BLOG: How Miss Montana Teen USA Started The Spreading Faith Foundation
Written by Miss Montana Teen USA 2017 Elle Cook
I Found My Passion
When I was crowned Miss Montana Teen 2017 I knew I had to use my time wisely and do everything that I could to impact the lives of others. I started a non-profit organization, The Spreading Faith Foundation, to assist children that suffer from chronic medical conditions. It breaks my heart when I hear stories of children suffering from medical conditions and families struggling to pay for much needed medical treatment. I also wanted to provide some relief for the children going through the treatment. I can’t imagine how hard it would be to deal with a chronic medical condition at a young age. The purpose of The Spreading Faith Foundation is to provide a little relief and make families’ lives a little brighter.
I knew I wanted my non-profit to help children and because I grew up with an understanding of the challenges of health care and how much medical treatment can cost, The Spreading Faith Foundation was an easy decision. What tugs at your heart strings? What are you passionate about and how can you help make a difference in the lives of others?
Finding My Audience
As we all know with social media, it doesn’t take long for the word to spread. Unfortunately, everyone knows somebody that is suffering from a chronic medical condition. With very little outreach, the emails and calls started coming in.
I am currently helping two wonderful children. Imagine being a 16 year old girl in high school, having no legs and your only way to get around is on a skateboard. High school is supposed to be a time to start exploring our independence. By helping this young girl get a customized wheelchair, she will gain the freedom and independence she has always dreamed of.
How do you like to spend your summer? Probably not in treatment. That is what the past six years have been like for one special young man from Arizona that has cerebral palsy. This summer will be different. The Spreading Faith Foundation will be sending him to THERAsurf Camp where he will learn how to surf!! He has always dreamed of seeing the ocean and I cannot wait to hear about his experience at camp!
Starting this Foundation has really helped me appreciate the important things in life! I feel very fortunate to have never endured a medical challenge and that is why I believe it is my responsibility to spread faith and give back.
Have you ever considered starting a non-profit? Once you find your passion, you need to determine who your audience is so you can begin reaching out and making an impact.
Executing My Plan
In order to start The Spreading Faith Foundation I had some work to do. I had to incorporate my business at the State level; obtain a federal tax identification number (EIN); and I had to apply for tax exempt status from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) as a 501(c)(3). 501(c)(3) tax exempt status is important as it allows you to accept contributions and donations that are tax-deductible to the donor.
It is important to find a trusted advisor that can help you execute your plan. Once these tasks are completed then it is a matter of developing a brand, building a website, and raising money for all of those children out that can use some good news.
Getting the Word Out
The Spreading Faith Foundation has a Facebook page (The Spreading Faith Foundation) a Twitter page (tsffoundation) and an Instagram handle (thespreadingfaithfoundaton). The website will go live in July and the URL is www.thespreadingfaithfoundation.com. I hope to organize different events in the future in order to raise money such as a run, a charity football game at my local high schools, and much more.
Stay tuned, find your passion, and help spread the faith!!