Here at the ALS Association of Texas we encourage everyone to fundraise your way by bringing your community together in creative ways for a cause! And Kimmie Longstreet and her Lil’ Linebackers are doing just that for ALS Awareness Month to honor their grandfather Brad Dusek- an ex-NFL Super Bowl Champion and person with ALS.
Brad’s nine grandchildren, the Lil’ Linebackers, gathered together on Youth Action Day, setting up multiple lemonade and ice tea stands while taking a pie in the face for every online donation. Together they raised nearly $4,300 in one day. We caught up with Kimmie to learn more about her “why” and how she’s making an impact in the ALS community:
Can you give us a quick intro about yourself?
My name is Kimmie Longstreet, I am a stay at home mom of two little boys and the youngest daughter to an ex-NFL Super Bowl Champion who was recently diagnosed with ALS.
Can you tell us more about your motivation for creating your campaign? What inspired you to begin fundraising?
My motivation for fundraising for ALS was simultaneous to my father’s diagnosis. There is so much unknown about this debilitating disease and so many people are unaware of the effects this disease has on not only the patient but all their loved ones and care takers. The fact that the money we raise stays local to our region and we know where it is going and what it is being used for is helpful when asking for money. Knowing that my father will be the recipient of the benefits of the money raised is huge. Whether it be equipment or recipient to a new drug trial, or support for our family as we battle this disease with him, we know that our efforts are being realized locally to our loved one as well as other local ALS patients in our communities.
Have you done any fundraising in the past?
My Dad was diagnosed at the MAYO clinic on September 21, 2018. They told us about his diagnosis on September 24. I had no idea how to help, I was still in the process of googling what ALS was when I came across the ALS association website and they were hosting an ALS Awareness Walk in Houston on October 13. I signed up a team, Linebackers Tackle ALS, in honor of my father’s NFL position-linebacker. We got our first donation on October 3 and by October 16, we had raised $10,419! My original goal was $500!! The amount of support we received really fueled our fight to tackle this disease that only weeks before had rocked our family to it’s core. We were able to meet so many people during the walk and become part of such a great community, all in the battle against ALS. We are looking forward to starting our team for the 2019 walk coming up again this fall and have big goals to raise even more this year.
Do you have any tips for getting little ones involved in fundraising?
It was easy for us to get our kids involved. My father has 9 grand kids who adore him. They think his electric wheel chair is a personal go kart and his cool new minivan with electric ramp is a real life space ship. The silver lining in this entire situation is that this diagnosis of ALS has made our already tight knit family even closer. We go out of our way to get dad involved in our kids events and make sure he is a part of everything we do. We take a lot more pictures and celebrate the small things in a big way. We are also all children of an NFL Super Bowl Champion, who played in the league for 10 years, to say we are competitive is an understatement.
The greatest lesson learned in all of this will be for them to see strangers, donating money to help their Grandpa. I know seeing this selfless act will leave an impression on their little hearts. -Kimmie Longstreet
Thank you so much Kimmie for all you do to support our mission of creating a world without ALS! Donate to Kimmie’s campaign here. Interested in creating a fun fundraiser yourself? It only takes a few minutes to get started!