As I sit here typing this note in the Day Dreams Foundation office, listening to Christmas music and preparing for the holidays, I find myself more inspired than ever. The giving spirit is truly alive and well in our community and in our country.
Since founding the Day Dreams Foundation back in September 2014, I have had many people ask me what the key was to launching a new organization. I have always emphasized the importance of friends and family, because in the early months and years, they are going to be your main supporters – both emotionally and financially. Our first board was made up of six of my best friends who had a passion for kids. Our first donors were all individuals we knew personally.
However, in order for an organization our size to grow, we were always going to have to expand outside of our inner circles. But that’s what has given me so much inspiration today. Each time we receive a donation to our CoMoGives campaign, I receive an email notification. Each time it’s like receiving a Christmas present. I get excited when I see the little icon pop up alerting me to a new email in my Day Dreams account and can’t wait to unwrap it. Like in years past, there are many gifts from friends and family, both mine and of our board members. These will always be special, in the way that only gifts from your close friends and family who know you best can be. Knowing that your friends and family have your back is always a tremendous motivator. But sometimes it’s the gifts that you didn’t expect to receive that can really blow you away.
On Saturday as I was taking a break from decorating the house with my wife, I looked at my phone — my Christmas spirit ticked up a notch as I saw a CoMoGives donation notification. I immediately recognized the name of the donor who made a generous $100 gift, but I was a bit confused. The named matched that of a high school classmate that I had not spoken to in 10 years. Even in high school, we never hung out outside of school. I quickly looked him up on Facebook to see if the donor’s current state of residence matched his current residence — it did. I can’t adequately describe how moved I was in that moment. A person I had not spoken to in 10 years, that lived in a state that the Day Dreams Foundation does not serve, made a $100 investment in a Columbia, Missouri child.
The donation reminded me of the beginnings of the Day Dreams Foundation back in the summer of 2014 when I launched a GoFundMe page to cover my Little Brother’s football registration fee. Within 24 hours of posting the link, six donors came forward to help us reach our goal. Once again, it was several friends and family members. But there was also a donation of someone I met while working at the student newspaper in college that I had no spoken to in years. It was that generosity from not only close friends, but even casual acquaintances that convinced me there would be enough support to launch the Day Dreams Foundation.
There are many other stories of donors this month that have inspired me as well. One of our board member’s sisters who recently graduated from college and convinced several of her friends to donate $10 each. Another board member offered to run a full marathon if we reached our goal. Former co-workers have continued to overwhelm me with their support.
As of writing, we have received 54 donations totaling $1,925 to our CoMoGives campaign. That puts us on track to reach our $3,500 goal from 100 donors. We are also close to already topping last year’s total of 57 donors and $2,050. But we need your help. We are quickly running out of close family and friends we can ask to donate. We need this campaign to spread outside of our circles. Even if you are not able to donate yourself, please consider sharing the link with your friends and family.
If you would like to donate, or share the link, visit: https://comogives.com/product/day-dreams-foundation-2/
Thank you for all of your support thus far! We are excited to help even more kids in 2018 participate pursue their extracurricular dreams!
Joe Bradley, Founder and President
Day Dreams Foundation