Ostomy Supply Donation Group

$1,631 of $2,000 goal

Raised by 40 people in 3 months
I'm so happy to connect with you!

My name is Christine Kim and I'm the founder of the online magazine, OstomyConnection. Since its launch in 2015, our intention has been to bring ostomates (people living with an ostomy) into the media and make a social impact in the world. Initiating positive change and giving back are two principles we work hard to achieve every day.

If you're not familiar with the word 'ostomy', it's a medical term used to generalize three main types of lifesaving surgery; colostomy, ileostomy, and urostomy. People need to have these operations for many different reasons; including cancer, diverticulitis, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, injury, Hirschsprung's disease, and more.

This fundraiser was created as part of our commitment to give back.

Some people in the United States who are living with an ostomy do not have health insurance. Some have health insurance but these supplies aren't covered in their policy, or the amount allowed is limited. They’re forced to pay out-of-pocket for costly medical supplies they cannot live without.

There is absolutely a need for the work we do, and I've known this for a very long time. Mainly because I was someone who needed help many years ago. I've had a permanent ileostomy since 1994 because of Crohn's disease. So when I read messages like the one below, it motivates me to take action and do something.

"I have baggies and a little tape, I guess that's how it'll have to be done until my insurance gets figured out. Depression is hitting me hard." — Jessica R.

This mission started with a question: How can we help people who cannot afford ostomy supplies in America?

The answer came loud and clear. Collect as many donations as possible and send ostomy supplies to people who need them. Many have excess products and others don't have any — making this connection is very important to our mission. It's called Kindred Box. Kindred meaning alike, similar in kind, connected. As in, we are all in this together!

So, now we have donations coming in from all across the country (and the world). People who selflessly gave their own ostomy supplies just to help others. Now what? How do we get these products into the hands of ostomates who need them? Great question.

Earlier this year, a public Facebook page was created to get the word out. Dozens of people reached out for help. As word spread, requests for ostomy supplies were coming in faster than we could handle so to get organized we're building a website — "Kindred Box Store" will list all available products as a charity shop in January, 2019. 

I understand this initiative doesn't solve the big problems. But until we can get more States to pass laws that require all major commercial medical insurances policies to cover the provision of ostomy supplies — like New York did in 2014 and Maryland in 2015 — this is how we will pay-it-forward. When you see firsthand the impact these donations have on the life of another, it becomes the best feeling in the world. 

“The colostomy supplies we received were much needed from a financial perspective to recover what was lost from Hurricane Harvey, but also to give us peace of mind. It was one less thing to worry about when we were trying to rebuild our lives and continue with my father's cancer treatment. We truly appreciate your help in our greatest time of need.” — Pia C.

Each and every person who made a donation wanted nothing in return, except to make a difference in the lives of ostomates. 100% of your gift is used to help ostomates who need supplies. My sincere appreciation goes to you, for taking the time to read our mission and consider a contribution. I am honored to be part of such an amazing and supportive community. Please spread the word so we can make a bigger impact! 

With gratitude, Christine Kim

**If you have ostomy supplies to donate, please contact us.

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One person all alone cannot survive ostomy surgery. It takes family and friends, doctors and nurses, community and caregivers. Everyone’s task is to help the patient recover. We do best when we work together. This is the most important rule of life — we help each other.

Your support makes a BIG difference to people who are struggling to afford ostomy supplies. For some, this surgery came out of emergency. They had no clue what an ostomy was, or that they’d be paying hundreds of dollars each month for medical supplies just to leave the house.

Not everyone has good insurance, and ostomy supplies are expensive. But everyone can receive supplies when we all chip in to donate products that we’re no longer using. Last month was another milestone, 23 packages went out and we added a dozen people to the group.

Nadira Robinson receives ostomy supplies from us because her insurance doesn’t cover them. She took it upon herself to start a personal fundraiser on Facebook for Kindred Box to pay-it-forward. Krystal Miller, aka Bag Lady Mama, made an announcement on her Facebook and Instagram pages on November 27 — a special birthday wish to support Kindred Box.

Helping each other to make it through, this is the mission of all of us.
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Because of your generosity, we can give ostomates a new lease on life. With the gift of ostomy supplies they can leave the house, they can work, they can get back to living. They can find a little joy knowing that someone cares about them.

Christina Mullins said it best, “Perfect timing of delivery. My son was down to the last bag and we so needed these supplies for him. Thank you so much. One less stress to worry about.”

Her son Zachary is 20 years old and recently had ileostomy surgery because of Crohn’s disease. They were using product samples from manufacturers, but when those ran out they would have to pay out-of-pocket due to no insurance since her husband’s job loss.

Christina needed help. Thankfully she found out about us on Facebook and reached out. Now they can focus on taking care of Zachary’s health and recovery instead of worrying about his ostomy supplies.

Thank you for supporting Kindred Box. Together, we are the solution.
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Raised by 40 people in 3 months
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