Heroes for Children

Event Recap: Heart of Gold 5K Run for the Children Benefiting Heroes for Children and Wipe Out Kids’ Cancer

By Jennifer Kuenzer, TrizCom PR

Team TrizCom, pictured here with Heroes for Children’s Co-founder Larissa Linton (in red)

Team TrizCom, pictured here with Heroes for Children’s Co-founder Larissa Linton (in red)

One of the things I love most about working at TrizCom is our work with nonprofits. Giving back to the community is an important part of Jo’s life that she has built into her business, and the best example of this is when we all come together to support one of our nonprofit clients as a team. We had the opportunity to do that on Saturday at the Heart of Gold 5K Run for the Children Benefiting Heroes for Children (our client) and Wipe Out Kids’ Cancer.

Heroes for Children is a unique nonprofit organization that provides social and financial assistance to families battling childhood cancer. For this event, they partnered with Wipe Out Kids’ Cancer, which raises awareness and funding for pediatric cancer research on a national level. The 2017 Heart of Gold 5K was a blast – fun for the entire family, with a DJ, games, activities and food, as well moments and spaces to remember children affected by cancer, the reason we were all there that day. There was a commemorative balloon release, representing the families of Heroes for Children, right before the big race. I managed to get a few photos from the event on Saturday.

The balloon release! It was moving, seeing how many families have been helped by Heroes for Children and their mission.

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Face painting was a big draw for the kids.

It was packed, and everyone was in great spirits.

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Yes, everyone’s a winner, though there was special recognition and medals awarded to those with the best time in their age groups. It was a race for avid runners (like our own Jeff Cheatham – who achieved a personal best) and, well, the rest of us! My family and I were so proud to be part of Team TrizCom and look forward to next year’s event.

 

Reasons why we give… in honor of North Texas Giving Day on Sept. 14

By Katie Mudd, TrizCom PR

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Fall in North Texas means it’s time for football and philanthropy! Kicking off the season with North Texas Giving Day — Communities Foundation of Texas’ annual 18-hour online giving extravaganza for North Texas on Sept. 14. The day is powered by creative nonprofits, social media activism, area-wide collaboration, and of course North Texans coming together! North Texas Giving Day’s goal is to help build awareness and support for nonprofits in North Texas, while making the act of giving easy for donors.

When you give via NorthTexasGivingDay.org, your donation goes further with bonus funds and prizes. All donations scheduled between September 7th and 13th or made between 6 am and midnight on September 14, 2017 qualify. Your donation triggers opportunities for your nonprofit to win prizes rewarded at random or for the highest number of donors! This year every dollar given up to $10,000 will be multiplied with bonus funds when donors give online through NorthTexasGivingDay.org. Plus, some nonprofits have 1:1 matching funds which means your donation is doubled!

TrizCom is passionate about giving back to our community throughout the year and proudly supports many local nonprofits including Community Council of Dallas, Operation KindnessHeroes for Children and Taylor’s Gift. TrizCom founder and CEO Jo Trizila is a firm believer in the Biblical parable “to whom much has been given, much will be required,” and with that philosophy she empowers the team at TrizCom to provide our time, treasures and talents to give back.

Let us help your business develop a charitable giving and sponsorship strategy that is guaranteed to impact the bottom line through increased sales, improved consumer loyalty and employee morale, and enhanced brand awareness. We believe that helping a cause you care about – and one that is also relevant to your business – can reap tangible and intangible benefits for your public image, your shareholders and your community.

How we help:

- Define the objectives of a giving program or sponsorship – why are you giving back?

- Identify causes that are consistent with your business values.

- Strategic alignment with organizations where the reputation, demographics and goals are compatible with your business interests.

- Integrate charitable donations, corporate sponsorships, employee volunteerism and executive expertise within a well thought out communications plan.

- Determine how to leverage your charitable donation/sponsorship.

- Communicate your charitable donation/sponsorship.

To find out how you can help today, visit www.northtexasgivingday.org, or give us a call at 972-247-1369 to see how we can help develop a charitable giving and sponsorship strategy for 2017 and beyond.

Here’s a highlight of a few of the organizations we will be supporting this North Texas Giving Day!

Operation Kindness

Team TrizCom collected pet food donations for Operation Kindness’ Pet Food Pantry to help pets displaced by Hurricane Harvey.

Team TrizCom collected pet food donations for Operation Kindness’ Pet Food Pantry to help pets displaced by Hurricane Harvey.

North Texas’ original and largest no-kill animal shelter. In 2016, Operation Kindness celebrated their 40th anniversary and their achievement of saving more than 90,000 animals since their inception. Annually the shelter assists more than 5,000 dogs and cats, caring for an average of 300 animals daily with another 100-150 animals in foster homes.

 

Community Council of Dallas

Community Council of Dallas’ Area Agency on Aging Helps North Texas Seniors

Community Council of Dallas’ Area Agency on Aging Helps North Texas Seniors

Since its founding in 1940, the Community Council has identified services that are needed in the community, assessed how best services could be delivered to meet social issues, and mobilized and implemented action plans working in concert with its member agencies and public sector resources. Pervasive issues over time have included juvenile delinquency and welfare; seniors; public health; daycare; and legislative advocacy. The Community Council met these challenges through fact-based research, deploying volunteers, incubating new services and agencies, expanding government programs where appropriate, convening collaborative work and delivering selected direct services.

 

Taylor's Gift

Team TrizCom at the 2016 Outlive Yourself Awards.

Team TrizCom at the 2016 Outlive Yourself Awards.

Taylor’s Gift Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the life-saving effort of increasing organ donor registrations and to financially assisting families touched by organ donation.

Heroes for Children

Team TrizCom participated in the annual Heart of Gold 5K in honor of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month in September. See us there again this year on Sept. 16.

Team TrizCom participated in the annual Heart of Gold 5K in honor of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month in September. See us there again this year on Sept. 16.

Heroes for Children is a unique nonprofit that provide financial and social assistance to families with children battling cancer.

A Bittersweet Goodbye to TrizCom

By Maelyn Schramm, TrizCom PR Intern

Maelyn in a completely casual, totally candid, hard at work shot.

Maelyn in a completely casual, totally candid, hard at work shot.

My time at TrizCom PR is about to come to an end. As the sun sets on the month of May, I will bid adieu to my nook in the little office that I made my workspace. It truly is a bittersweet moment.

Firstly, it’s bitter. I love working alongside such creative, like-minded individuals who have a passion for storytelling and a dedication to produce excellent work. I will miss playing – and ultimately losing – Yahtzee during lunch, and I will miss popping my head into Katie and Dana’s office to ask them about their weekends. I will miss hearing all of Jeff’s crazy stories and catching up with Jen about what her adorable family is up to. I will miss how Jo surprises us with sweet treats to reward us for our work. In many places, it’s hard to find a boss who acknowledges 1) interns and 2) your sacrificial efforts to complete tasks and meet deadlines. She says “thank you” at the end of every day, and as someone who cherishes words of affirmation, it means the world to me.

Secondly, it’s sweet. Over the past four(ish) months, I’ve experienced such exponential growth as a creative storyteller and human being. TrizCom pushes me to exert 100 percent of my energy and passion into every project I produce – this includes reports, releases, social media outlines and blogs. TrizCom equipped me to write stories about any and everything, with assignments ranging from Heroes for Children – a nonprofit that benefits families who have children battling cancer – to Healthway Education Systems, a medical marijuana continuing education program. TrizCom gave me an idea of what I’m looking for in future employers – to find companionship, to test my limits, to receive respect from my peers and superiors alike.

I’m about to leave, but this is not a permanent goodbye. I plan to stay in touch with every person I’ve connected with, to hear about TrizCom’s incoming intern class, and to shriek with excitement on the word of new clients. To leave behind an era of so much growth and refinement is bittersweet, but my time at TrizCom was nothing but sweet.

Why Heroes For Children Is My Passion - In Honor Of National Childhood Cancer Month

By Jo Trizila, President & CEO of TrizCom Public Relations

Every person, every business has a reason for choosing their nonprofit partner. Let’s face it: one has to be choosy when picking a volunteer activity (whether it’s a board of director’s seat, charity gala volunteer or organization volunteer). We have only so many hours in the week that we can spare outside our family and work commitments.

I met the founders of Heroes for Children when I was a young 30-something-year-old with little financial resources but I did have connections and nonprofit experience. I took a meeting with Larissa and Jenny, Heroes co-founders, to see how I could help them. The timing wasn’t good, and I was already over committed to other projects – but I never forgot about them. Years would pass, jobs would change, situations altered and now I find myself on the board of directors for the second year and Heroes for Children has become TrizCom’s one and only pro bono account.

Heroes for Children provides financial and social assistance to families who have a child with cancer. Sometimes we help pay mortgage payments, give gas cards, pay for a prom dress, give a 6-year-old a birthday, supply a teenager a laptop so they can keep up with friends and schoolwork while undergoing treatment, or it might even be to pay the expense of banking a teenager’s sperm cells so one day he might be able to have biological children of his own. Unfortunately, we are also the organization that families come to when they have lost a child and need help laying them to rest.

I have stayed awake late at night trying to figure out how to do more for Heroes. I have wept because of our kiddos with Heroes. And I have never smiled more than with the work we do with Heroes. In short, my passion lies with Heroes for Children, and it is deeply personal.

When I was 13 years old, in the middle of my 7th grade year, I developed a brain abscess that was considered inoperable. My parents had just changed insurance and the company denied coverage, stating the abscess was a preexisting condition. Following emergency brain surgery and months in the hospital to treat the abscess, I contracted hepatitis. After the hepatitis, I developed aplastic anemia from a drug given to me to treat the brain abscess. The only cure for this disease was a bone marrow transplant. At the time, 1985, there were only two hospitals in the United States doing this “experimental” transplant, and we were lucky enough that Baylor Hospital was one of the two. Once again, insurance denied coverage – this time because the transplant was “experimental.”

As a 13-year-old, I had no idea what stress my parents were absorbing. As a mother today, I simply don’t know how they faced each day. The brain abscess was inoperable, and I was told that my odds of coming out of surgery were very, very slim due to the location. My odds of surviving an experimental bone marrow transplant were just as low. Bills upon bills upon bills piled up. I was critical most nights, and either my mom or my dad would stay with me while still trying to run their travel agency business and care for my younger brother. To help, they flew my grandmother in to stay with me during the day. My poor brother was left with friends for most of 1985.

During the darkest days come some of the brightest memories. Our church at the time, First Presbyterian Church of Richardson, unbeknownst to us, took up a special collection one Sunday. They came to the hospital and gave my parents a check for a couple thousand dollars with no strings attached. My parents, to this day, say that it was like someone handed them a million dollars. I have experienced firsthand how the generosity of others impacts a family’s life.

So fast forward 30 years. I feel like I am able to give back to the hundreds of strangers who helped me and my family back in 1985. No one ever wishes a child to be sick. No one ever plans for a child to be sick. But thank God there are organizations like Heroes that families can turn to in their darkest days.

I think what hurts me the most is that we are not able to help every family that needs us. There is so much more we can do. Our average gift to a Heroes’ family is a mere $750. There have been times when we lose one of the kiddos we’ve helped and it literally takes a little piece of your soul each time. These are the days when I crawl into my sleeping daughter’s bed and hold her tight.

Cancer SUCKS. It SUCKS even more when it happens to an innocent child. Cancer doesn’t care if you are black, brown or white. It doesn’t care if you are a millionaire or if you are living below the poverty line. It doesn’t care if you have insurance or you don’t. When a child has cancer, it is a crisis for the entire family. Your normal life is now turned upside down, and you have a new normal to learn. A life of treatments, short-term and long-term side effects, tests, procedures, transplants, trials, caregivers for your other children, and the list goes on and on and on.

You hear this all the time: you really don’t understand a parent’s love until you become a parent, and boy, no truer statement has ever been made. A parent’s love is unlike any other love I have known. You are your child’s protector, you are her fighter, you are his voice, you are her nursemaid, and when you can’t be…. well, that’s the definition of true, honest, gut-wrenching, hopeless pain. At Heroes, we frequently hear stories that a mom or dad lost their job because their boss made them choose between spending the night with their scared, terminally ill child vs. coming into work. Or the mom who had to move to a major city so her baby could get treated and still had to figure out how to pay her mortgage/rent back home.

So this is why I support Heroes for Children. No family should EVER have to fight this alone!

When you go home tonight and are in the middle of evening chaos (trying to cook dinner, answering the cell phone, telling someone to get off the iPad and do their homework, letting the dog out…), stop for one minute and imagine if today, you were one of 43 families who were told that your baby has cancer. What would you do? Would you be financially prepared for such a diagnosis? Would you have a network of supporters? Would you be stable enough to fight this battle? Honestly, I don’t think I would be – but you do what you have to do for your children. What I do know, my first call would be to Heroes for Children. 

For the families we help and for the thousands we simply don’t have enough money to help, please consider a recurring $25 gift a month with our Heroes for Children from The Heart Monthly Giving Circle. Think about it – that’s less than six Starbucks coffees a month. Your donation will help fund a computer, a mother’s groceries, a dad paying to keep the electricity turned on. It makes a real difference. We see it every single day. Please go here: http://www.heroesforchildren.org/get-involved/from-the-heart-monthly-giving-circle/.

TrizCom PR is proud to donate Heroes for Children public relations. Here are a few of our favorite Heroes’ stories:

You may be thinking, why is this blog on a public relations site? Well, part of our job as PR folks is to tell our client’s stories to targeted publications. You read this entire blog post, yes? Your awareness and consideration is higher for Heroes for Children than it was before reading the story, yes? This is true because you read a story. Storytelling is a great tactic in any public relations strategy.

At TrizCom PR we tell our clients that an effective story has transparency, is authentic, has a human interest angle, provokes emotion and contains visuals.

As the king of marketing, Seth Godin, says, “Marketing is storytelling.”

Everyone has a story. Let us help you tell your story.

#TrizComPR #StoryTellingandPR #MarketingIsStorytelling