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As we have worked to engage our collector base more and more through social media like Twitter, Facebook and YouTube along with our Volunteer Alliance program, we have really enjoyed seeing collectors who are working diligently to giving back and growing the hobby. One group in particular has really gone above and beyond in their quest to bring the fun of trading cards to kids who would not normally be able to enjoy them.
Cards2Kids was founded by a high school student named John Makowiec. We have profiled John and his charity before here on the Upper Deck Blog, but we were thrilled to actually be able to partner with his charity during the 2011 Fall Sports Card & Collectibles Expo last November in Toronto where we saw this extremely motivated young man in action.
Upper Deck accepted trading card donations from collectors and dealers at the event throughout the weekend while the Cards2Kids team was on hand to help get the word out and collect all the submissions. They spent time with all the dealers and show attendees explaining how they could donate both at the show and in the future. John and his brother Jay handed out close to a thousand flyers on the program and collected close to 20,000 cards in just two days.
From there they spent some long hours at the hotel organizing the cards and putting them in soft sleeve packs. They had received some special autograph and memorabilia cards so they were careful to make sure those got into some of the first packs that would be distributed. Together they also worked to make sure every pack had cards of some of the more well known stars and rookies to make it exciting for the kids who would receive them.
Then came one of the more exciting moments when the team got to actually deliver the packs to The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. They had organized close to 700 special packs for the kids and worked with Caron Irwin, Donations coordinator for the Hospital for Sick Children to get them in the hands of the kids. The Hospital is still distributing these packs to sick kids which is really amazing the Cards2Kids team has been able to keep these youngsters smiling for so long.
After they dropped off the donation, they made another trip by the show where they collected almost 10,000 additional cards that would be used for future promotions with kids.
“This was an amazing experience for Cards2Kids,” said John Makowiec. “We would like to thank Upper Deck and everyone who donated cards. Your contributions made this a complete success and you helped brighten the days of a lot of sick children. Our intention is to continue to reach out to collectors and encourage them to donate cards to help kids. If you have cards collecting dust, help us out by donating them today!”
To donate to Cards2Kids, you can send your cards or unused team bags to the address below:
141 West Jackson Street, Suite 500
Chicago, IL 60604
Cards2Kids also has two drop boxes at Upper Deck Certified Diamond Dealer shops in the Illinois area. Stop in today with your donations:
557 Chestnut Street
Winnetka, IL 60093
2028 West Montrose
Chicago, IL 60618