“What if?"……“No never. That’d be too good to be true.”
That’s what crossed our mind when we were thinking about where we ship our cards and about some groups’ requests or requirements when they ask to join in. But before we explain why that crossed our mind, let’s provide a bit more detailed background information then what you can find on our About Us page. When things first started, our founder took the cards that were made and delivered them during his volunteer shifts at Lurie Children’s Hospital. Then as more groups started participating, he reached out to classmates who worked at Sinai Children’s Hospital and Advocate Kids to see if he could send cards there too. After creating a Facebook page he started contacting more hospitals in the Chicago area as more cards were coming in.
Now here we go with some of our honesty, “100% open and honest”. After we started to grow a bit, we realized that we should expand our coverage and get hospitals outside of just the Chicagoland area. The first cities we picked were Atlanta, Cleveland, Brooklyn, and Ann Arbor. Then as mentioned in a prior post, we’ve drastically been working on expanding across North America and making sure that we have an even delivery across the United States.
Now the reason for providing all that background is that we want to highlight why we’re so thankful for groups such as UBS, Kforce and Minnesota State University. Recently, the word’s been starting to spread and a couple new groups have been hearing about our organization. Several of these groups have said they only want to join in if we guarantee to send cards to the hospitals in their immediate communities.
In comparison, with Kforce, their Tampa, FL office simply started sending us cards even though we weren’t sending cards to any hospitals in the state of FL. As we decided we could grow a bit, we immediately reached out to St Joseph’s in Tampa, FL. It’s been less than a year, but we’ve already sent those children 320 cards and that will consistently keep growing no matter where we receive cards. In addition, and the reason Kforce is currently our #2 participant with 1200 cards, what started with Tampa, has now sparked to multiple offices. For example, the Chicago office made 62 cards in Q3 2016 and although we don’t have a hospital in that city, their Dallas office made cards this quarter! And you can bet where we will look when we are able to expand again.
Then, with UBS, their SW region pitched in and in one quarter made over 500 cards. They shipped all of those cards to us even though we didn’t have any hospitals in their area. If you check out our Donate page, you’ll see the participation has been growing, so when we had enough cards and were able to spread west a bit more we decided to reach out to the Maricopa Integrated Health System in Phoenix, AZ. We confirmed we’ll send them a total of 200 cards (a combination of English and Spanish) a quarter and those will all be delivered room to room.
Now, as you can see in the map above we’ve contacted a hospital in Minnesota before, but have yet to set up a connection. If Minnesota State University wins the next MarchGladness tournament, then we’ll definitely have to reward that group who was willing to impact kids across the globe, rather than strictly the kids next door. We can’t even imagine how much more impressive we’d be able to be if there were more groups who were willing to join in and felt that there was NOTHING NEEDED from us in order for them to start. Kids, no matter where they’re located, deserve to smile.
Wow….what if everyone felt that way?!?!