog posts as they went up. I planned to speak to them about making a difference one person at a time, and the power that we all have to change the world.

I was a bit nervous, because I’d never spoken to kids before, and the whole school would be in attendance – I think 300+ kids from 1st through 8th grade. Then again, I’m nervous every time I speak, so I guess that’s not saying much. :)

But when the kids filed in, all the nerves melted away and I was totally relaxed . . . they looked so happy, and all the chatter made me realize that this was a special, fun assembly for them, and I had the honor of speaking to them. We had a great talk about the value of servant leadership, and how absolutely everyone can make a big difference in people’s lives. I think it went so well because these kids were young and open-minded – you could tell that they believed in the power of such a small idea, whereas most adults have been conditioned to pass over it.

At the end of the talk, the kids presented me with a gift for the Rewolinski’s: 20 decorated, heart-shaped boxes filled with change, bills, and letters written to the family. The kids of St. Robert had been saving up to help Love Drop get the boys their service dog the whole time they’d been watching the videos. Along the way they were pouring their little hearts into messages of hope and love for our family this month.

When all was said and done, before everyone left the gym, they sang a song for me. The entire gym full of kids singing “Go Make a Difference.” They’d been practicing it specifically for that day – I was so touched. Additionally, all the kindergarten kids went home with “Change the World” written on their palms. I was totally blown away, guys. It was hands-down the best speaking engagement I’ve ever done. I absolutely loved it, and I can’t thank Holly, Lauren and St. Robert enough for letting me come in and have that conversation.

St. Robert school logoOh, and one more thing – they raised almost $1,000 to contribute to 4 Paws to provide the service dog for our family. Wow.

Thank you all so very, very much. All you young people from St. Robert, I want you to know that you made a huge difference this month, not only for the Rewolinski’s, but for me. You changed my life, and for that I will be forever grateful.

(We’ll be presenting these gifts above to them this Saturday. Can’t wait!)

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Our First Bake Sale!

When I reached out to Direct Supply, my previous employer, for help in raising money to help Ethan and Alex get their service dog this month, my good friend Robin suggested we hold a bake sale combined with a silent auction. Direct Supply would donate the space and access to their roughly 900 employees, and friends from the Marketing department would bake items and donate goods/services.

I’d never helped with a bake sale before, but this has been a month of historic firsts in my life, so I figured I’d give it a shot. I offered up my time to do whatever was needed, but Robin said that all I had to do was come up with some items to bid on in the silent auction, and they would do the rest.

So I talked to a few of my contacts both local and national, and they gave me some good stuff to auction off. Most notable was First Edge Solutions, a local print and marketing communications company, who provided some courtside tickets to an upcoming Milwaukee Bucks game, as well as two full rows of seats! Those big-ticket items accounted for almost a third of the total amount raised, so I want to say a big thank-you to them. Plus, I found out that I went to high school with Bobby Kraft, their CEO! I think we were even in the same class, actually. Cool how that works, especially since our high school motto at Marquette was “Men for Others.” Good stuff.

When I arrived at Direct Supply, I found everything all set up and lookin’ good already – I didn’t even have to do anything! Robin had organized it all with the help of Jen, Megan, Anita and Krisi, so all I did was shoot a quick video and plop down in the meet-n-greet chair. :)

Over the next few hours I got to hang out with some people that I absolutely love, and see a lot of old friends and co-workers. All in all it was a great time, a lot of fun, and people were so very generous. One woman came in and told us that she had taken up a collection from her department, and though they didn’t want to buy anything, they wanted to make a substantial donation. There were so many cool examples of caring, connected people.

I’d like to thank Bob Klein and Direct Supply for being a part of the Love Drop this month, and for bringing us around $1,700 closer to our $13,000 goal to provide a service dog for Ethan and Alex.

Um, did you catch that? $1,700! From a (mostly) bake sale! You all rock, seriously. Much love!

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Ethan & Alex’s Love Drop! We did it!

We did it, guys! We raised the $13,000 for our family this month! Absolutely everyone on the team worked so hard this month, pitched in just a little bit more, brought big ideas to the table, and at the end of the month we were able to go to the Rewolinski’s home and present them with the gift of a life-changing service dog.

Wow. Just . . . wow.

We are humbled by your generosity and so proud that we have the privilege of leading this team. Ya’ll are a powerful force for good, and each month you prove it even more so than the last. Here’s how the actual Love Drop went down – enjoy! And thank you so, so much. Can’t wait to see what we do next month…

(If you’re not a member of our team yet, it’s easy to join!)

Here is everything else the community brought to them this month:

  • 3 iPads! Within 4 days of putting this on the site, the crew over at Johnson Creek hit us up and offered to give all three kids desperately needed iPads. We were overjoyed to say the least. Ethan and Alex have an incredibly hard time speaking (Alex in particular – he *can’t* speak) and these gifts go far and beyond when it comes to aiding in communication and development. And to help their sister, Megan, relate and be involved as well, we thought it would be best she learned to communicate through an iPad too. And our wish came true! (They even had their names engraved on them – how sweet!)
  • A giant bear! Just because ;)
  • Tickets to a Bucks game courtesy of
  • $50 Towards babysitting services! (Thx D!)
  • Fruit bouquet by Edible Arrangements :)
  • Free 6-month membership to Fit2B Studio‘s online workout portal.
  • Hand-picked toys for each child from
  • Computer lessons from Brandon

In the last week before the big Drop, two families who put the icing on the cake when they decided to generously give us a check for $5,000. We were blown away! Their single act of kindness has literally changed the way the Rewolinskis will live for years and years to come.

A special thanks to Andrea Friar for capturing this month’s drop in photography too. Thank you, thank you, thank you all from the bottom of our hearts!

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