This year we met Joe, the founder of the Day Dreams Foundation, an amazing organization helping Mid Missouri kids fulfill their dreams of participating in extracurricular activities without ever worrying about the cost. We were so excited about this organization that we extended our hand in photography! We truly love working with amazing organizations like this, helping others in our community is always a highlight of our year! Plus these kids were absolutely amazing and SO excited about their futures ahead!
Here’s a little more about Joe and the Day Dreams Foundation :
I started working with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Missouri in 2010 and through that experience I met a lot of kids in Columbia that I thought could benefit from having more access to extracurricular activities. I stored the idea of starting a non-profit to help more kids participate in extracurriculars in the back of my head until the the summer of 2014. It was then that I was contacted by my Little Brother Ja’shaun’s grandma asking if I knew of any organization that could help cover the $135 cost to participate in youth football. After some research, I found that there was one organization that offered up to $50 for youth enrichment activities, but their fund had run out of money. So I decided to start a GoFundMe page and asked friends and family to contribute what they could to raise the money for Ja’shaun to play football. Within 24 hours, six generous donors helped us reach our goal and Ja’shaun was able to play football that fall (and each fall since).
In the days following, I had more friends and family call me to say they had wanted to donate, but we reached our goal before they had the chance. I was stunned by the level of support and knew the time was right to get the idea in the back of my head off the ground. I sent the idea out to a few friends who became our first board of directors and a woman at church helped me fill out all the necessary paperwork. By September 2014 we were up and running. Two and a half years later, we have awarded more than $23,000 in extracurricular activity fees and equipment costs to 80 kids.
The Day Dreams Foundation’s core mission is to eliminate financial barriers to extracurricular activities, but we also want to promote healthy life styles, goal setting, academics, teamwork and respect for others. Columbia kids 18 and and under that qualify for free or reduced lunch at school are eligible to apply for a scholarship to help cover the costs of extracurriculars and equipment. We have had kids receive scholarships for such a wide variety of activities including athletic teams, dance classes, music lessons, cheerleading, swim lessons, martial arts and summer camps.
Most of our fundraising is done through three events each year:
Bubble Soccer Tournament — March 12, 2017
A Night Under the Stars Gala — July 15, 2017
Trivia Night — December 2017
We also have a fun event coming up called the Dream Big Bracket where anyone can submit a short proposal about what their Columbia school could do with $1,000 for an extracurricular activity (i.e. start an Archery Club like last year’s winner Lange Middle School did).
© Catherine Rhodes Photography 2017 | Day Dreams Foundation | Columbia Missouri Portrait Photographers