Thursday, August 21, 2014

Quantity of Quality

Diamond – 1,000+ Cards: Not yet
Platinum – 500+ Cards: 3 Groups
Gold – 100+ Cards: 18+ Groups
Silver – ‘Valuable Participants’: 26+ Groups

That’s the breakout of the amount of groups per each participant level,

Based on our experience including delivering the cards, hearing stories from hospital staff, and the fact that each card is delivered room to room, we know every card is important; #everycardcounts. When we speak before events or update the organizer, we let folks know they should put in a little extra time. One reason why is that every card will be placed in a child’s hand.

NRS Global Partners LLC has definitely taken that into consideration - all of their cards in Q2 2014 were amazing!!! To be honest, we were all a bit shocked the judges didn't pick all of them for the Top 10!

Here’s an example of some of their cards:

Since they were all artistic we sent one of their cards to a special patient who lives in Massachusetts.

All of their cards were excellent. So although they’re not a ‘Diamond’ level participant (actually no one is yet J), their QUANTITY OF QUALITY is truly appreciated.

#upliftingspirits #quantityofquality

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

Friday, August 15, 2014

E. All of the Above

While looking through our records it’s clear a wide array of groups have participated in Cardz for Kidz!.  It ranges from elementary school kids making some during indoor lunch recess on a rainy day, to global companies hosting large corporate events.

We promise each hospital that we’ll give them enough cards for each one of their patients at least once a quarter. We understand that people get busy at different times so not many groups can Arrowstream-it and make a card every quarter. Therefore, we always need to connect with new potential participants in order to get more cards.

Below are some different groups we’ve reached out to; each had a different reason to make cards:
  • College students who want to relax after their exam and preparing for their date party that week.
  • Teachers and Professors who are busy and potentially stressed prepping for upcoming classes and reviewing prior assignments.
  • Community group leaders who are interested in giving back to their communities in many ways, but are on tight budgets.
  • Employees at big or small companies who are interested in impacting their immediate community, connecting with colleagues, and improving the company’s image.

Those groups may all be interested in different aspects of Cardz for Kidz! and may not care as much about other portions. So during some of our tweets or flyers we’ve been debating on how we should “position” ourselves.

Which one of these works best classifies the card making experience?
a) Fun
b) Easy & Relaxing 
c) Inexpensive 
d) Impactful

Thankfully making cards for kids in hospitals with friends is a lot of fun. Also, since all you need to do is gather art supplies, you can hold an “event” anywhere and anytime. It’s pretty easy to put together a relaxing event. Then again, it’s important that one does not need to make ANY type of donation or long term commitment to get involved – real inexpensive. But let’s not forget that since each card is delivered room to room and there are hospitals across the country participants are making a big impact.

With all those reasons to participate, we’d have to say E. ALL OF THE ABOVE. Making cards is something that everyone can do since its fun, easy, not expensive, and you’re making an impact! Thankfully we can remind everyone in a special way why they should get involved

Here’s a special quote from a vital part of Cardz for Kidz!.:

Why do you think Cardz for Kidz!. is important?

“It reminds kids that someone is thinking about them and makes them feel less isolated. It’s a fun way to bring people together to do something beyond them.” – Rachel; artist and nurse – connected us to our hospital in Haiti, a potential hospital in Denver and works at one of our key hospitals in Chicago.

#upliftingspirits #eAlloftheAbove

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

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Efficient Ways

Now that we’re a certified 501(c)(3) non-profit we need to keep track of our expenses a bit more. Some may say we should simply keep these details amongst the board, but we’re dedicated to being 100% open.

Here are some expenses:
  •  Logo Design[1] - $0.00
  •  Legal Fees for Preparing State and National Paperwork[2] - $0.00
  • Introductory and Participation Videos[3] - $0.00
  • Smile Video[4] - $0.00
  • Managing Social Media[5] - $0.00
  •  Promotional Advertising to Reach New Companies[6] - $0.00
But don’t get us wrong, unfortunately this isn’t all free. For example, it’s only been slightly over a month and we’ve already spent over $80 in shipping this quarter.

Based on our desire to keep costs down, if you check out our website you’ll notice that currently there’s a page missing,

While taking a closer look we realized that there were a lot of background fees which were hindering our ability to provide other types of goods and services to the children (DVD Players & Art Supplies). So temporarily we decided to pause that page.

On a positive note, our overhead costs (i.e. annual government paperwork) and prior fixed costs (i.e. building our website) have made us extremely thankful for PHD’s Big Hug Event, folks who attended the Pledge Allegiance event, and individual donors.

In the future we’ll get the page up and running again, but in the present we’ll continue to find EFFICIENT WAYS to uplift spirits!

[1] Thanks Arron Davis! Still shocked by how fast you did it!
[2] Thanks to Grace Aduroja, Ndu Ozor and Veronica Farley-Seybert. Don’t know how you did it!
[3] Thanks Adrian Aras, we’re still impressed!
[4] Thanks Dave Harrison, we’re so happy!
[5] Don’t know what we’d do without free times on the weekend and Hootsuite. Thanks Andrea Zimmer for teaching us about it
[6] That’s all you! 100% of new participants have been reached via word of mouth!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Let's Not Forget

Still to this day we remember hearing one of the volunteers chat about how they got into a fight with Snow White at the hospital. Don’t remember all the details, but it was something about who is thebest Disney princess of all time….definitely something worth fighting about! For more of the setting, the hospital had a schedule for people dressed up as Disney princesses to come in and play with the kids.

Disney princesses, something kids love! 

Then again there are other fabulous things that kids love (i.e. One Direction - there’s one company in particular who loves to make cards with those boys on it).

But during this past week, instead of strictly shipping cards to hospitals one of our team members went room to room and delivered them at a local hospital. 

Here’s his story:
“The hardest part about ‘blindly’ delivering cards room to room is you’re not able to ‘prepare’. So I was able to ‘cheat’ a couple times because I saw the family in the activity area and was able to check to see which room they were visiting (one young girl had 10+ cousins in the family center – she got the ‘perfect’ card). For safety reasons patients names were not on the door, so for the most part I simply walked up to the room, knocked on the door, then stepped in. Since I didn’t have a census for each floor I wasn’t sure if there would be a boy or girl in the room and also didn’t know their age!

Based on my repertoire it was definitely the easiest when I stepped in and both the mother and young girl looked at me and said “HI MISTER!” I could simply reach in, grab a pink card and hand it to the child. Smiles all around. The tough part was walking into the room of a patient who had more facial hair than I did. Or walking into a room where when I stepped in the Grandma or mother moved in closer to the patient because one needed to be the translator.”

Something that we truly believe and will continue to be one of our hash tags is Every Card Counts. No matter what the language or what’s in it, the card is truly important since a child will receive it. BUT based on stories from volunteers and employees we understand that we need a couple more cards that young males, 13+ would enjoy. Also….¡necesitamos más tarjetas en Español!  One time we delivered 20 cards to a hospital and only one of them was in Spanish. They immediately wrote back and thanked us for the Spanish card! J

So yes. We agree. It’s great that folks can passionately express their dedication to Belle in an enthusiastic conversation with Snow White while Cinderalla listens in the background, but LET’S NOT FORGET the young men in the hospital. Let’s make some “manly” cards. And equally important, let’s remember some of the patients who cannot speak English.

#upliftingspirits #letsnotforget

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