Episode 61: Kristen Hancock, Flight Attendant to Fundraising Platform Genius

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Kristen Hancock is a force of nature! If you know me at all, you might think I am busy and do a lot, but let me tell you, this woman runs circles around me! In her life she’s worked as a law enforcement officer, a flight attendant, and in medical billing for a large corporation. She’s been trained in psychology, forensic accounting, and health and life insurance. She’s a Cub Scout Mom, sits on the board of directors of a nonprofit association, and focuses on raising her two boys and one step-daughter with her loving, hard-working husband.

With such a full life, you might wonder why Kristen Hancock felt the need to start a company designed to help others when they face a crisis or simply have a dream and need funds to make it happen.

It all started with a mystery illness of her then 18-month old son and an air conditioner that quit (in the heat of the south), while her son was in the hospital fighting for his little life.

Now I don’t know if you’ve ever had a loved one or child in the hospital, but if you have you know it is exhausting and all-consuming. Watching someone you love suffer is never easy, and it’s made all that much more difficult when it’s prolonged for weeks or months at a time, and doctors don’t seem to know what to do to make it better. Life at home suddenly feels unimportant as one day melts into the next, but bills don’t stop coming, other children and family members don’t stop needing care, and crucial home repairs don’t go away all on their own.

One day, in the midst of the confusion and chaos of her son’s illness, Kristen Hancock’s air conditioning unit at home went out. When you live where we do and you have other children and family in the house, when the air conditioner goes out, you have to get it fixed. When it’s to the tune of $7,000, and you’re already living on what Kristen describes as a “blue collar budget,” even with a modest savings, that can be scary. Add that to the extra expenses when living life in and out of a hospital, running out of paid time off, paying for parking, going days at a time eating vending machine stuff, hospital cafeteria meals, and fast food for everyone in the family, it wasn’t long before Kristen and her husband soon found themselves financially struggling.

A family friend set up a GoFundMe, but, as they tend to do, it quickly faded away. Family and friends of course stepped up, and they got through it. Months later, after her son was cured, Kristen set her heart and considerable talents to creating a way to help families like hers create fundraisers that make it easy for those who want to help to donate to a cause without finding extra money in their budget.

That’s when GroFundz was born.

Kristen Hancock created a platform where a family in need, a school, or a nonprofit can create an online fundraiser by choosing products people buy every day – toilet paper, toothpaste, or laundry detergent, for example – or design t-shirts, mugs, or hats and give those that love them a simple, fast, and convenient way to help others in need. It’s a brilliant model and I can’t wait to share Kristen’s vision and her amazing spirit with you on today’s show!