Tag: little citizens

Meet Lilyanne | 2017 Inspiring Little Citizens Finalist

Meet Lilyanne from Asheville, North Carolina. A young budding artist at just 4 years old, charismatic Lilyanne is as charitable as she is creative. When asked “what is something you would do to make someone who is unhappy at Christmas time feel better,” Lilyanne responded “I would paint them a pretty picture.” And that’s just what she did. In fact, she didn’t just paint one…she spent months painting 150 8″x10″ delightful works of art.

Then, with the help of her mom, she wrapped and hand delivered each painting to local nursing and assisted living homes and communities on Christmas Eve.

Lilyanne Inspiring Little Citizens Finalist

We were so impressed, that we wanted to hear more about the inspiration behind these paintings, so (with the help of her mom) we asked Lilyanne a few questions.

Tell us a little bit about the pictures you painted…when you first sat down to paint, how did you decide what to fill the blank space with?
I wanted to use lots of pretty colors that would make people happy. I painted them in layers, one color at a time. “I liked making complicated pictures”, were Lilyanne’s exact words.

Your paintings are so colorful and lovely! How did you decide who to gift them to?
My mama and I decided that we really wanted to give my pictures to people that needed some holiday cheer. I love my Pop Pop, my Nana and my Great Grandma and decided I wanted to give my pictures to grown ups. I wanted to give them to people that didn’t have anyone to spend Christmas with, because everyone should get a present at Christmas time–even grown ups!

I bet you’ve made a lot of new friends at the local nursing/assisted living homes you’ve donated to. Can you tell us about some of the friends you’ve met?
Everyone was really nice to me. It took us all day to give away my pictures, because everyone invited us in to visit. I got to watch everyone open their present. I got a lot of hugs, cookies, candy and even a stuffed bunny. But my favorite part was making people smile. A lot of the people sent me thank you cards, and I really liked that because I love getting mail and making friends.

How does it feel to know that your paintings are brightening people’s days?
It makes me feel happy. I wish everyone was just happy all of the time.

You’ve decided to use your donation from Tea to help make sick kids’ dreams come true through Make-A-Wish. Do you think you’ll continue to make your paintings as a holiday tradition, either for the kids at Make-A-Wish or for the friends you’ve made at the elderly homes in your community?
I do want to keep doing my paintings for people at Christmas time. This year, I want to make them for the sick kids in the hospital so I can cheer them up. I don’t like it when I’m sick, so maybe I can help them feel better. I hope I make lots of friends when my Mama takes me to bring them to the kids.

And there you have it! With a ways to go until the holiday season, Lilyanne is currently helping her mom raise money for Make-A-Wish Central Carolina. With your support and Tea’s contribution, together we can help them towards their team goal of $100,000 and personal goal of $1,000.

Head to TeaCollection.com and shop through August 3rd to show your support and give back to this great cause!

Lilyanne Inspiring Little Citizens Finalist

Meet Cash | 2017 Inspiring Little Citizens Finalist

Meet Cash from Marshall, Minnesota. He may only be 7 years old, but young Cash is quite the little entrepreneur. On a mission to help critically ill kids and their families get access to the medical services and support they need, Cash has been passionately raising money for the Ronald McDonald House since before he could walk through his service project, Cash’s Cans.

Cash Inspiring Little Citizens Finalist

What do cans have to do with helping children in need? We asked Cash’s family, and they let us in on the whole story…

How did the idea for Cash’s Cans come about?

Cash had an extensive hospitalization including multiple surgeries as an infant. The Ronald McDonald House, Upper Midwest provided a warm and comfortable stay for us during this difficult time. For his 1st birthday party, we asked guests to bring pop tabs (which the Ronald McDonald House collects and turns in to generate revenue for their programs) and wish list items for the Ronald McDonald House in lieu of gifts. Following that outpouring of support, Cash’s Cans was born!

For those who aren’t familiar with the organization, the Ronald McDonald House provides a home away from home for families to be together during a health crisis. This includes a warm place to stay and rest, a place to do laundry, a home-cooked meal, etc.

His mom recalls just how supportive they were during the family’s time of need…

When Cash was critically ill we were 3 hours from home. The Ronald McDonald House literally became our new home for three months – a safe place, with compassionate caring staff there to support us while we cared for Cash.

Ever since, Cash and his family have continued to show their deep appreciation for the Ronald McDonald House through the form of donations. Cash himself holds annual wish list drives (typically on or around his birthday) and collects pop tabs year round. He also distributes small pop tab collection houses to encourage others to save pop tabs.

Cash Inspiring Little Citizens Finalist

By our calculations, Cash has collected over 6 million pop tabs! Does Cash partner with schools or restaurants to collect pop tabs?
Cash has collected and donated 4,690 pounds of pop tabs or approximately 5, 590, 480 (we stand corrected) individual tabs. Pop tabs come from a variety of places that partner with us including several area schools, businesses and organizations. Cash’s Cans Facebook page has also helped get the word out. Cash has collected pop tabs from almost every state – often pop tabs are anonymously dropped off at our door or mailed to our house. His project has also inspired lots of his friends to save. 

How has Cash’s Cans made a difference in your lives?
Cash’s Cans has provided a simple, yet impactful way to give back, assist families with sick children and encourage others (no matter their age) to help others.

It’s clear to us that Cash loves helping others, so we asked him what he loves most about the work he’s doing and what it’s taught him…
It feels good to save pop tabs and help people and sick kids. Even kids can help others. More people should do what they can to help those in need.

With Tea’s contribution, Cash plans to continue his contributions to the Ronald McDonald House, Upper Midwest. Head to TeaCollection.com and shop through August 3rd to help him reach his goal!

Cash Inspiring Little Citizens Finalist

Pack Their Bags | Back-to-School Bags + Books They’ll Love

It’s that time of year again…summer is winding down, and little citizens are getting ready to head back to school. Whether it’s their first year or their fifth, the first day of class is always full of newness and excitement. But that same newness—new faces, new teachers, new schedules, new lessons to learn—can also be a little overwhelming, even a little foreign. What better way to ease those first-day jitters than to gear them up with a cool, new backpack filled with familiar goodies and globally-inspired books?

Fall Back to School Backpacks

Flying Scot Backpack | Scots Triangle Backpack | Scotland Garden Backpack | Moggy Cat Backpack

Whether they’re feeling bold and floral, or bright and graphic, our back-to-school packs (in fun new prints) are just what they need to start their new adventure in style. Choose a favorite print, then check out these Scotland-inspired favorite reads. They’re great for passing time on the bus, and some you just might recognize.

Haló from Scotland!

Here at Tea, we want to give kids the world, to help them discover that no matter where we live or what our families look like, there is so much we all have in common.  We travel to discover. To dream. To explore the wonder of the world around us, across the globe and across the street. Since 2002, we’ve traveled to far flung places, always inspired by the people we meet and the things we see. Wherever we go, from Bali to Norway, Morocco to Japan, we take in all we can and bring it back to our headquarters here in San Francisco to design globally-inspired clothing for all little citizens.

Making The Foreign Familiar Every Day :: Meet Amanda Freerksen

Here at Tea, we believe in making the foreign familiar, across the globe and across the street…Opening children’s eyes to the wonder of the world around them. Showing kids that, when you get down to the heart of things, we have a lot in common with other citizens of the world. And while a trip halfway around the world might instantly make the foreign familiar, it’s important to remember that you don’t have to go far to experience new sights, sounds and tastes!

Amanda Freerksen, of the blog Queso Suizo, (and one of our Tea Ambassadors!) shares with us a bit about her family, how they came to love Tea and how she strives to make the foreign familiar for her two kiddos at home.


Tea friend and Foreign Correspondent Terumi Pong, of An Emerald City Life, spent 6 weeks traveling through Australia with her husband and two littles. Follow along as she shares adventures from her family’s dream trip on Studio Tea. 


Meet Marcie Cheung, mother of two and author of  Marcie in Mommyland, a family travel blog featuring tips and tricks for parents adventuring with littles. Follow along as she shares with us her family’s recent journey through Paris.