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article imageExecutive director Kim Gradisher talks Tyler Robinson Foundation Special

By Markos Papadatos     Jul 3, 2019 in Lifestyle
Kim Gradisher, the executive director of the Tyler Robinson Foundation (TRF), chatted with Digital Journal about her work with the foundation and its future plans.
"Our plan for TRF is to continue to grow the foundation and expand our reach," she said. "We are currently partnered with 50 hospitals throughout the US, Canada, Mexico, Europe, and Malaysia. We partnered with four new hospitals outside of North America at the start of this year."
Gradisher continued, "We have been blessed to help over 1,000 families dealing with a pediatric cancer diagnosis through our grants program. Our Ambassador program (individuals lending their time and talents to raise money for TRF) is one of our many grass-roots fundraising programs that has allowed us to be able to continue to expand our reach). Right now we have ambassadors raising money in 16 different countries and we hope to be able to continue to grow that number."
"Outside of the financial relief for families, we also provide resources and emotional support," she said. "We provided toolkits through a partnership with National Pediatric Cancer Foundation to every single partner hospital. We also rolled out a pen pal program last year where individuals or groups can send letters of encouragement to our TRF families."
"We plan to continue to add these types of programs and resources. We are so thankful to Imagine Dragons, the Robinson Family, our supporters, and our volunteers for helping us further our mission. Together we will continue to fight for these amazing families," she added.
As Executive Director, she is blessed to wear many hats. "A few of my responsibilities include overseeing the daily operations of the foundation, creating and implementing our operating budget, overseeing and maintaining all finances of the organization alongside our board of directors, supervising our small staff team, creating and maintaining partnerships with corporate and community sponsors, volunteer management, donor engagement, and most importantly making sure our TRF families (and our mission) are always at the forefront of what we do," she elaborated.
Each day, Gradisher is motivated by the TRF families. "These families and children are facing the toughest battle of their lives. They are strong and courageous. All of us at TRF consider ourselves to be a family. Even when a family's grant ends, the families still stay involved. As a mother of two, I am constantly inspired by our pediatric cancer parents. I want to get up every day and fight for these families. I also want my own children to see the importance of helping others," she said.
She acknowledged that over the years, she is proud of many professional moments with the TRF. "To keep it simple, I am most proud that we have expanded our reach (helped over 1000 families), grown an amazing team of staff, board members, volunteers, and supporters. We have done this all while remaining a fiscally responsible organization," she said.
"We also partnered with Merrill Lynch so all of our families are paired up with a financial advisor, our goal is to rescue these families from financial hardship and set them up for success. Over 85 cents of every dollar goes directly to our families and I could not be more proud of that," she added.
Imagine Dragons
Imagine Dragons
Eric Ray Davidson
She praised rock singer-songwriter Dan Reynolds and the Grammy award-winning band Imagine Dragons, as well as their manager, Mac Reynolds, for their active involvement with the TRF. "They are the best. Quite simply. Every single band member is heavily involved with the organization. They are always willing to lend their time and talent to TRF," she said.
"Mac as Vice Chair is incredible. He is incredibly supportive of our mission. He does so much for the organization and is always bringing us new opportunities. I could really go on and on about how great Imagine Dragons and Mac have been to work with. They are incredibly successful, but still so humble and giving. It is really inspiring. We are so fortunate to have all of them so involved on a regular basis," she said.
Gradisher noted that technology and social media have completely impacted the contemporary philanthropic scene. "I feel technology has completely changed the philanthropic scene, but in a good way. Now people can learn about TRF anytime, anywhere. From live-streaming our annual GALA to individuals setting up a Facebook fundraiser to raise money for TRF, to watching one of our latest TRF family stories, to getting involved from across the world...the list goes on and on. The digital age has allowed us to grow and further our mission," she said.
She defined the word success as follows: "Professionally, success is surrounding yourself with the right people to reach your goals. I am blessed to work with incredible individuals (staff, board members, volunteers, supporters, TRF families) on a regular basis."
"Personally, success is waking up every day to do work that I love and to be able to balance that with a family. I am lucky to be able to #slaycancerwithdragons while raising two children. As a woman, I want my daughter and my son to see that you can do good work, be a mom, and make a difference," she added.
Gradisher concluded, "We are committed to helping pediatric cancer families. Our mission is to help with the immediate need. When a family is dealing with a pediatric cancer diagnosis, the bills pile up. We are here to alleviate some of that financial burden. We are also here to support our families on an emotional level. We are a family. We are so thankful to everyone who has supported TRF along the way."
To learn more about the Tyler Robinson Foundation, check out its official website and its Facebook page.
More about Kim Gradisher, Tyler Robinson Foundation, Imagine Dragons, Dan Reynolds, mac reynolds
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