Note from Kelli and Mindi: We recently found out about the neatest not-for-profit, right here in SWMO! Baking Memories 4 Kids is searching for kids locally that are battling life threatening or terminal illnesses. Enjoy today’s guest blog post about this unique organization with a big heart for kids in our area. If you or somebody you know could benefit from these services, please contact them today!
Baking Memories 4 Kids, established in 2012 by cancer survivor Frank Squeo, is a non-profit foundation that provides children with life threatening or terminal illnesses and their families an all-expense paid vacation to ALL the theme parks in Orlando, Florida. For one week, these courageous families will be able to focus on the joys of life and put aside the daily struggles of having a loved one with a serious illness.
Traditionally Baking Memories 4 Kids sells chocolate chip cookies during the holiday season, the profits from which go directly to providing these amazing trips to children from throughout the US. In order for us to focus those funds on the children and their families, we keep our operating costs to a minimum by having no direct employees and no offices. Because of this we have been able to sell over 30,000 containers of cookies and have already surprised over 50 families and counting with a trips of a lifetime.
BM4K and several franchises of Panera Bread have partnered together to help local communities provide these life changing moments for sick children and their families from within neighborhoods.
Traditional Bakery, Inc, which operates Panera Bread Cafes in Joplin, Branson and Springfield, MO, is one of those franchises. Since April, they have been encouraging their customers to round up their orders so that the change can be donated to Baking Memories 4 Kids. Our commitment to them is that we try to utilize those donations right in the areas where the money was raised. We are happy to say that because of the generosity of the Southwest Missouri community, we now have the available funds to provide several families a trip of a lifetime.
We are reaching out to several groups in the Joplin, Branson and Springfield areas in hope of locating special children who would qualify for one of our trips. We are asking all those who know of a family who has been experiencing the weight and fear of having a sick child to go to our website and nominate them so we can help them create some once in a lifetime memories.
Qualifications are simple:
- the child needs to be between the ages of 3 &18
- they have to have a condition that a doctor will verify is terminal or life threatening
- they may not have had a wish granted for them by any other organization
- they need to be open to publicity.
That’s it- if the child hits all those requirements then the family is pre- approved to go to Orlando and we will send them an application.
Whether it be physical, emotional or financial, having a loved one with a serious illness effects the entire family not just the one who is afflicted. We offer them the chance to reconnect, recharge and re-energize their spirits and relationships in a way they only could have imagined.