The Pirates Charity Foundation recruited a local business, 3 Rivers Marine to assist with a good deed and introduce an amazing young boy to the joys of fishing.
Known as Pirate Santas throughout the Northwest these philanthropic Pirates make regular monthly visits to children’s hospitals. This led them to a grassroots organization that provides a comfort/teaching tool to children with a variety of ailments with different types of medical apparatus needed to survive. The tool is Tubie Friends, a stuffed animal with the same medical apparatus as the child. Tubie Friends has provided over 3,000 stuffed animals to children in need all over the country and these numbers continue to grow.
One of the motivations behind Tubie Friends is a young man (Caleb) with Autism and a surgically implanted feeding tube. Caleb’s mother Shannon is one of the founders of Tubie Friends. Prior to it becoming and official organization, she made both of her children Tubie Friends. Her daughter was four at the time and upset that her brother Caleb (age two) hurt every time his feeding tube (prior to being implanted) was touched. Shannon made the Tubie Friends to help her children understand what the equipment would look like and how it worked. Over the years the type of feeding tube Caleb has used has changed and each time Shannon made him a new Tubie Friend.
In 2012, they contacted tube manufacturers to try and get products to start helping other families out. It became so popular that they ended up creating a system to request a Tubie Friend and the organization was started. Eventually Tubie Friends partnered with The Pirate Charity Foundation.
With the help of his mom, Caleb has been a motivating factor in easing other children’s pain with the Gift of a Tubie Friend. He helps at events, sewing, and promoting the organization. Additionally he has delivered Tubie Friends to his doctors at his hospital and has even taken them to his classroom to show classmates what his tube looks like.
Caleb’s goal is just to be like other kids his age. He had a desire to learn to fish and over the last two years saved enough money to buy a small rowboat. He now needed a small motor for the boat and that is where The Pirates Charity comes in. They received a donation of a motor but it did not run. 3 Rivers Marine stepped in and donated the repair job to help a selfless young man realize the joy of fishing.
3 Rivers staff along with a couple “Pirates” presented the motor to the unsuspecting little boy (Caleb) last Friday November 10th.
For more information on the Pirates Charity Foundation visit www.holiday-treasurechest.org.