"Hi. My name is Ike Nwankwo and I'm the president and founder of Cardz for Kidz!. (He sighs).
(A couple quiet claps and the group leader responds). "Hi Ike, you're welcome here."
OK that was a hard public admission for me. So maybe not as difficult as someone opening up about an addiction (e.g. alcoholic), but it was still a bit stressful. Unlike other posts where I hide behind “we” or ‘patient privacy’, this entire blog post I’m going to write as “I” or “me”. I think next week’s blog post will be even more stressful, so I’m starting with this one first to provide a bit of background.
Not sure exactly what inspired it, but ever since I started Cardz for Kidz! I’ve been dedicated to staying behind the scenes. So yeah, if you find me on LinkedIn you’ll see it under my profile, but for a while that was the only way you could glance and see it. The reason I’m FORCED to open and provide this background information is I’m a man of my word. During the end of last year I decided that I should be DEDICATED to making Cardz for Kidz! SIGNIFICANTLY grow. Since its 2015, I choose our goal should be an average of 1,515 cards a quarter for a total of 6,060 cards this year. In order to inspire myself to keep connecting with more groups, I set up a tiered “punishment” for every quarter.
In Q1 we missed our goal of 1,100 cards (received 891 cards). My requirement was I had to make my name blatantly open on the site. A lot of websites for non-profit organizations have a personal tab telling the story or providing background information on the founders. With the original design the only way you could see my name was if you scrolled over the “send us your completed cards” text. When you hovered over it, the text plopped down and my name and address showed up. Stuck with our agreement and just left my name and address at the bottom.
In Q2 we made our goal of having a total of 2,350 cards (or 1,250 cards that quarter received 1,927 cards). Nothing. I didn’t have to do anything to open up since we not only met our quarterly goal, but made up for falling short in Q1. I was going to have to use the story I’m going to touch on next week in order to get new groups and hospitals to join in.
In Q3 we missed our goal of 1,760 cards - only received approximately 650 cards :( My requirement is I have to open up and write these blog posts admitting that I’m the founder, then another admitting how personal health situations inspired a portion of Cardz for Kidz!, room to room delivery.
Finally, if we miss our goal in Q4….I have to contact a couple newspapers or websites and tell them my story. I’m believing with your help this won’t happen, but I’m thinking I’d reach out to what was formerly known as the Ann Arbor News. During my special summer they wrote an article about a bowler who had her best bowling game AFTER undergoing brain surgery. I still have that article laminated and framed.
So these posts explain some of my personal experience and how that directly correlates with Cardz for Kidz!:
- When We Grow Up & All Done – yeah that was tough and I’ll touch on it next week
- Work Together – only 1 office, besides the one I work at in Detroit, has made cards consistently so I’m going to try another big group activity
- Right Results – let’s keep our fingers crossed, I’m reaching out to all of them and inviting them to come to Lurie
So if you think your group or others will benefit or be inspired to make more cards if they knew my story, please feel free to share it. Right now we need nearly 3,000 cards this quarter or I have to reach out a bunch. And I will. I understand I can’t be selfish and for the kids’ sake I need to find a way to get MORE cards to MORE children. If we’re not able to reach those children organically and simply word of mouth, I’m willing to open up. Feel free to spread the word about this organization because my SECRET’S OUT.
(Gentleman sits down. Lets out another deep sigh. Wipes sweat off forehead. And thinks to himself – ‘hope this help.’)