Packages For Kid Fighters

Sending Happiness to Kids in the Fight of their Lives

Photo of Alexa P
2 10

Written by

Eligibility: Are you employed by T-Mobile or related to an employee of T-Mobile?

  • No

Eligibility: Date of Birth

9-15-00, 10-13-04

Where are you located:

North Andover, MA 01845
Franklin, MA 02038

Website or social media url(s) (optional):

Website: http://www.packagesforkidfighters.weebly.com
Instagram: @packagesforkidfighters, @packages4kidfighters

Date Started

October 24, 2015

Project Stage: Select the description below that best applies to your approach.

  • Established (successfully passed early phases, have a plan for the future)

1. Personal Journey: What’s the story behind why you decided to start this project? NOTE: All applications must include a 1 minute video that answers: “I am stepping up to make change because..."

We decided to start Packages For Kid Fighters because we wanted to bring smiles to kids faces during difficult times. When Mirabella was a baby, she was treated for a tumor and had to have many follow up appointments at hospitals throughout her childhood. She remembers the scared feeling she felt during her hospital stays, and her and I never wanted any child to feel that way again. After watching friends suffer through harsh cancer treatments not made for children, we wanted to bring smiles to our struggling friends' faces. Both of us were raised in families who take part in countless acts of fundraising and community service, so making a difference in the world just felt natural to us. Mirabella and I created Packages For Kid Fighters in 2015 so that we could bring happiness to children all over the country who are facing life-threatening conditions to help brighten their days. -Alexa

2. The Problem: What problem are you helping to solve?

As a volunteer at the Jimmy Fund Clinic in Boston, I have noticed that often when children are undergoing treatment that requires extended hospital stays, there is not a lot of fun activities for them to take part in from their hospital bed. Through Packages For Kid Fighters, we send fun activities and toys for kids to enjoy that we hand-picked especially for them to bring happiness and positivity as they undergo their treatment.

3. Your Solution: How are you planning to solve this problem? Share your specific approach.

It has been proven that positivity and happiness can positively affect a person's physical and emotional health and well-being, and that is exactly what we are hoping to accomplish at Packages For Kid Fighters. In addition to bringing smiles to children with critical illnesses, we are hoping to inspire them too. We hope to gift these kids with a special stuffed animal that will give them the courage to continue through their treatment, or to give their parents gift cards that could help to feed the family during long stays away from home. We have also organized package drop offs to our local children's hospitals, where we bring ready-made packages to their Child Life department and the packages get distributed among patient rooms and waiting rooms to help brighten kids' days. Our end goal is to make any child smile that is suffering through harsh treatments that are necessary to treat and heal them.

4. Example: Please walk us through a specific example of what happens when a person or group gets involved with your project.

When there is a sick child in need of a pick-me-up, their parent, guardian or caretaker can request a package from Packages For Kid Fighters using our Google Form. On our Google Form, we have questions about everything we may need to know such as the child's name, age, diagnosis, address, interests and what they would like to see in their package. We get email alerts and check the form weekly to make sure there is no child waiting too long for a special package! We then write a personalized note to the child, encouraging them to stay positive and to tell them that we will be rooting for them throughout their battle. Taking the child's interests and age into consideration, we create a special care package filled with stuffed animals, stickers, books, toys and care products to keep them busy in the hospital. We look forward to getting a photo of the child and their package sent back to us!

5. The X Factor: What is different about your project compared to other programs or solutions already out there?

Packages For Kid Fighters was established by two young girls (initially without our parents' knowledge) looking to make a difference in kids' lives in their communities. When our parents heard of our small charity, they helped us to fundraise and make it even bigger! At Packages For Kid Fighters, we not only mail packages to kids in the United States, but also to Canada too! Packages For Kid Fighters also donates countless ready-made packages to many hospitals and clinics around our home state of Massachusetts, as well as does a couple of hand deliveries to kid fighters in our local areas.

6. Impact: How has your project made a difference so far?

We have sent over 300 packages since we founded Packages For Kid Fighters. On our website, we have a "Testimonials" tab where we post some of our favorite heartfelt messages we have received from grateful parents. One of our favorite testimonials is this one from cancer fighter Paisley's mom: "Blessings keep pouring in, from a place that one would never expect... a stranger's heart. Not only does this bring a smile to this cute warrior's face, but a smile to mine as well. Donate and give your heart to foundations like Packages For Kid Fighters. Bless you for caring that much! So much love for what you do! Thank you from the bottom of my heart. It's not typically the gift, but the act itself that makes you stop and realize there is still love in this world. Paisley was so thrilled." The joy we get from making these packages is only paralleled by the joy a child gets when they open one!

7. What’s Next: What are your ideas for taking your project to the next level?

We would love to have the funds to turn Packages For Kid Fighters into a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. As a certified non-profit we would be able to host major fundraisers for our charity and receive bonus donations from major corporations, as well as be exempt from federal income tax.
As a 501(c)(3) non-profit, we would be able to expand Packages For Kid Fighters to be able to offer big ticket items in our packages, as well as ship packages to other continents to reach children who are facing big battles that live in other parts of the world.
We would also love to eventually get celebrity ambassadors to bring more awareness to our charity and mission.

8. Future Support: What are the resources needed to make your vision a reality?

We would love to get the funding to make Packages For Kid Fighters into a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, as well as get funds to eventually expand our outreach to be able to offer package opportunities to kids all over the world who are going through treatment. We would love to also be able to upgrade from our free website on http://Weebly.com to eventually have our own domain link for a more professional look. We have phenomenal support from our families and would love to eventually get our state and surrounding areas more involved as well to hopefully expand our package hospital delivery services to children's hospitals all around New England.

9. Finances: If applicable, have you mobilized any of the following resources so far?

  • Friend support
  • Family support
  • Mentors/advisors
  • Donations less than $100
  • Donations between $100-$1k

10. Ripple Effect: Please share some ideas of how you could partner with other changemakers or involve other young people as leaders in making a difference.

When we become a 501(c)(3) non-profit, I would love to host an event partnering with Positive Tracks. As a member of their Youth Ambassador Board, I know exactly how much fun it can be to be active while also fundraising in the process! Mirabella and I are both very active and "sporty" girls and we would love to host a "cheer-a-thon" or basketball tournament along with Positive Tracks to benefit Packages For Kid Fighters. Positive Tracks can help us to spread the word about our charity, while also helping us raise money. In order to be on the receiving end of a Positive Tracks challenge, Packages For Kid Fighters would have to be a 501(c)(3) organization, which we hope to become as soon as we have enough funds to do so. Aside from working with Positive Tracks, we are also very open to new collaborative ideas in order to raise money and spread the word about Packages For Kid Fighters in our communities!

Help Us Support Diversity! Part 1 [optional] Which of the following categories do you identify with?

  • White (for example: German, Irish, English, Italian, Polish, French) (6)

Help Us Support Diversity! Part 2 [optional] Do you identify as part of any of the following underrepresented communities?

  • No, I do not identify with an underrepresented community

How did you hear about this challenge?

  • Social media
  • Recommended by others
  • Email

Referral: If you discovered the Challenge thanks to an organization or person other than Ashoka or T-Mobile, who was it?

Emily Gardner from Positive Tracks

2 comments

Join the conversation:

Comment
Photo of https://www.facebook.com/GirlScoutG Haidar
Team

Hi Alexa, this is a great project! My project, the Party Project is similar in that it provides birthday party kits to low-income, homeless youth in my community. There are some great resources out there to help you get started, I received grants from YSA and also Peace First to fund my project, so definitely check them out and see if they have any grant opportunities open.

 https://network.changemakers.com/challenge/tmochangemakerchallenge/community-review/the-party-project

Photo of Alexa P
Team

Hi Leah! I love your project idea too! Thank you so much for the recommendations! I will definitely check them out! -Alexa