A Trixi, a Shmoop and a Monster

by Tory Dube

I first met Orly in 2010 when she called me in to audition for her first film, ‘Kindness Boomerang.’ I specifically remember wearing ridiculously uncomfortable shoes that made me further question why I agreed to travel so far for a casting that was non-paying and quite possibly, a waste of my time. I even recall trying to scheme up an excuse as to why I ‘couldn’t make it,’ as I sat on the long ride from Queens to Brooklyn.

Obviously, I was way off. I was wrong because Orly gave a speech about her vision for Life Vest Inside during that audition that has since stayed with me, and.. because I have been nominated for an Oscar for my role of ‘flower vendor’ in the ‘Kindness Boomerang’ film. (Joke.) But in all honesty, while walking back to the train in my absurd footwear– I emailed Orly and told her that regardless of her casting decision I needed to know more about Life Vest Inside and I needed to be involved.

I am still captivated every time I am in Orly’s presence. She possesses a passion that lets me wholeheartedly believe our world can be a kinder, gentler, more generous place- and what is a better feeling than that? I’ve been a volunteer with LVI since my first trek to her Brooklyn home, so when developing my next project it seemed like an obvious choice to give back to the woman and organization that has made me feel at home so far from my family in New Hampshire. With the sales of my first children’s book, A Trixi, a Shmoop and a Monster, I will be donating 20% of the profits to Life Vest Inside. Congruent to the values LVI promotes, our story is a quirky tale about three seemingly different characters who unexpectedly become friends– all the while illuminating the power of kindness and encouraging self-empowerment.

I created A Trixi, a Shmoop and a Monster after recognizing the children I worked with became fanatical over certain characters and concepts in other children’s books. Wanting to create something that was equally enjoyable for kids– while including an embraceable and effective message for its readers to latch on to– I composed a touching, ridiculous, silly tale that achieves it all. Marina Vasilevsky, my magnificent illustrator, has brought the characters to life more beautifully than I could have ever imagined. Written for ages 3-7, a time when young children are starting to define how they interact with their peers and the world, the book aims to instill the invaluable and forever applicable lesson that there is an undeniable and contagious power behind every act of kindness.

In addition to the book, with the help of Orly, I have created a follow-up ‘Kindness Curriculum’ that officially introduces and emphasizes the the concept of ‘living kindness.’ Through a variation of art projects, take-home ‘missions’ with the LVI famed Acts of Kindness Cards, and imagination-inspiring games– children feel the rewards of a good deed while improving communication skills, confidence and self-value. We believe ‘bad children,’ and ‘bullies,’ do not exist. People who act out in hateful and hurtful ways solely lack confidence, self-value and a trusted confidant. Through kindness and the inspiration and empowerment that comes from seeing one’s contribution, self-value and human connection are what will change negative behavior– not punishment and embarrassment. It takes one act, one tiny moment of selflessness, to affect someone else and I want children everywhere to have the chance to feel the power behind their actions. Ultimately, through this lighthearted tale, I hope to show children that their strongest muscles is their heart and it can get even stronger through ‘living kindness’ and spreading love.

A Trixi, a Shmoop and a Monster will be ready for distribution in late December 2012. And, as mentioned, 20% of all proceeds will be donated to Life Vest Inside! Our website is www.LovelyThankYou.com, there you will find more information and the link to the fundraiser we are holding throughout the month of October. You may also venture directly to the fundraiser by going to http://rkthb.co/10569. We need to raise $10,000! Every contribution, small or large, is a step towards our goal. Please take a moment to look at the beautiful little faces in our informational video, I promise you’ll enjoy it.

As Orly has illuminated so vividly through her continued efforts, one can never underestimate the power of an individual and his or her ability to produce positive and effective change.  I am forever thankful for my fateful meeting with Life Vest Inside, and Marina and I quite excited to reveal our efforts and get the chance to affect such a wonderful organization.

Thank you for reading! Keep it Kind, my friends. 🙂


Tory Dube

———————————————————————————————————–Author Tory Dube hails from New Hampshire and has spent the last 5 years in NYC as a writer, actor,    comedian and whatever else she can get involved with. In 2009 Tory created the annual Summer Sizzle with Charna’s Kids club at the Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital for patients and their families. Currently Tory volunteers with The 52nd Street Project’s Smartpartner program and with Life Vest Inside.


Illustrator Marina Vasilevsky grew up in Isreal where she illustrated her first children’s book. She is currently working as a fashion designer in NYC and of course, is the visual creator of the adorable Trixi, Shmoop and Monster characters! 🙂

On a personal note, I would like to thank Tory for all of the hard work and effort she has put into this fantastic one of a kind children’s book. I have read it personally and was blown away by the powerful message and the creative, fun and entertaining manner in which Tory tells the tale. For all those who believe in the power of kindness and have been touched by Life Vest Inside in some way, I ask of you to give what you can in support of this AMAZING project! 
Visit http://www.rockethub.com/projects/10569-a-trixi-a-shmoop-and-a-monster TODAY! Please share this link with friends and family – every little bit makes all the difference. Thank you in advance.