June 6, 2014
Last week we announced the May Amber Grant finalists and today we’re elated to announce our winner.
Big congratulations going out to BraveHoods LLC.
Please take a moment to check out our interview with our winner below.
WN: What made you decide to take on the idea of a one-for-one company as opposed to a charity?
AY: We have struggled with the best way to set this up since we started. We decided to go one-for-one for three main reasons. First, we thought that one-for-one would give our customers a more direct link to our mission and allow people to be more involved. Sometimes, when I give to a non-profit, I don’t feel like I am making much of a difference. With one-for-one, our supporters know exactly how they are helping. Second, we know how popular hoodies have become, so what better way to get our word out than to be featured on clothing they would otherwise wear. And third, starting a non-profit is difficult and expensive. We would rather use these resources to help kids. Additionally, while some of my experience lies in the non-profit world, most of it comes from working with businesses, including the database consulting firm I founded and operated for over ten years.
WN: Do you have to be a caregiver or a hospital to register a sick child for a free BraveHoods Hoodie?
AY: No, definitely not. We get requests from many people that have relationships with kids including aunts, neighbors and friends. One of our goals is to give people a tangible way to make a difference to kids needing it. When you know of a child with cancer, you just want to be able to do something to help. Working with BraveHoods provides a simple way to help, but makes a big impact on the children receiving them.
WN: How many children have you been able to give a BraveHood to?
AY: So far, we have donated almost 400 BraveHoods. They have been delivered to the following hospitals: The Children’s Hospital Colorado, The Rocky Mountain Children’s Health Foundation (for kids at the Rocky Mountain Children’s Hospital), Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, The Jimmy Fund (for the kids at the Dana Farber Cancer Center), Wisconsin Children’s Hospital, Vermont Children’s Hospital and to many kids who have contacted us. Our next donations will go to the Rady’s Children’s Hospital in San Diego and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
WN: How is Meredith doing today? Does she help you out from time-to-time?
AY: We just celebrated 2 years cancer free and she is doing great. She finished first grade and has an exciting summer planned with her brother. We are so very grateful. Both kids help in so many ways including putting stickers on envelopes, packing up shirts for donation and helping at our booth at events. My son, Zach, comes up with the best marketing ideas. I love their enthusiasm and support.
WN: What are your plans for the future?
AY: We have two big goals for the future. First, we want to donate 1300 BraveHoods. This number represents just 10% of the kids that are diagnosed each year in the US. Second, we are getting ready to manufacture our own hoodies. They will be made in the USA and we will be able to design them just the way we want them. The Amber Grant will go toward our manufacturing efforts.
I also want to mention that our customers do not have to buy a hoodie. We have something called “No shirt for you, but we will give away two”. This is a great option if you don’t need a hoodie.
Thank you so much for this opportunity. Because we are a one-for-one, I truly feel like this is a team effort and I am humbled by our customers willingness to help. And I am blown away by the kids that we get to reach. I wish there was no more cancer, but until that is a reality, I want to make as many kids as comfortable as possible.
Thank you again.
Thank you for reading! Remember we award an Amber Grant every month – if interested here’s the link to apply! We hope you all have a wonderful day!