Thursday, July 19, 2018

Inspirational Service

Do you know the impact you’re having? We promise you we’re trying to show you the best we can, but it’s tough. If you look on our social sites you’ll see they’re flooded with pictures of cards. That’s because we made an official “pinky promise” to post pictures of all the cards that we receive - #solemnlyswear. That way, you know your package has been received, your hardwork is appreciated, and you’ll have an idea of when your cards may be going out. That’s why you’ll see a lot of pictures like the ones below.

We have spoken about it once before, but it’s worth noting that we have to respect the children’s privacy and triple check before we share any of the pictures - #intheroom. Therefore, it’s more likely that we’ll receive pics of the staff than we do pictures of the patients.

Although those pictures and quotes of the kids and staff with your cards is inspiring, we don’t think that’s the best way to measure the difference you’re making.

Let’s think about it - when there’s something that’s amazing for you that you’ve received from someone that touches you deeply, what do you want to do? Share it. That ranges from telling someone to passing it along and doing that same positive thing for others. We’re amazed that so far we’ve had kids in Europe who were going through challenging health conditions ask their parents if they could make cards in return and send us a package of cards. Then we were updated by our Ronald McDonald House in New Zealand that those kids were going to start consistently making cards for our kids here in the states since they LOVED their first package. Here’s a quote from that first email:

One child named Kohen (9-10), was super inspired to make cards after I gave him an excellent card, which was in the shape of a PlayStation controller. He made about 12 cards with his sister Solae (8), and requested that we send the get well cards back to you, in Chicago! I was thinking about getting some more kids to make cards, until we have a good number to send back to you. The only question is, where should we send these cards? Do you often have young people sending cards back to you?

It’s clear that you have some INSPIRATIONAL SERVICE since you’re not only uplifting spirits, but making kids and families so happy that they want to spread that joy on to others across the globe.
Please keep up the good work! We promise we’ll continue to try to find ways to fully express the difference you’re making.

#inspirationalservice #upliftingspirits

To see more pictures and stories, please check out our website; 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, July 12, 2018

Amateur's Impact

Here’s a common response we get when we ask people to make cards: “No, I really can’t. I’m not artistic at all.” We immediately respond with the shortened story about how the patient at Lurie Children’s Hospital interrupted us trying to explain why the card we gave him looked so bad and said, “I can tell he tried really hard.” Even with those explanations, some people still decline. Let’s try this way…. again. Let’s make fun of ourselves.

We’ve said this before, but when describing the history of this non-profit we always say, “We accidentally started it on purpose.”
  • On Purpose – meant to reach as many kids as possible by delivering personally valuable handmade cards.
  • Accidentally – did not plan to start a 501(c)3 certified non-profit that would have several of the largest corporations joining in and helping send packages to kids in 20+ different countries.

A lot of the work for Cardz for Kidz! is done relatively late at night. That ranges from scheduling social posts to responding to emails. Because of this late-night work, there are often mistakes in what’s written, whether it’s using the same hashtag twice or some sentences simply not making sense. To give you proof, here’s a post a friend saw and alerted us about:

It was supposed to be “It’s official we’re NOW…” instead of “Not”. Thankfully a friend noticed that.

Even with all those mishaps there are still positive results from the recipients, groups, and hospitals.

When it comes to our social posts, we often make mistakes, but still we’re getting fans and likes. People still enjoy seeing their cards on social media and kids still love receiving those cards. Therefore, if you try your best to make a card and sign your name and city the kids who receive it will LOVE it.

Is our encouragement still not working? Ok, we’ll keep making fun of ourselves!

So recently we’ve been driving more people to our website. It used to be all the attention and participation was coming from social media, but now based on connections via other sites, we’re starting to get more people coming to – thanks Goods Giving Back! Since visitation is increasing, we do our best to keep our site as updated as possible, but we learned our lesson and here’s proof…

That’s a screenshot from a few weeks ago. We tried to update the text on the About Us page independently. As you can see, everything got messed up and even after trying VERY hard to fix things, we still couldn’t get things to line up. The takeaway was yeah, we can check a box that shows if a group is Silver, Gold or Platinum on the Participants tab, but no, we can’t even try to modify that text anymore. We’re not qualified enough. How it worked out is there was an URGENT email sent to three people who volunteer to help with the site and thankfully one of them was able to fix it.

So, over here you have a team learning about nonprofit leadership on the fly and are simply doing our best to keep the website and social sites up to date to make kids smile. As you can see in the picture above, we’re not qualified to make changes to the website. As mentioned before, there was no experience nor preparation in setting up this certified non-profit. Now, please just read the messages below and you can get an idea of what an AMATEUR’S IMPACT can be. That ranges from starting a small nonprofit to trying your best while making your next card! #everycardcounts 

#upliftingspirits #amateursimpact

To see more pictures and stories, please check out our website; 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, July 5, 2018

Who Do You Know?

It’s interesting. You may think to yourself, “I’m not artistic so I can’t help Cardz for Kidz! at all.” However, like we’ve said many, many times—that’s not true! Not only can you make cards these children, their families, and staff will love, but your connections are valuable as well.

Regarding connections, have you heard of the concept called six degrees of separation? It’s interesting to think that with the billions of people on the earth, there’s only six degrees of separation between you and everyone else. Which means you know someone, who knows someone, who knows someone, who knows someone, who knows someone, who knows someone that could connect you to just about anyone on the planet.

It’s a concept that’s been questioned a lot; still, while reviewing it we also found some studies that seem to prove it really is true—case in point, this Microsoft article.

Connections and/or networking have been helpful for us, too.

One example in support of this concept is the impact of Brett—a former coworker of our founder, Ike. One day, the two of them talked about Cardz for Kidz! and Brett then spoke with people at the Google Chicago office about Cardz for Kidz!; Google soon agreed to have some employees make cards. Brett soon connected us to Sally at Google. Sally encouraged the Chicago office to join in more and requested that we register on a financial platform so they’d be able to donate. Now, Google has had various offices join in to make over 500 cards. In addition, through that registration we’ve been able to partner with multiple groups—including our Secret Admirer, who has helped fund the purchase of multiple GO Karts. In addition, Sally’s family has been passionate about Cardz for Kidz!—ranging from her children making cards to her mother being a part of the executive board. Reviewing our history, we’ve been able to get creative advice, monetary donations from all types of companies, and thousands of cards from a variety of corporations, all sparked from our first connection, Brett at Google.

Here are some additional connection testimonials sparked by our registration on the donation platform.

  • ·       One of our key participants is a special Sarah in Minnesota. She learned about our organization due to our registration at the request of Sally and Brett. Sarah’s made multiple cards and, thankfully, her time and donations have been matched by her company. What’s even more impressive is that she’s taken the time to research how to make cards in multiple languages, enabling us to fulfill our promises to our hospitals across the United States and the globe. Finally, she helped us secure our partnership with our hospital in South Dakota and is working on setting up another partnership in Minnesota.

  • Another connection we have is with the AAA in Utah. It’s very impressive that when we had our record-setting quarter, four of the OVERALL Top 10 cards came from the AAA in Utah! What’s equally impressive is that our main contact at AAA, Sara, has been working on connecting us to all the different artists within AAA so they can fly out to Chicago and attend our upcoming Cardz WITH Kidz event. In addition, she’s working to help us expand our presence in Utah.

We’ve been using these types of connections to successfully expand and receive more quality cards. With these new participants, we’ve been able to steadily grow and have raised thousands of dollars to be able to fulfill card requests here in the United States, as well as send consistent shipments across the globe. Based on these donations, we recently purchased our fourth GO Kart—which brings us to $14,000 donated by a non-profit that doesn’t charge anyone anything and has high shipping costs due to sending cards around the world.

Another way we’d love to use your connections is to help reach more contacts at hospitals, homes and shelters. As mentioned in the beginning, we’re looking for locations with small to mid-size pediatric departments that may often get overlooked by other non-profits or organizations looking to make big donations—#toosmallnosuchthing. As listed above, we’ve had some people do some amazing things with their six degrees of separation, resulting in us gaining a bunch of new participants. But right now our question is: WHO DO YOU KNOW at locations with disheartened children who could use some smiles? Please reach out to them and let us know if they’re interested in receiving cards.

#upliftingspirits #whodoyouknow

To see more pictures and stories, please check out our website; 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!