Founder and CEO, Kasie Helpz Kidz
I always loved to help others and through my own experience with childhood cancer, I realized how many kids were fighting for their lives.
Tell us about your organization.
Kasie Helpz Kidz is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that I started in 2008. I was a two-time childhood cancer survivor, therefore I wanted to give back and turn a negative experience into a positive one. My organization raises money to help cover medical bills and travel expenses for pediatric cancer patients. We’ve helped over 8,000 children nationwide.
How did you decide to start a nonprofit?
It started with a donation of 400 teddy bears. When I was in high school, I wrote a letter to a company asking them to do something for children in the hospital. One day, I found a huge box of teddy bears on my porch, and that’s how it began. One of my professors heard about what I was doing. Her students helped with public relations strategy and a logo design, and later, a larger campaign.
What has benefitted you the most from your time at UWF?
All of my public relations and marketing classes have helped me, especially as I travel and speak on behalf of Kasie Helpz Kidz. My professors served as mentors and influenced and encouraged me as I embarked on my career. I also studied abroad in Sweden for seven months. Experiencing and adapting to another country has helped in my full-time job, which is in social media marketing for an international company.