2020 a lost year? Not at Project Pink’d.
2020 was by most measures a year to forget. Loss of health, loss of life, loss of togetherness, loss of travel, loss of entertainment and sports. But, as we have said from our beginning – life is about choices, and in 2020 we chose to THRIVE.
Our options were to shrink or shine and SHINE we did. Practicing what we preach, we chose to Thrive. Thank you for sticking with us and believing in us – we couldn’t do it without you!
Reflecting on the values of the communities we serve, supported by our wonderful sponsors, donors, and volunteers, we made plans to accommodate new safety standards and methods and we continued to serve survivors throughout the year.
We went into 2020 with confidence at an all-time high. We had successfully transitioned to a new venue for our Exposed Event, entertaining a thousand people, raising record dollar amounts to help survivors.
When COVID hit, all of our plans had to change. The list of couldn’t(s) and can’t(s) was a mile long.
- Can’t meet in person, can’t deliver kits to hospitals, can’t visit treatment centers.
- Couldn’t count on booking a venue for any group of any size.
- Couldn’t get together to build Healing Heart kits or make Jars of Hope.
- Couldn’t hold fundraisers anywhere and couldn’t count on virtual events attracting more than a handful of people.
- 71% of non-profits canceled programs or events and encountered correspondingly reduced revenue.
- Can’t provide services if you can’t raise funds.
- 68% of non-profits had a disruption of services to their communities.
Faced with couldn’t and can’t, or as we said “all these lemons”, we launched our plans and decided to take those lemons and make lemonade! Our drive moving forward came from the knowledge that whatever we were experiencing, survivors have it worse:
- 42% of patients depleted 100 percent of their assets – averaging a loss of $92,000 within two years of diagnosis.
- 72% of women needing financial assistance while undergoing treatment consider skipping part of their treatment due to finances.
- 41% of women reported they didn’t follow treatment protocols due to costs.
- 25% had to borrow money, go into debt, or file for bankruptcy to cover medical expenses.
Our programs continued to provide support, without interruption in 2020.
- Project Pink’d returned 82% of dollars spent to the community in programming.
- Project Pink’d programming impacted over 4000 survivors in 2020.
- Over 300 Helping Hand Grants were made to financially assist survivors. This accounted for 64% of every dollar spent by Project Pink’d.
- Over 100 volunteers delivered over 500 sweet treats and Thanksgiving meals to survivors in over 35 cities for our Care to Share Thanksgiving program.
- Addressing the need of our survivors to stay connected and obtain information, Project Pink’d delivered 3,341 hours of virtual programming focused on the mind, body and spirit of those individuals.
- Despite limitations on access for much of 2020, we still delivered 289 Healing Heart Kits to survivors undergoing treatment. 468 survivors received a Jar of Hope.
- 871 hours of Love and Light Yoga were delivered in our community – virtually and safely.
- 300 survivors attended four Straight Talk sessions – live interactive webcasts involving experts discussing topics of interest to breast cancer survivors.
So, where are we now and what’s next for Project Pink’d?
The trials that came with COVID brought with them many opportunities. We learned new ways to connect and assist survivors that we’d never tried before.
We learned the tools of a virtual world and leveraged them to bring information, kindness, and understanding into the homes of women and families whose access was severely restricted for health and safety reasons.
Project Pink’d’s Exposed Event in 2020 set the standard for virtual events in content, innovation, and sustained participation. We have incorporated these virtual tools into our programming going forward and plan to leverage them to expand our reach after we can get together in person. We brought the community together, like no other non-profit had, by hosting a virtual event that both brought people together (in party breakout rooms) and entertained them (demonstrations and games) even though they were way more than six feet apart. Most importantly, we communicated the needs of our survivor community to hundreds of people who logged in, opened their hearts, and opened their checkbooks. We were able to raise over $300,000 that night, and over $400,000 in 2020, because of the great people who live around us.
We are blessed to have supporters from all around our area; giants of health care, roofing companies with big hearts, car dealers whose best deals are caring about others, bar owners who pour their hearts into touting our cause, merchandise importers who help source our caring, hair salons with stylist's hearts, banks with our best interest at heart, and individuals who give till it hurts because their neighbors are in need. Most heart-warming of all are the gifts from survivors who give what they can because someone helped them when they needed it most.
Great volunteers, donors, sponsors, and a supportive community is why we are successful. We plan to be here as long as the community supports our mission because for us It's Personal.
Wishing God's Best for You,
Cynthia Sturgeon, Founder & President | Dave Sturgeon, Vice President