National Infertility Awareness Week: The Hope for Fertility Foundation
For the beginning of National Infertility Awareness Week I thought it would be beneficial to talk about the foundation that my husband, Chase, and I started, The Hope for Fertility Foundation. I know there are a lot of nonprofits that help with growing families, either giving support and knowledge to the community like Resolve and Utah Infertility Resource Center. But there are also other nonprofits which help give grants to couples seeking fertility treatments and adoption.
The theme that Resolve put out for this years National Infertility Awareness Week is #listenup. Well this is how and why we started our nonprofit so LISTENUP:
Chase and I had been going through infertility for 6 years when we created The Hope for Fertility Foundation. Leading up to the creation of the foundation, friends and family would ask how they could help us, knowing of our struggle. Yes, coming over and cleaning my house, or bringing us dinner is nice, but it’s not what we needed, and I’m sure there are many that feel the same. We needed help paying for our fertility treatments, which really was just the cash to pay for in vitro fertilization (IVF). We decided to start a Go Fund Me page. There, people could give a small or large donation to help us offset the cost of our upcoming IVF cycle. In our efforts to raise funds, we got a LOT of negative feedback, people (a lot of who we didn’t even know) saying how Chase and I were just asking for a handout, and that it was our “choice” to have children.
After that push back, instead of being saddened and hurt by what others were saying we took that motivation and decided to have a big yard sale fundraiser with a bake sale, yard sale, character meet-n-greets, food trucks, and possibly a silent auction. We created a little committee and went to work asking for donations for the yard sale. In this process we realized that businesses wouldn’t donate to us directly for our silent auction, but they would to a nonprofit. That’s when we created The Hope for Fertility Foundation. During our creation as well as doing our big fundraiser, Chase and I were saving up any and all cash that we could, to cover the cost of our upcoming IVF cycle on our own. We created the foundation with just myself, my husband and one of our dear friends. We were able to get the necessary permits, and all the donations that we could to help make the fundraiser a success. At the end of the fundraiser we were able to raise just over $4,000.
By July of 2016, Chase and I saved up roughly $14,000 in 4.5 months by ourselves. We were blessed by God, and felt that this was His way directing us to help others in need. In our hearts we want to be able to help everyone. We obviously can’t help others without sharing our Foundations story first, and getting the necessary donations to be able to spread hope. Since July, our board of directors has created a grant application, and in March we gave away our first grant.
We have 2 application periods per calendar year, spring and fall, and we just closed our first grant application for the spring grant (Feb 1, 2017). Since The Hope for Fertility is a nonprofit and all of our board members are not paid, we only have what we collect in donations or our fundraising efforts to be able to give grants. For those that have struggled with infertility and would like to give back we have a donate button on our website, which is tax-deductible. We set up an AmazonSmile account, and a portion of eligible purchases made on Amazon will go to us. All you have to do is go to smile.amazon.com and search “The Hope for Fertility Foundation.”
Our mission is to spread infertility awareness, hope and encouragement. We do a lot of that through our various social media channels. We do daily posts on our Facebook page, and they are reflected on Instagram and Twitter. My personal favorite is Wednesday’s, “Warrior of the Week.” On Wednesday we spotlight a couple who is either in the midst of battling infertility or a couple who has been successful. Each week it is inspiring and gives so much hope as each journey is unique and different. We are always looking for those to share their journey, as it gives a glimmer of hope that we are not alone, enduring the pain that infertility brings.
Since we are only a year old, we are still getting our feet wet and trying to find what works for us. As we do this we have been invited to several fertility conferences. This past October our Foundation was invited to an infertility conference located here in Utah which was put on by Utah Infertility Resource Center (UIRC). The end of the week (April 29) we will be attending the American Fertility Expo that will be held in Pasadena, CA. We are so excited to be able to meet more couples struggling with infertility as it gives us hope to be able to want to help more couples.
If you have any questions you can reach out to me via email@example.com or check out our website, www.hopeforfertility.org. We would love to connect with each of you and hear your story!