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If it were up to you, how would you position and/or brand Cardz for Kidz? Classic or Innovative? With social media I can touch on the benefits and features of both with our organization, but what should be the main theme? Should it be more of how we’re a classic organization that’s been around for 10+ years and still growing 30%+ every year? How we’re helping people feel loved and others pursue what they love to do. Or should I look more into how we’ve been innovatively finding ways to grow and meet the needs of all aspects of artists and people who need encouragement across the globe? We found creative ways to encourage people to volunteer remotely throughout the pandemic, and we also reached over 30,000 people across the globe each quarter who were confined to their rooms with uplifting surprises ranging from handmade cards to entertainment systems

To find out which phrase is better, I did a bit of market research, i.e. asking people on the train or digitally which one of the words they preferred.

  1. The first woman sitting behind us who was typing on her tablet clearly expressed “innovative” as her favorite.

  2. The second woman who responded highlighted that she preferred “innovative” as well.

  3. The third woman said, “I prefer classic, but I’m used to being old and moldy.” And followed that with a smile.

  4. The first gentleman I heard from made some comments on the connotations of those words and then stated, “I would prefer innovative.”

  5. When I asked one of our key partners, Ally, we heard from Cynthia in the Detroit, MI office who said, “I vote for innovation.”

The data speaks for itself. Innovative. As we’re trying to expand and get new groups to join in and contribute in multiple ways, we need to highlight our advanced features. We’re constantly trying to find ways to encourage groups to get multiple locations to join in. Also, I’m trying to find a way to position this organization in a way that will appeal to these companies, groups, and independent artists. I want them to feel our organization is valuable enough for them to donate funds. There were some discussions with board members, and they mentioned how there could be chapters starting up at different schools around the country where they’d focus strictly on cards. But more cards equal more expenses on our end. Later, I had a meeting with another advisor who told me that I should contact everyone I knew in Chicago to see if they had contacts who could join the board and help us to raise funds. It’s a lot of work to get cards. Ditto with donations.

Innovative was the clear choice, but I began to wonder if those two could be combined? Innovative and classic ‑ can they work hand in hand? Once again, this connected to one of the Disney+ experiences. Have you seen Toy Story? There was always a battle to see who Andy would prefer and who would be his favorite toy. For years, it was his classic toy, Woody. They had a long history and fun memories. Then he got the new Buzz toy who had all types of new features that made Woody’s pull string seem outdated. After battling throughout the movie, the two toys ended up coming together and becoming friends. The innovative toy and classic toy worked together to achieve the goal.

Working together. In a dream world, everyone would see more pictures of where our cards are being delivered. To inspire our partners to take more photos, I made a promise in the Facebook Live video during my least favorite test. At the time, we definitely didn’t have nearly enough funds for that type of promise – which is why one board member left the board — but we’ve been hanging in there to send electronics around the world.

There are some classic groups who have joined in to help the chart at the bottom of our donate page increase each quarter. Just wait until we get ALL the cards from 2021 tracked! Then there are other people who have heard about the innovative ways we’re making a difference and only want to help with the specific buttons on our Donate page, but “are not creative” enough to contribute in other ways, which we’ll touch on in the next post. It’s always a dream to have a team member who’s consistently on our side and who’s willing to contribute in both ways. A teammate. A friend. An Ally.

Thankfully, our friends at Ally have been giving back in a variety of ways. This ranges from matching the donation plan of our ‘Secret Admirer,’ to producing over 500 cards that we were able to send to locations ranging from a hospital in the Detroit area (sister hospital to the one I was born at) to a Ronald McDonald House in Australia. But the big difference is that I’m allowed to publicly say thank you and acknowledge them. They’ve sent cards on a consistent basis from their artists in a couple different locations. Due to that dedication, the Ally logo has been moving up our Participants tab,

In addition, since that effort is matched by our friends’ corporate giving, Ally has also matched several giving thresholds. First, we received a one-time donation threshold that allowed us to recognize Ally on our Donation page as one of our official sponsors.

With that sponsorship we were able to reach out to our partner in their selected city, Charlotte, NC and ask for a photo in return for a couple iPads with preloaded games. With that enticement we heard back from our partner for the first time in months.

We were also able to connect and inspire another partner in North Carolina as well! These partnerships have raised enough funds to cover the cost of one of the systems that I promised. I lost a board member for making that promise, but thankfully Ally stepped in with an innovative way to help us raise those funds! Pictures coming soon!

Seems like they’re making a difference in every way possible – using a combination of both methods. Yes, they’re using the classic method of sending the payments, but we’re grateful they’re using innovative ways to work together to help us provide entertainment systems and engaging cards!

Thinking back to my late nights with Disney+, I’ll focus on the Toy Story movie again. Throughout the movie there’s all types of drama and they just barely fly in through the windshield and land in the box as Andy and his family are moving away. Andy is ecstatic and announces to his mom that he found his favorite toys. She responds that she believed he would find them before they left. While watching the end scenes, I kept thinking and hearing the song, ‘You’ve got a friend in me, you’ve got a friend in me, when the road looks rough ahead, and your miles and miles from your nice warm bed.’ And technically, as conveyed in the last post, it’s not miles from the bed, but it does seem like a journey. That song was resonating.

A friend. Buzz and Woody. Innovative and classic. They worked together to make Andy so delighted during the car ride. A lot of people doubted those toys, but there was at least one person who believed they would work together. Ranging from former board members to friends, there have been some doubts on this end as well. I’m thankful that as we’re growing, sending, AND receiving well over 10,000 cards each month, purchasing MULTIPLE electronics for nonprofits around the world, and uplifting more spirits – we have a group ON OUR SIDE. A friend. An Ally. With these types of all-around contributors, our classic and innovative impact can continue to grow.

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

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