Balsam Hill | Balsam Hill Editors

THANK YOU FOR A SUCCESSFUL & CHARITABLE CHRISTMAS IN JULY

As our month-long Christmas in July campaign concluded on July 31st, we rejoice and express our gratitude for the strong support of the Balsam Hill community in sharing with those in need.

For the month of July, we put out a call to donate to four charity partners by engaging with the Balsam Hill Facebook page. A like was worth $0.50, while a comment or a share was worth $1. The support we received was truly inspiring and the feedback from our partners has been overwhelmingly positive.

We received a grand total of 10,474 engagements from the Balsam Hill community in the month-long fundraising campaign. The funds generated will go to our four partner charities: Alzheimer’s Association of Greater Idaho, Second Harvest Food Bank of East Central Indiana (partnered with Sincerely, Sara D.), Ronald McDonald House at Stanford, and Point Hope (with the help of its founder, radio personality, Delilah).

Read our partners’ responses* to the outcome of the campaign in our Q&A below:

What did you think of the Christmas in July campaign?

Alzheimer’s Association Greater Idaho Chapter: “Balsam Hill’s Christmas in July campaign was a great way to help everyone get in the giving mood! By allowing their supporters as well as the supporters of the selected charities the chance to help great causes, they motivated many people into action on social media and raised the awareness of their followers of these great organizations! We are so thankful that the Alzheimer’s Association was chosen to participate!”

Second Harvest: “The Christmas in July campaign was a fun and unique way to highlight some great organizations serving both at home and abroad. It was exciting to get on Facebook and see all the action! We are very grateful to Balsam Hill for this opportunity!”

Ronald McDonald House at Stanford: “Ronald McDonald House at Stanford’s Christmas in July partnership presented an exciting opportunity to share our mission with new online audiences and engage more communities in our work. The campaign’s simple, accessible design made it easy for anyone to get involved. The response has been incredible and we are sincerely grateful for Balsam Hill’s generous support for our House.”

Point Hope: “I loved doing the [Balsam Hill floral unboxing] video and the arrangements were unbelievable! I think another way to do it is to showcase different ways to use the arrangements.”

Do you think social media is an effective tool for advocacy, action, and change? Do you think there should be more of these campaigns?

Alzheimer’s Association: “Social media is a wonderful platform for raising the general public’s awareness and understanding of social causes like the Alzheimer’s Association. I would love to see more of these campaigns to encourage positive action from Facebook users.”

Second Harvest: “Yes, I think social media can help build awareness around issues and inspire action and change. Many people of diverse generations are active on social media and consider it a community, so I think we should meet them where they are to share our message. I would be interested to see more of these campaigns and hopefully see them grow.”

Ronald McDonald House: “Social media can be a powerful advocacy tool for nonprofits and community organizations like Ronald McDonald House at Stanford. Online engagement helps us reach new audiences, recognize exceptional partners, and share up-to-date information on our House. Participation in more digital campaigns like Christmas in July would help organizations raise awareness for important causes and connect them to communities in need.”

Point Hope: “I think social media is an EXTREMELY effective tool for advocacy and for bringing awareness to important causes. It has taken on a life of its own in this arena.”

What are some of the future plans for your organization/charity?

Alzheimer’s Association: “We are looking forward to the Walk to End Alzheimer’s coming up this fall. There will be over 450 Walks held across the US from Labor Day to Thanksgiving to raise funds and awareness for those affected by Alzheimer’s and their families. In Idaho, we will host 5 Walk to End Alzheimer’s events in 2017, check out alz.org/walk to sign up for the Walk nearest you!”

Second Harvest: “We are rapidly expanding our School Pantry Program to serve 24 schools in 6 counties by the end of 2017. This program provides food for children and families while also building relationships between families and schools, a crucial piece that is often missing from a child’s educational experience. As this program continues to grow, we not only hope to impact children today but also equip them for success tomorrow and beyond. We continue to focus on providing food through food pantries and soup kitchens to serve those who may not otherwise have food for today, and we are also expanding programming to provide tools and resources that will help individuals and families in poverty move from surviving to thriving.”

Ronald McDonald House: “Years of planning, building and community support have come to fruition as Ronald McDonald House begins an exciting new chapter of expanded family care services. Now capable of providing comfort and support for 123 families of sick children every night, our two-building campus will sustain a comprehensive continuum of care for substantially more parents, patients, and siblings in the years ahead.”

Point Hope: “Point Hope was established to be a voice for forgotten children. We work continually toward this goal through our support of foster children domestically, our feeding program in West Africa, and our sustainable gardening education.”

What kind of help/action would you recommend to those who want to lend a hand?

Alzheimer’s Association: “We work to educate our local state government representatives as well as our federal legislators year-round to ensure that they are up to speed on the issues affecting Alzheimer’s patients and their families. Sign up for monthly newsletters on what you can do to help our Advocacy efforts at alz.org/advocacy.”

Second Harvest: “If you are passionate about feeding the hungry or supporting those who are struggling, contact your local food bank to see how you can get involved and engaged. As one of over 200 food banks across the nation, we know there is need in every community and there is a place for everyone to help make a difference. You can research hunger statistics (Feeding America is a great resource) and share what you learn. Grab family or friends and volunteer a few hours in your food bank’s warehouse. Run a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign and donate the proceeds to your food bank, which can usually turn $1 into multiple meals!”

Ronald McDonald House: “Ronald McDonald House at Stanford relies on community support to sustain vital family care programming and services for 123 families every night. Anyone interested in volunteering time to support House operations, youth activity programs, and/or special events are welcome to contact Monica Makela, volunteer services manager, at (650) 470-6028 or mmakela@rmhstanford.org.

Volunteer meal service is one of the most appreciated resources available to families at our House. In an effort to meet increasing demand, our re-designed megaBITES meal program introduces advanced menu planning options and a streamlined process of preparing, transporting and serving daily meals in the dining rooms of our two-building campus. Corporate and community groups can now make a set donation to offset advance ingredient procurement and House staff members will guide groups through meal preparation stations, service and cleanup. Please email megaBITES@rmhstanford.org for additional information.

Visit www.rmhstanford.org to learn more about our mission, our expansion, and other ways to support our House. Stay connected by signing up to receive our e-newsletter and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn @RMHStanford.”

Point Hope: “Volunteer! Donate! Start a Point of Hope Chapter in your area. Be a voice for forgotten children.”

Is there anything you would like to pass on to the people who liked, commented, and shared to donate for your cause?

Alzheimer’s Association: “Thank you to EVERYONE who took a few minutes to like, share, or comment to support the Alzheimer’s Association Greater Idaho Chapter. We will be using the funds that Balsam Hill is donating to help provide care and support to Idaho families – and we couldn’t do that without your help!”

Second Harvest: “THANK YOU! Your support not only helped raise dollars through this campaign, which will go far for our families in need, but also helped spread the word about our mission to provide help for today and hope for tomorrow. We truly cannot do what we do without supporters like you, and hungry men, women and children would not find relief from their hunger without your generosity. Know you are making a difference, even with just a click of your mouse!”

Ronald McDonald House: “The overwhelming kindness and generosity of everyone who participated in this campaign truly brought Christmas in July to Ronald McDonald House at Stanford. Donations raised from your likes, comments and shares will have lasting impact on every families who calls our House home. We sincerely appreciate your help with our efforts to keep more families close.”

Point Hope: “Yes! I know that not everyone can be an adoptive or foster parent, but everyone can do SOMETHING to improve the life of an underprivileged child; to be a voice for the voiceless, to bring hope. Your participation in this campaign did just that. Thank you!!!”

Balsam Hill is now on its fourth year of conducting charitable activities for Christmas in July, past activities being Operation Smile, a CIJ Indiegogo fundraiser, and a tie-up with bloggers and their chosen advocacies. Balsam Hill has received stronger responses year after year from an enthusiastic and generous community, reinforcing the spirit of Christmas at every opportunity.

*Responses from the charity partners were provided by MacKenzie Rodgers, Executive Director of the Alzheimer’s Association Greater Idaho Chapter; Alexandra Hammel, Grant Writing and Fundraising Manager of Second Harvest; Sara Chupein-Soroka, Foundation Relations and Communications Officer of the Ronald McDonald House at Stanford; and radio personality Delilah, Founder for Point Hope.

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