Crowdfunding Helps 9-Year-Old Boy Turn Lemons into Lemonade for Sick Infant Brother

A 9-year-year-old South Carolina boy is proving he can make lemonade out of lemons. In the two hours after he opened a lemonade stand at a used truck dealership in Greenwood, Andrew Emery raised some $6,000 to help his sick brother, Dylan, who suffers from Krabbe disease, a rare and often lethal neurological condition.

But that’s not all. South Carolina’s littlest entrepreneur went to social media, where the publicity he generated from his lemonade stand led to a crowdfunding campaign that raised $5,600 for his infant brother, who is currently in a Pittsburgh hospital receiving medical care, and another $1,300 at a benefit concert.

Libby Hikind, founder and CEO of the free crowdfunding website YouHelp.com, said social media is an effective tool for expanding a campaign’s donor base beyond family, friends and work. But, social media channels including Twitter and Facebook should already be firmly established before launching a campaign. Once the campaign has begun on YouHelp, organizers should share donations and comments from contributors to inspire others to commit.

Andrew Emery had a social network that included some, perhaps, he had never met. After he pleaded on Facebook to “"Please come buy lemonade so I can raise money to help Dylan get better," the community converged on his stand, handing him stacks of cash for each cup of lemonade.

Andrew's father, Matthew, and stepmother, Melissa, have been stunned by the campaign but not in the least by the extension of love from their son. Meanwhile, Andrew has been talking to his baby brother on video calls and has big plans “to hug him” when he gets home.

YouHelp.com offers the best in crowdfunding capabilities to forward-thinking organizations, groups and individuals who want to connect their campaigns to the public. The process is simple: create a profile, a fundraising goal, and compelling message that prospects will find worthwhile — and launch. If the idea is deserving, people will pledge their support.

 

About the Author: Staff Writer for YouHelp.com

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YouHelp Partners With WePay to Make Raising Money Easier for NonProfits, Worthy Causes

For the multitude of individuals, nonprofit organizations and small businesses that launch campaigns on YouHelp.com, crowdfunding for almost any cause just got much easier thanks to a new partnership with WePay, a financial technology firm owned by CHASE.

“We are truly excited to integrate with WePay and position YouHelp among the top crowdfunding websites,” said Libby Hikind, founder and CEO of YouHelp. “Campaign organizers — especially nonprofits with urgent needs — can now enjoy immediate access to their funds.”

“With a couple of keystrokes and a click of the mouse, anyone who chooses to launch a free crowdfunding campaign on YouHelp can connect to WePay and receive donations instantly. This way, YouHelp customers can direct their energies to where they belong – promoting their crowdfunding campaigns.”

Campaign organizers on YouHelp are encouraged to connect their campaigns to both the PayPal and WePay payment processing options available. Payment processing fees on YouHelp continue to remain low for both platforms: 2.2 percent for nonprofits, and 2.9 percent for everyone else for non-Amex contributions (and 30 cents per transaction).

About YouHelp

YouHelp.com offers the best in crowdfunding capabilities for nonprofits, small businesses and individuals that want to ask the public to contribute to their campaign. The process is simple: create a profile, a fundraising goal, and compelling message that contributors will find worthwhile — and launch. Follow the 30-day tips and templates marketing suggestions and if your need is deserving, people will pledge their support. www.youhelp.com; support@uhelp.com888-240-1494.

 

About the Author: Staff Writer for YouHelp.com

Student Takes Shot at Crowdfunding to Improve Golf Swing and Course in Life

She could be hitting off the driving range or putting on the practice green. It doesn’t matter to Denise Miller. The high school senior who only took up the game of golf two years ago, can already see beyond the fairway.

Miller envisions the lessons she learns at First Tee in For Worth will not only improve her golf swing, but also prepare her with the life skills she needs to move forward. First Tee is a youth development organization that impacts young people like Denise by providing them with educational programs that build character, instill life-enriching values and promote healthy choices through the game of golf.

But, like many good things in life, those learning experiences come with a cost. That’s why the 16-year-old at Martin High School in Arlington, Texas (with parental supervision), launched a crowdfunding campaign on YouHelp.com . She is appealing for donations between $5-$10 per month to offset the cost of her instruction with a Professional Golf Association coach.

Miller, who was accepted into the internship program at First Tee, is off to a good start. Since launching the campaign at the beginning of the month, she has reached half of her $550 fundraising goal. Miller credits much of her crowdfunding success to social media, where she was able to spread the news about her campaign beyond family and friends. YouHelp provides Miller and campaign organizers like her with a free platform to make those connections.

Success stories beyond the golf course are a legacy of the First Tee program, which began as a partnership with the Ladies Professional Golf Association, Masters Tournament, PGA of America, PGA Tour and United States Golf Association. Since its inception in 1997, First Tee has reached more than 9 million young golfers throughout the United States on courses, in schools and at other youth-serving locations.

Miller said even though most of her friends are not golfers, she was not intimidated to take up the game by herself.

“No one thinks golf is cool,” she said. “I’m a pretty individual person and golf is a very tough sport. When I do get frustrated, there is no one to blame but myself.”

Last year, her first as a member of the Martin High School Golf Team, Miller found very little to fault. She was named outstanding junior varsity golfer, an honored that surprised her. Not about to rest on her laurels, she is very much aware of the mental aspects of the game.

“I try not to think negatively, even after a bad shot,” she said. “I try to be positive, practice each day, look at one shot at a time and hope for the best.”

Right now, Miller is looking ahead to college and a possible career in public relations, maybe within the golf industry. In the meantime, she is embracing the tenets of the First Tee program: honesty, integrity, sportsmanship, respect, confidence, responsibility, perseverance, courtesy and judgment

“The game is more fun when you know what you are doing, but golf is not just about the sport,” said Miller. “It can lead to so many things.”

YouHelp.com offers the best in crowdfunding capabilities to forward-thinking organizations, groups and individuals who want to connect their campaigns to the public. The process is simple: create a profile, a fundraising goal, and compelling message that prospects will find worthwhile — and launch. If the idea is deserving, people will pledge their support.

About the Author: Staff Writer for YouHelp.com

Glad to Hear It! Crowdfunding Provides Answers for Mocked Army Veteran to Purchase Vehicle

When a group of strangers heard a 75-year-old Army veteran was ridiculed for trying to sell his hearing aids to purchase a wheelchair-accessible vehicle that would take him to cancer treatments, they refused to turn a deaf ear to his plight.

Gilbert Hoppe, who has been battling cancer for more than five years from his home in Minnesota, had put pictures of his hearing aids on a Facebook sales site in the hope that he would find a buyer. Hoppe, had been doing well, but the cancer has reappeared in his bones, back and lungs. To make matters worse, he has lost a kidney since his cancer battle began and his wife has chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Hoppe has taken on caring for her as well.

To his dismay, what he found was a slew of cruel comments.

Army veteran Hoppe who served in the Army from 1962 to 1966, was humbled to find that not all reactions to his online post were nasty and that he had friends he had never met who were willing to rally around him with acts of kindness.  His supporters, Kristi Bighley, Christ Wright and Christina Anderson, organized a crowdfunding page along with a silent auction that has raised nearly $20,000 to help Hoppe purchase a wheelchair-accessible vehicle that will take him to and from the VA in Mankato.

Today crowdfunding websites provide veterans as well as many other underserved individuals with a platform to raise funds to purchase a car or repair an existing vehicle.

Libby Hikind, founder and CEO of YouHelp.com, said that crowdfunding has the potential to help individuals, nonprofits, small businesses and entire communities solve transportation issues impacting health, education, and employment.

Kristi Bighley, one of the first to jump in and defend the army veteran, said the comments posted to Hoppe's Facebook page broke her heart.

Regardless, when asked how the outpouring of support made him feel, Hoppe said, "Good. Couldn't feel any better."

YouHelp.com, the free fundraising website enables individuals, nonprofit organizations, businesses and entrepreneurs to increase their opportunities for success by safely showcasing their projects, ventures and ideas to a pool of potential investors and donors throughout the world. The process is simple: sign-up, create a profile, a fundraising goal, and compelling message that prospects will find worthwhile — and launch. If the idea is deserving, people will pledge their support.

About the Author: Staff Writer for YouHelp

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WeDo Honor Their Service: Army Veterans Turn to Crowdfunding to Start Small Business

After almost a decade of military service including a stint in Desert Storm, Sean Natale had his fill of commands, or so he thought. The army veteran now takes orders from consumers along Florida’s gulf coast who want him and his partner to do something with the furniture and household items they can no longer use.

Along with Stephen Hampton, a local army reservist, Natale started his own business at the beginning of the year. WeDo, based in St. Petersburg, does much of everything that taps into the founders’ passion for working with their hands to restore furniture pieces into a recycled condition that makes them useful and, just as important, keeps them out of landfills.

But, like others who start most any small business, the army veterans found themselves on the short side of funds to make their concept work. Rejected by banks and lacking a history of credit, Natale and Hampton refused to throw up their hands and give up. When Natale started reading up on crowdfunding as an alternative source for start-up revenue, he landed on YouHelp.com.

Because furniture is a slow-moving inventory and repurposing recyclable household goods can take up space in both housing and transport, Natale hopes his crowdfunding campaign 2 U.S. Army Vets Need You !! will provide the funds that the army vets need to purchase a truck and additional tools, equipment and supplies to make their business thrive.

Libby Hikind, founder and CEO of YouHelp, said the free crowdfunding site offers a platform for veterans who have run into financial difficulties to get the assistance they need to live out their dreams when their military service has been completed. For the founders of WeDo, that means overcoming the most challenging aspects of getting a small business off the ground.

Natale said, the seed for restoring furniture was planted in him at an early age, when he would watch his father strip and retain old rocking chairs. But his fervor for “watching old paint fall off” and working with his hands didn’t begin to materialize until after he left the military and bounced around as a restaurant manager.

“We were both pretty good at working with our hands, enjoyed it and owning our own business is better than working for someone else,” said Natale, who is both surprised and sometimes annoyed at what people are willing to discard.

On any given day, Natale said, he stumbles on antiques like an armoire hand-built in 1900, which, after three hours of labor, he can transform into an item of furniture worth $250.

“If I had room, I could get to 70 of these pieces,” he said.

But, with each potential restoration, he also sees plenty of lost opportunities.

“I watch the recycling bin behind my house,” said the former radio communications specialist, who learned the value of recycling during a military tour in Europe. “I see people walk by and put plastic bottles that could be recycled into the dumpster. It irritates me. You don’t have to throw things away.”

YouHelp.com, a free fundraising website, offers the best in crowdfunding capabilities to forward-thinking nonprofits, small businesses, entrepreneurs, veterans, and individuals seeking to raise money and awareness about start-up initiatives. The YouHelp process is simple: create a profile, a fundraising goal, add high resolution images and a compelling message that prospects will find worthwhile — and launch. If the idea is deserving, and the campaign is promoted properly, contributors will pledge their support.

 

About the Author: Staff Writer for YouHelp

Sources:

www.youhelp.com/2-us-army-vets-need-you

MEOW is Time to Start Crowdfunding Campaign, Says Arizona’s First Cat Cafe Owner

For just 10 dollars, patrons of the newest lounges in Tempe won’t be offered food or drinks, but can spend an hour playing with “Moonchi,” “Drew Berry” or the dozen or so other cats at La Gattara.

Arizona’s first cat café, which provides customers with a place to hang out with cats or shop for furry-themed merchandise, opened late last year with the help of a crowdfunding campaign. Now, the owner of La Gattara – or crazy cat lady in Italian – is out to raise $10,000 through crowdfunding to comply with local building codes which require a wall to separate the cats and boutique.

Small Business Start-Up Cat Cafe

Melissa Pruit said she fell upon the idea for a cat café after 20 years in apartment management where she would find strays or cats that former tenants had left behind. Instead of relying on just her money to care for the cats, Pruitt raised $18,000 in her first crowdfunding campaign in 2016, enough to open La Gattara.

Libby Hikind, founder and CEO of the free crowdfunding platform YouHelp.com, said crowdfunding can provide enough money to overcome the most challenging aspects of getting a small business off the ground. Small businesses can take advantage of a crowdfunding campaign to solicit funds directly from their customer base. To serious-minded entrepreneurs, who are willing to invest their time to secure support, she suggested these simple tips to consider while developing a YouHelp campaign:

  • Only one-third of all crowdfunding campaigns succeed; so be prepared to learn from past mistakes and try again;
  • By creating a more urgent need, shorter crowdfunding campaigns are likelier to achieve goals;
  • Set realistic goals to crowdfund for only the amount of money that is required of the project.

Pruitt said because she is good with business, people and animals, the cat café was the purr-fect fit for a career change. She said her small business saves the lives of hundreds of cats that might otherwise been euthanized.

Cat cafés got their start in Taiwan in 1998, and spread to Japan, where many residents live in apartments that don’t allow pets. These alternative coffee shops that permit felines to roam about the dining area have now popped up across the United States and Canada. Most of the cafes also serve as adoption centers.

And some including Community SEEDS will try crowdfunding to get these unique businesses started. The Washington-based nonprofit devoted to enhancing the lives of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, hopes to rally support through crowdfunding to open a cat café in Yakima, considered the first of its kind east of the Cascade mountain range.

Community SEEDS, which received $75,000 in start-up funds from the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services believes the proposed café will not only encourage adoptions at local pet shelters, but also provide jobs to deserving adults with disabilities.

YouHelp.com, a free fundraising website, offers the best in crowdfunding capabilities to forward-thinking nonprofits, small businesses, entrepreneurs, and individuals seeking to generate revenue and awareness for capital building campaigns. The YouHelp process is simple: create a profile, a fundraising goal, add high resolution images and a compelling message that prospects will find worthwhile — and launch. If the idea is deserving, and the campaign is promoted properly, contributors will pledge their support.

About the Author: Staff Writer at YouHelp.com

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Crowdfunding to Carry Water for Loveland Living Planet Aquarium Capital Building Campaign

Organizers are overflowing with optimism that a multimillion dollar expansion to the Loveland Living Planet Aquarium in Draper, Utah, will help spawn the next generation of scientists.

Their enthusiasm for generating a greater interest among kids in science comes with a cost: an estimated $25 million for the new 80,000-square foot Science Learning Center, $1 million of which has already been provided by the Loveland Foundation to fund initial planning. The new facility will include space for classrooms, summer-camp programs and labs where an additional 80,000 students per year — from kindergarten through college — can learn.

With the help of a crowdfunding campaign, the Loveland Living Planet Aquarium hopes to begin construction of the new facility in the fall. By the time the expansion is completed in 2020, the Science Learning Center will feature as its centerpiece a 165-foot-tall, 190-ton stage component that the rock band U2 used on tour between 2009 and 2011. Considered the largest stage in music history, the “Claw” will rise to four times the height of the aquarium and serve as an attention-grabbing architectural element that officials hope will attract more visitors to the expanded offerings of the campus.

Rather than raise the price of admission to cover the cost of the ambitious expansion, the 501(c)(3) nonprofit, which relies on donations and grants for funding, launched the crowdfunding campaign to help pay for Phase 2 of the 9-acre Science Learning Center.

Libby Hikind, founder and CEO of the free crowdfunding platform YouHelp.com, said crowdfunding is a great way for nonprofits to centralize fundraising efforts toward a specific project in a large capital building campaign. By raising small amounts of money from a larger donor pool, crowdfunding can garner support for capital building projects that might consist of land acquisition, construction, or the purchasing of supplies.

Plus, crowdfunding campaigns don’t cost much to operate. Hikind said that unlike some crowdfunding operations that charge a fee ranging from about 3 to 8 percent of each donation, YouHelp is free. Donors do have the option of adding a “tip” to their donation to help keep the platform running.

In the process of gaining new contributors, crowdfunding campaigns can also serve as a stage – not unlike the “Claw” — to foster a sense of community and, in this case, to support the promotion of science, technology, engineering and math subjects, often referred to as STEM, not only in Utah, but throughout the United States.

Home to more than 4,000 animals representing 625 species living and thriving within five unique habitats in the landlocked state of Utah, the aquarium educated some 830,000 visitors, in 2017, about biodiversity and conservation of ocean ecosystems.

Aquarium officials believe that building the Science Learning Campus will encourage even more guests to learn about the natural world and understand the need for conservation of the living planet. To strengthen those experiences, the new campus will include a five-story Asian Cloud Forest Habitat & Endangered Species Conservation Center, interactive science stations, new indoor and outdoor animal exhibits, and high-tech laboratories and classrooms.

YouHelp.com, a free fundraising website, offers the best in crowdfunding capabilities to forward-thinking nonprofits, small businesses, entrepreneurs, and individuals seeking to generate revenue and awareness for capital building campaigns. The YouHelp process is simple: create a profile, a fundraising goal, add high resolution images and a compelling message that prospects will find worthwhile — and launch. If the idea is deserving, and the campaign is promoted properly, contributors will pledge their support.

About the Author: Staff Writer for YouHelp

Feel Good! Be Happy! When YouHelp on #GivingDay to Crowdfunding Campaigns

Do you want to feel good? Perhaps, raise your endorphins without a bite of chocolate or the sweat of exercise? Then YouHelp has the key to HAPPINESS for you today — April 25th — #Giving Day (and every day).

"Give a Little, Get a Lot."

When you make a difference in the life of another, you feel happy. For a few dollars, you can add bounce to your step and smile from cheek to cheek. Help the homeless. Support treatment for a child with cancer. Fund transportation for the elderly – and so many more happiness opportunities are available to you, when you donate to one of many individual campaigns on YouHelp.com

But Wait!!!  Don’t take our word. Look at the article below, “Being Generous Really Does Make You Happier,” (which appeared in TIME Magazine written by Amanda Macmillan, published on July 14, 2017).

Find an appeal that matches your interests — and pledge your support today – #Giving Day, or give a little, get a  lot on any other day you want to feel happier.

It doesn’t take a neuroscientist to know that doing nice things for people feels good. But now, researchers say they’ve discovered that even thinking about doing something generous has real mood-boosting benefits in the brain.

In a new study published in Nature Communications, researchers from the University of Zurich in Switzerland told 50 people they’d be receiving about $100 over a few weeks. Half of the people were asked to commit to spending that money on themselves, and half were asked to spend it on someone they knew.

The researchers wanted to see whether simply pledging to being generous was enough to make people happier. So before doling out any money, they brought everyone into the lab and asked them to think about a friend they’d like to give a gift to and how much they would hypothetically spend. They then performed functional MRI scans to measure activity in three regions of the brain associated with social behavior, generosity, happiness and decision-making.

Their choices—and their brain activity—seemed to depend on how they had pledged to spend the money earlier. Those who had agreed to spend money on other people tended to make more generous decisions throughout the experiment, compared to those who had agreed to spend on themselves. They also had more interaction between the parts of the brain associated with altruism and happiness, and they reported higher levels of happiness after the experiment was over.

Another piece of good news was that it didn’t seem to matter how generous people were. Planning to give away just a little bit of money had the same effects on happiness as giving away a lot. “At least in our study, the amount spent did not matter,” said lead author Philippe Tobler, associate professor of neuroeconomics and social neuroscience, in an email. “It is worth keeping in mind that even little things have a beneficial effect—like bringing coffee to one’s office mates in the morning.”

It’s not yet clear how long these warm and fuzzy feelings last after being generous. But other research suggests that making generosity a regular habit may influence long-term wellbeing and happiness, the study authors say.

Studies have shown that older people who are generous tend to have better health, says Tobler, and other research has indicated that spending money on others can be as effective at lowering blood pressure as medication or exercise. “Moreover, there is a positive association between helping others and life expectancy,” he adds, “perhaps because helping others reduces stress.”

The researchers wonder, however, whether the feel-good effect of generosity could be dampened by deliberate attempts to take advantage of it—in other words, by expecting personal gains from performing selfless acts.

Still, the new study suggests that making a pledge to do generous things could be a useful way to reinforce altruistic behavior and even make people happier, says Tobler.

“It is known that actually helping others and being generous to them increases happiness,” he says. “I would still consider that the primary route to boost happiness; however, making a commitment to help others is a first step to follow through.”

Next time you think that the best way to make yourself feel better is to buy yourself a treat, consider that the opposite is likely true. “It is worth giving it a shot, even if you think it would not work,” Tobler says. “In order to reap health benefits, repeated practice is probably needed so that giving becomes second nature.”

 

About the Author: Staff Writer for YouHelp and http://time.com/4857777/generosity-happiness-brain/ “Being Generous Really Does Make You Happier,” (which appeared in TIME Magazine written by Amanda Macmillan, published on July 14, 2017).