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Check Out Lori Griffith’s Story

Today we’d like to introduce you to Lori Griffith.

Hi Lori, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
Chasin A Dream Foundation is a result of my personal dream to be able to help families with children battling life-threatening illnesses. I had worked in the healthcare industry for 18 years and in that time, I met so many amazing kids and was totally inspired by them and by what their families also endured in their attempt to save them. So many parents lost everything before their child’s journey through illness was complete and there just weren’t enough resources available to them.

I knew if local people knew the stories of what local children were facing they would get involved. As a photographer, I was able to share their story visually and that captured the attention of local people and businesses. The concept is “locals helping locals” and in building a stronger community. All too often when money is sent to large charities, you really don’t have any idea if you are making an impact. So, with Chasin A Dream, I share the stories of so many kids and what they endure. It’s hard to not get involved when you can see just what a difference you can make. We are constantly sharing and updating the kid’s stories on our social media pages and website (chasinadream.org)

I was, and still am, so grateful to the business community who responded by donating to Chasin A Dream. For example, Rob Miller who owns Jupiter Pointe Marina and is a donor, gave myself and my business partner Alex Cotleur the paddleboard and kayak rental business on his property, Paddle The Pointe (paddlethepointe.com). This was an amazing opportunity to give back to Chasin A Dream, give the kids a place to get on the water, and help give us an income during Covid when it was virtually impossible to do anything. Due to Rob’s kindness and generosity, we are building this outdoor adventure business located directly on the beautiful crystal clear Jupiter Intracoastal water and giving back at the same time. That’s the true spirit of locals helping locals.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
All in all, I would have to say it has been pretty smooth. When I left my full-time job, I only had about $8,000 in the bank but I never doubted I could do this. I truly believed in what I wanted to accomplish and build and I have never let doubt creep in. Even during Covid when all of our events were canceled, we just got creative and knew we’d make it through. Although I would say it’s been a bit challenging since our major fundraising event was again canceled this year due to Covid, but I believe in the community and I believe in myself. Most of all, I believe in the kids and will do what needs to be done to ensure that I can continue to help them.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
We have three major programs at Chasin A Dream Foundation. The first is our Hospital Backpack Program which gives children newly diagnosed with life-threatening illnesses a customized backpack which includes an iPad to help with the long hours, days, weeks and sometimes months of hospitalization. We also include a soft blanket, pillow, diffuser & oils, toiletries, crafts and toys.

Our second program is the Critical Need Program which assists families whose finances have been devastated due to their child’s diagnosis. We do this through rental assistance, utilities, co-pays, medical bills, transportation assistance and food.

Forever Faith is our program which assists with funeral costs in the unfortunate event a child passes. This program is named in honor of Faith Huempfner who is the daughter of two of our Board Members: John and Norma Huempfner.

What sort of changes are you expecting over the next 5-10 years?
Covid has definitely presented some major challenges to the nonprofit world and I’m really not sure what it will all look like when the world gets back to normal. Fundraising shifted to virtual events but I’m not a fan of those and would rather wait until I am able to do our events in person. We are trying to do more outdoors where it is safer and have an event, Pumpkin Fest, which is held on October 16, 2021 at Harbourside Place in Jupiter. It’s a free family festival with trick or treating, costume contest, vendors, Kids Zone, pumpkin patch, live music, food and drink so we are excited to be hosting an event.

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