#CUJ Every Day

GiveForward rocks some Team Paudie tees!! 
Padraig Crowley is battling Neuroblastoma and is currently receiving treatments in New York. His family is raising money on GiveForward to help cover travel and accommodations during their stay. 
For more on Padraig’s story and some seriously adorable photos click here! 
  • Camera: iPhone 4
  • Apeture: f/2.8
  • Exposure: 1/17th
  • Focal: 3mm

GiveForward rocks some Team Paudie tees!! 

Padraig Crowley is battling Neuroblastoma and is currently receiving treatments in New York. His family is raising money on GiveForward to help cover travel and accommodations during their stay. 

For more on Padraig’s story and some seriously adorable photos click here

GiveForward supports Taylor Smith by taking the Pie Smash Challenge!

Taylor has been recovering after her and two friends were hit by a car as they crossed the street. Since that day, she has had to overcome many challenges and continues to undergo physical/speech therapy, cognitive rehabilitation, music therapy and acupuncture. At just 14 years old, Taylor is learning how to chew, speak, walk, jump, read and write all over again. 

Her friends and family are cheering her on with a little humor and a pie to the face. We’re pretty adamant about taking fun seriously so after seeing the plethora of videos on her Facebook Community, we jumped at the opportunity make Taylor smile. 

Who do you think got the best pie smash to the face?! 

Read more on Taylor’s story here. 

Interview with Jacqueline Dooley, Author of Doorways to Arkomo

http://www.giveforward.com/blog/doorways-to-arkomo

Jacqueline Dooley is a mother, author, and entrepreneur. She recently self-published Doorways to Arkomo: The Spirit Oak’s Gift, a novel exploring a unique friendship between two 11-year-old girls. Sorel, a princess in Arkomo, strives to save the lives of her family while Grace, a young New Yorker, fights cancer and hospitalization.

A couple years ago, Jacqueline managed a GiveForward fundraiser for a friend. She’s graciously committed to “giving forward” with the profits of her first year’s sales to other families on GiveForward, The Child Life Department at Maria Fareri Children’s HospitalChildren’s Organ Transplant Association (COTA), and a wish-granting charity.

After conducting the above interview, Michael (a fundraising coach) mailed extra copies of the book to two kids on GiveForward who love to read:

  • Justin who is a 15 year old boy battling leukemia for the fourth time in 7 years 
  • Monica who is an 11 year old girl battling a brain tumor

Purchase your own copy here

Haelyn Lee has been Desirae’s “Mother” in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program for the last three years and now she is helping send her off to college at Frostburg State University. 
Through scholarships, grants, and loans, they have taken care of the requirements for tuition but Desirae’s family couldn’t afford to send her to orientation. Two weeks and 29 donations later, Haelyn raised the $1,725 needed to get her there!! 
Desirae’s story was so inspiring and her determination impressed all of us at GiveForward, so much so that Erica (Director of User Relations) stuffed a care package full of dorm room necessities and snacking goodies. 
Included in the care package was a book full of each GiveForward staff member’s best advice about life in college. 

Always remember: You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” 
-A.A. Milne 


Good luck, Desirae!!

Haelyn Lee has been Desirae’s “Mother” in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program for the last three years and now she is helping send her off to college at Frostburg State University. 

Through scholarships, grants, and loans, they have taken care of the requirements for tuition but Desirae’s family couldn’t afford to send her to orientation. Two weeks and 29 donations later, Haelyn raised the $1,725 needed to get her there!! 

Desirae’s story was so inspiring and her determination impressed all of us at GiveForward, so much so that Erica (Director of User Relations) stuffed a care package full of dorm room necessities and snacking goodies. 

Included in the care package was a book full of each GiveForward staff member’s best advice about life in college. 

Always remember: You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” 

-A.A. Milne 

Good luck, Desirae!!

Hakuna My Tatas Party!

You know those people who light up a room upon entering, the ones with contagious smiles that remind you how beautiful life can be? That’s Jessie Guth, and Ariana, our Director of Business Development, is fortunate enough to call her a friend.
5 days before Jessie’s mastectomy, Ariana was invited to attend a party for Jessie to help say good bye to the old, welcome the new, and cheers together to heath, new tatas, and good friendship. 
Ariana wanted to add a bit of humor and lightheartedness to the event so she enlisted her baking guru co-worker, Erica, to whip up some cupcakes. The next day a room full of GiveForward ladies and gents gathered in the conference room to make those cupcakes resemble nipples. 
Impressive, huh? 
The cupcakes were the TALK of the party. Everyone loved them and used them for some slightly risque photo ops :)

Update: 
The page raised $10K in just 24 hours and is now over 23K. Jessie’s surgery went really well! She might not even have to undergo chemotherapy treatments.

A little bit of leftovers go a long way!

Chelsea and Ariana assembled “sack lunches” made from the leftovers after our last team meeting. They shared them with the homeless in our neighborhood of Wicker Park.

The two asked a few older men if they wanted lunch and they were very grateful. They saw another older man sleeping and left a bag for him to find when he woke up and then they saw some of the younger train travelers that usually camp out on the corner. Ariana heard one say “I think those girls are handing out free food,” so they walked up to them they and were so excited when they heard the food was breakfast burritos!

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It only took 40 minutes out of their day and the good deed allowed GiveForward to avoid wasting valuable food as well as feed 12 people! 

Whitney, our Marketing Manager, passed around a birthday card for the entire team to sign for Danny, a 5 year old who only wanted a box full of birthday cards for his birthday. She found his wish on Twitter, and asked all of the GiveForward Ambassadors to send him a birthday card as well. 
I wonder how many he actually received!!!

Whitney, our Marketing Manager, passed around a birthday card for the entire team to sign for Danny, a 5 year old who only wanted a box full of birthday cards for his birthday. She found his wish on Twitter, and asked all of the GiveForward Ambassadors to send him a birthday card as well

I wonder how many he actually received!!!

When our staff pays it forward…

This month, Caiti, our Project Manager came across a fundraiser that she just had to support. 

We often flood each other’s inboxes with inspiring, funny, adorable and sometimes heartbreaking stories from our fundraising pages. One particular email came to Caiti’s inbox for a fundraiser, Team Cohen, that was trying to get 23 people to donate just $5 so that they could hit their goal of $5,000. They called it ‘The $5 difference.’  

After reading the story of Cohen’s premature birth and the medical after-math she decided she wanted to be a part of making that difference for the Grant family and guess what? They did it! The fundraiser raised over $5,000 and has 49 days left! 

The Mother’s Day Giveaway winner saying ‘thank you’ as they begin their journey!! 

William Rivera donated to a The Steven Jimenez Memorial Fund last May and was entered to win a $10,000 trip of a lifetime for his mother. William was awarded the prize and was able to take his mother on a trip to see her family in El Salvador while stopping in Miami and Vegas on the way back. 

"I just want to be able to give my mom the world.  She’s done so much for me and I just want to give her everything." 

- William Rivera

Isaac's Bucket List stop to Niagara Falls

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=910728268943829&set=o.1446311608960739&type=2&theater

Isaac has Stargardts Disease, a rare form of juvenile macular degeneration. He is 10 years old and will be legally blind by the age of 15. 

He’s created a bucket list and is spending the next five years crossing off the amazing things he wants to see and experience. 

What’s on his list?

  1. New York City & The Statue of Liberty
  2. Niagara Falls
  3. Washington, DC & The White House
  4. South Dakota & Mt. Rushmore
  5. Cardinals game in St. Louis

Kelli, their fundraising coach, noticed that they planned to take him to the Statue of Liberty this last June so she found out how much it would cost and pre-paid for their tickets to the statue.

We recently received a video of Isaac crossing yet another event off of his list - Niagara Falls. Click for the video!  :)

Hug Books full of love & support

http://joy.giveforward.com/hug-book/

If you didn’t already know, GiveForward partnered with the Wisdom of Others so that we can compile all of the heart-warming and joyful comments that are left on fundraising pages in a brightly colored hardbound book. Our Coaches here are just so excited about them that we’ve been Creating a little Unexpected Joy by sending a few out ourselves. 

After all, who doesn’t want to read how much people love them on a regular basis? 

This month here are a few of the lucky people who received a surprise hug book in the mail: 

Lacey Holsworth - #KISSITCANCER

You may have seen this story in the news due to Lacey’s relationship with Adreian Payne of the Michigan State Basketball team, but it was definitely a fundraiser we followed very closely & touched each and every one of us personally. Coaches Michael and Kelli as well as co-founder, Ethan chipped in to purchase a hug book for Lacey’s family after she passed away.

She received so much love that we sent 4 books full of 1,054 contributions and messages of support to her family. 

Sean and Becca Lewis - Sean and Becca Lewis Fund 

The Lewis family suffered a tragic loss this March and their coach, Lokesh wanted to make sure that they remember all of the support they have in the days to come. He sent their Team Captain a compilation of all the hope and love in a multi-volume hug book along with a beautiful memorial candle. 

It means a lot to me that you’re going to send the book—I’ve been trying to put something together, but it’s not very pretty! The hardcover book will be beautiful. And I know Sean and Becca will cherish it…They have been very heartened by people who are strangers who reach out to them. It affirms that something about the world is still good, even though they lost their girls.

- Maureeb Benes