What inspires you? That’s a valuable question and something that I thought about a lot on my way back to the USA during a recent donation. When I asked Beth what inspires her to be a teacher and principal when there are many other professions out there that could make significantly more money, she quickly and confidently responded with, “Making a difference in the lives of children.” Perfect response!
To be honest, I’ve needed some additional inspiration lately. Here are some glimpses of recent messages and emails I’ve received:
“Please let me know if you’ve retained counsel.”
“I sent cards 2 weeks ago, never heard if you got them. So, either you didn’t or they weren’t what you wanted. Thank you.”
“I think that $900-1,200 is a good range. This is about 5 hours. We can start this sometime after tax season.”
“_______” – No response.
There’s also more aggressive content that comes through the Contact Us page as well. You see everyone LOVES that Cardz For Kidz is a volunteer-based organization that helps people worldwide, but people often forget volunteer-based means that people have other jobs and responsibilities.
Not saying this is true, but what if I had a full-time job where I started work at around 8:30 am and went until at least 5:30 pm. Then I took a break to eat and worked on Cardz For Kidz priorities from around 6:30 pm to midnight each night. Then there could be some later nights when there were urgent requests and deadlines.
If all that was true, it would be very discouraging that many fundraisers barely raise any money, (i.e., T-Shirt fundraiser and Popcorn fundraiser). But if someone were to ask why I invest my time, money, and attention into this organization – it’s clearly the Return on Investment. I’m thankful that between some threatening comments, I’ve experienced some extremely positive reviews - https://greatnonprofits.org/org/cardz-for-kidz-nfp. Those comments range from my primary contacts at our partner nonprofits to the local volunteers who are giving up their Sunday afternoons to help behind-the-scenes. What’s even more valuable is seeing or experiencing the smiles of the people who are receiving the cards.
Sticking with the promise of the blogs, and remaining 100% open and honest, I was a bit surprised during my trip to Spain when we went to deliver the system. At first, we connected with a young boy who was a patient and we showed him the cards.
The staff followed up and asked him what his favorite place in the United States is and he said, “Ohio.” We have 7 partnerships in that state (including 2 in Columbus), but I was a bit shocked when I heard that – Michigan Connection. We still made sure he got his preferred card. 😉
Later we went to the Casa Ronald McDonald where we connected with a girl from Peru and her teacher. We both proudly pointed out where we were from on the map, where the cards were from, and how far we all had traveled to get to Barcelona.
With those experiences, and seeing other fun clips on social media ranging from Indonesia to North Carolina, I know it’s all worth it. Although our connection with these kids may be different than what Beth is leading, it’s important to know that we’re passionate and patient on this end as well. I know there are times when it feels like larger companies are bullying us, but I get to see the results up close, and those smiles are ALWAYS WORTH IT. Special thanks to everyone who has been patiently helping us fulfill every part of our mission - producing smiles around the world!
To see more pictures and stories, please check out the rest of our website; like us on Facebook; follow us on Twitter and Instagram; or visit our LinkedIn pages! Also, check out some of our videos on YouTube!