Remember the $5,000 Charity Giveaway that StyleBlueprint was running last month? Something unexpected and really wonderful happened over the four weeks that we ran the promotion, and it’s a story worth telling.
The results were that Gilda’s Club of Louisville won the Charity Giveaway. Hope Scarves came in second place. But before we talk about the money they won, let’s get some background on the two organizations that were the first and second place finishers.
We all know that cancer sucks. We wear ribbons, do walks, support research. The list is endless. We raise and donate a lot of money to find a cure.
That’s great. We need cure. We need smart people researching. But, what we also need in the meantime are some practical, pragmatic measures to take care of cancer patients while they are going through treatment. We need help in the here and now. These sorts of practicalities involve finding the right scarf that fits your bald head. It involves connecting with other cancer fighters to talk about all of the emotional side affects. It involves getting the families of cancer fighters together to connect. It involves letting people know that they are not alone.
Gilda’s Club and Hope Scarves do just that. They get their hands dirty, solving the problems they can solve, day to day, minute to minute, emotion to emotion. They both deal with the process. They both offer hope.
Gilda’s Club has been in existence here in Louisville for seven years. Lara MacGregor started Hope Scarves three years ago. They are grass roots organizations with lots of love and support behind them. They are entirely funded by donations, so every dollar counts and every dollar helps someone whose life has been touched by cancer. Gilda’s Club helps anyone with a connection to cancer, offering support and networking. Hope Scarves sends scarves to cancer patients going through treatment who have lost their hair. Gilda’s Club has the perfect quote that applies to both of these organizations’ missions: “Living with cancer is not a choice. HOW you live with it is.”
When the Charity contest began these two organizations came out of the gate strong. Each week, these two charities were neck and neck. At one point in this process, I believe that less than 20 votes were separating them. I consider that desperately close. That showed StyleBlueprint a couple of things: First, people are passionate about cancer organizations, as all of us have been touched by cancer. Second, these organizations were both servicing the same goal.
Fast forward to the final hours of the giveaway. Tensions were high. Both organizations were watching the live results intently. They were working tirelessly, organizing phone trees, email capture lists and just working, working and working to get the word out. I joked with both organizations that this would be the hardest $5,000 they ever received. I know I was right.
The day before the giveaway ended, I hoped to myself that whoever won would consider splitting the gift or at least giving a percentage of the money to the second place finisher. I never voiced that, thinking that would be too much to ask.
Gilda’s Club was announced as the winner. Again, the votes were close. So close that we had StyleBlueprint staff working hard to verify each email address of entrants. That morning, I received a call from the Development Director at Gilda’s Club. They wanted to split the gift with Hope Scarves and they wanted my permission first. Needless to say, I was elated. They contacted Lara MacGregor at Hope Scarves and she was elated, as well. Truly, a partnership between these two organizations was established this day, and StyleBlueprint could not be prouder.
Here are their plans for the money:
Hope Scarves is planning on enhancing their partnership with Gilda’s. This money will cover what it costs to provide Hope Scarves to cancer patients who are Gilda’s members, as well as a writing workshop and scarf-making workshops for their members.
Gilda’s Club of Louisville is planning on expanding their programming, specifically focusing on couple’s nights and younger adults.
Both organizations are looking to partner more with their programming and Hope Scarves plans on having an inventory of scarves over at Gilda’s Club.
The future looks bright and full of hope.
StyleBlueprint would like to thank the charities involved and all of the readers who voted. Your vote really made all the difference.
To learn more or donate to Gilda’s Club of Louisville, click here: www.gildasclublouisville.org.