Hi CFTK Family and Friends,
I am so excited to introduce myself as the 2022-2023 Executive Director for the Carolina For The Kids Foundation. Over the course of 24 years, this organization has consistently sought to meet the needs of the patients and families of UNC Children’s Hospital, and despite obstacles in recent years, they continue to be our number one priority. My experience with Carolina For The Kids has easily been the most humbling and rewarding thing I have been a part of during my time at Carolina, and I am ready to give my all back to an organization that has given me so much. I am so thankful for the campus and community wide support in our mission – no one person could accomplish all that we do alone!
Carolina For The Kids is so unique in the way that it connects UNC students, the community within UNC Children’s, and Chapel Hill as a whole. Our mission as an organization is to provide major emotional, medical, and financial support to the patients and families of UNC Children’s, which provides a foundational goal for our members to strive for and enable them to successfully serve others along the way. Beyond serving our community and the patients and families of UNC Children’s, we work to provide an environment where students can flourish, develop leadership skills, and form friendships that will last a lifetime.
Despite unprecedented challenges in previous years, this past year was pivotal in getting our name and our cause back out into the community. We had a record number of participants in our annual Kilometers For The Kids race which included a 1 Mile Fun Run, 5K, and bike route, all of which could be completed in Chapel Hill or anywhere in the world. In addition, we planned and held an in-person Benefit Reception with a virtual silent auction option. This was one of the first community events hospital administrators and doctors were able to attend since the start of the pandemic. Finally, we held our first 12-Hour In-Person Dance Marathon which was many of our members’ first true Dance Marathon. Through the dedication of our dancers and the stories told by our KCC families expressing their true gratitude, it is clear the impact CFTK has made and the potential for us to make even more of a difference is even more evident. Nevertheless, I am proud to be a part of an organization of so many unified individuals whose passion for such an amazing cause is inspiring and steadfast!
We continue to fund direct aid to families through the For The Kids Fund. Our other funding areas include the Carolina For The Kids grant, the Carolina For The Kids research grant, funding for the Children’s Play Atrium, and funding for the Ronald McDonald House of Chapel Hill, where we also cook and provide meals for families on a regular basis. We are also incredibly proud to have funded the renovation of the N.C. Children’s Hospital PICU Waiting Room and the sponsorship of the Urgent Care Waiting Room and Recreational and Pet Therapy Room at the UNC Children’s Raleigh Clinic. In addition, we are continuing to find new and creative ways to provide support to the patients and their families.
To our dancers, donors, runners, volunteers, and committee members – there are no words to express how grateful I am for you! You are the foundation of this organization and are truly the reason we have accomplished so much. I am constantly in awe of the hard work and time each one of you puts in to ensure that CFTK grows and prospers. Always remember, no matter how small a gesture may seem, YOU are making a difference and it does not go unnoticed!
As we enter such a big year, my hope is that we can accomplish more than ever before. I promise to ensure the mission of CFTK does not falter and that our cause will remain the heart of everything we do. With such a monumental year ahead, I vow to look back on the past and celebrate milestones while also learning from each one. With that being said, I also promise to try to do the impossible and make changes and additions to the organization that will set precedents for Executive Directors in the future. Complacency is never an option – there is always room for growth and more ways in which we can serve the patients and families at UNC Children’s. I am so excited to be able to lead such an extraordinary organization through a huge year. I spent my first three years in CFTK on the Hospital and Family Relations committee; therefore, I was fortunate enough to see first-hand how the work we do impacts the patients and families we serve. Within those three years, I have learned to love everything about this organization. My only hope is that, throughout my time as Executive Director, my passion is contagious!
As for myself and the rest of our Executive Board, we cannot do all that we do without your help, so we can’t wait to see how you will continue to support the kids this year! Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me or anyone else on our Executive Board if you have any questions or wish to get involved with CFTK this year!
Always Carolina For The Kids,
2023 Executive Director