Sunday, November 25, 2012

An overdue update

I'm so sorry for the long delay in posting a blog update. I hope this finds all of you wrapping up a lovely Thanksgiving weekend. Even the most wanting of us has things to be thankful for. Although it feels tardy, the timing of this update is appropriate, I guess, in that this community sure does know how to GIVE!

When Amy and I started brainstorming for a giving project for this holiday season and decided to try to get this swing for Kylie, I'll be honest with you, we had no clue if we would be successful. We knew that this community's heart would show up to the party. But with the economy such as it is, and so many needs and holes to fill so to speak, we really didn't know how this would work.

At best we figured we would run this Kylie campaign for several weeks and evaluate where we were. But we are just two chicks who really just wanted to feel warm fuzzy feelings about life. We aren't powerful. We have no platform. We don't have commercials or spokespeople. We aren't a non profit. No one knows who we are.

But what the heck, we thought...lets shoot for it.

SEVEN DAYS LATER...we looked around and went ummmm. NOW WHAT?? Lol.

We did it. And y'all, we didn't just do it... We did it in seven days!!!! Two chicks and a community with a heart for giving hit our (what seemed) lofty goal of $1500...IN A WEEK!!!

as I type that, the joy and excitement and shock wash back over me like it did that week. it's just pretty damn cool!!

We did it. We did it for Kylie!!

So having reached our goal, we are currently in the process of finding the best supplier and navigating shipping logistics and all that good stuff. But rest assured...KYLIE IS GETTING HER VERY OWN SWING!!!

Kylie will have a swing that safely supports her and rocks her body into a more relaxed state...in her own back yard. Her siblings can play, her family can gather, and Kylie can chill out in her swing. She can feel the breeze in her face and the sensation of movement, and she won't have to take a car ride to get to it.

YAY BAKERSFIELD!!!!



we will get her swing for her. Because of YOU!!! we are so grateful to you for making this such a huge success!!!!

and here's the crazy part: there is still money rolling in!! It's trickling. But still coming. People have written us to say they wish they could give more, but here's a few bucks, and when I get paid or after such and such, I'm going to send more!!!!

So this is the part where Amy and I looked at each other, again, in stunned glee.

There are other needs for Kylie that we would love to be able to address.

Here they are in short form:
- A sun shade/awning over the swing. (Kylie's Meds make her super sun sensitive so she can't really sit in direct sunlight)

- A contractor and/or some strong backs to install the swing

- A non profit organization willing to team up with two crazy chicks who have a pipe dream... That's right. We aren't done. We would love to have a PHASE 2 of swing4kylie, but we need a nonprofit organization to partner us.

If you can help with any of those things, please email us at swing4kylie@gmail.com

Cool huh???

Thank you all again so much. And if you can spread the word about phase 2 we would be most grateful!!!!

Our actual plan for phase 2 will be revealed. So stay tuned.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Community with HEART!!!

**this is copied from a post I just made on Facebook, where we have 257 likes since Thursday evening**

this is Kelly...taking a little time to chill and take everything in on this beautiful Saturday. I wish I could say this to all of Bakersfield but at the moment I have about 257 of you. and um...wow. 257. I have been really pondering everything that has happened in just the last few days. People love to turn their noses up at this town. But when it come to the giving spirit, I don't think any
town holds a candle to Bako. Yeah, our summers suck. Yeah our air quality is poor. Yeah we have our issues like any town. But when Amy and I started talking about this endeavor, we KNEW that this community would get behind us. I am blown away by the tidal wave of support that has come in the last 2 days. Thank you.

I firmly believe that there are large pockets of this community that would be just as touched as we are, and who would contribute to this beautiful story that have not yet been reached. Please spread the word in your work places, your schools, in your clubs, organizations, bunco groups, in your churches, bible studies, board meetings...

I am going to post "the flyer" again after this. Print it out and share it. The go-to website for this cause is the blog where the paypal portal lives. But as Amy said, we can now accept checks made out to swing4kylie as well. To find out where to mail checks or with any other questions, please email us at swing4kylie@gmail.com. If you have collected funds on your own in your business or group (bless you!!!) , we kindly ask that you push it through the paypal portal or mail a check to us. We would like to be able to keep track of everything in a streamlined fashion.

And I'm really hoping that I'm going to have to create a new "thermometer" chart because I think we're going to blow the top off of our goal.

Friday, November 9, 2012

GLITTER GLITTER EVERYWHERE!!!

why post again so soon??

LOOK!!



Thank you!!!!

What an amazing few days

So...I wanted to share how this project started and the crazy journey we went on this week.

In the winter of 2011, I (this is Kelly talking) decided I wanted to do something for Christmas for a family or a struggling mom...or someone.  So my friends rallied and gathered some stuff and I delivered it to the woman we had selected.  With the rest of our cash we fed some homeless fellas on Baker street and bought them some blankets and sweats.  It was truly so gratifying.  One of the best days ever.

A few months ago, after many conversations about how dismal life felt, my cousin Amy and I decided to brainstorm and see if we could do what we did last year only bigger and better.  So we became a team.  We had a few discussions about grand visions of love and warm fuzzy wishes.

and then...

Nicole posted on Facebook about how there was only 1 adaptive swing in Bakersfield. One.  Why?

I saw the post on Facebook because Amy's husband had "liked" it.  So then I "liked" it.  This issue had never occurred to me.  We see wheelchair accessible ramps and entrances and other stuff and think, end of story.

It sat in the back of my head. And Amy and I had a dinner date to brainstorm, again.

Both of us exhausted from work and kids, we just kinda sat there together for a while, small talking.  Then she started to say something about the post of Nicole's on Facebook a couple weeks prior.  I interrupted her and said "I was thinking that too!!"

And an idea was born.

We talked about the parks aspect, and the city aspect and who we'd need to call and blah blah blah.  And we did make some calls. Amy got some hard numbers on costs and some not overly inspiring plans from various officials.

Then she said "why don't we just raise money and BUY her a swing for her HOME?"

and that was that.  First we put some teasers up on Facebook about something big coming and how our friends could make a difference. then we tossed some pictures of Kylie into the mix.  Then I created a blog (this one) and a paypal account, which at the time seemed premature.

The next day Amy had posted to her Facebook page more of the info.  I scrambled to make sure the blog looked decent, like straightening up the house with 5 minutes of notice before your mom comes over.

With the house somewhat in order, we launched.  we pitched the Kylie story on Facebook until it flooded not only our newsfeeds, but all of Nicole's friends' newsfeeds and within about 12 hours of the first mention, the Kylie story was like a Facebook wildfire.

Amy Burdick, Nicole Ramirez, and Kelly Barker - day of News interview at Mill Creek Park.  (Amy is taller than i am so I am not sure how I ended up the Amazon in this photo. whateverrrrrr)
The donations started. and we were amazed. and energized.

more donations.  pledges.  inquiries.  emails.

We had a couple hundred dollars within a very short period of time.

The Kylie story was still firmly embedded in the Facebook walls and feeds of HUNDREDS of people.
and the donations kept coming.

So very quickly at 9:00pm on a Thursday evening, we created the Swing4Kylie Facebook page. And like people lined up outside a store on Black Friday, we opened the doors and supporters came pouring in in droves.  within an hour we had 30 likes.

when I woke up Friday morning (today) we had 50.
Channel 23 picked up the story and interviewed Nicole and aired a very touching story on today's news.

Before the story even aired we had about 80 likes in less than 12 hours. 

We got phone calls, emails, and more donations.  People who had little to give were giving what they had.  People with no means to donate on line were taking the time to call the station to get contact phone numbers so they could be a part of the giving.
 
The giving spirit of this community is nothing short of amazing.  We hoped that this story would touch others like it did us, and that we would be able to reach what seemed like a crazy goal of $1500.

it is now 10:20pm, about 25 hours later, and we just hit 200 likes on our Swing4Kylie Facebook page.

and this...well this is just inspiring.



Its crazy how far we've come in TWO days!!!

I know Nicole and her entire family are touched by the outpouring of love and generosity.  This means SO much to them.  Having met Kylie today, I can tell you that this project now means even more to me than it did before.  I saw her in the park swing.  Her whole little body relaxed.  It was remarkable.


Amy and I are also so overwhelmed with love for this community, this little girl, this family, and all of you that are supporting this...we could hug all of you.  So I am hugging every single one of you who has donated, shared this story, commented and liked and just basically made this a magical week.

Its not over yet.

Please keep giving.  If each one of you would make a donation equivalent to one Starbuck's trip every week it would be phenomenal!! What about your whole week of Starbucks? No one is saying anything drastic like give up your coffee.  *gasp!*  but you could make it at home for a couple weeks for that precious girl, couldn't you?  Any amount helps, really. Your contributions DO make a difference.   A  large portion of that tally on that themometer are from $5 and $10 donations.  See what you can do?!?!  So cool!!

Please keep working at this. We are determined more than ever to see that baby girl in a swing of her very own in her own yard.

Thank you thank you thank you. And don't stop now!!

-Kelly

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Progress, Stats, Facts, and Gadgets & LOVE

That is Kylie.  :)  Here are some facts, stats and updates for you:

  • We have, in just 2 days, over $100 donated and another $380 pledged.  We really feel like we can reach our goal of $1500,  but we need you to guide your friends and family HERE. 


  • We hope to actually purchase the swing equipment for Kylie to use at her family home.  Why? Because its how we can make a difference.  We would love for the parks to install more swings in more locations.  But for now, this is how we are choosing to do something.
  • This has spread like wildfire on Facebook, and we are so excited!!  link your family and friends to this blog. 

This is an MRI of Kylie's brain. That big white area...is missing.  missing....due to a rare brain malformation called schizencephaly.  She has a variety of delays and conditions as a result of that. However, every child...every human, deserves joy and the sensation of movement and a breeze on their face...think of how swinging made you feel as a child- like you were flying. freedom.



  • There are about 18,000 CHILDREN in Kern County with disabilities.  I do not have the breakdown of what type of disability, and I don't know how many of that 18,000 are in the Greater Bakersfield Area, but I can assure you, ONE SWING in the city of Bakersfield is not enough.
  • Kylie has about 5 seizures a day and is unable to support any part of her body so this swing is designed to support and secure her body safely
  • Nicole tells us that she can tell that Kylie enjoys the swing because she relaxes and she can see in her body that some of the tension eases. 
Every child deserves joy.  This is just how we chose to try to provide some to one child.  Will you help?


The Magic of Social Media

We started this on our individual Facebook pages. And it took over our feeds and spread like crrrrrazy!!
So Kylie has her own Facebook Page now.

https://www.facebook.com/Swing4Kylie

Please go like us...and then guess what...SHARE :)

In 10 minutes we had around 30 likes.  Its just fantastic!   Now...Get your cape...we have an internet to take over!!!

 

thank you!!!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

like, share, and Paypal!!

OK, so this fabulous Kylie ball of love is rolling.  We will be posting here and on Facebook as we develop this project a bit more.  But for now, what you need to know...is...

WE HAVE PAYPAL!!!

There is a link on the upper left over yonder.  ------->>>

When you see updates here, or on Facebook...PLEASE SHARE THEM WITH YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY AND CO WORKERS AND ORGANIZATIONS THAT CAN HELP!!!

new email too:

swing4kylie@gmail.com


You can find updates here, and on Facebook at 

When you see updates, PLEASE... 


We will need your help to spread the word and to make this happen. We would love to grow this beyond our goal of GETTING KYLIE A SWING OF HER VERY OWN!!