Sunday, July 16, 2017

3rd Annual Heart of Maia Toy Drive...

It's that time again!... 
The 3rd Annual Heart of Maia Toy Drive officially begins Monday, July 17th and runs through September 30th benefiting UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital in San Francisco.

Thank you to everyone who participated last year! We couldn't have done it without you... and of course, thank you to all who donated! You helped make the kids' smiles even bigger and Marcus is ready and excited for another successful toy drive this year!!

Please remember toys must be NEW because they are going to sick kids in the hospital. 

Toys can be dropped off at the following locations:

Foster City - 999A Edgewater Blvd. Foster City, CA
Burlingame/San Mateo - 866 N. Delaware Ave. San Mateo, CA
Belmont - 390 El Camino Real, Belmont, CA

Westborough - 2248 Westborough Blvd. South San Francisco, CA
San Mateo - 113 South B Street, San Mateo

544 San Mateo Avenue, San Bruno, CA

445 South B Street, San Mateo, CA

Belmont - 2100 Carlmont Dr. Suite 6, Belmont, CA
Foster City - 1291 E. Hillsdale Blvd. Suite 200, Foster City, CA

3 Plaza View Lane, Suite N, Foster City, CA

3 Plaza View Lane, Foster City, CA

693 Monterey Blvd., San Francisco, CA

5860 Paradise Drive, Corte Madera, CA

390 Convention Way, Redwood City, CA

If you are not in the local San Francisco Bay Area and would like to donate, 
you may purchase toys, online (Amazon, etc.) and send them to:
Heart of Maia
1347 Marlin Avenue 
Foster City, CA 94404

For monetary donations, 
Please make checks payable to UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital 
and write on note/memo Child Life Dept.- Heart of Maia
Send to: UCSF Benioff Children's Hospitals Foundation
P.O. Box 45339
San Francisco, CA 94145-0339

Credit card donations can be made online at:
UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Donation Page
You can designate your donation to ("other") Child Life Department, in memory of Maia Mead.

If you, or anyone you know, is interested in a box to help collect toy donations, it's not too late to get one! Email for any questions or to request a box.

Once again, thank you all so much for your love, support, and prayers. Our grief is never ending but inspirational times like this give us a renewed sense of purpose. Remembering and honoring Maia with a toy drive started by her big brother, Marcus, is such a heartwarming and amazing experience. We're so blessed that we get the chance to share our story while making a difference and giving back to the community. 
Thank you all for being a part of our journey!

Monday, June 12, 2017

The Latest from The Meads...

There are many times when I feel there's nothing to write about... no special events, no special occasions. No updates on Maia, no new pics. But when I asked Marcus about what I should blog about, he simply answered "just write about how we're doing." Wow, what a concept!

I can honestly say we're doing ok. There always seems to be room for improvement, but I think that goes together with striving to make life better, by doing better things and being a better person. But at the same time, I'm very proud of who we've become, who we are now, and where we're headed.

Our transition into a new normal life since Maia's passing has had it's share of ups and downs, but we're very determined and focus on what matters most... us. We've had our share of medical issues, including Gordon's cornea transplant, his chronic back and sciatica problems, and more recently, his complications from hernia surgery. Marcus continues to slowly get better with each passing year, and has been able to manage his grief and anger management issues little by little. Although he prefers one-on-one sessions with his therapist, he tried out some group sessions earlier this year and did ok with it. We're so grateful he has such an amazing support system! As for me, I've been pretty healthy for the most part, which is always a good thing. I've now become a regular blood donor and I get excited when I know I blood drive is coming up! As a result I've monitored my iron better too. It's also been a year since I had my Lasik eye surgery and I'm loving it! I only wish I didn't look into it sooner, but it's still one of the best decisions I've ever made. It was an opportunity I couldn't pass up, acutally it was a Groupon Valentines from my wonderful husband that we couldn't pass up!

On the home front, we're looking into finally moving into our own place. It's probably been one of the most stressful things since Maia passed away, since being unemployed was almost always an issue. But Gordon has been with Lexus now for almost 3 years. He started out part-time but is now working full-time. I'm currently still on the job hunt since last year my employer relocated to the Washington-Oregon area. They now live in Washington state where there is no income tax and their business is set up in Oregon where there is no sales tax. It was one of those opportunities they couldn't pass up, and I don't blame them. For now I'm enjoying the limited time I have left as a stay-at-home mom. I'm more selective this time around and I want to find that job and company that's a great fit for my skills and personality, and a place that cares about their employees. It might be more difficult to find but I think it's worth it, and I'm patient too! Plus, I want to work at a place where I want to be, where I love coming to work... so we'll see what happens. Aside from keeping up with Marcus' schedule of activities, I've been volunteering at school whenever I can. This includes being a part of the Staff Appreciation Committee. It's a big deal and a great honor to celebrate the people who have such a big influence in our kids' lives. I'm always so in awe of how they handle so many kids and personalities, not to mention the curriculum, low wages, and the other behind the scenes of the teacher life. We have been very fortunate that Marcus has had such wonderful and supportive teachers throughout his school life. They've all been there for him inside and outside of the classroom, and there were times when he really needed their guidance and support. Plus, it always helps to have teachers that love and care for your child, and are on the same parenting page as you are. They tell Marcus the same things we do, but since it's not coming from parents' mouths, it's heard differently. I guess you can say he's learned to tune us out and is pretty good at it!

We are so ready for the summer! As always, we'll be doing our best to keep Marcus active and stimulated, both mentally and physically. We already have some family 5K runs planned, so we're going to do our best to continue to be healthy right alongside Marcus. Amongst all the activities and adventures we'll encounter this summer and all future summers, one of our top priorities will always be keeping Maia's memory alive, and with purpose. She will always be an inspiration, and it's our mission to continue inspiring others.

Since 2015, the summer months have taken on a new meaning for our family. In other words, it's almost time for the 3rd Annual Heart of Maia Toy Drive!!! We're currently working out the details, so please stay tuned!!

Thursday, June 30, 2016

It's Toy Drive time!!!

The 2nd Annual Heart of Maia Toy Drive


From NOW until the end of SEPTEMBER!

UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital

Donate new unwrapped toys, books, and stuffed animals
for kids ages newborn to 17 years old

*** Ideas for toys - think of toys you would get your own kids, friends' kids, nieces, nephews. It does not need to be expensive, you can also check out clearance sections for good deals, and let stores know you are shopping for a toy drive/charity and you may get a discount (doesn't hurt to ask)!

Drop off toys at the following locations:

Gold Medal Martial Arts
Foster City - 999A Edgewater Blvd., Foster City, CA
Burlingame - 1333 Howard Ave., Burlingame, CA 
Belmont - 390 El Camino Real, Ste. F, Belmont, CA 

Talbot's Toyland
445 South B Street, San Mateo, CA

544 San Mateo Avenue, San Bruno, CA

Putnam Lexus
390 Convention Way, Redwood City, CA

If you would like to donate toys and are not in the local San Francisco Bay Area,
you may purchase toys online (Amazon, etc.) and ship it to:
Heart of Maia - 1347 Marlin Avenue, Foster City, CA 94404

For monetary donations,
Please make checks payable to: UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital and write on note/memo Child Life Department - Heart of Maia

Credit card donations can be made online at:
UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Donation Page
You can designate your donation to ("other") Child Life Department,
in Memory of Maia Mead

It's not too late! If you would like to have a collection box and help collect toys in your area or business, please email Rizza at

Thank You

Disclaimer: Heart of Maia is not a non-profit organization. All proceeds and donations
collected from this toy drive go to UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital.