I work a full time job, but my heart is with Battle for a Cure.
Amanda grew up in Lampasas, Texas with her sister and best friend Mariesha. After she graduated high school in 2006, Amanda followed her sister to Austin, Texas where she met a young boy named Joshua who inspired her to found the non-profit organization, "Battle for a Cure Foundation." Amanda works full time, but her passion is Battle for a Cure. Amanda's husband Beau and other family members also work with the organization. Mariesha will join Amanda on the cruise.
When Amanda first met Joshua back in 2006, he had been diagnosed with a rare condition that the doctors treated as if it were cancer. They formed a friendship, and Joshua would call Amanda while he was in the hospital and whenever he needed something. Amanda would bring him toys, books, pajamas, CDs, or whatever else he needed, and she would purchase these items on her own. As time passed, she met more and more children in the oncology ward who needed similar support, and Amanda found a way to provide it.
Amanda started a MySpace page and starting blogging about these children. This took on a life of its own, and her readers began asking how they could help. Soon, they had a small army of people preparing boxes of gifts that these children had asked for. Amanda was working at her job and committing every other waking hour to this work, and she finally turned it into a 501(c)3 charitable organization. Says Amanda: "I run around like a crazy person, but I love doing this." She now runs fundraisers through FaceBook, and she has developed an international following. People donate gifts and money from six continents and all across America.
Every evening Amanda and a team of volunteers including her parents and her sister sort through donated items and wrap gift boxes for the kids. During the holiday season, they prepare gift boxes for 250 kids with cancer as well as their 400 siblings for Christmas, and ship the boxes all across the nation. Amanda now has ten people on the Board of Directors and countless volunteers, and she achieved all this through social media. Says Amanda: "We hear about all the downsides of social media, but in this case, we have used it to help kids during their darkest moments. There are a lot of people out there willing to lend a hand, and social media is a great way to reach them."