Mission Memphis Day 1: Cheer for the Kids

The Experience

I was never a cheerleader, so I thought that volunteering with Cheer for the Kids would be a little out of my element. But I realized that this organization had a mission and a spirit I could relate to.

The director, Ashley Bradford, told me about what inspired her to start this organization. Years ago, Ashley met a two-year old girl name Suzi who was very sick. During a very scary time in this Suzi’s life, she had two wishes come true. Not only did she get the life-saving care she needed, but she and her family had a party with all of her favorite Disney characters. That experience made a lasting impact on Ashley and it inspired her to look for ways to help more people. The official mission of Cheer for the Kids is to raise money for local children’s non-profits and to date they’ve raised almost $80,000. But for Ashley, the mission is deeper than that: “I want to teach others that you can think outside yourself at a young age.” This coming January, she and her team will share that lesson with more than 300 young cheerleaders.

In 2011, Cheer for the Kids donated $25,000 to the Make-A-Wish Foundation of the Mid-South, which funded FIVE wishes for children in our area. In 2012 they donated six wishes and in 2013, they’re aiming for seven.

Each year, Cheer for the Kids uses more than 60 volunteers. The core team focuses on planning and coordinating for several months leading up to the event. On the day of the competition, there are dozens of student volunteers from Arlington High School. Ashley hopes that the cheerleaders, spectators and volunteers all leave the event with the knowledge that they’ve helped someone else. Ashley says “I can’t think of a better cause than helping kids” and so far it’s been contagious!

In case you’re wondering, Suzi is all grown up. And she’s a cheerleader.

How to Help

Cheer for the Kids hosts a Cheer and Dance Competition in January and they’re looking for people to join their team in the areas of logistics, marketing, accounting and information technology. They’re also in need of sponsors and items for the silent auction.

You can give as much or as little time as you’d like, whether it’s one hour a month or one hour a day, they have a role to fill. Donations of any size are also welcome!

If you’re looking for a way to support our local youth, this is a great opportunity.

Visit Cheer for the Kids

Website:www.cheerforthekids.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/CheerForTheKids

Twitter: @CheerfortheKids

Email: To volunteer or donate, contact Ashley at Ashley@cheerforthekids.com

Check Presentation from Cheer for the Kids to Make-A-Wish. $25,000!

If you’re thinking about volunteering with this organization or in general, but aren’t quite ready to jump in, email me at sarah.petschonek@gmail.com. Thinking about helping is the first step!

What comes after the 30 Days of Mission Memphis?  Volunteer Bound! I’m traveling across the country to promote volunteerism and I want to take you with me!

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