If this is your first time to visit my blog then you may want to read my previous post before reading on. That post will explain why it is that I am now telling you what #50People were able to accomplish.
Before I go on, let me say ‘Thank You’ to everyone that commented, posted, shared the link, offered encouragement, and/or made a financial or physical contribution to the #50People effort. My words cannot say thank you enough so allow this picture to say it as well – (A picture is supposed to be worth 1000 words, right?)
(This picture is of a precious little girl who is currently on a cancer treatment plan)
Now let me tell you guys what happened from the time of my previous post until this past Friday.
Almost a minute or two after my post was published I started getting emails from folks saying that they would be part of the #50People process. The response throughout that day was very encouraging. My BLOG hit an all time visitor high that first day. The word was out, but over the next few days the response started to slow a little and there were just about 25 or so folks committed to the process.
One of the first several people to join in had this to say:
“Count me in – sounds like a great idea! I’m a childhood cancer survivor myself – diagnosed at 16 with thyroid cancer. I had 3 surgeries in 2 different states over 3 years. Been cancer free since 1999 now.”
Another participant had this to say:
“I am in for the donation, as well as the time to donate for these families. My youngest was born with cancer, aggressive skin cancer and had surgery on her head to remove it, including removing a piece of the top of her skull. She is my angel. The surgery was 3 years ago, and she has been cancer free ever since. She is tested every 4 months. And so far so good.”
The weeks passed by and it seemed that we were not going to reach the goal of having #50People take part in the giving. But I was still very encouraged. Many of the 30 or so people had already sent in their individual contributions and some were $100 – I knew that we would reach the “monetary goal” but this was always about getting more people involved.
Well, despite not having the #50People lined up Kappy and I discussed a plan – This is what we hoped to do with the money. We were going to have a day of catered food brought to the cancer ward so that the kids and their parents could eat something other than hospital food. We were also going to provide some Halloween Costumes so that the kids could have some sort of All Hallows Eve fun.
Those plans were published and then it happened . . . We got an email that just blew our minds. A department head at AT&T heard about our efforts and the timing was just . . . perfect. He mentioned that his team was currently looking for a chance to serve together and he thought that the #50People plan might be of interest to them.
We started discussing ways for his team to get involved and we started to talk with the folks at the AFLAC cancer ward at CHOA. Kappy has some great contacts over there.
It turns out that our original plan was well intended but just not that good. You see, kids that are going through chemo have some major changes happening in their bodies and they do not always want to eat – and when they do, their taste buds are so out of whack that they simply cannot tolerate what might have been their favorite food before the process started. So the catered food idea wasnt that great – We scratched it.
It also turns out that the idea to bring in lots of Costumes was well intended but . . . yeah, this is a repeat. These kids start to get skin irritations and so there are certain fabrics that just would not work that well. Not to mention the potential that some of the clothing could be contaminated with even the simplest of a cold virus – not good for immunosuppressed kids.
We planned better and here is what we came up with – We would just get gift certificates to a local restaurant and to local grocery stores. This would allow the parents to coordinate with the their kids and get exactly what they wanted to eat – any day that they wanted it. When all was said and done we were able to give $800 worth of gift cards from Moe’s, Publix, and Kroger.
Back to those good folks at AT&T – With the help of an entire department, and that department making a challenge to other departments here is what AT&T had to say:
Thank you for extending the opportunity to be a part of such a display of genuine caring for the community in which we live.
The AT&T team is definitely interested in joining forces with your team to provide “Christmas in October” gifts and memorable moments for the children suffering with Cancer at The Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.
Here’s what our team is prepared to do:
Create Activity Baskets – The baskets will be filled with items such as: Coloring books and Crayons, handheld games, baseball cards, drawing materials, markers (washable), jacks, action figures and much more. The Activity baskets will give the children activity options while receiving medical treatment during their stay at the hospital.
Thanks again for the opportunity to Give Back!
“To whom much is given, much is required”
I just love the quote that concluded the email –
The gift cards and the baskets were delivered last Friday. Rumor has it (and I believe it knowing his heart) that Kappy was on the verge of tears as the AT&T folks were unloading the car full of gifts – (Go back to that picture above and look at their efforts.)
Here is an example of what you all were able to do:
That pretty much concludes this update – I hope provide you with some more details as time passes but just know this – #50People did some great work.
Oh yeah – Just one more thing. A little birdie told me that there is a chance AT&T would like to do this again in about 6 months – Maybe / maybe not but I know this – WE can do this again and together we can make sure that Peter Cottontail goes hoppin’ down the AFLAC trail.
Are you in? What about a department at your office?