Having a sick kid or being a sick kid can be tough. When you’re chronically sick or your child has fallen ill with something like Cancer it can be world changing and put a huge strain on just about everything. Parents often times have to quit their jobs or sacrifice important family time to help with a child’s care, and it’s all in the name of hoping that the child will get better.
Well imagine what it’s like to be on the other side, imagine being that sick child.
Many sick kids don’t like to talk about it. They’ve seen their parents, grandparents and family members struggle with their illness and whether they’re four years old or twelve they know that people are sad, strained and drained from the physical and emotional toll a child’s sickness can put on everyone involved. Some turn to friends, other relatives, spouses and god to help them through this trying time. The sickness can be even more taxing to the child. Of course the sick child is dealing with the sickness but they’re also dealing with their family members being sad and trying to help them cheer up anyway that they can. While their medical needs, physical needs, some emotional needs and spiritual needs are being met the best they can, there are still some needs that may go unnoticed. Needs, a child doesn’t want to bring up to their friends or family members, or needs that may in light of the situation, seem selfish, when in actuality they’re far from it. Those needs are the fun needs.
“When I was five years old I was really sick, I spent the next five years at the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center in Baltimore” FundSomeFun Founder Kyle Sandler told me in an interview. “Everyone around me was sad, and trying to be hopeful, but truth be told I was bored out of my mind and that boredom made the emotional drain even harder.” “Sure back in the late 70s I had just about every activity book my family could find, a handheld football game which amounted to little red lights crawling across a screen and a analog tablet that allowed me to move magnets to the top of a mans head and create moustaches and beards” Sandler described, but said he really wanted a record player to listen to music and a Super 8 movie camera.
It’s needs like those that don’t often get answered. And of course today technology is much better, there are Nintendo DS’s and Xbox Ones, GoPro cameras and iPads.
FundSomeFun falls somewhere in between friends and family and the Make a Wish and Grant A Wish Foundation which Sandler admits are great organizations. Wish organizations are great for Disney trips, and meeting celebrities but what about simpler stuff, stuff that can be used long term.
FundSomeFun is a crowdfunding portal that allows parents, friends and family members of sick children to crowdfund for fun stuff. The campaigns can be for anything that qualifies as “fun” and must be less than $1000.00. Unlike other crowdfunding sites, because of the unique situation of many of the people that FundSomeFun is for, campaigns will be much shorter, 3, 5 or 7 days.
The idea, that had been sitting in the back of Sandler’s mind, was re-inspired recently by a local 11 year old boy in Alabama named Windle who has cancer. Windle, who Sandler had only met his family, wanted a fishing pole. Sandler purchased a salt water fishing pole and a GoPro camera for Windle who proceeded to catch a shark while fishing in between radiation treatments. A nine year old, from the same town, named Henry, was another inspiration for FundSomeFun. Henry has Cerebral Palsy and wanted a chance to see Lebron James play, Sandler made that happen with tickets and a hotel room for the Memphis Grizzlies vs Cavs game.
“Most of these things, that will make a huge difference in a sick childs life, aren’t very costly and could be crowdfunded in just a number of days”. Sandler said.
“People don’t realize what a financial toll a child with a chronic illness can be to a family” Lynette Strickland, Henry’s mother, said. Their family has reasonably good health insurance and that still only covers 30 therapy appointments per year.
Most parents with sick children know all to well that if the child were to ask for something they would get it for them even if it meant going without a meal of their own. In that vulnerable position no one wants to tell a child no and no child wants to even ask. That’s what makes FundSomeFun the perfect platform. Complete strangers hundreds of miles away can go onto the platform and decide to forgo a date night to contribute to a campaign. Aunt Hilda can also decide to contribute, and anonymously if they wish.
FundSomeFun is built on the Qikfunder crowdfunding platform. They’re headed down to Jacksonville for OneSpark the crowdfunding festival next week. To contribute or to check out Fundsomefun just click over to FundSomeFun.com
Ethics Statement: Sandler is founder and Editor in Chief of Nibletz.com, and the founder of Round House where FundSomeFun was created.