Spread Joy with "Going Places!"
Our mission at Going Places is to bring joy to deserving children from low income families by providing them with bikes, swim lessons, summer camp opportunities, and more. This will enrich their growth and fuel their imaginations, supporting the most basic childhood right - a right to joy.
-Katie Blomquist, Going Places Founder and Operating Director
History of Going Places
Going Places was inspired in early 2016 by a little boy in my first grade class who I developed a special bond with. Due to his circumstances, he wasn’t getting the opportunity to enjoy many life experiences, and he never had been given a reason to be motivated in school. I made it my goal that school year to help foster motivation by bonding with him outside of the classroom, taking him on local adventures to try new things like eat at different restaurants, visit museums, see plays, enjoy the beach, and play instruments at music stores. On his birthday, we ended our afternoon of fun at Walmart where I allowed him to pick out some gifts. He kept begging me for a bike, but it was something I just couldn’t afford. I then decided to use popular online fundraising forum GoFundMe to get him a bike, but realized I didn’t want to leave out his middle school-aged brother. Moreover, I started thinking about the other students in my class and students from previous years. I realized how many of them didn’t own a bike and could benefit from receiving one as well.
Soon, this idea transpired into my goal of buying every single student, all 650 kids in my title 1 school, a new bike, lock, and helmet. Little did I know how fast this campaign would take off. It went viral, and almost every news station in the nation wrote stories on it, including The Steve Harvey Show which flew me out to Chicago to be a guest on the show where Steve donated a generous $20,000. TjMaxx also selected me to be highlighted in a week long Twitter campaign focused on inspirational women in society who are doing something for others, and this attention also raised $2,000 for the campaign. Please see the GoFundMe video below!
Seeing the local and national community come together in such a positive way to support our North Charleston title 1 children inspired me to further work on this project with a larger goal in mind. Now, currently, this organization is “going places” in the local community, and eventually, I hope to impact the country, changing lives and bringing joy to underprivileged children.
A bike, as one example, provides a sense of freedom, a sense of escape, a sense of ownership, and basic, untainted childhood joy. There are already so many wonderful organizations that provide services children need, but not many that provide children in need of simple joys. Going Places will work diligently to provide joy in a variety of forms to children in title 1 schools because kids are kids, and all too often we forget that no matter the circumstance, we as a community need to better ensure they have memories of joy as well.
How You Can Help
My passion needs to be backed by funding from donors like you who care about the happiness and prosperity of each child as well as what they can eventually contribute to the future of their community.
Thank you for supporting Going Places through this ongoing online fundraiser with your donations and by sharing this GoFundMe campaign link with your friends and family: