Crowdfunding has become a popular way to raise money for events, projects or businesses. By setting up a crowdfunding page online, individuals or groups can raise large amounts of money via small donations from many of people. In September, nurses at Cleveland Clinic entered the crowdfunding arena with an initiative that aims to improve access to healthy food for people living in food deserts in an east side area of Cleveland.
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“Our plan is to offer transportation to local markets, where participants can purchase healthy food and also provide gift certificates to make the food more affordable,” says Danielle Dick, MSN, RN, Director of the Policy Office in Cleveland Clinic’s enterprise-wide Quality Department.
The campaign, called “Move to the Market,” will serve people who utilize Cleveland Clinic’s Langston Hughes Community Health and Education Center. It will coincide with the center’s 6 Week Health Challenge, which kicked off its fall competition in September.
Inspiration for the initiative
Dick was inspired to create the program after a series of events in 2017. First, she heard a presentation from nursing leadership on Cleveland Clinic’s foray into crowdfunding, spearheaded by the organization’s Philanthropy Institute. Cleveland Clinic’s platform, The Power of Every One, provides clinicians, researchers and all employee caregivers the opportunity to raise money for projects that positively impact patients and advance health and wellness in local communities. Since the website launched in June 2017, 10 projects have jointly raised over $48,000.
A few weeks after learning about The Power of Every One, Dick attended the nursing institute’s Legislative & Health Policy Conference, where a speaker discussed inner city food deserts – areas where it’s hard to find healthy or affordable fresh food. One of those areas is Cleveland’s Fairfax neighborhood, home to the Langston Hughes Community Center. Dick says “the stars aligned,” and she realized the unique opportunity in front of her to tap into the potential of crowdfunding to help people in Fairfax and surrounding neighborhoods.
“Langston Hughes Community Center offers all of these wonderful programs to help people live healthier lives – exercise programs, health education, cooking demonstrations and diabetes education,” says Dick. “The center makes a big impact in the community, but it’s in a food desert.” She wants to raise money to make it easier for people to apply what they learn and eat better – to make healthy food accessible and affordable. Dick created the campaign along with Angela Wilson, BHSA, RN, a clinical nurse at the Cleveland Clinic Langston Community Hughes Health and Education Center; Nancy Kaser, MSN, BS, RN, ACNS-BC, NEA-BC, a clinical nurse specialist at Cleveland Clinic; Mary Sauer, MBA, BSN, RN, NEA-BC, CNO and Vice President of Patient Care Services for Cleveland Clinic Avon Hospital; and Chantel Wilcox, MBA, Director of Cleveland Clinic Community Relations at Langston Hughes Community Health and Education Center.
The goal for Move to the Market
Through the Move to the Market campaign, the team hopes to raise $8,400 for the following:
- Rental of a bus or van to transport people monthly for one year to a designated market.
- Fuel to cover trips to the market.
- Gift certificates that approximately 20 people can use to purchase groceries each month for one year.
- Cooking demonstrations or education sessions.
Anyone who would like to contribute should do so on Move to the Market’s crowdfunding page.
“We can have a big impact on the communities we serve,” says Dick. “Small contributions can add up and make a big difference.”