Los Angeles, California (The Hollywood Times) 10/01/2020 – The MinMinBear Foundation’s first initiative is the MinMinBear Challenge starts October 1, 2020, across social media (#MinMinBearChallenge), which will showcase the bears throughout all 50 states to help find a perfect match. For the inaugural challenge, the mission is to help a woman named Mindy find her kidney match. Mindy is an Alport Syndrome patient and the inspiration for the MinMinBear Foundation; Mindy is also the mother of the founder, Rachelle McCray.
You are a nationally recognized TV Show Host, Entrepreneur, and Philanthropist with a pulse on humanity. Tell about your mom’s influence behind your non-profit MinMinBear Foundation.
My family suffers from a rare genetic kidney disease, called Alport Syndrome. This disease often results in kidney failure, depending on the genetic predisposition, and many patients need a kidney transplant to live. My mom is currently in stage 5 renal failure and looking for her perfect kidney match. Although friends and family have come forward to be tested as her donor, none have proven to be a match. We realized that many people like my mom, need their perfect match, so my husband and I decided to start a foundation that will help not only my mom but others like her. Our mascots and Foundation name carry her nickname, MinMin. Our mission at the MinMinBear Foundation changes each year, as we know there are many chronic and rare diseases that need a public voice. Our first year, we chose my mom’s story. And although my mom is the inspiration behind our first mission, the Foundation has been created to help others, too.
Tell us about the MinMinBear.
MinMinBears are a collection of cute stuffed teddy bears that have made it their mission to advocate for those who need it most. The bears set out on a different mission each year to educate and tell the stories of people with chronic or rare diseases, with the goal of bringing attention to and awareness of important causes. In 2020, our inaugural mission is to help Mindy McCray, my mother, find her perfect kidney match. We hope that our effort will lead to a donor chain which enables many lives to be saved. We offer 3 MinMinBears, which each represent an important person in the story. MinMinBear (named after my mom, Mindy) represents the recipient. AlbieBear (named after my paternal Grandfather), represents the donor, and WinskiBear represents the friend or caregiver or support system needed for patients suffering from these rare diseases. As the years go on, our hope is to add to the collection of bears, as a representation of their mission and cause.
You launched the MinMinBear challenge today. What inspires you about this initiative?
Our inspiration behind the challenge is to be the voice of many, even on behalf of one, which can inspire an entire community. I believe that the internet can be a powerful tool and used for good. So we decided to start the #minminbearchallenge, which is all online, as a family-friendly activity that not only educates on the need for organ donation and my mom’s need for a kidney but also teaches on travel, giving back, and a little family fun, too. Our goal is to get the bears to all 50 states and show them living their best life, just like we can do when we are healthy and thriving. I hope the challenge serves as an inspiration to both those waiting for a life-saving organ transplant and the many people around the country who would like to help. I am also so very encouraged by the positive response we’ve already received and its a reminder to those waiting that their best life is coming!
How can we join you on your mission?
Joining the mission is easy! You can use your own stuffed animal, or you can purchase one of the bears in our shop on our website (www.minminbearfoundation.org). Simply snap a pic of your bear living its best life, post it to social media, and tag three friends! Then, and copy and paste the challenge into your post.
MinMinBears are on a mission to travel to all 50 states to raise awareness on kidney donation, share Mindy McCray’s story, and help find her the perfect kidney match because Mindy and others like her, deserve to live their best life, too!
Here’s how you can join in on this challenge!
1) Use your own stuffed animal or purchase your favorite MinMinBear at www.minminbearfoundation.org.
2) Snap a pic of your stuffed animal or MinMinBear living its best life, because Mindy deserves that chance, too!
2) Tag 3+ friends to join the #MinMinBearChallenge to help Mindy find her perfect kidney match and to help share the message on the importance of organ donation.
What is your hope for the MinMinBear Challenge?
I hope the MinMinBear Challenge inspires a donor chain that results in multiple life-saving transplants for those who are waiting for such a precious gift. Although we only need one healthy kidney to live, living organ donation is not a choice everyone wants to make – and that is absolutely okay. Many people have asked how they can help beyond donating their kidney and we wanted to create a way to do so without a cost to them. Sharing the challenge with friends and family members on various social media platforms can bring awareness to the right people who are willing to commit a selfless act of kindness. There is power in our networks and social media, and every single person who posts the challenge can and will move the mission forward.
For Our Charity Go Fund Me Page: https://charity.gofundme.com/minminbear-foundation (donations are used for ordering more bears, gifting bears to children affected by organ donation, and to run the foundation and its mission. All monetary contributions are tax-deductible.)
Facebook for the Foundation: https://www.facebook.com/MinMinBearFoundation
Facebook for me: https://www.facebook.com/RachelleMcCrayTV
Instagram for Foundation:https://www.instagram.com/minminbears
Instagram for Me: https://www.instagram.com/rachellemccray/