BraveHoods is a pediatric cancer organization. We gift hoodies to kids with cancer and their sibling/s. We also sell our hoodies and for each shirt sold, one is gifted. We know everyone likes a comfortable hoodie so it is a good fit.
Why hoodies? We gift hoodies for several reasons. First, being bald when you are a kid really stinks. Our BraveHoods help them to manage stares from curious kids and adults. It also helps with temperature regulation and sun burns.
As part of our mission, we gift to siblings as well because we know they sometimes get left out. We also think that it helps to be on a team, and there is no better way to show your team spirit than to wear the same shirt.
To date, we have given away over 6000 BraveHoods. We look forward to a time when we don’t have any kids to give BraveHoods, but until that time, we will be giving.
We are a mission-based organization. Giving a BraveHood makes you feel like you’re DOING SOMETHING to help. Our products have an immediate and emotional impact on the kid, AND the giver (and even the people who see the shirts while out and about). Not all products can say that!
We accomplish our mission and live out our passion by structuring BraveHoods as a Get One/Give One enterprise. For every BraveHood purchased, one is donated to a child battling the disease (or their sibling/s).
You may buy from us online, through partner catalogs and websites, and from select retailers. By using any of these methods, you are giving a hoodie to a child for every hoodie that you buy.
We work with hospitals, cancer treatment facilities, international charitable organizations, and schools to get BraveHoods into the right hands. If you, or someone you know, is a caregiver or is aware of a child who would benefit from a BraveHood, please let us know by clicking here.
A HUGE thank you to the Make A Wish Foundation for our amazing trip.
The BraveHoods’ story doesn’t start in a happy place. But, it brought us to one.
It was 2011 and our five-year-old daughter was diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare form of sarcoma. Unimaginable, as you might imagine.
I dropped everything. I closed my database consulting practice and focused on Meredith’s treatment and recovery. For 12 grueling months, our brave little girl endured chemotherapy and radiation treatments and all the beyond unpleasant and painful side effects. But, shy, sweet Merry was brave. She was courageous and positive.
She put up with so much, all with a sunny attitude and hardly a complaint. But, there was ONE thing that DID bother her, even more than the needles and the fatigue and the burns from the radiation. The thing that bothered her the most was the loss of her hair. She felt very self-conscious. She was stared at by kids and adults alike. For a shy little girl like Merry, this was very difficult to face each day. For her parents, it was heartbreaking to watch and it was getting in the way of her participating in day-to-day activities.
We tried wigs (too itchy!). We tried hats (too hot!). We tried scarves (didn’t fit right!). But nothing worked, in fact she felt like these options drew more attention to her. Finally, after much searching, we happened upon hoodies! They were the PERFECT solution! They protected her head from the sun, kept her warm, and most importantly, allowed her to be the “regular kid” she so desperately wanted to be.
As we moved along in our journey we met many other kids battling cancer and their families. We got to know each other well, even though the circumstances were out of the ordinary. We learned that cancer is a “family affair.”
We also quickly realized that Merry was NOT the only kid who felt self-conscious and that the struggle to find appropriate headwear was quite real and quite frustrating.
And, it turns out we were all also looking for something more.
In addition to looking for a fashion-forward, on-trend, and comfortable way to cover their heads – which we found in hoodies – we were all looking for inspiration, for a way to support and empower these brave kids. And, THAT thought was the inspiration for BraveHoods and for the words of inspiration emblazoned on all of our hoodies. The messages of hope and courage are a constant reminder – to the wearer and to families and friends – to live with hope and optimism.
And, another surprising BraveHoods benefit emerged. We designed BraveHoods to send positive energy and spirit to someone going through tough times and to allow family and friends to surround a child with love, caring, and support. What we learned is that siblings – who sometimes feel helpless or left out – also loved and gained strength from wearing the hoodies and from the empowering quotes. This even worked for parents, grandparents, friends, and schoolmates.
The hoodies started as simple headwear, but we quickly realized that they had the power to foster a “support team” spirit.
Today, Meredith is a healthy, spunky, and joyful little girl. She is cancer free and doing great! And, BraveHoods is thriving. Our Get One/Give One program has shipped hoodies all over the globe. We have delivered hoodies – and their messages of hope and resilience – to children and families in hospitals and clinics across the U.S. And, we’re not going to stop.
Many thanks, Allison
Our Board Members, Staff and Star Volunteers
Tiffanie Gorman, Board Member
Tiffanie has extensive experience in digital marketing and during this time has worked for such large companies as The New York Times and CNNMoney. She specializes in conceptualizing creative marketing solutions to implement successful integrated online partnerships. She has worked with clients to develop new, compelling, innovative programs across online, video, mobile and social media platforms.
Tiffanie received her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Michigan and her Masters in Business Administration from Columbia Business School. It was at Columbia where Tiffanie developed a strong sense of devotion for the nonprofit sector. She took several nonprofit courses and worked directly with companies such as the YMCA of Greater New York to examine their engagement strategies and to better meet their business objectives.
Tiffanie currently resides in New York City with her husband and sons.
Joanne Hyman, Board Member
Joanne is a paralegal with 30 years of experience in complex litigation. Raised in New Jersey, Joanne has lived in Colorado for the past 25 years. She is married with two children and resides in Longmont, Colorado.
Joanne is very involved in her children’s school, Peak to Peak Charter School, and currently chairs the school’s Accountability Committee and serves as a member of the Election Committee.
Sadly, throughout her life, Joanne has been affected by the many relatives and friends that have been diagnosed with various forms of cancer. Joanne is excited for her new role with BraveHoods and its mission to bringing comfort to children with cancer.
Peggy Spiro, Star Volunteer
We are so grateful to have Peggy on the team. She is a realtor by trade, which has made her super organized and quick on her feet. She also has a great attitude even while moving, packing up or talking about BraveHoods. She is committed to our mission and we couldn’t do what we do without her.
Allison Yacht, Executive Director, Founder and Board Member
Allison has been running BraveHoods since its inception is 2013. What started as one mom’s desperate attempt to comfort her daughter during cancer treatment turned into an organization where many children will benefit.
Previous to BraveHoods, Allison ran a successful database consulting company for 10 years. Using a contact manager, Allison helped thousands of people become more productive and get more done during their work day.
Allison lives in Longmont, Colorado with her husband, son, daughter and black lab named Joule.