Thursday, March 28, 2019

Still Awake

Sorry. That’s how we’re going to have to start off this blog post. A lot of these blog posts seem to be encouraging, and like our cards have strictly uplifting messages, based on some of the recent trends we thought we’d write a more stern blog post to make sure everyone was on the same page. Sorry.

We know that everyone is taking a bunch of time to make these cards now matter how detailed it is OR how the final product turns out. Time is time. If you think about it, whether or not your card turns out in the OVERALL Top 10 or not OR if you spend 5 minutes or 5 hours on a card, that’s time you could have spent doing 1,000,000+ other things, so we are thankful. Even with that gratefulness, we want to make sure everyone understands one of our ultimate baselines and one of the reasons we have this saved as one of the stories on our instagram page.

Not sure if you recall, but throughout the years we’ve told you a lot about our goals down the line and how that directly relates to our personal past. For example, When We Grow Up we’d love to be able to start a scholarship for kids who have been inpatients for a week or longer or have a lasting health condition. We’d love to be able to give back and make sure we’re helping remind these kids they’re special. Then we touched on it before that we’re currently mailing cards around the globe to places like Australia, Brazil and the United Kingdom, but it’d be great if other people stepped up in other areas where we weren’t able to securely ship packages from the USA to start Cardz for Kidz! extensions. Next, we also talked about how we’re working with Gamers Outreach and working on rewarding our hospitals who are taking pictures of their patients with the cards.

This way you can see where you cards are going and we can get confirmation that we still have the correct contacts. We’re starting this, but we’ll need to discuss this with the board since it’s got a long way to go before it fully grows.

One thing we’ve touched on a bit, but haven’t fully gotten into is how it would be a dream to have a partnership with Hallmark, American Greetings or another large card manufacturer. What we’re anticipating is that we’d set something up where at the end of the quarter we’d work with the judges to select the OVERALL Top 10. Then, as usual, we’d open up the poll and have people vote for their favorite three cards. The only difference would be that this time one of those large card manufacturers would then have the option to select the #1 card to produce and begin to sell and distribute around the world. Then they’d return the favor and donate some of that money back to Cardz for Kidz! and that would help us pay our future employees, scholarships and also purchase some GO Karts.

Wow. That’s one of our visions. That’s beyond what we want to be when we grow up, but that type of partnership would be a dream come true. Realistically though, all of that is still far down the road and for now we’re STILL AWAKE. Therefore, we’re going to politely remind people not to send us cards that were made by any card manufacturer since those will have to be discarded. All of our cards need to be handmade. 

#stillawake #upliftingspirits

To see more pictures and stories, please check out our website; like us on Facebook; follow us on Twitter and Instagram; visit our LinkedIn page! Also, check out some of our videos on YouTube!

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Shipped All Around

We’ve highlighted a couple of times when someone, or a particular group, has done something that’s never been done before. For example, we created a new verb and highlighted when another group was approaching it. We then let everyone know when a group changed our minds about being perfect, #perfectionschecklist. Schneider is one of these groups who’s done something a bit different. Something arguably even more spectacular.

What’s the keyword here: arguably or spectacular? They both play a major role. It’s not 100% agreed upon, but it’s also important that it’s spectacular. While we’re not huge into baseball, we think it’d be something like, what’s more spectacular – an in-the-park home run OR a grand slam? To do some research, we asked a few people on the train where it was quickly debated.

“Well, you have to be very fast.”
“First you’d have to get everyone on base.”

The overall skills vs. the amount of points. In our opinion, what Schneider has done is as valuable and rare as getting an ‘in-the-park grand slam.’ If there even is such a thing.

First Base. Coming to the Chicago Volunteer Expo and making cards. Although there were hundreds of nonprofits at the Chicago Volunteer Expo (CVE), many stopped by to make some cards for our kids. We’re sure the CVE team is thankful too since Schneider is helping them move up a level on our site!

Second Base. Hosting an event. These days this is a bit more common, but still we’re impressed that they stepped up and held multiple events. There are many times when people hear about our organization and plan to make cards, but don’t necessarily follow through. With Schneider we received 9 different packages within 6 months. Also, they’ve been quality cards since one of them made it into the OVERALL Top 10 and was selected by a family.

(You Are Clawsome Card)

Third Base. Coming to the hospital. A triple is very impressive in baseball, just like taking the time to travel to Lurie Children’s Hospital. Since Schneider is now a diamond participant, we set up a Cardz WITH Kidz event up for them at Lurie Children’s Hospital. They sent a team of volunteers and were able to fully engage the patients, families and staff.

Rounding the Base/Making it Home. What no group has done, Volunteering Behind the Scenes. The fun parts of Cardz for Kidz! are using the markers and glitter to make the encouraging cards AND potentially handing out the cards to children. The not so fun part, the behind the scenes section, is sorting through the packages and helping us count the cards that come in, proofing to make sure they’re appropriate for our kids, taking the pictures, and packaging them up. Thankfully Schneider left from their full days at work and helped us with the entire process. We were so impressed on this side, so we even had to brag about it to some of the other volunteers and board members!

(screenshot of the text so you know it’s authentic!)
Grand Slam. In-Depth Contributions. We’ve touched on all the steps they’ve done, but did not highlight how they’ve gone above and beyond during each one of those steps. For example, during one of the volunteer shifts some of their team members made a video about why they liked the Chicago Volunteer Expo. That’s never been done before. Another example is how they reached out asking all the languages we need and are going to put something together to make it easier for their team to make cards for kids in multiple languages.

In-the-Park. Speed. Like the debate about baseball on the train, we’re impressed with the speed of our volunteers at Schneider. There are some groups who take a year or more to get to the diamond level on our site. With Schneider they were able to get multiple offices to join in and get up to the diamond level within 6 months. Based on this speed and participation we’re sure they could get around the bases!

We’ll forever be impressed with how Schneider contributed in 2018 and how we feel they’re now a permanent partner. When we asked some of their volunteers about participating here’s what she said,

“I love Cardz for Kidz! I have been creating cards since it was brought to our organization. I find joy in getting creative with the creation of the cards but, I LOVE knowing that it will bring a smile to a child!”
-Hillary Hubertz!

No matter how the debate ended up on the train in terms of what’s the most impressive act in baseball, Schneider has it covered in our terms since they successfully did both. It’s no surprise, but with Schneider’s help we can say that their assistance has been SHIPPED ALL AROUND since they’ve covered all parts of our organization and are helping us grow. 

#shippedallaround #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!