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February Updates (Happy Leap Day!)

We’re really, really hoping that groundhog knew what he was talking about.

While we patiently await that promised early spring, we’ve got a few fundraising tips and stories for you from the Help Hope Live community.

It's Rare Disease Day!

A zebra-striped graphic reads Celebrating Rare Disease Day 2024

February 29 is the rarest day of the year, Leap Day. What better day to celebrate the united rare disease community?

Today is Rare Disease Day!

Learn why we celebrate Rare Disease Day and how zebras became an unlikely animal ally in our latest blog post:

Fundraise on Instagram

A graphic reads How to Fundraise on Instagram with the Help Hope Live logo and screenshots of Instagram posts, bios, and Stories from Help Hope Live clients.

We’ve updated our Instagram fundraising guide for 2024!

Learn how to add a Campaign Page link to your Instagram bio, add the link to your next Instagram Story, choose which hashtags to include in your posts, and more:

Fundraising Tip: Getting Press Coverage

A graphic reads get one-on-one press outreach help and personalized releases with a green megaphone logo, a broadcast antenna logo, and a newspaper logo.

Getting your story covered by local TV, radio, or print news is a fantastic way to help more people in your community learn about a Help Hope Live campaign—but it’s not easy to figure out where to start.

That’s why we offer one-on-one press outreach support as a free fundraising tool.  

Let us write a customized press release to help tell your story locally. We’ll even send it out to local stations and reporters in your area and help coordinate coverage opportunities with you.

Just contact your Client Services Coordinator to request press outreach help.

Press outreach can be a big upgrade to your campaign’s visibility, helping to encourage donations while giving community members and local businesses a chance to get involved in other ways, too.

And take it from the Help Hope Live clients who received coverage recently: that visibility really matters.

Clients in the News: Micah

Client Micah Hardy is pictured in a news broadcast screenshot with a ticker that reads Local News: Micah Hardy, double-lung transplant recipient. He has light skin, short dark hair, a faint goatee, and a striped blue shirt.

“Seeing donations come in, local businesses stepping up…people have really put themselves into this.”

For father of six Micah Hardy, fundraising with Help Hope Live for a double-lung transplant, press coverage was a chance to express immense gratitude for how the community has come forward to help.

With support from local churches, schools, and businesses, the campaign in Micah’s honor has raised over $37,300 so far.

A TV interview helped highlight in-person and online fundraisers that have brought Micah within reach of his fundraising goal.

A bright gold flyer reads Micah Hardy Family Benefit - Thank You for Your Support with a photo of Micah and his wife with their six daughters ranging in age from infant to teen in a family portrait. The flyer and photo are on a screenshot of news coverage with a ticker that reads Local News: Double-Lung Transplant Fundraiser, Bloomington.

Clients in the News: Oliver

“In the vast majority of cases, medical insurance will not cover home conversions or medically accessible vehicles.

In current systems, such things are shockingly not considered medical necessities.”

We love seeing a single story turn into a multi-article opportunity to not just drive donations but also educate the community about the financial burden of chronic diagnoses.  

Living with quadriplegic cerebral palsy and growing fast, Oliver Garcia’s family is fundraising for an accessible van, which will widen his world while reducing the burden on his family to manually transfer him in and out of a non-accessible vehicle.

A local reporter has given the Garcia family the opportunity to share their story and their fundraising campaign.

Coverage highlights the stark gap between what insurance considers “medically necessary” and what the family of a child with a disability truly needs to keep their loved one safe and healthy.

The campaign in Oliver’s honor has raised over $7,300 so far—double what they had raised when the article first went live in early January.

Clients in the News: Lisa

Speaking excitedly to a news team in a news broadcast screenshot, client Lisa Marie Lee is seated in her wheelchair with a raffle or auction fundraiser scene visible behind her. She has light skin, brown hair past her shoulders, dark eyes, and a salmon pink striped dress with short sleeves and a V-neck.

“An anonymous donor brought my family so much closer to our goal! I don’t know who you are, but I am extremely grateful!”

Widowed mom of four Lisa Lee began fundraising after back surgeries left her with nerve damage that impaired her foot function, creating an urgent need for an accessible van.

Her children and her community are stepping up to generate support for Lisa through her Help Hope Live campaign.

During a TV interview, Lisa expressed her gratitude and enduring hope for the future despite her immediate medical challenges.

Following the coverage, an anonymous donor made a significant donation to push her campaign closer to the goal of securing a safe wheelchair van.

A screenshot from news coverage of a fundraiser that features raffle or auction baskets on tables and people walking around to view them and bid. Client Lisa Marie Lee is seated in a manual wheelchair with purple accents on the other side of the tables. She has light skin, wavy brown hair past her shoulders, and a striped salmon pink dress.

Call for Stories: Mobility Matters

A graphic reads Mobility Matters with a Help Hope Live logo in the lower right corner. The text is framed with a golden and orange sunbeam graphic.

Each May, we celebrate Mobility Awareness Month with a blog interview series that highlights firsthand perspectives on why mobility matters to our client community.

Are you interested in participating?

Email and let us know!

We can send you questions to answer via email during March or April to put together a full-length blog post interview about your experiences.

We’ll include a link to your Campaign Page.

Making Art, Living Hope

Transplant recipient and artist Dylan Mortimer has light skin, short brown hair, and a short brown beard. He is raising his left hand thoughtfully to his chin. Behind him is tiled artwork by him depicting pills and abstract antibody-like shapes in pink, white, red, blue, and green with glitter. Text reads

Dylan Mortimer was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis at three months old. The artist, husband, father, and Help Hope Live Ambassador received two transplants in 2017 and 2019.

Our interview with Dylan explores some of the most profound findings that have emerged from his medical journey, from the tense line between joy and grief to how art can turn a complex concept into a tangible feeling.

You’ll want to stick around to the end to see Dylan’s Jason Kelce impression:

Coming Soon: Hope in Action Toolkit

A graphic reads coming soon: Hope in Action Toolkit with a logo of a pinwheel in shades of teal and light blue with

Keep an eye on your inbox for an email from your Coordinator in March. We’ll be sharing our Hope in Action toolkit very soon!

This toolkit will include details on how you can take advantage of this new annual day of giving that’s exclusive to the Help Hope Live client community.

Rally your support network, get customized materials and tools, plan your strategy with one-on-one support, and put a little fun in fundraising. This is Hope in Action!

Happy Leap Day!

Occurring only once every four years, Leap Days like today have a special significance as symbols to some cultures—representing new beginning or a reversal of traditional roles and assumptions.

For individuals living with chronic illnesses and life-impacting disabilities, being rare is nothing new, and neither is challenging assumptions or embracing new beginnings.

Live loud this Leap Day and know that as rare as you are, you are not alone:

You are welcome here within a community of help and hope that just keeps on gathering strength.

Written by Emily Progin