Tuesday, February 20, 2018

More Powerful Smiles

“Use both hands,” nurses and staff urge a young patient with a bandaged hand. They encourage him to do so during all of his daily activities, ranging from drinking juice to eating some snacks. The one time they DON’T need to encourage him though is when he’s playing video games!

Two key themes that we strive to uphold are that every card counts AND to make sure that there’s no such thing as a pediatric department that’s too small. In regards to the first point, we’ve discussed it many times before, but one of the reasons we use #everycardcounts is that we believe each card is important because every place we partner with promises they’ll deliver all the cards room to room. As for the too-small aspect, we’ve professed our love for some large hospitals, but we strive to partner with hospitals that often get overlooked. With us, we can send a package any size to anywhere!

Thanks to you, we’ve been growing and have been able to do a bit more than simply provide cards for the kids we cherish. On February 1st and 2nd, we delivered our first GO Karts to hospitals in Phoenix, AZ and Providence, RI. Delivery to our hospital in Augusta, GA is coming soon. Here are a couple more pictures from those deliveries:

During the delivery to Maricopa Integrated Health System (MIHS) in Arizona, the staff were telling us how the kids are all so excited when they receive our cards. They mentioned how the two main hospitals in the area primarily get all of the donations for pediatric patients, and since they’re smaller and often work with patients and families without insurance, they get less donations. We’re working to change that! We believe there’s no such thing as a hospital that’s too small, #nosuchthing.

For some more background, since everyone at Cardz for Kidz! volunteers their “free” time, we can primarily focus our donations on rewarding hospitals. How it works is that we always ask hospitals to send us pictures of children, family and/or staff with their cards to ensure we still have the right contacts and so we know that all the cards are still being delivered room to room, #everycardcounts. Thankfully MIHS has been sending pictures each quarter. In addition, UBS has donated over $4,000 and 2000+ cards (2,029 to be exact) to our organization, so in order to thank both groups we donated a GO Kart to MIHS in UBS’s name.

These GO Karts align with our passion of making sure that kids who are confined to their rooms can still feel uplifted.

In conclusion, thanks to your contributions we have been able to consistently grow and deliver MORE POWERFUL SMILES to all types of people impacted by children’s stays in the hospital. Together we’ll keep uplifting spirits!

To see more pictures and stories, please check out our website www.cardzforkidz.org; 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!

Thursday, February 15, 2018

You Decide Who's Happy

We’ve written about it once before, but here’s another blog post to highlight our annual March Gladness competition! How it works is that we take advantage of a portion of one of our main hashtags, #everycardcounts. We ask schools across the country to join in and make uplifting, homemade cards. Then, whichever school makes the most cards that meet our guidelines gets to select the city where we reach out to for our next hospital/home/shelter!

For some background, they can’t just be any standard card. In order for them to count for this competition there are a few guidelines:
  • We need to receive all the cards within the month of March, #MarchGladness
  • All of the cards need to be signed with the artist’s name AND their school (e.g. from your pal, Brian at DePaul University – last year’s winner)
  • If there’s a tie, then we’ll add on quality to the voting – quality and quantity

Most people would assume that whichever school wins would simply pick a hospital or home in their immediate location, but that hasn’t been the case. During the first event, the University of Michigan won and selected Philadelphia. At the time, we didn’t have any hospitals or homes there. We reached out and heard back from the shelter, Women Against Abuse, and the hospital, St Christopher. Then when DePaul University won, they selected Flint, MI, which was struggling with a water crisis and now we’re partnering with Hurley Medical Center in light of that.

As you can see, we have a pretty extensive presence across the USA -- 37 states to be exact. We still feel that needs to expand, but we’re not exactly sure where that should go. Should we reward groups who have been participating a lot and get more hospitals/shelters in their area OR should we simply work to expand to get more locations and possibly get more groups to join in since we’ll have a hospital in their area? Either way, based on our discussions with staff at the hospitals and directly watching kids open their cards, we know wherever the child is that gets your card, they’ll be more than happy. Now it’s just up to you and your classmates (or former classmates if you get an alumni association) to take control because if you guys win our March Gladness competition, YOU DECIDE WHO’S HAPPY. Please trust us when we say the families, staff, and children will be thankful you selected their city!

#youdecidewhoshappy #marchgladness #everycardcounts

To see more pictures and stories, please check out our website www.cardzforkidz.org; 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!

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Every Child Counts

We think we’ve mentioned this in a prior blog post and we know we’ve mentioned it on our social sites, but since this is SO important we found it necessary to provide another reminder. Since this is so vital and we’re so very passionate about it, unlike the other blog posts we’re not going to wait for the last paragraph to give away the title. We’ll state it right now. Just like every card, EVERY CHILD COUNTS.

Here’s where the background comes in: For one of our main hashtags, #everycardcounts, we’re highlighting how it has a dual meaning. 

First, we say that we keep track of all the cards, but on a much more vital note we think that every card is important. They all count. They’re all worth it. One of the reasons why is that hospitals all promise to deliver the cards room to room so you know your card is making an impact.

Now, here’s where we’re switching it up a bit. We want to make sure people know that not only are the cards important, but any and every disheartened child deserves to have their spirits uplifted! No doubt about it! That could range from being an in-patient undergoing cancer treatment to simply an outpatient who’s battling seizures from their home. In addition, we’re sending cards to schools after traumatizing events and to homes for physically or sexually abused children.

So yes, we understand that some conditions may not be life-threatening. And people may think some illnesses or situations may be worse than others. But to us, we feel we need to continue to search for hashtags and/or locations to find as many children who aren’t happy as possible. Then with YOUR HELP and with YOUR CARDS, we’ll strive to uplift as many of those kids’ spirits as possible.

Throughout 2017 we were able to deliver over 45,000 cards to children in over 20 countries. We’ll continue to work to increase both of those numbers because no matter what their condition, Cardz for Kidz! believes that EVERY CHILD COUNTS and deserves to have their spirits uplifted! 

#everychildcounts #upliftingspirits

To see more pictures and stories, please check out our website www.cardzforkidz.org; 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!