Tag-Archive for » San Diego California «

October 15th, 2010 | Author:

To increase exposure for my 2010 Teddy Bear Christmas Fundraiser for kids at Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego, California, I am offering a link exchange with anyone who would like to be a part of this amazing charitable event.

There is no cost involved. It’s FREE advertising with little to no effort. Here’s how simple it is.


  1. Send me your logo and website URL via the email link on my website CONTACT page.


  1. In return, I will send you my logo and URL to my 2010 Rady Bear Christmas Fundraiser page.
  2. I will be redesigning my website home page to include a special place for all link exchange participants.
  3. From now until December 4, your logo/link will be on my home page, which is the deadline for donations for the fundraiser.
  4. After December 4, I will move your logo/link to the specific 2010 Rady Bear Christmas Fundraiser page where it will remain indefinitely.


My logo and link to my 2010 Rady Bear Christmas Fundraiser page must remain on your website home page or blog home page until December 4.  After that, you can move my logo  to another page or remove it from your site altogether although I hope you would continue to keep it and redirect the link to my Pencil Bugs home page.


2009 Rady Children's Hospital Teddy Bears deliveryWith the help of people around the world and my own money, I was able to raise over $5,000 which enabled me to buy 1800 teddy bears for the kids. With just 7 weeks left, I have a long way to go to top that success but I believe with your help, we can do it. Any other promotion or publicity you can help with is always appreciated.



Note: I reserve the right to refuse an exchange with inappropriate websites or blogs. This is G-rated so thanks for your understanding.

September 28th, 2010 | Author:

Signing books

Last Saturday, I did my first book festival in Mission Viejo, CA. It was a great setting in a park. We had the perfect tent location. We had extra time after we set up before it started. It didn’t rain and the weather was warm, very warm. Everything was good until about 1 or 2 p.m. when the crowd started to thin out pretty quickly. The temperature was rising all morning and by that time, it was around 100 degrees, maybe higher. Most people just couldn’t take walking around very long. Thankfully, the volunteers came around throughout the day delivering bottles of water to all the author booths so that helped a lot. Plus, we were extra lucky in that our booth didn’t have any direct sun all day.

We met some really nice people, made some good contacts, and I had lots of fun signing my books and selling my Pencil Bugs.

Favorite author board

Throughout the exhibit area, they had large blackboards  where people could sign their names or answer the question that the volunteers wrote on each side. One of the questions was, “Who is your favorite author?” Well, as you might expect, it was too much of a temptation for my parents to write my name on there so they did. Of course I had to get my picture beside it then.

While it was fun having an author booth, next year I would like to be one of the author/speakers.  I have already suggested that the organizers consider having one time slot strictly for young authors to present. Needless to say, when you have a chance to speak to your customers in a comfortable setting and tell them your story and talk about your book, book sales tend to increase too. It’s like I said in my last post, it’s all about selling yourself which will help sell your product.

Overall, it was a good experience. If you haven’t bought an autographed copy of my book yet, please check it out on my website or you can browse through a few pages on Amazon’s Look Inside feature. A portion of every sale goes toward my Christmas Teddy Bear Fundraiser for kids at Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego, California.


December 14th, 2009 | Author:

On Saturday, December 12 my parents and I finally finished tying donation tags on 1800 bears that we will be delivering to Rady Children’s Hospital on Friday, December 18.

What started out as a small fundraiser in August to raise enough money to buy 250 teddy bears for kids in the hospital for Christmas, exploded into a gigantic success!  27 very large bags and five boxes later, I never imagined it would have turned out this well.

There are so many people to thank for helping me make this possible.

  • My parents, Don and Nancy O’Neill, for EVERYTHING they do to always help me.
  • Catherine Garcia of KNSD TV in San Diego, California who interviewed me for their news the week of Thanksgiving. Because of the interview, MSN picked up my story and donations started flooding in from around the world.
  • Every person who donated money to help buy bears.  From $5 – $500, every dollar received was used to buy bears.  Including my own donation, the grand total received was $5,130 which bought 1800 bears.  A complete list of generous supporters can be found on my Pencil Bugs website.
  • Lisa Vinton and Darcy Jones of Only2Degrees in Temecula, California who made a few calls and found several people willing to donate a truck so that we could deliver the bears to the hospital.
  • Rachel Mason of Hemet Hospice in Hemet, California who donated their organization’s truck, driver, and time. Rachel was so excited to be a part of my Christmas project that she is even coming with us on delivery day.

One of the most fun parts for me was opening up box after box to see what type of bears we received.  We ordered an assortment of bears which made it interesting.  Each box was a surprise but the biggest surprise was when I opened a couple of the last dozen boxes.  We didn’t expect to receive Santa bears but we got about two dozen assorted Santas.  Then to top it off, there were three large yellow bears that looked a lot like Winnie the Pooh so I’m sure three kids will be very surprised and happy when they receive those bears.

After we had finished with the first two shipments of bears (1100 total) and had tied donation tags on each one, Mom put together a short video with highlights. Stay tuned for the video update after the big delivery.

November 26th, 2009 | Author:

As many of you know, I’ve been working on a project since August to raise money to buy teddy bears for kids at Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego, California.   My original goal was to give 250 bears to the kids for Christmas.   At the beginning of this week, I did an interview with KNSD TV (NBC) in San Diego.  After the news segment ran, MSN.com picked up the story and donations started pouring in.  Within a day, I had raised enough to buy 1700 bears!  I could hardly believe it.  Kids were donating $5 and $10, companies were donating larger amounts, and a group of three 8th grade students in Michigan donated their bake sale money.  But today, on Thanksgiving of all days, I received a special donation from three soldiers stationed in Iraq.  They read my story and decided to donate.  I was amazed but it meant even more when I received this email from one of the guys.  He gave his permission to share it on my blog.  It means a lot!

Remember to thank our military guys.


I am Staff Sergeant (name withheld for privacy reasons), curently serving in Iraq.  I saw an article about your donation of teddy bears to kids in the hospital and felt that in addition to a donation I should write you this email.



Hopefully you know already how incredible your achievments have been thus far.  The fact that you have chosen to give back to others less fortunate than yourself is what makes all of it truly extraordinary.  Your friends and family are no doubt proud of you beyond words.  I wanted you to know that others are proud of you as well.

I, as well as my fellow soldiers, are often asked why we are willing to do the things that we do.  While most everyone has a different answer, I believe I can speak for most when I say that one of the primary reasons is in order to protect the American way of life.  In this current age filled with people looking out only for themselves, or expecting things from their country that they have neither earned nor deserve, it is refreshing to see someone carving their own path while giving of themselves at the same time.

Many adults in your shoes would concentrate all of their effort into their profit margin without a thought for others less fortunate than themselves.  I can’t tell you how glad I and my teammates are to see that the American spirit is alive and well in our younger generation.  Please keep up the good work.  I will keep you and your family in my prayers.  My teammates and I wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors.  Take care.


SSG (name withheld)
November 22nd, 2009 | Author:

As many of you know, every quarter I donate part of my proceeds from Pencil Bugs to buy toys, games, books, and other activities for kids at Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego, California.  For Christmas, I try to do something extra special for the kids by having a fundraiser.

This year, my goal was to give 250 bears to Rady Children’s Hospital.  With the help of generous people on Twitter, Facebook, and also family and friends, to date we have received almost $750 which along with my own money is enough to buy 300 bears so far.  With the deadline of December 1 approaching, I hope to be able to buy even more.

We hear lots of negative things about teens today but there are also many who are making a difference in a positive way.  Here is a perfect example.

This past Friday, I received a very generous donation from a group of eighth graders at Detroit Country Day School in Beverly Hills, Michigan.    Their teacher, Kathleen Mencotti, sent an email explaining she taught a Service Learning Class.  A group of three students, Adrienne Yu, Sarah Matthews, and Maggie Pyett held a bake sale to raise money to buy bears for their local hospital.  As they were running out of time to complete their project, the students took it upon themselves to search Internet to find someone who was already doing the same thing they were to see about contributing the money they raised.  They found me and read about my hospital bears project for Rady.  They generously donated their bake sale money of $119.

Young adults have many opportunities to do amazing things.  They just need to have the drive and the heart to do it like these students in Michigan.  I am so grateful for everyone who continues to support me, my business, and my charity work but I especially get excited when other kids want to help also.

Thank you very much!