In Spotlights
jkbday2

Thank You, John Krasinski!

It was around 12 p.m. in the Boston office on Sunday, October 20. The Family Reach team stared at their screens, coffee and tea at the ready, anxiously refreshing Twitter with anticipation. Then it finally came. It was real.

John Krasinski tweeted a video announcing his 40th birthday in the humorous, heart-warming way that made us all fans of his in the first place. But there’s more: John asked his followers to open their cyber-wallets and send him birthday gifts in the form of donations for Family Reach. Cue the confetti, champagne, and clapping … #JKBday was officially in full swing!

Let the #JKBday celebrations begin

After the video was live, John started personally retweeting fans and commenting on posts as the donations and birthday wishes rolled in. Many of those who donated on Venmo received a thrilling notification: “John Krasinski liked your payment.” After years of radio silence, John returned to Facebook to reach even more people on the big day.

We won’t lie to you – the Family Reach team was having fun interacting with John online like everyone else, despite the fact that he’s been part of our team for years. John is a long-time supporter of Family Reach, attending Cooking Live! events with his esteemed wife, Emily Blunt, and putting smiles on little cancer-hero faces. 

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John came to us just two weeks before his birthday with the crazy idea that eventually became #JKBday.

“Getting to bounce ideas around with John at his office in NYC was surreal,” said Autumn Dube, Content Manager at Family Reach. “He is so genuine and thoughtful, I was in awe watching his mind work to create this campaign. Best part is he was truly excited to dedicate his birthday to our families, and of course he went above and beyond to do so.”

Inspired by his contagious enthusiasm, we worked tirelessly with him and his team to make it happen. And as #JKBday took off, it started to sink in that we really were pulling off something incredible.

#JKBday reaches hearts near and far

It wasn’t long before recognizable names started joining #JKBday, including Amazon Prime Video and the legendary Malala Yousafzai. (Cut to the Family Reach team, cheering and jumping out of their seats.) 

Soon after, John started to call out celebrities on his account, jokingly “blackmailing” them to get his famous friends in on the #JKBday fun – and provide five-star Twitter entertainment for his followers, of course. The star-studded list included Ryan Reynolds, Ellen, Jimmy Kimmel, Chris Pratt, The Rock, and Chris Evans. Ming Tsai, celebrity chef and Family Reach National Advisory Board President, even shared a video of him and Reese Witherspoon. The following morning, Hugh Jackman kept the celebrations going by answering John’s tweet and donating.

In between John’s celebrity call outs, he also brought it back to our mission, sharing videos of our cancer heroes along the way. A big highlight was when he retweeted our video of Camille sharing her connection to Family Reach, referring to her as his hero. Yes, we immediately called Camille. Yes, we absolutely all had tears in our eyes.

John’s birthday fundraiser was a huge step in spreading our mission to audiences around the nation. Actually, the world. We had donations come in from Australia, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, South Africa, and other countries across the globe.

All of this was made possible because of John’s generosity and his passionate belief in our mission. What’s more, John was adamant about reaching his fan base with genuine and authentic messaging – which shined through. We can’t thank him enough for dedicating his special day to spreading the word about the financial barriers that cancer patients and their families face. Now all those admirably loyal Jim Halpert and Jack Ryan fans know our name and mission! 

Continuing the celebrations 

Sunday may be over, but #JKBday is far more than a one-day event. There’s still time to join the celebrations! John is happily accepting belated gifts on Venmo (@JKBday) and our website until the end of October. Plus, don’t miss John on Jimmy Kimmel Live! this Friday, October 25. Based on the pair’s Twitter interactions on #JKBday, it’s possible the bit will continue on the show. We’ll have to watch to find out!

#JKBday will go down in Family Reach history. We’re so grateful to John and all those who participated. The money raised will directly impact families in need, and the massive increase in awareness and exposure means more families know where to turn when they’re hit with the financial side effects of cancer. This is an incredible step forward in addressing this national crisis, known as Cancer-Related Financial Toxicity (CRFT). We can’t wait to see where we go from here!

One more time for good measure: Thank you, John – and happiest of birthdays to YOU! 

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