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Name: Richard Dengel

Favorite Charity: The Portable Playhouse Inc.

Website: www.theportableplayhouse.org

This charity was started by my fiance and her sister over eight years ago. They discussed doing something in their community that would help make a difference. I was amazed by their enthusiasm and energy. This organization has touched the hearts of tens of thousands of women, children, doctors, nurses, parents....

Their program allows them to bead with every child and woman recovering in hospitals and outpatient cancer centers, no matter their limitations. Every patient gets to discover the joy of beading and unleash the artist within...I am amazed and delighted by the stories she and the other volunteers tell me about the reactions from all the patients and the volunteers. I have often heard comedians comment that they have the world's best job as they make people smile. Well not to take anything away from them, as God knows we need all the smiles we can get in this world, but when you go to see a comedian perform you expect to smile and laugh. These wonderful people at The Portable Playhouse go to hospitals and cancer centers and work with people who are often at their lowest point emotionally as well as physically (and some unfortunately are dying) and they take these people and help them to find their smiles. All this through the art of beading. The Portable Playhouse is an art therapy program that uses beading as the art medium to help patients relax, reconnect with their inner self and rejuvenate their spirits. While they are beading they are not thinking about their illness and they relax, and when you are relaxed your immune system works better. They also have a 100% success rate because every one of the people they have worked with was left with the completed jewelry they themselves made and more importantly, a big smile.

I now help bead with people who come into our little shop/office while my fiancé and the many other Portable Playhouse volunteers are working in the hospitals and cancer centers in several states. I can now understand the therapeutic value you get by beading. My fiancé would tell me these remarkable stories, on how the patients would light up when completing a beaded piece, but I could never fully understand until I experienced it for myself.

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