In 2017, we announced the first-ever Gift of Nothing Day, an annual occasion to celebrate the true meaning of gift-giving. Based on Patrick’s bestselling children’s book The Gift of Nothing, this day recognizes the most important gifts of all: time, creativity, and friendship. It’s celebrated each year on (or around) December 15.

Since then, many teachers have written to us to praise the holiday’s message, and to tell us about the Gift of Nothing activities they’ve shared with students and loved ones.

One of those teachers is Raphael Pantalone, a former art teacher. In 2017, in partnership with his local Barnes & Noble, he hosted two Gift of Nothing-themed events for students, in which the kids decorated boxes and bookmarks with messages of love and friendship.

Recently we were enthused to find out that Raphael, now retired, is still celebrating the Gift of Nothing Day by sharing the gifts of time and creativity with his community! This year, in honor of the holiday, he created a giant mural for Frankie’s Friends, a low-cost community vet clinic and cat sanctuary in New Kensington, PA.

“Each of the larger-than-life cats I painted from Frankie’s Friends highlights their stories and personalities,” Raphael writes. “During the hours I spent painting, I was amazed by the love and dedication of all the workers, volunteers, and caring people in the community. ‘The Gift of Nothing’ helps us to appreciate the beauty and caring around us, and inspires us to be a part of it.”

Raphael sent us a few photos, below, showcasing his beautiful paintings. (Notice one of the kitties has a rather familiar pink sock.)

We are in awe of Raphael’s generosity and hope that his spirit of giving inspires others to celebrate the Gift of Nothing Day in their own unique ways.

Comments (3)

So beautiful and adorable !!!


I just love this! When communities gather ‘round for a common good and inspire so many in countless ways! ♥️♥️♥️

Valerie Jenkins