My Dear Friends,

How is it possible that we have survived the last few years? It feels as if we should consider ourselves lucky simply to be alive and we should all take a collective exhale. The loss has been devastating and I try every day to remember the good. It has brought to light what really matters in life and that is, each other. It has shown us, the material world is just that, material. Life is about what we have stored in our hearts, not under our roofs. It is about what we can do for our neighbors and those that we love. While I am still traumatized by all that has happened, I am grateful for the clear and present lessons learned. All lives will remain, forever changed.

It was hard not to get letters to Santa for the first time in nearly 20 years. I missed it more than I can say. We did collect and distribute over $20,000 in gift cards and in one special needs school, we miraculously got personal gifts for each and every child, thanks to an angel named Regina. If Direct Effect has anything to be proud of, it is blessed in the angel department. Thank you for being one of them.

We will continue to collect gift cards for the next few months and get them into the hands of those most in need. We have identified many different avenues of need, including neighborhood refrigerators and pantries, so gift cards to grocery stores would be most appreciated. 

Please consider supporting our Kickstarter campaign as it will directly benefit our program putting mindful meditation into schools. The campaign is not doing very well, even with a conservative goal. With your help, there is still a chance and no donation is too big or small. Once school has resumed, you will be able to sponsor classrooms as well. I am very excited to be able to offer this program in a fun and unique way and I think children can benefit from it now more than ever before.

There is also amazing news about our meditation pillow. We gave one to an autistic young man who has a sensory processing disorder and is often hard to comfort. He fell in love with the pillow, please see the video below. We have also sent them to a number of other children and young adults with sensory processing issues. Thus far, we are getting very good feedback and it makes me so happy. I created this pillow to help me deal with pain and to know that it can help children suffering really makes the pain all worth it. If you have a child/young adult you think could be helped and comforted by this pillow, please let me know and I will be happy to send you one. All I ask is for your feedback on it and I would be so grateful.

I am also seeking an attorney to help us obtain a patent on the design. If you know one who would consider helping us, please let me know. We have hundreds of attorney elves  through the Chicago Bar Association as well as their young lawyers group. They have been with us for many years and have served many  thousands of children in need. Again, we have no shortage of Angels.

May we all get through the coming months and learn to find a sense of acceptance and peace, while we hold those we love just a little closer. None of us are guaranteed tomorrow and living in the moment has never been so important. If you love someone, let them know in all ways possible. This, you will never regret.

Thanks for being you.

With Love and Gratitude,

Michelle DiGiacomo 
Direct Effect Charities 

PS we will be sending out tax receipts for your donations by the end of the month. Amazon will not provide us with the addresses of donors so we sent reciepts through them. If you don’t receive a receipt but would like one, please let us know! My hands don’t work well enough to write, so Sammy the Elf will be sending them out for me from the West Coast where she remains living and is still working as a postmate, as well as an assistant to a professor. It’s not quite the dream job she imagined straight out of college, but it’s keeping her going and I’m so proud of her!
Donations can be made using Zelle with our phone number 312-296-5311 or Venmo @direct-effect-charities. We no longer have a PayPal account due to it being hacked. Checks and gift cards can be mailed to;
Direct Effect Charities 
4044 N Lincoln
Chicago, IL. 60618

Pillow Talk Pillow, testimonial from a sweet young man



“I ask myself, how did this happen?” Letterman said. “And I’ll tell you how it happened. It wasn’t because of me. It was because of hundreds and hundreds and perhaps thousands of people who helped me. And I would just like to say, we have to help each other or nothing will happen" One of life’s absolutely universal truths, he said, is the great feeling we get when we help other people. “If you help someone, in any way, big or small, automatically you will feel good about yourself.” 

 ~David Letterman~

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