Thursday, May 18, 2017

Take A Break

“Why should we?”

That’s not a question we have heard from potential participants, but, still, we felt we should prepare ourselves just in case. Usually, when we’re highlighting why groups should join in, we think the better question is, “why shouldn’t you?!?!” We talk to groups about how it’s really cost efficient way to give back! During some of our events we’ve noticed there was approximately a $0.30 cost per card expense and that will likely decline over time since you won’t have to buy markers and/or scissors each time. Very efficient. Then we can highlight how it’s a ton of fun. It’s not often that people get to revert back to drawing cartoon characters and searching through their cell phones to find the hottest jokes and/or trying to recall if the Minions have names.

But this time, we want to show some facts that are outside of our statistics and opinions. Research shows that having employees and/or students doing relaxing things throughout the day (e.g. making fun cards with classmates and/or coworkers) can increase productivity. First, while browsing the internet, we found on article on that highlights that taking these types of fun breaks can increase productivity. The article quotes that these, “breaks are particularly re-energizing if workers spend the time doing something they enjoy.” Something they enjoy—we’re bias, but we think using glitter pens to impact kids across the globe is a perfect fit! In addition, we found another article in the Huffington Post that highlights similar findings, and an Atlantic article that says exactly how long those breaks should be. Taking time to step aside and make a creative card could be a perfect fit.

Now we’ve shown some factors about how creativity and taking breaks from the computer are a good fit, but we also want to show some background on why Cardz for Kidz! is a good fit directly. Once again, while doing some research we learned that these days employee turnover has been slightly increasing. 

In addition, as quoted by a post on TinyPulse, 1 in 4 employees would be willing to leave their current company for simply a 10% raise. One way to improve loyalty is to improve employee morale and engagement. When researching some of the best ways to do that we googled employee engagement and found a story on - this highlights the 10 best ways to increase employee engagement. Please understand we didn’t ask them to include it, but if you check out the list, number nine is volunteer together! One example, making cards for disheartened children! 😊 Then again if we check out this blog post on JustWorks we see that of the top 10 ways to improve employee morale, at least six were directly related to group events;  volunteering, themed potlucks, decorating contests, team swag, include families (bring a child to work day), and change the way you operate (celebrate accomplishments – Top 10).

In summary, hopefully, after reading this post, it’ll be a bit harder for people to answer our question, “Why not?” Not only is it efficient and fun to put together an event, but there’s data that shows it’s very rewarding. Therefore, when your group make cards it could range from setting aside a couple hours and getting everyone to work together OR simply having art supplies around so people can slip away from their desk whenever they need to TAKE A BREAK - based on the research, sounds like either way should work!

#takeabreak #upliftingspirits

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Thursday, May 11, 2017

Perfect Pair

Sorry for all of the confusion about how Cardz for Kidz! is growing! At first we told you what we wanted to be When We Grew Up—able to issue scholarships to former patients. Next, we briefly shared about what we wanted to do in our pre-teen years—Long-Term Impact Across the Globe. Now, while those are both still part of our future plans, we’re going to introduce one more objective. Something a bit more immediate. Something we’re going to start fundraising for this summer!

We were so close to initially describing our partnership with the Gamers Outreach Foundation as being “a match made in heaven.” We both have a similar mission of reaching children unable to leave their hospital rooms—and we were established in the same state: Michigan. However, the only thing that wasn’t heavenly was our inability to agree (financially) on how much this partnership would cost us. In case you don’t want to click on the link and check out their website, we’ll provide you with some background information right here. The Gamers Outreach Foundation is an organization that puts TVs and Xbox gaming consoles on custom portable stands—called “GO Karts” (Gamers Outreach Karts)—and donates them to hospitals across the country.

Now here’s why we were initially so excited to connect with this foundation. Thankfully our financial donations started to increase; so, we decided that since we had more than enough money to cover some of our global card shipments, we could start to do a bit more. 

Children in the UK opening up their first package of cards!

If you’ve followed us for a while you already know we’re PASSIONATE about the young patients confined to their hospital rooms. Therefore, as donations increased, we began to think of a way to donate portable TV+video game consoles to hospitals that could go from room-to-room—just like the cards you make! At first, we reached out to one non-profit and they told us it would cost $5,000 for one of those systems. We tried to explain how we’re also a non-profit and we don’t need our name on them—we’re just trying to help the hospitals, but they refused to listen. Then we talked with some connections about potentially building our own portable TV+video game console systems, but didn’t get very far because they stated that there were so many restrictions and requirements. Finally, our founder went on Facebook and posted on his personal account about his DREAM to provide younger patients confined to their rooms with fun and uplifting video games plus other activities. The next day, a former classmate replied to his post with information about the Gamers Outreach Foundation and their special GO Karts!

Even more amazing: the Gamers Outreach Foundation is based in Michigan and their first GO Kart donation was to C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital—the very same hospital where our founder’s passion for volunteering was birthed, while serving there in middle school!

After some further discussions between the founders of both organizations, Cardz for Kidz! had no choice but to agree to pay the full price of $3,500 per GO Kart. To put things in perspective—dating back to our first event in 2010 to where we currently stand in 2017—there have only been THREE times where we’ve received over $3,500 in donations! Still, we will try to purchase at least one GO Kart this year!

The Gamers Outreach Foundation’s GO Karts.

So, with your generous contributions, we’ll be able to not only continue to send cards to children all over the world—from Australia to Ghana to the United States—but also be able to begin donating these GO Karts to some of our partner hospitals that do not have large play rooms or resources for their young patients (see #TooSmallNoSuchThing). At the end of the day, we’re two non-profits that are dedicated to helping uplift the spirits of children. We’re hoping we’ll be able to raise the funds so that, Cardz for Kidz! + the Gamers Outreach Foundation can still be the PERFECT PAIR. We appreciate your donations to help us raise funds for these GO Karts; please support us with your donations on either of these websites:

More information about our fundraiser this summer, Pledge Allegiance, coming soon!

#PerfectPair #UpliftingSpirits

To see more pictures and stories, please check out our website; like us on Facebook; follow us on Twitter and Instagram; visit our Google+ or LinkedIn pages! Also, check out some of our videos on YouTube!