Thursday, April 24, 2014

Long Lasting Impact

Here’s an outline of Cardz for Kidz!.
1.       Inside Scoop!!! The founder did NOT think of the name, Cards for Kids! The first event was set up for a conference in 2010. He decided to simply get attendees to partner with kids from church to make cards for patients at the hospital he volunteered at, Lurie (at the time known as Children’s Memorial). The people from church said he needed to create a title. Interesting. But the founder wasn’t creative enough to think of a good name. Some other participants decided to call it Cards for Kids.

Unfortunately, neither of the groups at the first event decided to ever hold another event! L We tried to orchestrate more events with either of those groups, but to no avail.
2.       Then in 2011 he took it to work. These events started to pick up around the agency. First, one sister company, located in the same building, joined in. Then another company from upstairs, Mindshare, made cards on their floor. Of the 3 companies, Mindshare was the only one who held another event.

As often happens in the advertising industry the two Mindshare employees who led the first events moved on to other companies. Cardz for Kidz! was over, right? WRONG!  Not sure exactly how she learned about it, but soon after another Mindshare employee started hosting events. She created office wide events which led to the production of over 45 cards!! Another transition followed and she left the agency as well. That’s the end right? WRONG. Within a quarter another TEAM reached out stating they started a new committee and wanted to host events again. This team was able to quickly host an event and produced 70+ cards. In addition, several of them attended the ‘Pledge Allegiance’ event! #thanks

Amazing how with some groups if one person does not take the lead and plan it for everyone, nothing happens. Some folks may say ‘wow it’s just an amazing company culture’ OR ‘they clearly just hire plenty of nice people’. No matter what sparked the successful transitions, we’re thankful! 

As of April 15, 2014 well over 50 groups have hosted Cardz for Kidz! parties. No matter how many more groups join in, Mindshare will always be the 4th group to ever host an event. And since so many people have stepped up to help, we’re sure Mindshare will continue to have a long lasting impact on our kids!

Currently Mindshare has produced 293 cards!

#upliftingspirits #passthebaton #longlastingimpact

To see more pictures and stories please check out our Facebook page, follow us on Twitter , visit our Google+ page, or visit our LinkedIn page! Also, the websites coming soon,!!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Too Consistent

“Okay now I’m just confused.”

“Here’s this group I’ve never heard of making all these name changes!”

People are still trying to learn the spelling of Cardz for Kidz!  (Z rather than S) and we’re adding on more elements! Yes…we understand it’s confusing because we’re adding so much before we even launched a website. But even with those questions we’re still making sure we have all THREE Cardz __ Kidz!:
  • Cardz FOR Kidz!: This is our #1 focus. The goal is to get homemade/custom cards into children’s hands while they’re going through difficult periods or events. This can range from children battling cancer to students impacted by a school shooting. Also, one of the locations we have sent cards to on a quarterly basis, Orangewood Foundation, is a safe haven for kids who have been physically or sexually abused. So no matter how many more services we add (i.e. art boxes or even scholarships in the future) our title will not change.

  • Cardz FROM Kidz!: We’re partnering with a couple of locations where we can reach “solemn seniors”. We’ve sent a total of 93 cards to elder residents of Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly and Salvation Army Booth Manor. Thankfully they’ve replied with a total of 162 cards. So we’re making sure child participants have the option to reach seniors or other children.

  • Cardz WITH Kidz!: This is our way of “rewarding” hard work. Since we’re still in the growth phase we can’t provide any type of special/expensive “gift” for amazing art projects. As our reward we invite the top artists (if we can get a hold of them) to come make cards with patients and their families at Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago.

Two consistent themes throughout the names are Cardz and Kidz. Our overall goal is to impact children. This can range from them feeling encouraged knowing their helping someone’s grandma, all the way to them believing they received a gift from a friend. We’ll always associate with two things, Cards and Kids, because we believe there’s no such thing as Too Consistent!

#upliftingspirits #tooconsistent

To see more pictures and stories please check out our Facebook page, follow us on Twitter , visit our Google+ page, or visit our LinkedIn page! Also, the websites coming soon,!!

Friday, April 11, 2014

When We Grow Up

What do you want to be when you grow up?

                          A Doctor                                                    A Teacher   

        A Lawyer              an astronaut                  A Football Player   

                      A Ballerina            A Derivatives Analyst for a Global Investment Bank[i]

Do you remember those days? When you used to ANNOUNCE to teachers, classmates, or family members exactly what we wanted to do in the future. Okay since Cardz for Kidz! is about to celebrate its 4th birthday we can start making proclamations. We want to provide a scholarship. Here’s a story that fueled our desire:

In high school I had a 3.8 GPA and since I was a part of several extracurricular activities, I actually got into the University of Michigan on a full tuition scholarship. I remember being sooo excited when I got the letter!! I later got admitted into the Ross School of Business after my sophomore year!! On top of that, I was invited to be in some of the business school brochures!! My world was so perfect.  #AMAZING


July 12, 2004 (yeah still got the date memorized) was the first time I was rushed to the Emergency Room. After the first set of testing I was told that I had a BRAIN TUMOR. In tears I immediately went to my academic advisor and told her that I was going to take a year off. After a slew of tests including every letter in the alphabet (PET, MRI, WADA, EEG, etc), I was told that I needed to have Brain Surgery (BS). The part that was operated on is the area effecting short term memory and/or speech. After all the testing and disputes with insurance, the actual surgery took place on August 5, 2005. Because of the scholarship and fear of falling even farther behind, I decided to return to school in September 2005. However, there was a tiny bit of difficulty getting the scholarship reinstated. Thankfully I knew someone, who knew someone, who knew someone that was able to expedite the process. Within a couple weeks everything was all set (to this day I’ll never forget receiving the call from school when the administrator guaranteed that he personally would look into my situation and make sure the scholarship was settled ASAP).

Studying, taking notes and doing homework less than 30 days after having the portion of the brain operated on that controls short term memory was a wee bit difficult. One thing that I’ll always remember is trying to remember the 4 P’s of marketing.

“Product, Place, Price”…..can’t remember the last one. I would read through my notes “PROMOTION”! Then I would try again. “Promotion, Place, Product”….once again couldn’t remember the final P. It took a LONG time before I was able to get all 4. That was before I tried holding on to S.T.P., Multiple/Combined targeting approach, Primary/Secondary target and a couple other distinctive characteristics. I still remember looking down at my first post-surgery exam and immediately getting disheartened. As expected my grades plummeted after the surgery; out of the 20 post surgery classes, I only got 2 A’s – both in Communications courses. Nearly half were a B- or below.

But let’s think about it. What if the surgery would have happened in high school? Then I wouldn’t have been able to play sports, while doing extracurricular activities and retaining a strong GPA. Thinking about it, I’m lucky that my scholarship and everything was ALL set before the whole brain ordeal began! I know there would’ve been no way to get any financial assistance with the grades I would’ve been able to make after my BS.

Participants name was removed due to HIPAA regulations.
It is these types of stories that inspire us to start a grant/stipend/scholarship for youth who have been hospitalized for a week or more. Grades will not be the determining factor for eligibility; rather it’s the students’ desire and diligence to succeed or continue despite their hardship that will be considered.

Don't worry we're not getting our priorities mixed up:

  1. We want to get more Cardz for more Kidz!. That’s our name and always our #1 goal!
  2. Purchase art supplies and DVD players for small hospitals!
In summary, uplifting the spirits of current disheartened children will always be our goal, but WHEN WE GROW UP we’d love to reach kids/former patients in more than one way.

#upliftingspirits #whenwegrowup

To see more pictures and stories please check out our Facebook page, follow us on Twitter , visit our Google+ page, or visit our LinkedIn page! Also, the websites coming soon,!!

[i] (yeah you remember that kid? We intentionally didn’t give’em pretty font or bright colors J)