If you’ve ever endured a tough period in your life — which, let’s face it, we all have — you probably understand the impact support has on a person or situation. The people in our lives, those who value and foster real human connections with others, can offer a sense of comfort and encouragement that helps diminish a mountain to a hill.
But sometimes, no matter how much someone cares for you, they lack the means to be there 24/7. Other times, it’s difficult just to admit you need help — and even more difficult to actually accept it.
That’s how Nicholas Emerson-Mazzone, co-founder of Supportful, a crowdsupporting platform, felt when his father was diagnosed with and later passed away from Stage 4 lymphoma.
“Throughout the three months spent between diagnosis and [my] father’s passing, [I] confronted the realities that accompany hardship,” said Emerson-Mazzone. “In the midst of managing emotions, [I] had an overwhelming number of responsibilities to juggle in an underwhelming amount of time. In addition to making major medical decisions and performing as a patient advocate, [I] needed to take care of [my] parents’ house, buy groceries, figure out how [we] were going to pay the bills, remotely maintain [my] full-time job, as well as what was now a long-distance relationship.”
Despite the outpouring of friends and family offering their assistance, Emerson-Mazzone didn’t know how to ask for help — or what kind of help, exactly, to ask for.
“No one was able to prepare [me] or [my] family for this crisis, and nothing existed to easily utilize the support friends and family wanted to provide,” he told SammiSays in an email interview. “Eventually, when the dust [had] settled, [I] was able to process [my] loss and look back, [I] quickly realized there was a market need for a resource that allows friends and family members to channel their generosity and offers to help into a way of meaningfully supporting families going through similar struggles. From this realization and the desire to help people who would find themselves in similar situations to [my] own, the idea for Supportful was born.”
According to their website, Supportful defines crowdsupporting as “rallying help for a need — be it financial, supplies or donations of someone’s time — during a hardship by garnering help from a large number of people from various online- and offline-communities.”
Supportful is different from crowdfunding platforms, as it digs deeper and offers more than just financial support. Through the platform, there are options to purchase gifts for those in need, help with chores and caregiving, and more.
“Supportful takes a holistic approach, so when you create a support page, in addition to fundraising, you can also make a list of tasks and errands (e.g. picking kids up at school, mowing the lawn), create a registry of gifts and supplies, and easily send updates to supporters to streamline communication,” said Emerson-Mazzone. “Supportful also enables you to breakdown the monetary goal into specific bills and expenses. Also, Supportful does not rely on bots, but rather offers personalized support and guidance from a highly trained and experienced success team.”
You can create a support page for free in just a few minutes by signing up for an account. You’ll then be guided through the process, from naming your page to sharing it with your community so they can offer a helping hand. Additionally, whenever you receive a donation, you can transfer it directly to your bank account.
Want to get involved? There are three main ways to do so:
1. Create a page for someone who needs support.
It can feel uncomfortable creating a page and asking for help yourself, which is why many shy away from doing so and end up overwhelmed by their physical and emotional baggage. Maybe they’re afraid, ashamed or even in denial, unwilling to admit to others they need assistance. That’s where you come in.
“Ultimately, we want to empower everyone who needs help to create their own Support Page without any stigma attached; but most importantly, we want people to get the support they need,” said Emerson-Mazzone. “So, if you know a person, family or community that needs support, step up and volunteer to create a page.”
2. Support an existing page.
There are many ways to help support the causes on our platform, from posting words of support, donating money or items, or sharing a page with your friends and family.
“A random act of practical support will be incredibly impactful and help us with our mission: to transform the experience surrounding hardships, from one that feels overwhelming, isolating and burdensome, to one that feels manageable, compassionate, and strengthened by community,” said Emerson-Mazzone.
3. Spread the word about Supportful.
Simply spreading awareness around this platform and inviting others to get more involved can make a difference in various lives.
“The question ‘how can I help’ now has an answer,” said Emerson-Mazzone.
Are you a business that gives back? Contact SammiSays for an interview!