Posts Tagged ‘A Little Bit Goes a Long Way’

A Little Bit Goes a Long Way!

In Giving Back, Inspiration and Motivation, Life Lessons, Pursuit of Happiness on January 22, 2010 at 8:57 am

On December 11, 2009, at 8:16pm, Olivia Grace Armand passed away (10 days before her 5th birthday). Olivia had a very rare metabolic storage disorder called I-Cell.  When her mother, Trish (my good friend my high school), sent me the text letting me know that “Cookie” was gone, my heart sank.  We spoke on the phone while Trish was still in the room with Olivia.  Words cannot describe the sheer anguish that we both felt.  To make matters worse, Trish’s other child, an adorable little boy named Mikey, suffers from the same rare disorder that took his sister’s life.

This kind of devastating loss renders many people almost useless.  But not Trish!  She is sad…very sad.  She misses so many things about her amazing little girl.  We all do.  At least those of us who got to know Olivia through the videos and pictures that Trish posted on Facebook.   Rather than curl up into a ball and shield herself from the world, Trish decided to do something that will change the lives of many other people faced with the same situation.  Within a week of Olivia’s passing, Trish established the Olivia Grace Armand Foundation –

The Olivia Grace Armand Foundation will provide scholarship funds from “The Cookie Jar” to inspired nursing students, or nurses who want to further their education in Pediatrics.  There will be annual fundraisers to help keep“The Cookie Jar” filled.  This is Trish’s way of “paying it forward” to those that dedicate their lives to helping others, like the amazing nurses who have been there for Trish’s children time and time again.

One of the ways that Trish is promoting the foundation is through a Facebook fan page –  When I woke up in the middle of the night two nights ago, I checked to see how many people had signed up.  At the time, there were 917 people.  I put out an update encouraging my friends to join to help reach 1000 members (a goal that Trish set).  Within hours, several people had copied the update and made it their own.  Friends of friends started doing it as well.  By the afternoon, 50 people had joined, leaving only 33 to reach 1000.  I put out another update thanking people for joining, and letting them know that we were on 33 people away from 1000.  Within minutes, others copied the new message and made it their update.  And then it happened!  The foundation fan page reached 1000 members in almost no time.

By the end of the day, 31 of my friends had become a fan of the foundation.  Some of the friends that signed up were from the town that Trish and I grew up in.  Others came from a variety of places (fellow sleep away camp alumni, friends from college, co-workers from previous jobs that I’ve held, industry contacts, and bloggers from around the country who I have never met face-to-face, but still consider them to be good friends).

The 1000th member turned out to be one of my friends from college, who I hadn’t communicated with since graduation (until Facebook).  Trish was so appreciative of the show of support that she decided to reward the 1000thmember by sending her some cookies and a Starbucks gift card (because Olivia’s favorite cookies were from Starbucks).  What an incredible woman!  In her darkest hour, she still has the ability to give back to others.  Through the tears that flow regularly, she was able to smile at the progress that it being made in the name of her beautiful daughter.

At this moment, there are 1143 members of the Olivia Grace Armand Foundation fan page.  This is a great start.  The more exposure that the foundation gets the more successful it will be in generating donations and raising funds for a very worthy cause.  With the power of social networking, the exposure can increase exponentially without much effort at all.

If each of the 1143 members brought in 2 new members, there would be 3429 members.  If those new members each brought in 2 new members, there would be 8001 members.  And if those new members brought in 2 new members, there would be 17,145 members.  The potential for growth is extraordinary when you look at it in these terms.  If everyone just took a few minutes out of their day to help spread the word and “pay it forward,” amazing progress could be made.

What if each member donated $2 and got two more people to do the same?  With very little effort, and for less than the cost of a large cup of Starbucks coffee, “The Cookie Jar” could be overflowing.  How many people would benefit from having more dedicated, caring, passionate pediatric nurses?  Think about it…if your child needed to be hospitalized (for even the smallest ailment), wouldn’t you want a nurse that would take care of him or her as if it was their own child?

Please consider becoming a fan of the Olivia Grace Armand Foundation page on Facebook if you haven’t already.  If you are already a fan, please do what you can to help spread the word, and set a goal of bringing 2 of your friends into the fold to do the same.  Many people are struggling financially nowadays, but it is hard to imagine that we can’t each come up with a $2 for such a worthy cause.  We can all make a big difference with very little effort or expense.

A Little Bit Goes a Long Way!

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