This time of year was when my dad would go to a lot of meetings. And fundraising appearances. And surprise announcements at elementary schools. All for Kidd’s Kids. My mom would start making phone calls to teachers and rearranging lessons so that she and I could meet everyone at Disney World.
Looking back, it was such a special time … magical almost. You could feel the energy in the air and how excited everyone was. And it’s still that way. But different. Because now it’s on me. I’m the one that’s going to meetings and appearances and making surprise announcements. And I love it! But it’s a little scary.
In the early years the trip was solely funded by listeners, just the way my dad wanted. It was really a grass roots effort with local DJs collecting donations from listeners on street corners and at convenience stores. It wasn’t until recently that my dad started accepting help from corporate sponsors. But even with the larger corporate donations, there was still a concern because the trip costs a LOT of money and one person (or company) can’t do it all!
The majority of our fundraising still comes from small donations. $5, $10, $20 … those dollars add up quickly! And I don’t take one dime for granted. There are people that save all year so they can make one donation. Kids who donate their birthday money or money from the Tooth Fairy and bring us every penny in their piggy bank. No, I will never take that for granted.
After Hurricane Katrina, my dad canceled Kidd’s Kids Day at the last minute and decided to raise money for the victims of Katrina instead. He never regretted that decision but I remember that year being the first time he was genuinely worried we wouldn’t have enough money for the trip. But a month later, our listeners came through and raised a record setting amount of money! See … faith.
But I’m still a little nervous. Not a lot, but a little. Kidd’s Kids Day is less than a month away and even though our listeners have always made the trip happen, you just don’t know. People don’t always have extra money. Circumstances change. People get sick or lose jobs or, well … things happen.
But I’m keeping the faith. Because that’s what you do. I am SO blessed to have an amazing team working for Kidd’s Kids and they work tirelessly all year. We have some awesome events coming up and of course, Kidd’s Kids Day. So it’ll all come together and this 25th trip will be the best yet! Right?