We wanted to share a partner update from our Belong Collective grant recipient HopeKids. Brian Anderson, HopeKids Executive Director, shared more about the mission and vision of HopeKids.
Hope is a powerful medicine. That’s the slogan of HopeKids, and it is what drives this organization’s mission to provide an ongoing calendar of events and activities, and a powerful, unique support community for families who have a child with cancer or some other life-threatening medical condition. HopeKids surrounds these remarkable children and their families with the message that hope is a powerful medicine. This came to the attention of The Belong Tour last summer when Jen Hatmaker and Faitth Brooks from the Legacy Collective met Griffin, a nine-year-old boy battling a rare form of cancer. Griffin shared that HopeKids is his favorite organization.
The events and activities that HopeKids provides offer hope and anticipation for the future. The children that HopeKids serves often have schedules full of doctor appointments that involve needle pokes, surgeries, chemotherapy, and other not-so-fun things, especially for children. HopeKids fills their calendars with fun events like new private movies screenings, concerts, sporting events, festivals, and live theater; activities like trampoline parks, rock climbing, fishing, and the list goes on and on! The events are offered to the entire family so that siblings are included and not unintentionally overlooked. Some events are only offered as parent date nights to give mom and dad a chance to spend some much-needed time together. HopeKids events are often private and offer a safe and accepting environment, so immune-suppressed children feel safe going out, or to provide a comfortable space where others don’t stare because a child is bald or wearing a mask. The events bring families together with other families who “get it” and where relationships can be formed and a sense of community is established. And, all of the events are free to HopeKids families. The events are scheduled and posted on HopeKids website where families login and sign up to attend whatever events they are interested in and can attend.
Through HopeKids, Griffin and his family have been able to attend professional sporting events like the Minnesota Vikings, Minnesota Twins, Minnesota Wild, go to the circus and other events that are fun and exciting and that create a sense of anticipation for the future and memories that last a lifetime.
Griffin and his mom, Jill, were invited to share about HopeKids when the Belong Tour came to St. Paul in October of 2017. The Belong Tour partnered with the Legacy Collective and formed the Belong Collective. Their desire is to give a donation to a local organization in each city they visit and encourage the women attending the event to get involved by volunteering with that organization. They desire for the women attending the conference to make a tangible impact in their local community through service. During the two-day event in St. Paul, attendees donated over $15,000 directly benefitting HopeKids Minnesota.
Currently HopeKids Minnesota serves 1,250 families. In 2016, HopeKids offered 450 events and activities. The goal is to always have something on the families’ calendar so there’s a constant state of anticipation. The money donated to the Legacy Collective goes directly to HopeKids programming. The amount donated is enough to provide unlimited events to 41 families in HopeKids Minnesota! The women who attended this conference are extremely generous. Their contributions have a deep impact on the children and families HopeKids serves, and are greatly appreciated.