Saturday, January 11, 2014

26 Days of Kawasaki Disease Awareness: Day 11

To celebrate the 4th annual National Kawasaki Disease Awareness Day on January 26, 2014, I will be posting 26 ideas on how you can spread KD awareness in your own community and beyond - one idea per day until the 26th.  

Here are the past days:

Now let's get to today's idea:

Day 11: Get your community involved in KD awareness.

Yesterday I talked about getting your community involved in a 5k run.  Today let's talk about the variety of other ways you can get your community involved in Kawasaki Disease awareness.  The ideas I mention today are only the tip of the iceberg and once you start looking into it, you will be amazed at just how many people, businesses, and organizations would be elated to join our cause.  

Meet Me at the Fair

This past December, my family and I attended a holiday event in our city that brought together many different businesses and organizations.  When we got there, I received a small brochure giving some information about the event.  The moment I read, "the Holiday Stroll benefits The Arthritis Foundation of New Mexico," I couldn't help myself from thinking, "that could be Kawasaki Disease!" 

Start thinking about all of the events, festivals, concerts, performances, and fairs that you have grown up enjoying in your city or state.  Now start thinking about all the ways you could bring KD awareness to those events.  Whenever you attend an event in your area, go with awareness in mind, and pay attention to other charitable connections taking place.  

Many concerts and fairs have entire tents or areas set up just for charitable organizations.  If you can procure a table at an event, you can then start contacting Kawasaki Disease foundations to obtain informational materials.  Think about other promotional elements you could acquire or make -- bumper stickers, buttons, awareness ribbons, heart lollipops, bracelets.  You could start a mailing list that people can signup for to receive additional information.  This list can become a contact list for future KD events.  Make sure you make that clear on the form! You could also have a face/body painting station.  Imagine walking around your favorite state fair and seeing people covered in KD hearts!

Businesses and Community Giving

There are thousands of businesses that are currently looking for ways to give back to their community.  I did a quick search of some businesses just off the top of my head and this is what I found:

1. Sprouts Farmers Markets:

"At Sprouts Farmers Market, we believe in giving back to the communities we serve. We support local non-profit and educational institutions that share our goal of improved health, nutrition and fitness. Over the years, we have been proud to be associated with many incredible causes, doing our part to improve the lives of thousands of people through planned contributions.

We also regularly sponsor events and make in-kind donations to local community causes that address healthy living and eating for children and families. Donations are also granted at store level, in the form of food donations or gift cards, to qualifying organizations that are aligned with our goals. Examples include donations of bananas or water for fundraising events; donations of reusable bags for health fairs and green festivals; and donations of gift cards to be used as raffle items or to purchases food for a fundraising event."

Read more about their many charitable actions here.  They even have a handy dandy form to request their services.  

2. Whole Foods:

"As a company, we are quite unique. Our stores are not cookie cutter big box-type stores with directives from “corporate” about how to run the business. Each of our stores has a lot of latitude in deciding the best way to operate that individual store to meet the needs of the local community. That makes community giving really special and fun.......  Our team members are part of the local community and they are passionate about supporting the local causes that are important to our shoppers and neighbors."

Keep reading about how Whole Foods supports charities here on their community page.

3. Albertsons:  

"One of Albertsons Core Values is “Individually and collectively, we pledge to be active and responsible citizens of our communities.” Albertsons has a long history of supporting events and projects in our schools and communities through our Community Partners program, and participating organizations also have the opportunity to apply for donations for larger requests."

Read more about Albertsons charitable programs here.

4. Chuck E Cheese:

"Non-profit fundraising events at Chuck E. Cheese's are a great way to give back to kids in your community and raise money for children's organizations such as:
  • Children’s charities
  • Youth scouts
  • Religious youth groups

Plan your next fundraising event at Chuck E. Cheese's and receive:
  • Materials to promote the event
  • Donation check within 10 business days
  • 15% donation to your organization for all sales generated by your participating friends and family members. This includes all food, merchandise and token deals purchased by your group through the sign-ups on the night of your fundraising event.

To be eligible, non-profit organizations must have over 75 participants and directly benefit children's causes up to the age of 12."

To see a step-by-step guide to how this works, click here.  

5. Auto Zone:

 "Our founder, J.R. "Pitt" Hyde III, started AutoZone with a commitment to philanthropy. This commitment has been richly embedded into AutoZone's culture, and the tradition of giving continues even stronger today. Through hard work and dedication, AutoZone provides a unique culture of customer satisfaction that has made us the leading retailer and a leading distributor of automotive replacement parts and accessories in the United States. That cornerstone of WOW! Customer Service is reflected in our company's service to the community.

AutoZone's charitable program is designed to support 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations through:
  • Financial grants in the Memphis Metro Area
  • Financial grants to United Way in AutoZone communities
  • In-kind donations in the form of AutoZone Merchandise Cards in AutoZone communities."
Read more about Auto Zone's guidelines here

* Local Businesses:

Don't forget about small businesses! Many people consider local, small businesses to be the heart of their communities.  Small business is about more than selling or profits, it's about making community connections that last generations.  Visit your favorite local businesses and ask about their community giving projects.  You can also check out Causetown for another great way small business can give back.  

These are just two of the hundreds of ways a community can come together to support its residents.  Have you gotten your community involved in Kawasaki Disease awareness? Tell us how! And come back tomorrow for day 12 of 26 days of Kawasaki Disease Awareness.  

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