Sunday, November 29, 2015

Changing The Rules

Here’s some background information. We actually have TWO sets of judges who select the OVERALL TOP 10 cards every quarter. Our primary judge is a librarian at a children's library, as well as a story teller to grade school children across the state. After narrowing down the 50+ cards to about 15, she calls in her husband for support. If we’re unable to connect with her, then we work with another set of judges. Our primary contacts has been with us since some of our original events in Chicago. What sparked our connection with them was during our first ever Pledge Allegiance event where we made 149 cards and she had one of the Top 10!! When she’s working on finalizing the Top 10, she calls on her imaginative mother to help out. One consistent factor between the two is that they’re both interested in their communities and they’re both very creative.

For the Q3 2015 judging, we worked with our second set of judges. They were looking among the 35+ final cards. They opened and read every card. Slowly, they began trimming down the finalists. After a while they noticed something similar between the cards. The majority of the messages ended with “Love, Diane.” For you competitive folks who are a bit upset you didn’t make it, we gotta say, “Sorry, we warned you with the On Their Own blog post!” At that time, Diane Kalata had a streak of 4 consecutive quarters with having a card in the Overall Top 10. Then, the last 3 quarters, she had multiple cards in the Top 10.


This past quarter, Diane had her best performance of all time, 5 of the Top 10! That’s EIGHT quarters in a row with at least one of the Top 10 cards.

She made the 3D Sesame Street, 3D Animals, Green Monster, Checkered Zebra AND the Superstar card!!

After finalizing the Top 10 this quarter, this set of judges decided that even if one artist should have all 10 of the Top 10, there should be a maximum of 3 by one person.

No matter what guidelines are in place are in the future, we’re thankful that Diane sparked the judges into CHANGING THE RULES. If she makes more cards like these we’re not sure they’ll be able to limit it to 3!!!!



#ChangingTheRules #UpliftingSpirits

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

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

On Their Resume

Kind of impressive…..

  1. Independently planned and launched a fundraising event for Cardz for Kidz, a local certified non-profit organization that impacts hospitalized and/or traumatized children. Event successfully raised nearly $7,000 and those funds were instrumental in helping the organization create their website, www.cardzforkidz.org.
  2.  Initiated and led a new service event where 6+ offices across the nation worked “together” to impact disheartened children; due to impact on the community and improved employee morale, received documented recognition from global executives.
  3.   Successfully created and led a new company wide community service event where employees created impactful cards for disheartened children across the globe; initial events produced over 250 cards.
  4.  Volunteered to edit blog posts and advise Cardz for Kidz, a certified non-profit, on social media and search engine optimization strategies.
  5. Designed custom handmade cards for disheartened children across the nation; based on the effort and intricacy, card was voted the #1 card out of the 1,927 cards Cardz for Kidz received in Q2 2015.
  6. Independently planned and executed office wide community involvement days; events improved employee morale and within a year the Norwalk office created over 100 cards for disheartened children across the globe. Based on effort was flown out to Chicago to meet with global executives and interact with pediatric patients.
  7. Independently planned and executed campus wide community involvement days; events improved student morale and within a year my organization created over 100 cards for disheartened children across the globe. In addition, based on the effort and dedication, I was able to get my school officially recognized on the Cardz for Kidz! website alongside other world-renown universities and corporations.


Did you start a Cardz for Kidz!  event at work or in your free time? If so, did you put it on your resume? As you can see folks can write some impressive stuff! From what we know of those individuals, they started events due to their interest in helping children. But, as we touched on in a prior post, Right Results, for us, it’s not as important WHY people launch Cardz for Kidz! events, rather the results of those events – uplifted spirits. Thankfully, we got the best of both worlds with those leaders.

OK, so we’re impressed by the individuals who start events with their groups and it looks great on their resume or LinkedIn profile, but we’re also amazed by the companies that proudly participate. Especially since we’re still such a small non-profit…very few people have heard of us. 

Therefore, we’re thankful when companies agree to let us put their logo on our site, pose and send pics for a Facebook album, or any other way we’ve designed to recognize groups.  On top of that, we’re grateful these companies purchase art supplies for their employees and pay for shipping the cards to us. It’s clear, similar to some of the individuals we quoted above, they’re investing their time to uplift the disheartened children, rather than simply trying to improve THEIR “RESUME”.

p.s. Please visit our website, www.cardzforkidz.org/how-to, if you’re interested in starting an event with your group….and yes it’ll look nice on your resume! J

#OnTheirResume #UpliftingSpirits

To see more pictures and stories please check out our website www.cardzforkidz.orglike us on Facebook page, follow us on Twitter , visit our Google+ page, or visit our LinkedIn page! Also, check out some of our videos on YouTube!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

League of Their Own

As always, we want to be 100% open and honest. Here’s some background on how we laid out and labeled our website. If you check out our “Participants” tab, we originally decided that participants would be grouped into Silver (anyone who makes a card), Gold (100+ cards), and Platinum (500+ cards). We created this breakout since it didn’t seem the title “Bronze” was valuable enough for amazing cards. We were thinking that Gold was good, but people could potentially make more, so we created the Platinum for those that created 500+ cards.

Then, we were discussing things with the web designers and thought, ‘What if there’s a group out there who can make 1000+ cards?’ At the time, that was hard to believe since only a couple groups had even made more than 100 cards and we were ASTONISHED when Cervantes Kids held a large event and reached 561 total cards!!!

Here’s a breakout we sent to the developers back in Q1 2014.





Thinking about it, we decided we should create an even higher level. The only thing we could think of that’s more valuable than Platinum was DIAMOND. After we created the layout there were even more internal discussions. Some of the board members felt that the DIAMOND section should be down at the bottom of that page since NO ONE was going to get there in a LOOOOOONNNGGGG time. They felt people would simply glance at the page, think nothing was on it, and move on. Some of us kept our fingers crossed and thought what if!!

Thankfully, some of us were wrong. Kforce joined in full force. We were astonished with their results and made sure to note that in our last participation video, in Q1 2014, Cervantes Kids’ 350+ cards in a quarter was record setting, but Kforce’s 675 in Q2 2014 smashed that record.

Plus, they’ve consistently been making large groups of cards.



For a second, we were a bit scared we lost them. Our original contact at Kforce no longer worked for the company. We’ve seen that happen a BUNCH of times – our main contact leaves and although EVERYONE LOVES making cards, that group’s participation stops. Not with Kforce. Not only did they keep making cards, but they also taught their kids that making cards is important too!!! J

 

All in all, thankfully participation has grown and we’ve had multiple groups make 500+ cards, but so far Kforce is in a LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN because they’re the only logo up in our DIAMOND section!







p.s. If you don't believe us about them being the first logo up there just let us know! We can show you ALLLLL the emails back and forth with the web developers trying to figure out why we couldn't get a logo to stay up there! :) 

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


Saturday, November 14, 2015

Socially Active


Here we go again! More 100% openness and honesty! When Cardz for Kidz! originally started, we weren’t expecting there to be a website and/or for us to have actual Cardz for Kidz!  email addresses (e.g. info@cardzforkidz.org). Not sure who has it, but originally, we wanted our standard email address to be cardzforkidz@gmail.com. Unfortunately that was already taken so we made it makecardzforkidz@gmail.com. In order to stay up to date on all the social activity we linked that account to our personal email addresses. Now here’s where the honesty comes in. At times, we think we’re personally cool based on our Twitter activity, but actually, A LOT of that activity is for Cardz for Kidz! and is sparked by Elizabeth Pittelkow.


Since we’re visual people too, here are some examples:





Yes, there were some notifications we received from hospitals and/or other groups (Girl Scouts tweet wouldn’t fit in the screenshot). You’ll see @pittelkow either liked, mentioned, or retweeted a tweet about us four times within a couple days.

OK, so now there are some people who are “haters” and may try to claim, “Look at the small sample size AND you know what?!?! Only a THIRD of those are Elizabeth’s tweets!! PLUS that screenshot doesn’t include a bunch of tweets from @GirlScouts that you can’t see!!” Yes that’s true, but let’s not forget that she’s contributed to Cardz for Kidz! in many ways! Here’s an example:



Elizabeth helped spark and retain our connection with AICPA. Sorry “haters”, three more of the tweets from our screenshot were sparked by an AICPA tweet. This was on one of their cards:
                Q) What does a nosey pepper do?
                A) Gets jalapeno business!

So by adding those tweets were at approximately 50% of the tweets in the prior screenshot.  If AICPA wasn’t enough, we have the entire blog post and verb for Arrowstream and Elizabeth was a big part of that group too.

Based on her consistent participation on impacting the lives of disheartened children across the globe, you can say she’s SOCIALLY ACTIVE and giving back to her community.  If you look at the amount of tweets, retweets, replies, and likes, once again, you can say she’s SOCIALLY ACTIVE and has a great presence in social media. Either way you look at that phrase, we’re thankful!


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

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Southern Hospitality

Southern Hospitality

(Deep thought) “Hmmmmm…….that’s weird, I don’t know.”

We’re still trying to figure out exactly what’s going on, but one thing we know for sure - there’s something a bit different/weird/special/unique/odd/interesting about one of our latest additions, Children’s Healthcare of ATL.


Maybe this image will help! These are all the hospitals that haven’t responded to us (yet, we hope)…



We intentionally made it small so you can’t see the hospitals that haven’t responded! Trying to be nice just in case!!


So it’s hard to see, but that’s 76 hospitals we’ve reached out to with no response (and that does not include hospitals who said they didn’t want to receive cards). A couple of times, we were actually able to get a hold of someone, but they didn’t know what to do. They passed us around a bit, and then promised they’d call back. Then there was another time when we reached out to a hospital via Twitter. The Twitter team told us they’d love to get cards and told us who to contact. We reached out a number of times……no response.

Although it uses up day time minutes, and rarely works, we always try to leave voicemails when we reach out to hospitals.

Once again trying to be nice ad blocking out their names. J

So we followed the script. Called Children’s Healthcare of ATL. They didn’t answer. We left a message. Marked it on our excel chart. Planned to call them in around a month.

Then, within a couple days, we got a call from Melanie on the volunteer team. She APOLOGIZED (our jaws hit the floor) for not answering and calling back sooner. We gave her a brief rundown of Cardz for Kidz!, our mission, and the requirements. After we told her that we double check every card to make sure they do NOT say ‘Get Well Soon’ she was excited and agreed that they’d like to receive cards. Although they’re bigger than hospitals we usually partner with, Too Small No Such Thing, we learned it’d be great for all sides since we guarantee all our cards are appropriate. After that we pinky promised we’d try to send them 100 cards a quarter and 30 of those cards would be in Spanish and they pinky promised they’d be delivered room to room.

OK, so one may think, “wait wait, they’re not THAT special, you’re two for two with Providence Health Services!! That’s impressive!!” We agree it’s impressive. You should’ve seen how far our jaws dropped when we called Providence Health the second time and they answered the phone!! No need to leave a message or anything like that. Impressed. It’s just Children’s Healthcare of ATL has done so much more.


But wait, the uniqueness doesn’t stop there. Let’s do some math. Now, if you figure in the fact we’ve been doing this for 5 years TIMES hospitals per quarter TIMES multiple packages per quarter EQUALS A TON of shipments. In addition, with some of those shipments we’ve sent other special gifts, such as Beanie Babies, TVs, DVDs, and DVD Players. Thankfully, with some of those shipments, we’ve received some Thank You cards.



Do you see a common theme? Yeah, all of those green cards are from Children’s Healthcare of ATL. Although they’re a large hospital and likely get all types of donations, they’ve reached out to us little guys to thank us for the “artwork” you created!

Alright, last unique thing. One time while we were in Atlanta, we stopped by the hospital to drop off some cards. In other cases, they have simply asked us to leave it at the front desk, but not our buddies. When we arrived, they sent two volunteers down to thank us and pick up the cards!



OK, so we know this is different/weird/special/unique/odd/interesting and we’re still trying to figure out why they’re consistently so nice. You know what? Maybe all the songs and phrases are true. Maybe Children’s Healthcare of ATL is just the definition of SOUTHERN HOSPITALITY!

#SouthernHospitality #ForeverThankful #UpliftingSpirits


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