In a heartwarming effort to support St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, Nannyguards has launched a new project called Bodyguards for Kids. This virtual networking and educational fundraising event will provide medical assistance and support to children in need, with 100% of the donations and event fees going directly to St. Jude’s. The event aims to bring people together for a good cause while also providing valuable learning opportunities.
With various options available for individuals and companies to contribute, Chris and Denida Grow hope to make this fundraiser a memorable and impactful event. So, mark your calendars for March 18th and 19th as Nannyguards’ Bodyguards for Kids fundraising event is set to take place over two days.
Can you tell us about the inspiration behind the Bodyguards for Kids fundraising event? Why did you choose St. Jude’s as the recipient of the donations?
CG: I’ve had quite a number of small interactions with St Jude’s over the years. I was an aspiring artist in Nashville, working in country music and on the side I provided EP for artists. They did an awful lot of work with St Jude’s, and it was so impressive to watch these big stars drop everything, donate their buses to take kids around, help at the hospital in Memphis. You would watch them go in and come out crying little messes because they’ve seen children who have a lot more courage than any one of us could possibly dream of having.
When Deni and I met, she always talked about working with charities and sitting on the couch she had this epiphany.
DG: It was early December and we were watching a movie – and I am the kind of person that checks her phone 50 times while watching a movie, and I saw an ad for St Jude’s. And I said how wonderful it would be if we could make an event for St Jude’s and support them. At first we wanted to do it for Christmas. But we soon realized it was going to be a huge project and we can’t make it by Christmas. We began reaching out privately to people from the industry, telling them about the project and seeing who was interested.
Everybody loved the project and wanted to get involved!
The event aims to provide valuable instruction for attendees while raising funds for St. Jude’s. How do you plan to balance the educational aspect of the event with the fundraising goals?
CG: The fundraising goals are pretty simple. There are three basic donation packages, and you can donate anything you want. Firstly, to make sure it’s all clear, St Jude’s has a great system – they are a registered non-profit. So, it was basically like setting up a go-fund-me page on their website, and when you make the donation it goes straight to St Jude’s, there is no middle-man.
DG: We have 19 speakers right now, there will probably be around twenty in the end. The event will be divided into two days, from morning to afternoon. Through their donation, people can sign up for any of the educational topics. We will also have raffle prizes and book giveaways – we have 26 books of numerous titles.
The International Protective Security Board gave a generous donation and offered 4 tickets for their next IPSB conference. Also, we have two full scholarships: Executive Protection Specialist Course offered by Independent Security Advisors and Surveillance Driving Course offered by Optimal Risk Group.
The event also includes an “Ask a Recruiter” panel. Can you tell us more about this opportunity for job seekers and what type of recruiters you are looking to include?
DG: The idea was to have four or five recruiters from major corporations that would be there to answer all the questions that people from our industry have. Like what do they look for in candidates from our industry, what are some deal-breakers, what are some suggestions for applicants if they want to do better during the recruitment process. The idea is to give the recruiters the chance to offer direct feedback to applicants from our industry.
CG: I did quite a few interviews over the years, so one gets comfortable with them over time. But in the beginning, you have no idea what they are looking for. Some people walk through the door and start talking hard skills, all macho. Meanwhile, they are looking for someone who has those, but leaves them at the back of the mind. Because on the job you will be mostly dealing with the wife and kids, driving them to school. And you just lost yourself a job.
The point is: learn to adapt, listen to what these people have to say.
You mentioned that there are many options for individuals and companies to contribute and participate in the fundraiser. Please, can you explain these different options and how they help support the children at St. Jude?
DG: No amount is too small when it comes to donations. Everything, of course, goes to the children. We created bigger packages to acknowledge those individuals or companies that want and are able to contribute more. You can check the page on our website dedicated to the event for more information. Corporate sponsors will have their logos and websites listed on the event page.
Again, no donation is too small, and we are so grateful to those who have donated already. All the donations go towards something great – and who knows, you may get a book or a scholarship.
CG: What we get out of this, besides the hard work, is the joy that we helped people contribute.
Finally, what are your plans for the future? In the long term, what are your goals for the Bodyguards for Kids project? How do you plan to see it grow and evolve over time?
CG: This is going to be an annual thing and it’s going to grow. This being the first year, we wanted to see how much interest it was going to stir. Next year, we are going to get ahead of it and make it even bigger.
We are also anticipating a trip to Memphis, to the hospital at some point. To see and meet the kids and show people: this is what you are involved in and to whom you donated.
DG: And by making it an annual, virtual event people can participate no matter where they are or what kind of commitments, they have in person that day or how much money they can afford to give. Even if this grows into a live event, we will keep the virtual aspect to make it more inclusive.
The goal is to help the children.