Need to shop for summer clothes and toys for your kids? On the cheap? Well, I have the place just for you! The MOMS Club of Phoenix-Happy Valley is holding its yearly charity consignment sale next Friday and Saturday at Foothills Christian Church on Happy Valley Road. (I’ll give you all the details in a minute.) This year, proceeds will go to HopeKids. I talked with Bridget Asheim who is the Executive Director and she told me all about HopeKids in 20 Questions.
#1 What is the mission of HopeKids?
HopeKids provides ongoing events and activities and a powerful, unique support community for families who have a child with cancer or some other life-threatening medical condition. We surround these remarkable children and their families with the message that hope can be a powerful medicine.
#2 Who are the kids of HopeKids?
Our kids are diagnosed with a life-threatening illness such as cancer, or are the siblings of a child diagnosed with a life-threatening illness.
#3 How many families does HopeKids serve here in Arizona?
We currently serve over 1,000 families in Arizona.
#4 What about nationwide?
We have 4 states where HopeKids chapters are present and together we impact just over 3,000 families.
#5 How did you get involved with HopeKids?
I was “called” to HopeKids in 2008 and gave up my career in teaching to follow my heart to restore HOPE in the lives of families who are facing challenging circumstances and a time when they so desperately need HOPE.
#6 I’ve been following HopeKids on Facebook. It seems as though there’s something happening everyday!
YES! We have events every single week, sometimes 3-4 in one day! We are always working hard to provide fun, highly anticipated events all around the valley for our families. Our events bring the whole family together and provide them with opportunities to meet other families facing similar situations in a safe environment where they feel like they fit in. The best part of all is that our events cost them nothing!
#7 What are some of the events that the kids of HopeKids always want to do again?
We host monthly movie events that are very popular. We also host many of our events annually, such as Jump Street, ice skating, the HopeDay Festival at Notre Dame Prep and more!
#8 I’m sure you have some incredible partners that help you put on all of these events. What are some of the groups that are involved with HopeKids?
We partner with all the major sports teams including the Arizona Coyotes, Phoenix Suns, Arizona Cardinals, Arizona Rattlers, Phoenix Mercury and the ASU Hockey team. We also partner with other local groups and venues in the community. Without these partnerships, we would not be able to provide the over 230 events each year for our families!
#9 What is Hope 365?
Hope365 is a monthly giving program to provide ongoing support to HopeKids. For just $30 a month you can provide a calendar of unlimited free events for one family for an entire year. This program is truly bringing HOPE 365 days a year!
#10 Where does the rest of the funding for HopeKids come from?
We conduct three HopeKids Fundraisers each year including the HopeKids Charity Classic Golf Tournament, HopeWalk, and Peace Love & HopeKids. We also have companies who sponsor events, write a few grants, and we have individual donors who support our mission through financial gifts.
#11 Do you have any special event fundraisers in the near future?
Our HopeKids Charity Classic Golf Tournament is coming up on May 18th. Our Peace Love and HopeKids event is scheduled for September 19th and the HopeWalk will be held on October 17th.
#12 Your Facebook posts talk a lot about volunteers. How many volunteers help you in the course of a month? A year?
We have over 150 active volunteers on our email list. The number of volunteers needed each month will vary greatly. Our HopeCrew is truly the heart of our program because without volunteers we could not provide as many events as we do each week for our families. Our volunteers are priceless!
#13 Give a shout out to a couple of key people who help you day in and day out.
My Program Manager, Lisa Sweeney, is currently the only other staff for HopeKids Arizona and is absolutely priceless! Her heart and dedication to HopeKids is evident in all that she does each day and I’m so grateful she is part of our team.
#14 How does someone become a volunteer with HopeKids?
To sign up to be part of our HopeCrew, go to our website www.hopekids.org and click on “How to Help” at the top. All volunteers must fill out a volunteer application and meet with Lisa before volunteering.
#15 What about families? How does a family become a part of HopeKids?
If you have a child diagnosed with a life-threatening illness, go to www.hopekids.org and click on “Become a HopeKid” to fill out the short application. After we receive it, we will contact the child’s doctor to determine eligibility.
#16 How long can a family be a part of HopeKids?
Our motto is “Once a HopeKid, Always a HopeKid!” Our HopeKids who have completed treatment are the HOPE for the newly diagnosed kids. There is nothing more wonderful than seeing a child meet another child who has conquered the same condition they are now currently battling. It’s encouragement to the new HopeKids that they too can conquer and overcome!
#17 Can you share a personal story of a family and what HopeKids means to them?
One of our HopeKids moms recently told me with tears in her eyes, that when she first started with HopeKids it was all about attending the free events and activities. But now, HopeKids has become so much more to her family. She has grown to love the other families and made so many irreplaceable friendships. Now instead of looking at HopeKids as an organization that does free events, it has become an organization that is family to her walking beside her on her journey. This truly reflects the heart of HopeKids.
#18 Tell us about one of your most memorable days with HopeKids.
Wow, I have too many that come to mind. One moment that I will always remember is during our family dance, watching one of our HopeKids dads spinning his daughter around in a wheelchair. He danced and twirled her around all night long. Every time he tried to stop, she would start crying. The moment was beautiful and one I will remember always, as I’m sure they will too.
#19 What are some easy ways someone can get involved with HopeKids?
Volunteer! Become a Prayer Warrior! Sign up for Hope365! Or plan and sponsor an event for us.
#20 Where can we learn more about HopeKids?
For more information, go to our website: www.hopekids.org.
What an awesome program right!? So now you know all about HopeKids and how you can help them. You can also help HopeKids by shopping the MOMS Club sale next week. Or if you’d like to donate your gently used children’s items to the sale, let them know at [email protected]. The MOMS Club of Phoenix-Happy Valley is a non-profit so all donations are tax deductible.