If you were asked – What is your plan for the next 5 years? – what would your response be? Almost 6 years ago, that was Pink It Forward’s question when thinking about becoming a 501c3 nonprofit organization. The process is much like a business plan. What is your mission? What do you intend to accomplish in 5 years? How about 10? Now lay it out. When asked today if they ever dreamed of helping more than 3,300 individuals impacted by breast cancer, cofounder Kayla Tanhoff’s response was “Absolutely.”
Founded in 2013, Pink It Forward’s mission is to provide hope and empowerment by enriching the lives of all those affected by breast cancer. They do so by sending care packages to individuals currently undergoing treatment for breast cancer in North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, and Montana. “When thinking of how we wanted to make a difference, we all agreed that we wanted to fill the void of – what do you do for someone going through breast cancer right now.” – said Deanne Leier, one of the co-founders. With many organizations raising funds for a cure, Pink It Forward set out to fulfill this mission by creating care packages that help alleviate the often painful side effects of treatments, whether emotional or physical. Care packages are entirely free to request thanks to their fundraising efforts throughout the year, and the support of generous individual and business donors.
In working towards bringing to life their mission to help all impacted by breast cancer, they launched The Arleen
Scholarship. The scholarship honors two of the founder’s mother, who passed in early 2019 from a continued battle with breast cancer not once, not twice, not three times, but four times. “When we considered what to do with memorial funds, it was a no-brainer. We’d had the goal of launching a scholarship for a few years, and this just seemed like the perfect time. We’re so honored to help student’s that have been impacted by a family member with breast cancer.” – said RueAnn Gallagher and Tammy Svalen Gimbel, Arleen’s daughters. The scholarship awards students from their four state footprint with either $500 or $1,000 towards a technical degree, 2, or 4 year college or university degree.
October is National Breast Cancer Awareness month, and you can be sure Pink It Forward will be pounding the pavement, working to reach as many individuals impacted by breast cancer as possible. “Our goal in October is to get out in the community as much as possible. Whether it’s talking with businesses, or supporting local school events, the more people that hear of Pink It Forward, the greater chance we have of reaching someone who could benefit from our organization.” says co-founder Kayla Tanhoff.
If you’re interested in requesting a visit from Pink It Forward, or donating to their mission, visit www.pinkitforward.org. “A breast cancer diagnosis doesn’t alienate you. It’s quite the opposite. It brings you into a larger family there to support you. A family in pink.” – Pink It Forward.