The following is the launch post of my friend and digital colleague, Jennifer Windrum. This campaign and story really hits home for me for a number of reasons and the way she has gone about creating a solution dedicated to her mother (who was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer) and others moves me beyond words.
Some of you may know the highly energetic, entrepreneurial powerhouse that is Gary Vaynerchuk (of Crush It! book series and Wine Library fame). Yeah, he was moved to contribute to this campaign as well. That says alot to how this has made an impact across the digital and offline community.
Whether you have been personally touched with cancer in your family or know of someone who has – read on.
NoMo the SMAC! leader
NoMo is the ringleader of “SMAC! – Sock Monkeys Against Cancer”, a gang of monkeys that provides tangible support to those with cancer, reminding them no one fights it alone.
Right now, NoMo is just a prototype.
But, with YOUR help, NoMo and his SMAC! buddy, Phoenix, can soon be in the hands of those with/impacted by cancer to help them SMAC! it, by pledging your financial support here.
(Check-writer only? See bottom of this post for details).
Funds pledged to my SMAC! campaign on the Start Some Good crowdfunding platform are used to launch my startup – the SMAC! Sock Monkeys Against Cancer product line, which so far includes two SMAC! monkey prototypes:
NoMo, the ALL cancer fighting monkey
Phoenix, the “WTF? (Where’s the Funding) for Lung Cancer?” fighting monkey
SMAC! Monkeys Phoenix & NoMo
I have one month to raise approximately $35,000 to launch the SMAC! monkey product line (November 1-30). You get some sweet rewards for pledging. Check them out here.
My ultimate goal: Create a custom monkey for each type of cancer.
My ultimate dream: Anyone diagnosed with cancer gets a SMAC! monkey from their hospital.
The Big Why
This whole entrepreneurial endeavor isn’t just about some random monkeys and attaching cancer to their name. It’s about my Mom… and too many others like her.
The SMAC! monkey line was inspired by my Mom, Leslie Lehrman, who was diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer six years ago. No, she never smoked. ANYONE can get lung cancer (‘nother whole story).
Mom snoozing with NoMo & Phoenix.
Cancer can be a very lonely existence. Family and friends can’t always be there. My Mom lives more than 1,200 miles away, making her appointments, tests, scan results and treatments that much harder for both of us.
This is why I created SMAC! — to give Mom a “buddy” she could hug to remind her that I am with her.
It’s hard for me to describe how my boys (NoMo and Phoenix) make me feel. I look into their little eyes and they just make my heart melt. It may sound silly, but when I get up, I say ‘good morning’ to them too. They just make me happy…even on my darkest days.
-Leslie Lehrman (Mom)
Mom has taken her SMAC! monkeys everywhere – to chemo, doctor appointments and to the couch for some much needed rest (and snuggle time). She says they are now part of the family.
Mom and I want to build “SMAC! Nation,” a global movement in the fight against cancer that arms those with/impacted by this dang disease with cancer-crushing companions of the sock monkey kind.
With YOUR help, SMAC! Nation will be built with great philanthropic purpose, with giving at the heart of it all.
The SMAC! Mission
Tangible Support: Provide constant comfort, sock monkey “mojo” and a cancer-busting buddy to those moving through their cancer journey.
Giving: “One SMAC! = Two” Business Model: When you buy a SMAC! monkey, one will be given to someone with cancer (model to go into action the minute the company can financially sustain it).
Create Social Change: By giving to those impacted by cancer, you will also be contributing to advances in cancer research and programs (model to go into action the minute the company can financially sustain it).
So, doing good to create good – all bundled together in one package.
Mom with NoMo & Phoenix at chemo.
Following the implementation of One SMAC = Two, my next giving goal is to direct steady SMAC! corporate funds to the following:
National Coalition of Oncology Nurse Navigators – Professional organization that supports oncology nurse navigators assist patients and families to receive essential support services that help ease the burdens during cancer treatment.
Liz’s Legacy at the UNMC Eppley Cancer Center – One of 66 National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated cancer centers in the U.S. Funds will be directed to lung cancer research.
I’m a huge advocate for ensuring people understand where their money is going when they give to any cause.
Jane and NoMo going for a spin.
Yes, there is such a thing as conscious capitalism and I’m a big believer. “SMAC! Sock Monkeys Against Cancer” will operate under Jennifer Windrum Inc. as a socially conscious for profit company.
A good and successful example of combining a for profit with a social mission is TOMS Shoes. Like TOMS, SMAC! is more than just a product. It’s a movement that inspires people to want to help – to want to give – to want to be part of a larger mission to do good.
Please know I will be open, honest and forthcoming about where your SMAC! dollars go throughout the startup process and beyond.
Little SMAC!-ers spreading the word!
Join the Movement
For kids and adults alike, the SMAC! monkeys are ready to get down the business.
Join the movement! Help bring NoMo and Phoenix to life to help you and/or your loved ones SMAC! cancer. Pledge here!
ps…if you only feel comfortable pledging by writing a check, you can send a check to the following (needs to arrive by November 28th):
Gothenburg State Bank
Leslie Lehrman SMAC! Memorial Fund
P.O. Box 81
Gothenburg, NE 69138
Please add a sticky note: “To be deposited into account # 944041”
Those who write a checks are, unfortunately, not eligible for campaign rewards, but you will still help send SMAC! monkeys to cancer patients at the Nebraska Medical Center.
pps…Feel free to hang out with the SMAC! monkeys online. They kinda think they are social media super stars.
Yes, there are plenty of campaigns and initiatives vying for our attention and assistance, but if I didn’t think this was a very worthy opportunity to bring about some good, I wouldn’t be posting. This also moves into the whole art + community + public health vision that Regina Holliday contributes to through her paintings. It all helps, it all heals.
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