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September 30, 2009


September 30, 2009

The Payden Memorial Foundation was started by personal friends after loosing their son Payden, age 6, to medulloblastoma (brain cancer). After healing from their loss, they realized a great need for financial resources to help families in Montana with kids battling cancer. There is no special screening process outside of a 'note from their doctor' with a diagnosis, no financial qualifications. Upon learning of a family they immediately send a substantial check for whatever expenses are needed and a grocery gift card. A little later the child and their siblings receive a gift pack of toys and such to occupy their time while travelling or in hospital. At the holidays, the families receive another check. All of the fundraising is done only once a year during an annual bicycle ride called 'Blazing Saddles'. The feedback from families is this organization goes above and beyond what anyone else does, with compassion and understanding that only a family who has experienced their struggle can understand.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

being part of the board, I've been privy to the letters received from recipient families on how effective and timely the resources they receive are.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

want them to find even more dedicated sponsors who can help to a greater extent. Finding ways to get more doctors and hospital social workers aware of the organization so families can get the help they need faster.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the 'family' of people involved. Everyone who volunteers are part of a larger community of friends. Everyone is included like family and are cherished. Most of the cyclists are repeat riders who selflessly raise funds year after year.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

fabulous. Most everyone has been touched by cancer in one way or another in their lifetime, and that translates to people who give with their hearts.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

go global. Ending childhood cancer is the main goal, so perhaps giving more to research would be the best use of that amount of funding....but helping families is it's primary focus.

Ways to make it better...

I could clone everyone involved so they could do more.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

hard economic times which prohibit greater giving, as well as the lack of exposure in the areas that it is needed. It is still a young organization which could benefit from more delegation of the workload to it's board.

One thing I'd also say is that...

Although this organization only helps kids in Montana, it is worthy of recognition in that it is a model of how helping someone in need is done. It is selfless in it's dedication and desire. Everything is done with love and compassion and understanding.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?


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