Volunteer With the Firecracker Foundation!

Volunteer With the Firecracker Foundation!

i Jul 26th 1 Comment by

Hey, you.

If you are not volunteering with The Firecracker Foundation yet, this is for you!

This is your step by step guide to becoming a volunteer with The Firecracker Foundation. You can be an active participant in helping children get the therapy they need!

Right now is an amazing time to get involved. In one short week The Firecracker Foundation will be celebrating2 years of fierce advocacy, with a very special event – Stargazing 2015. This event is an amazing opportunity to hear one brave survivor share her story with your fellow community members. This year’s keynote speaker is Lauren Manston- Domino; you’ve seen her face in your 2015 Soulfire Calendar with her beautiful wife as a co-survivor.

Sign up to attend Stargazing 2015 today! The event is free to attend but seating is limited so register NOW to secure your space!

When you reserve your space for Stargazing you will have three opportunities to get involved with The Firecracker Foundation. With multiple opportunities in Advocacy, Volunteering and serving on our Board of Directors, there are plenty of ways to begin your work serving children and teens in your community. Read about all the amazing volunteer opportunities below to decide which position may be right for you!

Can’t attend Stargazing this year? Click here to apply for a volunteer position online.

The Firecracker Foundation Board of Directors
Your Board of Directors pours hours of time and professional experience into strengthening The Firecracker Foundation as a resource for child survivors in your community. Meetings are punctuated with challenging questions, ambitious goals and sincere respect for the lives touched with your support.

Learn more about the wonderful ladies currently serving on your Board of Directors and apply to volunteer your time working with them today!

Advocates are required to obtain a DHS Central Registry Clearance as well as proof that you are not included on either State or Federal Sex Offender registries. To obtain these please visit both www.nsopw.govand www.mipsor.state.mi.us. Enter your first and last name, agree to the terms of use, and click search. Please print the resulting search page from each respective website and send to Info@thefirecrackerfoundation.org.

After you have acquired your clearance you will be asked to complete Firecracker Advocacy Training. *You must be over the age of 18*

Join those who have stepped in to manage the development of the programs and resources that you value so highly through volunteer committees. Each committee member brings professional expertise, valuable insights and a passion for the holistic healing of children.

Program Development Committee – Assist with the development and implementation of the foundation’s programs, including, but not limited to, mental health therapy, yoga therapy, and art therapy.

Finance Committee – Provide oversight for the foundation’s financial policies, financial investments and maintain the highest standards and practices.

Fund Development Committee – Oversee the foundation’s overall fundraising strategy and spearhead sustaining initiatives.

Administrative Committee – Help develop the foundation’s governing documents.

Event Committee – Plan the foundation’s signature events.

Communications Committee – Promote your achievements and inspire generosity through marketing strategies and public relations.

Advocate Committee – Recruit and training the volunteers needed to provide advocacy services crisis intervention in your hometown.

Join us in celebrating all your accomplishments from the past year at Stargazing 2015 on July 31st!

Learn more about us and the work that we do by visiting our website.

You can also follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram for updates and a behind the scene glimpse of all the amazing work you do for children and teens in your community.

Anna Skelton,
Fund Development and Event Planning Intern

Your Stargazing 2015 Survivor Keynote: Lauren Manston-Domino

i Jul 14th 2 Comments by

Dear ones,

You are about to experience your 2nd Stargazing celebration on July 31, 2015. WHOOT!

Can’t make it? Honor the bravery of a Firecracker child with your generous gift right now.

This marks another milestone in your commitment to the healing of children in your community. It also marks the continuation of a powerful tradition of storytelling and solidarity through the Stargazing event. Adult survivors have so much to teach your community about the healing journey. Thank you for saving your seat to listen.

Your Survivor Keynote honors you with a lesson on what it means to heal in solidarity with those in your life who have been impacted by sexual trauma. Meet her here and feel free to comment with a note of encouragement as she bravely shares her story with you.

Always in solidarity, FC

Survivor Keynote Lauren Manston (left) & wife Laurie Domino

Survivor Keynote Lauren Manston-Domino (left) & wife Laurie

My name is Lauren Manston-Domino but usually I go by Ellie.

I am known for a few things, being a therapist for children with autism, always having cat hair in my car, being an advocate for those in crisis, and being a nag when it comes to laundry. But I also have opinions on how I know myself to be;

I am an animal enthusiast, a Game of Thrones marathoner, a reluctant camper, a stubborn daughter, an enamored wife, and “a still working on it” survivor.

Growing up, I was a happy, adventurous kid. I always loved to be behind the lens of a camera and would do anything to make someone laugh. When I was young, I spent school years in Rochester Hills, a suburb of Detroit, building snow forts and catching frogs with my parents and best friend down the street.

During the summer, I would often visit my paternal grandparents in the mountains of North Carolina or visit my maternal grandmother on the sandy beaches of Lake Michigan. As a child and adolescent, my favorite saying was,  “It’s not fair!” and I still fall back on it today. My dad would often reply, “Life isn’t fair,” and I would retort, “Well it should be!” That is how I became interested in law, social justice, and the mental well-being of others.

When I wasn’t playing with my dinosaurs and horses, or going to a bonfire with my friends, I was doing marathons to raise money for St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital or I was spending my week cutting grass in Cork Town Detroit, or hanging out with my 89 year old friend, Jenny, who just wanted some company. I am now a graduate of Michigan State University Honor’s College and have a Bachelors of Art in Political Science (Pre-Law), Psychology, and a minor in Women’s Studies with a focus on sexuality and violence.

During undergrad, I volunteered at a crisis hotline center and at Sparrow advocating for individuals who were sexually assaulted and came to the hospital. It is through volunteering at Sparrow that I met my wife. Currently, I am working on getting a Bachelors of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders so that I can continue my education and get a Master’s in Speech Pathology. I am also a Applied Behavioral Analysis therapist, which is a fancy way of saying that I provide behavior based therapy to individuals with autism and traumatic brain injury. I hope to integrate Speech Pathology and Applied Behavioral Analysis therapy so that individuals with speech, developmental, and behavioral disabilities can experience a more comprehensive treatment plan.


I started working with The Firecracker Foundation as a participant in their 2015 Soulfire Calendar when my lovely wife asked if I would appear as her co-survivor. Since then I have been amazed at what The Firecracker Foundation and Tashmica have been doing for children who have been through more than their share of life hardships. If I had the resources that this organization is providing when I was younger, I believe that I would have been an even happier and more obnoxious child.

In all seriousness, it has been a long road that I have traveled to get where I am today. Throughout my journey, there have been plenty of moments where I have fallen and it took someone else’s hand to pull me back up and steady me as I continued walking. I believe that solidarity is the key to surviving and thriving in all situations in life, but especially when it comes to sexual assault.

As a society, we share the burden and the joy of helping others heal and creating a safer environment for everyone to live in.

Join your community of fierce advocates at Stargazing 2015 on July 31, 2015 at the LCC Planetarium from 7:00 p.m. to 9 p.m. Light some sparklers and walk over to the afterparty at Henry’s on the Square immediately after.