My friend and hero from high school, Jennie Firth Sheridan, is amazing. She lost three siblings (Molly, Mary, John) in under three years to cancer. Since that time, she started running the Boston Marathon for the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge, which benefits the Claudia Barr Program in Innovative Basic Cancer Research at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. A full 100% of the money raised by the team of runners goes directly to research. All of it. Every penny.
Dana-Farber is one of the top five Cancer Centers in the United States and the work done at this institute is universally beneficial to clinicians and patients throughout the country. The benefits of the research funded by this team reach far beyond the geographical limits of Boston, providing benefits to patients of all ages with all types of cancer.
Jennie's story can be found here: http://begoodbestrong.blogspot.com/p/why-i-run.html
Her goal this year is to raise a minimum of $26,200. With the help of her supports and friends, Jennie has already provided over $200,000 to Dana-Farber researchers over the past 6 years. She would really like to make it $250,000 this year. One of the ways, Jennie raises money is to sell t-shirts with a concept about life that her brother John and sister Mary created around the phrase "Be Good! Be Strong!" Live well by showing goodness and kindness and respect to others and to yourselves. Be strong, not just physically but stand for what you believe and for what is right. Fight the good fight. Be good and be strong.
Her family, friends, and supporters wear the shirts to line the marathon route in Boston while the rest of her friends wear their shirts proudly on marathon day and take pictures to share through the internet cheering Jennie on! She has had to a goal to sell a shirt in every state but sadly has never been able to obtain that goal. I knew this is where I could help.
Most people don't know people in North Dakota (in fact, I'm pretty sure even people who live in North Dakota don't know OTHER people who live in North Dakota) or Alaska. But, I have this beautiful family of Liberty Tax Service franchisees in every state of this beautiful country and plus Canada! Unfortunately, this occurred to me late in her campaign due to the fact that tax season had started, and we only had four days to make the t shirt deadline. I find when I'm backed against a wall, the best thing to do is contact a Hewitt.
I chose Danny Hewitt, John's son, and I knew he would love this project. Like his father, Danny is incredibly philanthropic and eager to help other succeed in everything in life. Danny immediately got on social media and started tagging Liberty Tax Service franchisees, managers and friends in every state Jennie had not sold a shirt in. She keeps a color coded map on her booster page. I reached out to his contacts and shared Jennie's story. I let everyone know I needed people who hate cancer and would like to have a stylish shirt in exchange for a donation to fund cancer research. And I really need someone in their state to do it. Every single person I contacted was not just willing to help out, they were so passionate about doing it. I didn't receive a single no.
Many of our conversations started out with, "Hi, Im Nicole Bellenfant, a fellow franchisee in Knoxville, TN, how is your peak (tax season) going?" and I was met with, "Nicole, of course I know who you are, I've heard you on a conference call." I also contacted people I had met through Liberty College, conventions, workshops, parties and all the amazing opportunities that allow me to get to know a group of some of the best people in the whole wide world. Those of us who had not met in person, made plans to do so at the convention this year!
A half hour before the sale of the t-shirts was to end, I made my last call. It was a total cold call. The man said he would love to buy a shirt and he let me know he was also a runner. I am in awe of the power of strangers helping strangers all through our bond of Liberty Tax Service and our strong commitment to helping our communities. It's indescribable to experience that amount of support and love from across the country because we are all so fanatical about the Liberty Tax Service life and giving back to our communities!
I made so many more friends within my Liberty family with great hearts and I can't wait to see everyone's pictures from Marathon day with our shirts and crowns to support such a strong hero as Jennie Firth Sheridan!