When school ended last June, my eleven year old daughter, Emily, set out to raise more than the $142 she did the previous year through ribbon barrette sales benefitting the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (CFF). In the past eleven months she’s raised $3600 in honor of her best friend, Ava, who was born with cystic fibrosis. Their sweet story of friendship and Emily’s passion fundraising efforts spread around the country thanks to social media as orders for $3 and $4 barrettes were shipped to 15 states and even to Costa Rica and Haiti.
This past weekend, Emily walked next to Ava in the Great Strides Washington, D.C. walk benefitting the CFF with other members of the Ava’s Aviary fundraising team. Friends, family, and fellow players on their soccer team came together to celebrate the continued research CFF is doing to develop important treatments for those living with cystic fibrosis as they work towards a cure.
Thanks to Kia, members of Ava’s Aviary arrived to Navy Yard, the site of the Great Strides walk, in style. Members of the soccer team and their families spilled out of our two Sedonas and through a festive celebration as we joined Ava underneath her family’s tent.
As our team walked the path along the river and around Nationals Ballpark and I watched Emily and Ava side by side, I thought about how much our family has learned from having Ava in our lives. Not only have we learned about what it’s like to live with cystic fibrosis and new treatments that prolong the life of those with the lung disease, but we’ve also learned to not underestimate love— love for a best friend whose disease drives efforts to ensure that there will one day be a cure so they will always be there for each other.
With donations made to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and summer on the horizon, Emily is busy brainstorming and trolling Pinterest for a new ribbon themed craft that can be added to the Ribbon Barrettes for Research product line, benefitting the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. While we realize Emily’s fundraising totals may never be this grand, I’ve also learned to not underestimate my daughter because she’s really capable of anything she sets out to do.
In addition to the many people who have bought the 700+ barrettes we’ve made in the last 11 months, spread the word on social media, and made direct donations, we want to send a huge thank you to the following individuals and companies who have supported Emily’s Ribbon Barrettes for Research fundraising efforts:
- Kia for their generous donation of two 2015 Sedonas to transport the members of Ava’s Aviary to the walk and then to a soccer game immediately after with very short notice.
- Rebecca Levey and Nancy Friedman who invited Emily to sell ribbon barrettes at the KidzVuz.com holiday party and then matched ribbon barrette sales with a fabulous donation.
- Babble, Giving Tuesday, Safely, Macaroni Kid NYC, TotSpot, and BethKanter.org for the online media coverage.
- The Hoffman Family for coordinating local fundraising efforts through holiday events.
- Clever Girls Collective for the ribbon barrette tutorial and initial supplies to get Emily started.
For more information or to order ribbon barrettes made by Emily, visit RibbonBarrettes.com. You can also make a direct donation to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation on Emily’s Ribbon Barrettes for Research Great Strides team page. To learn about the great charitable work that Kia has been doing with DonorsChoose.org for the past three years, visit their charitable giving page.
Kia provided us with two 2015 Sedonas for the weekend. No compensation was received for this post and all opinions are my own.