We recently connected with Jessica Bachus and have shared our conversation below.
Jessica, appreciate you joining us today. So let’s jump to your mission – what’s the backstory behind how you developed the mission the drives your brand?
Kenzi’s Causes was a way for me to turn my pain into purpose and help create change for low-income children in Colorado. My daughter Kenzi was stillborn in 2007 when I was 6 months pregnant. The first holiday season without her was difficult and I wanted to find a way to honor her and find joy. I could not give both Kenzi and her older sister Bailey dolls that Christmas so I collected new dolls and donated them back to local nonprofits. That first year it was 100-150 dolls. In 2008, I decided to do it again and we gave away more than 500 dolls. In 2009 we became a nonprofit that provides new toys to children each holiday season, backpacks to kids each August and supporting individual children each month with events, gifts are more. My pain became my purpose and the impact Kenzi has created is amazing. We impacted more than 100,000 children since 2007.
Great, appreciate you sharing that with us. Before we ask you to share more of your insights, can you take a moment to introduce yourself and how you got to where you are today to our readers
Kenzi’s Causes formally known as Dolls for Daughters® and Kenzi’s Kidz was founded after my daughter, Kenzi was stillborn at 24 weeks. Overcome with grief, I felt compelled to channel my emotions into something that would honor Kenzi’s memory. With this deep and noble calling, what is now known as Kenzi’s Causes was born. It was in my own grief that I stabilized the hearts of others. Over a decade later, my heartbreak led to a breakthrough that would change the trajectory of struggling families in the Colorado area forever.
Kenzi’s Causes runs 3 programs that are free to families who are in need. Our largest and most well known program is our Toy Shop Program that impacted more than 17,000 low-income children in Colorado in 2021. This program impacts children in Greeley, Fort Collins, Longmont, Avon, Rifle, Granby, Colorado Springs, Pueblo and the Denver metro area. Our Toy Shop program runs 6 popup toy shops across the state each December where families in need can come free of charge and pick out new gifts for their children ages birth to 18.
Our Packz4Kidz program provides new backpacks full of school supplies to children in need each August across the state. We support children in Rifle, Greeley, Avon, Colorado Springs, Pueblo and the Denver metro area. We host 4 give away events where children in preschool through high school can come and pick out their new backpack full of school supplies. We have different items in the backpacks for the younger aged students vs the middle and high school students. In addition we provide students with a new toothbrush. In 2021 we provided more than 6,000 backpacks full of new school supplies.
Our Kenzi’s Kidz program partners with nonprofits in Fort Collins and the Denver metro area to nominate families to our Kenzi’s Kidz program. This program helps provide children with access to extra curricular activities, zoo memberships, we cover school fees, provide new clothing, shoes, beds, monthly activities and so much more. Since 2010, we have helped 54 families and 171 children. Currently we have 122 active children in our program.
Kenzi’s Causes believes that every child deserves the same access and opportunity regardless of their socioeconomic status and we do what we can to help these children achieve equality. We have two full-time staff members and one staff member who works 5-10 hours a month supporting our programs in Fort Collins. We are lucky to have more than 500 volunteers across the state who help make our programs possible in so many communities.
Can you open up about how you funded your business?
Kenzi’s Causes started with seed money, just the idea that we could collect new dolls at the time (2009) and give them back to children in need in our community. We were able to spread the word about what we were doing and why we were doing it – to honor our daughter Kenzi and we would never be able to give her a doll or toy. The first year we had more than 100 new dolls donated to us that I collected in my home office. Year two we were up to 500 plus new dolls and it was at that time that I knew this needed to become a nonprofit. I put up the fees to apply for nonprofit status and then went to work to raise money from local businesses and individuals who believed in our work. I connected with individuals and shared our mission and our story and we have continued to grow ever since.
We’d love to hear about how you keep in touch with clients.
At Kenzi’s Causes we have several ways we stay in touch with our donors and those we serve. We have a general newsletter that goes out to more than 3,000 people once a month. We share about what we are doing, share about a family in our Kenzi’s Kidz program, highlight one of our sponsors and let them know how they can best support us that month. We send out a newsletter once a month to our monthly donors and give them a bit more insight into how their monthly donation supports the work we do and why it matters. We also send out a monthly newsletter to the families in our Kenzi’s Kidz program to highlight the event we had the month before for them, the next event we will have and share a useful tip to help them.
In addition I send out quarterly emails to each individual Miracle Maker who sponsor a child(ren) in our Kenzi’s Kidz program. In the email I will share how their monthly donation has helped the child(ren) and provide photos so the donor can connect with their child(ren). This has been very impactful to our donors.
We also post 5-7 days a week across social media platforms. On Facebook we create events and invite supporters if it is a fundraising event and invite families that need assistance if it is a give away event. We have a following of over 4,000 people on our Facebook page.
- Website: https://kenziscauses.org/
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kenzisCauses/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kenziscauses/
- Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/company/kenzis-causes
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/kenzisCauses
- Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKj0RBl7ilCp0CIxPn3HEpg
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