(KUTV) Kirsten Fox from Uplift Gift visited Fresh Living with gift ideas for your loved ones going through difficult times.
Fox was diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer in June 2014.
My local friends brought food and spent time with me. My distant friends sent cards, or small gifts, or called. I’m open about my breast cancer diagnosis and treatment and so I began to get emails, texts and phone calls from women who had a friend going through something similar and who didn’t know what to say or do. They were afraid of saying the wrong thing. Since I am an entrepreneur, I started getting the message that perhaps this would be a good business helping 1) provide meaningful, beautifully wrapped gifts for people to give their friends, 2) helping people who don’t know what to do or who live far away.
Before I got sick and I heard from someone going through really bad times, I felt pressure to find something to say or do that would make them feel better. Most of the time, I became so worried about offending them, I just was stymied and didn’t do anything. Ex: Grocery store: Friend who’s son had just tragically died. After going through the trauma of a cancer diagnosis, I discovered the mistake in my thinking: no one can deliver something that will take away the pain; no one can allay the fears. What we can do is stand by our friends with gestures of love, whether a gift from my co or another, or a card, or even just a phone call, one of the best things to say to someone struggling with traumatic situations is “I’m thinking of you,” or “I’m here for you.”
As I went through my mail, I almost missed one of the most important gifts I received during my treatment. On a post card, “A gift in your name has been made to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation” from one of my clients. I sat still and felt like warm chocolate was pouring over me. I suddenly had become a part of the larger solution. Suddenly my cancer was possibly helping others by funding a non-profit. So our company will always give back 5% of profits to charities. We want the gift giver to know that, the non-profits to know that and most importantly, the distressed friend. We want her to get to the last layer of gifts and see the card that says, “Your gift is also helping to uplift others, as we give 5% of profits to charities.” I want her to feel that warm feeling of being a part of the solution and something bigger.
As the vision for this company came to me, people I know, friends and acquaintances, told me of business owners who would understand our concept. Most of our suppliers are motivated by more than money; they are connected to our cause: Phyllis Robinson, owner of Tandem Chocolates, grew up with a mother who hand-dipped chocolate covered cherries in the kitchen, while struggling twice with breast cancer. Amy Chin, the art designer at Sassypants Design, created the art for our greeting cards and is a breast cancer survivor herself. When we were a month out, starting to do product shots, our photographer, Deb Dekoff of Park City Photographers was diagnosed with breast cancer, so she shot our products after surgery. She's now going thru chemo. In addition, daily I have friends asking if they can volunteer to pack boxes. These women want to be a part of uplifting others.
As everyone knows, women are extremely busy these days. Many traditions have slipped away due to time constraints. One thing that hasn’t changed: when a close friend calls, crying on the other end of the phone about something tragic, I must do something for her. So there I’d be shopping at favorite stores, finding nice wrapping paper, finding a box to put everything in, getting it into my car, watching it sit on the back seat of the car for three weeks, finally getting to the post office, waiting in line and sending it off. We are the solution to avoid that scenario – a supportive friend can order a box, with a custom message for the card that will be hand-written by our staff, and the box will be comforting her friend in no time.
For more information, visit upliftgift.com or call (877) 792-1661.
When you visit the website, you will get a pop up box that asks for your first name and email. Fill that out and you will receive a coupon code for 15% off your first box!