Updated: May 10, 2019
No, really. Fundraising can be great! The best part is when there are no rules!
A little background behind this new concept in fundraising...
In 2017 my son, 18 months old at the time, became very ill. What started as a visit to the ER turned into a nightmare.
Meet Cameron, my sweet little man....
This was only a few months before our nightmare began.
In 2017 we were sent home after an ER visit related to my son vomiting and having diarrhea with no relief. When I say no relief, I mean no relief. When we went to the ER, we certainly didn't think the visit would be checking ears, taking temperatures, and eating Popsicle. Unfortunately that is what it turned into.
I was not a first time mom by any means, and I had calmed down my approach to motherhood by this point. The little things didn't freak me out anymore. I thought to myself that I would trust the doctors and prepare for a long night.
It was short lived!
We found ourselves back in the ER again and Cameron was finally admitted into the hospital. It was bad enough that he was throwing up and had diarrhea, but it was worse having to go through the process of an IV when he wasn't feeling good to begin with. A piece of me was chipped away!
We stayed in the hospital with no different results. It turned into my son deteriorating in front of my eyes, as he moved into the first percentile for his size and weight.
I felt like the four white walls of that hospital room were closing in on me. What was supposed to be a short observation stay, turned into two months.
During the first week of the hospital stay our air conditioner on the home we had recently purchased went out. We were forced to get another air condition unit. $7,000 later , while still in the hospital with our son, we had an air condition unit installed.
Just so you know, we were just a blue collar family working hard to make a living, two children in daycare, and bills to pay. Not able to qualify for assistance, my being out of work with my son, going through all of my PTO, and then having a major home repair to do made this experience that much harder!
I mentioned the four walls closing in on me. Well, it was more like caving. We sat in a hospital with our child being in a state where we thought there was a real possibility that we could lose him. My 18 month old perfect little man, who could not tell me what was wrong, was in pain, had after two months gone through multiple IVs and multiple spans of time fasting (one period was 8 days with no food or drink and only TPN infusions) when all he wanted was to be able to eat and drink like everyone else, and he only had one thing to look forward to, riding the halls in his little car stroller.
He made a few friends along the way too!
He even had a baseball team visit him and bring him a hat.
But even those few things that he looked forward to, were not enough to take away the pain and suffering. My heart was breaking inside. I was going through the motions.
I got to look forward to two things, the nurses doing vitals every three hours and the possibility of 5 minutes of seeing a doctor each day.
We were fortunate that my employer took up donations of money, food (hospital food gets expensive. Especially when you have been out of work for this amount of time), and toys.
But, if I am honest, it wasn't near what we needed. We just are not the kind of people to ask for money or help.
We also had a family member set up a GoFundMe account. We were so thankful for that as well! But, even though every penny counts, it still wasn't enough.
We found ourselves at a point where no doctor had answers and he wasn't getting better.
Finally, after an EGD and a Colonoscopy with no answers, 3 feeding tubes, still unable to eat or drink and keep anything in his body, we were on our way to Cincinnati Children's Hospital from East Tennessee Children's Hospital.
I went with the two pairs of clothes I had in my bag and all of the feeding tube equipment and nothing else. I had no idea how long I would be there and to be frank, I didn't care. I just wanted someone to fix my baby.
It was much like the same routine but I felt like if anyone was going to find the answers, it would be them.
We had our car routine there, just like before and he even found himself a little doctor in training scrub set!
We spent another two weeks there and ultimately he was nursed back to health enough for them to remove the feeding tube (he had two more by this point) and let us go home!
I learned a lot during this time! Never what the underlying cause was to his medical situation, though. It is still a mystery to this day! But, what I did learn was:
1. Doctors don't have all of the answers.
2. Even with a small savings account, something like this can be financially debilitating.
3. There are not a lot of resources for families like mine and many others.
4. Nothing can prepare you for something like this, especially all that can go wrong at one time.
5. People want to help but can't always help the way they want to.
6. Ask questions, and lots of them.
7. You have all of the support in the world when the initial shock takes place that you are going through something like this, but people are living on with their lives while you are stuck in your nightmare.
8. Everyone has needs, whether you have a child in the hospital
you have a family to raise, things to buy on a regular basis, and no disposable funds to continue sharing to help a friend even if you wanted to.
9. GoFundMe doesn't raise much and the fundraisers die quickly!
10. There had to be a better way for families to survive and come out on top when crisis strikes!
I was determined to find a way to help families going through something like we did. So, I started on that journey and found my way here!
What an incredible journey it has been. Lots of tears, lots of hope, lots of laughter, lots of determination, lots of wanting to quit, lots of wake up calls, lots of tiredness, lots of adrenaline....But, we finally made it here!
Grofundz was born after a crisis that no one wants to go through. But, out of that crisis, one thing learned stuck with me. That one thing was that everyone has a need.
I believe that all of us have at some point have wanted to help someone or have needed to be helped. I also believe that not everyone has a fair chance to help when they want to or get help when they need it.
GroFundz was built on that very thing.
We have taken the opportunity to create an online fundraising tool that anyone can use and never feel bad about in order to get help in times of crisis.
Our tool allows everyone an opportunity to support a friend, a loved one, school, or non profit in need.
By allowing those that need to raise money, the ability to offer products for their support system to purchase. Anything from jewelry, to doggie T's, to clothing, to household cleaning items, to furniture can be selected. When someone wants to purchase any of the products, 90% of the profit goes into the hands of the fundraiser. This helps the person with the funding need and helps the person with a product purchase need.
So, let me spell this out for you....
Everyone needs toilet paper and garbage bags. It's a fact of life. Why make that purchase at your normal stop when you can do it from the comfort of your own home, have it delivered to your door, get it at the same price or better than other online retailers, and help a friend without having to find disposable funds to donate?
So what about the person fundraising? That has to be time consuming and a hassle!
Simply fill in your information to give us an idea of who you are, share a little about your story, share a couple of pictures or videos, select items that represent your cause or items that you know your support system would buy, complete the set up of your fundraiser, and hit share! No inventory, no distributing product to your supporters, no more dead campaigns, no more worrying about things that do not matter as much as what you want to focus on, no more feeling hopeless in a time of crisis, and much more!
We believe in empowering people! We believe that the money should not go to the big retailers but that it should go to the people that need it most!
I am so excited to share this amazing opportunity with you. This is about bringing people together, establishing hope, and letting you focus on what matters. Everyone of us have a need, and if we just share that need and meet the needs of others, we can change the world!
Thank you for being part of us! We love all of you!