Tag Archives: kids helping others

Be the first to write a review!

Now that Book Five is available to my readers, I am hard at work on Book Six. For me, writing is the fun part, but getting my books into the hands of readers is a different story. (Pardon the pun.) That’s where I struggle.

Although I am running advertising campaigns on Amazon, I don’t always get the results I hope for. I have come to realize that having lots of reviews is an important component of sales promotion.

That is why I am inviting the followers of this blog and anyone who stumbles upon it to read my book for free. I am willing to send a free copy of Book Five to the first twenty readers who are willing to write a review and post it on Amazon. I am looking for honest reviews from people who have read the book.

If you would be willing to help me out, send  an email to contactme@handyhelpersbooks.com. I will need your address so I can send you a book. Looking forward to hearing from you soon.

Rosemary Heddens


If you are wondering what this book is about, here’s a clue.

In this book, Laura is presented with an opportunity to do something that will make a difference. Challenged by her teacher to “be the change you wish to see in the world,” she reaches out to a lonely woman who works in the cafeteria. The effects of this act go far beyond what she would ever have anticipated.


Our Children: Our Legacy of Hope

meetamaker_hailey-fortTo say that our children are our future sounds trite and obvious. Nevertheless, they are the ones who will someday be making the decisions that will shape the course of future events. Kids today are often portrayed as spoiled, entitled and lazy–more interested in communicating on social media than interacting with the world around them.

I’m sure that is true of some young people today, as it has been true of every generation that has gone before them. Unfortunately, we are more often exposed to the negative than the positive.  With that in mind, I would like to make a case for the optimistic future I see ahead of us.

I believe children today are more tolerant of individual differences. When I was growing up, we were sheltered from anyone who was different. People with mental, emotional and even physical disabilities were hidden away. Now we embrace and celebrate those who have special challenges to overcome. They are our heroes–not something strange to be feared. Our kids have been raised in that atmosphere.  Not only are they tolerant, they are reaching out to help where they see a need.  When Hailey met a homeless man in her community she decided to build him a little home. With only minimal help from her family (mostly in the form of advice) she build a house with windows, insulation and solar panels. That would be quite an accomplishment for someone of any age, but Hailey is only nine years old. It would have been so easy for her to say, “When I grow up, I want to help the homeless.” But Hailey didn’t wait until she was grown up. She saw a need and went to work doing something about it.

An eleven-year-old named Lily watched her grandfather who has Parkinson’s disease struggle with drinking from a regular cup. She could have very kindly helped him hold the cup–which I’m sure she did. But Lily set to work inventing a cup with legs her grandfather could grasp, enabling him to hold the cup himself.

Unlike earlier generations who had massive sets of encyclopedias, kids today have grown up with technology that allows them to instantly find an answer to any question they might have. They have not only embraced such technology but expect it as part of their daily lives. What will they do when they have questions that cannot be answered yet? I believe they will search for the answers until they find them. They will go on to answer the questions that we have been unable to answer–What causes the common cold? Why can’t we feed everyone in the world?  How can we prevent the spread of disease?

As a Baby Boomer, I have grown up knowing that I was part of a generation that was so large the world had to sit up and take notice of us.  The Millennials are another huge generation. Their impact will be felt around the world. I have no doubt they will be equal to the task ahead.

Real Life Handy Helpers

Scan_20140804Busy kids take time to help others

By Moira E. McLaughlin January 3, 2014

Performing for smiles

“I really like to make people happy and see them smile,” said Alyssa Feinbaum, a fifth-grader at Greenwood Elementary School in Brookeville. For almost two years, she has performed with 15 other kids in a group called the Teen Angel Project Jr., or TAPjr. They sing and dance for sick kids, wounded veterans and nursing home residents. The audition process includes writing an essay about why you want to be in the group. (There’s also a TAP for high school students.)

“They have to have the heart for it,” said Francesca Winch, who founded the group a couple of years ago and whose daughter is a member. “They have to want to bring joy to people.” Recently, residents at a retirement community in McLean smiled, tapped their feet and nodded their heads to holiday songs as TAP performed.

Hannah Marill, a sixth-grader at Herbert Hoover Middle School in Rockville, has been in the group since it began.

“It helps my community by giving people smiles on their faces when it’s not really a happy time,” she said.

Hannah recalled performing at the National Institutes of Health’s Children’s Inn, where sick kids stay while they’re being treated. A little girl from the inn got up and started dancing with them.

TAP “taught me to not always look at the outside, but the inside,” Hannah said. “It doesn’t matter how old you are or what you look like: Everyone can enjoy music.”

Proud to help

Jennifer Taylor, 10, and her sister Kimberly, 9, both students at Beacon Heights Elementary School in Riverdale Park, are working to help people far away. Their mom is from the Philippines, and they have visited relatives there. When a typhoon — that’s another word for a hurricane — badly damaged the Southeast Asian country in November, the girls knew they had to act.

“I just wanted to do this because I felt I had to do something,” Kimberly said. “I know [the Philippines] is one of the happiest places you could ever imagine, and I felt how affected they were and I felt that I had to help.”

“I feel very proud and I feel very great affecting people’s lives and making it better,” Jennifer said. “I feel proud of not only myself but of my sister and my friends for helping. It helped me realize how fortunate we are in America. . . . We’re really fortunate, but you can only realize it when some tragedy like this occurs.”

Collecting shoes

For Jeremiah Mussmon, a sixth-grader at Blue Ridge Middle School in Purcellville, shoes taught him something about the world.

“I didn’t even realize that people didn’t have shoes,” he said. “I thought everyone has a pair of shoes, but then I got to realize that some people are less fortunate, and I just wanted to help.”

Last year Jeremiah’s dad, Chad Mussmon, started collecting shoes at his business, the Little Gym, for a group called Soles4Souls, which helps needy kids around the world get shoes. Jeremiah was the president of the student council at Emerick Elementary School and decided to get the school involved.

“Everyone thought it was a great idea, so we put a couple signs up,” he said. Students donated 2,000 pairs of shoes, enough to line the halls of the entire school. “I just thought that it was amazing that my classmates could help out, too, and it was going to make a lot of kids happy, and it just made me happy,” he said.

Last month, Jeremiah and his family traveled to Haiti with Soles4Souls to deliver the shoes to kids. Each day, they drove to distribution sites to measure kids, wash their feet and then give them shoes.

“At the first distribution site, it was early in the morning. It was a small space. . . . The one thing that was kind of sad was all the kids had cuts on their feet,” Jeremiah said.

Jeremiah’s brother, Graham, 9, was nervous at first about visiting the Caribbean nation. Now he wants to go back and help build houses.

“They were really nice, and even though they didn’t have a lot, they were happy,” Graham said. “It was really fun to help the kids out, and I was glad that I could help them.”

Graham is hoping to get his school to donate backpacks to Haitian kids. When he grows up, he would like to work for Soles4Souls and “go around the world and help people,” he said.

Washington Post: http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/kidspost/busy-kids-take-time-to-help-others/2014/01/02/79e7e9b6-70bc-11e3-8b3f-b1666705ca3b_story.html

An Interview with the Handy Helpers’ Number One Fan


RMH: I heard that you are an avid reader. What are some of the books you like to read?

KIRSTIN: I like Anne of Green Gables, Rizzoli and Isles, Princess Diaries, and Janette Oake. When I was a kid I liked to read the Babysitter’s Club and Sweet Valley High. I’ve been rereading some of those lately.


RMH: Why did you choose to read the Handy Helpers books?

KIRSTIN: The main reason is that my mom wrote the books. I started reading the chapters as she finished them before the books were even published. I’m also her advisor so I have to read the books to give her advice.

RMH: Which book did you like the best?

KIRSTIN: Seven is a Perfect Number. I liked that book because there is someone with Down syndrome in it and I like that character. She kind of like me but different in some ways.

RMH: What was your favorite part?

KIRSTIN: I liked the part where Beth Anne becomes a Handy Helper. Melissa was jealous of Beth Anne and didn’t want her to be a Handy Helper. In the end, Melissa learned that she was wrong about Beth Anne.

RMH: Who’s your favorite Handy Helper?

KIRSTIN: Beth Anne is my favorite character. She is sweet and kind to everyone.

RMH: Who’s your favorite senior?

KIRSTIN: My favorite senior is Mrs. Henry. She is grouchy at first but after she spends time with Beth Anne she changes to a nice, sweet person.

RMH: If you could hang out with one of the Handy Helpers, who would it be and what would you do?

KIRSTIN: I would like to hang out with Amber. She has a special bond with her mom like I do with my mom. I would hang out with her at the mall.

RMH: What do you think readers will gain from reading the Handy Helper books?

KIRSTIN: They will learn that we should all do our part to help others. When the Handy Helpers have problems they get help from their parents or from the seniors. We all make mistakes. We have to learn to overcome them.

RMH: Would you recommend the Handy Helpers books to everyone or is there a certain type of person who would especially enjoy reading them?

KIRSTIN: I recommend the Handy Helpers to everyone who wants to read a good story.

RMH: Have you previewed any of the chapters in the next Handy Helper book, Not a Happy Camper? If so, do you want to give away any surprises from that book?

KIRSTIN: Yes, I have. Here are some surprises. Gus becomes a foster parent for three children.  Beth Anne makes a new friend. Spike gets to be a Handy Helper again after his big mistake in book three.

The Handy Helpers book series is available at Amazon

Meet Betty Jenkins

IMG_0426The first senior you will meet in A Rocky Start is Betty Jenkins and you meet her as Amber does on the second page. She is having trouble retrieving her newspaper from the bushes and asks Amber for help. That’s the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

Betty is a retired mail carrier who moved from Kansas to Bluesky with her husband Paul.  When Paul passed away, Betty made the decision to remain in Bluesky. She has three sons. Calvin is a stockbroker in Oakland, California and has three boys. Sam is in the air force, stationed at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base. Robert, who has two girls and a boy, is a chef in San Francisco.

Amber and Betty quickly develop a strong bond, due partly to their mutual love of art. Betty has a small studio behind her house where she paints landscapes. She sells a few of her paintings, but she gives many of them away. Amber is also drawn to Betty because Betty accepts and supports Amber as she is. While Amber’s family is loving and supportive, they can sometimes be a little overbearing. Betty is more likely to help Amber find her own way through situations.

There are two things Betty is famous for in Bluesky. First is her special chocolate chip cookies. She has a secret ingredient that she never tells to anyone–well, maybe just one person. The other thing Betty is famous for is shuffleboard. She invites Amber to her shuffleboard match at the senior center. Amber brings her friends along to cheer for Betty. Not only do they learn about shuffleboard, but they also discover the opportunity to become junior volunteers.

Betty is the best example of “love your neighbor.” When Doris Duncan hurts her back, Betty is right there to lend a hand. In this way, she is a role model to the Handy Helpers. Mary Snyder’s failed attempts at planting a garden lead her to enlist the help of Betty’s green thumb. Betty is there, hoe in hand, to lead the Snyders toward a bountiful garden.

It is Betty’s sense of humor that draws others–including the Handy Helpers–to her. She has a talent for lightening up any situation. When Amber has a mishap with her spinach salad, Betty tells a funny story on herself to make Amber feel better. Betty is the kind of friend and neighbor everyone would wish to have.

A Rocky Start and all the Handy Helper books are available at amazon