Similar to the Purple Pride blog post, this one is going to be in first person by yours truly, Ike, or better known as the founder of Cardz for Kidz!. I know it’s not normal, but I really, really need to explain why I’m breaking SOOO many rules! Just as I am with all the other blog posts, I must be 100% open and honest. The overall point of this post is to explain why we’ve sent cards to Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHCs) across the globe and how we’re going to send many more. In fact, for several RMHC locations, I did not even connect with them in advance and make them “pinky promise” to me (sight unseen) that they would deliver all the cards room-to-room before we shipped cards to them.
Now, allow me to explain a bit further. First, as we’ve been growing, I’ve been reaching out to new hospitals and shelters – and thankfully we’ve connected with a bunch. I even got in touch with a couple of Ronald McDonald Houses and they expressed interest. Then, when we heard of natural disasters, like the ones that hit Texas and Florida in the summer of 2017, and we made sure to send cards to children in RMHCs there.
The main reason stems from my Purple Pride experience. In that blog post, and when I lost the bet with the board and first wrote the Can’t Complain post, I highlighted how I underwent brain surgery on my left temporal lobe to overcome my seizures. As you can see in the pictures below, during the surgery the six of us were all together throughout the different waves.
In my Can’t Complain post I touched on how I heard some of the most difficult news about the potential side effects of this surgery—and I happened to be by myself in my hospital room at the time. I said all that to stress this: I understand and believe it’s imperative for families to be close to patients as much as possible. Therefore, Cardz for Kidz! would LOVE to reward Ronald McDonald House Charities for all they do for families—since that has a significant impact on the patients as well.
Selfishly, the toughest part of everything (for me) was thinking of how my surgery impacted my family. With that in mind, I’d LOVE to be able to help send more than enough cards to these RMHC locations for not only the children who are patients, but also for their siblings and parents. That way everyone can receive encouraging attention during this trying time AND no one would feel like a burden to others. Understandably so, while a sibling is going through a tough time (ranging from brain surgery to cancer) the family will focus almost exclusively on that specific child’s needs. Based on my experience as the patient, I’d love to be able to give back and let the siblings know that although folks need to focus primarily on their sibling (the patient), we at Cardz for Kidz! are specifically thinking about them.
Yes, I understand that pediatric patients may not take it as hard as I did in terms of how their condition is impacting their loved ones, but I know these situations will impact their siblings. With that in mind, I personally feel they deserve special cards and should also be uplifted. Often with some conditions, a child is diagnosed, and the family is impacted. Because of this, we’ll continue to reach out and send cards to different Ronald McDonald House Charities so siblings and parents can also be encouraged. That could range from giving the card to their sibling (the patient), to just simply remembering to smile in this tough situation.
When I wrote the mission statement for Cardz for Kidz! I strictly listed: “hospitalized and/or traumatized children,” but I think it’s important that we reach out to FAMILIES, TOO based on my experience as a patient, as well as an employee and volunteer at children’s hospitals.
We sent over 700 cards to RMHs in Q3 and we’ll try to send over 1000 in Q4!
A repost from the Ronald McDonald House in San Antonio Instagram account of a little girl proudly holding her cards.
To see more pictures and stories, please check out our website www.cardzforkidz.org; 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!