This past holiday season, YouCaring made it a point to give back to our community. Starting on Giving Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2015, we donated a total of $10,000 in December to fundraisers who participated in the #YouCaringGives Campaign.
The initiative, along with others such as our Compassion in Action Gallery, TeamCaring Ambassador Program and employee give back volunteer outings, is part of YouCaring’s Social Good Promise, in which we commit to always stand behind our mission to unleash compassion on a grassroots global level.
Fundraisers who shared their links along with the hashtag furthered that mission and became eligible to be chosen for a $500 gift from YouCaring—as well as some extra exposure on our site and via emails.
Thousands participated and we were well on our way to reaching 1 million people via fundraisers shared with the hashtag on social networks.
We had some tough decisions to make when selecting the recipients of the donations! Every week in December, we chose four fundraisers to receive $500 each as part of #YouCaringGives. It was an honor and a privilege to be able to help the 20 total recipients on their fundraising journey.
Each fundraiser that was chosen has its own compelling story that moved us to donate. The selected fundraisers gave us a glimpse into their lives by highlighting specific issues, conditions, causes or needs here in the U.S. and across the globe. They also embodied YouCaring’s mission of providing social good and unleashing compassion, which made them stand out.
By giving back, we hope to show our appreciation and gratitude to these fundraisers and all fundraisers for using our platform and being valuable changemakers.
Here is a look at a few of the fundraisers that were chosen as recipients of #YouCaringGives.
The Hamricks, a family of six in Texas, started a fundraiser on YouCaring to raise funds to adopt a baby girl. With four boys already, the family prayed and came to a decision together that adopting was what they were meant to do. Because the birth mother lives in Virginia, the Hamricks needed to prepare for a long and involved adoption process. With the help of their fundraiser, they were able to secure the necessary funds to complete the required forms and make the trip to Virginia to secure their bundle of joy. With the baby due in mid-January, the family is excitedly awaiting her sweet arrival.
Nate didn’t have it easy in school. A learning disability and attention deficit disorder, coupled with immense teasing and bullying from the kids at school led to very poor self-esteem, anger, frustration and depression. To top it all off, Nate was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes just shy of his 15th birthday. As time went on, he started sneaking food and not taking insulin. He became angrier, defiant and fell further and further behind in his school studies. Nate’s parents quickly understood that they had to do something for their son before the situation got worse. They enrolled Nate in Cedar Ridge Academy, a long-term therapeutic boarding school in Utah. With the help of their YouCaring fundraiser, the Schusters were able to raise more than $25,000 to date, which covers five months of tuition at Cedar Ridge. Through the therapy and schooling he is receiving at Cedar Ridge as well as the love and support from his family and friends, Nate has made vast improvements and continues to thrive.
Week 3: Shayna’s Hope-Service Dog Fund
Shayna started her fundraiser on YouCaring to raise money to purchase a service dog. At 25, Shayna has had to live with a growing list of neurological conditions and disorders that have made the thought of living independently an impossible dream. With the help of a service dog, however, Shayna has the power to go to college and earn a degree, be a more effective employee in the workplace, live alone, and be safe when a medical crisis occurs in public. A service dog will even be able to help with such simple things as turning off the bedroom light at night.
Being a recipient of #YouCaringGives campaign has also touched Shayna personally.
“Looking through the stories of every recipient causes one to pause and be thankful for everything one has,” she said. “Every recipient of #YouCaringGives has a cause that is so unique and different from any other recipient. To have my own story shared and become a part of these other incredible stories creates this beautiful patchwork of people.”
Week 4: Omutima Project
During a vacation to Uganda, Rosanne, a teacher in the U.S., was introduced to the children of Rumbugu Primary School by her tour guide. Many of the children she met there have never worn or owned a pair of shoes, and most walk about four miles a day to get to school! To address the problem, Rosanne created the Omutima Project fundraiser on YouCaring. To date, her fundraiser has raised more than $3,750, which is enough to purchase 147 children’s shoes, uniforms and school supplies for the new school term starting in February.
Week 5: Katie’s Life Giving Kidney
Eleven years ago, when Katie was pregnant with her daughter, she got a call from her doctors that her kidneys were failing. Fortunately, her daughter was born safe and sound, but Katie’s hardships were just beginning. Fast forward 10 years, and Katie’s kidneys have completely failed and she started on peritoneal dialysis. Her only hope was to have a live donor give her the kidney she needed. Katie’s father stepped up, and the surgery was performed Dec. 2, 2015, to provide the lifesaving kidney. Katie started her fundraiser on YouCaring to raise money to help her and her family while she is out of work for recovery leave. The healing process is slow, but Katie and her father are well on their way to a full recovery.
Each of these stories touched us in their own unique way. We are proud to be a part of the lives of so many special people. #YouCaringGives was our way of saying thanks for being a part of ours.
View all 20 recipients of the December 2015 #YouCaringGives Campaign here and stay tuned for more give back programs.