Cause branding: support these SMAC Monkeys!

We love the Sock Monkeys Against Cancer. Please help.

My friend Jennifer Stauss Windrum is a woman on a mission. For several years, her mom has been dying of lung cancer – which, sadly, looks as though it may be entering its final stages. But rather than sit back and watch it happen, Jennifer decided to fight back with not one, but two powerful cause branding ideas: swear words, and monkeys. And now, she needs your help.

NOMO, Phoenix - Jennifer Stauss Windrum anti-cancer campaign: SMAC (Sock Monkeys Against Cancer)

Two of the spokes-monkeys for the Jennifer Stauss Windrum anti-cancer campaign: SMAC (Sock Monkeys Against Cancer)

WTF Lung Cancer (WTF, as in: “Where’s The Funding?!?”)

WTF? Yup. That’ s the swear words part; WTF is Windrum’s fierce and fearless ongoing campaign to lobby for more funding for lung cancer victims.  Here’s how it was described in a Huffington Post article on Jennifer last year:

Inspired by her mom’s bout with lung cancer, and aided by the worldwide reach of social media, Windrum launched the WTF? (Where’s the Funding for Cancer) Campaign. It’s a well-received initiative that has allowed traveling and talking with politicians, strategizing with other activists, and meeting with cancer survivors. Her efforts were honored this year when WTF was chosen as a finalist for the prestigious Mashable Awards.

Long time readers (both of you – hi mom!) know I’m not a fan of TLAs here at Beg to Differ (Three Letter Abbreviations). But when they are cheeky and in your face like this one?  BIO! (By which I mean Bring It On!) You’ll also know I had my own campaign called NOMO Government Acronyms (No More). Which brings me to the first sock monkey Jennifer made for her mom: little NOMO the monkey.

SMAC (Sock Monkeys Against Cancer) crowd-funding campaign

Here’s Jennifer’s mom with NOMO and Phoenix, two of the original SMACs.

This is Jennifer’s new, and even more brilliant, defiant, heart-felt, cancer busting campaign. It involves monkeys. Real, in-the-stuffing sock monkeys that Jennifer is creating to bring attention to the issues, while also providing comfort to the victims of cancer and their families.

And the name of the leading monkey? NOMO. Now normally, I’d get all prima-dona-huffy that my best ideas are getting stolen. But Jennifer, feel free to steal this one, okay?

As a close family member of someone who is fighting with a very serious cancer right now (go Marg!) I think this SMAC concept is so brilliant, because these monkeys operate on so many levels for me:

  1.  A brand with a sense of humour: These monkeys are a fun and positive approach to an awful condition that is usually neither.
  2. A defiant statement:  But these  monkeys are fighters. They’re like a little cancer-fighting ninja companion to keep up the spirits of the person they’re fighting for.
  3. Support for cancer research: just like the WTF campaign, this is all about beating cancer – both at the individual level, and hopefully, to beat cancer for all of us.
  4. Smart gift product: When someone we love is suffering, we always want to DO something, and often BUY something for them. But it’s so hard to know what to give. These monkeys aren’t just a gift, they’re a statement.
  5. Crowd funding campaign: and speaking of gifts, and things you can do. Jennifer is currently using online crowd funding to put her SMAC monkeys into larger scale production.

BUT, it won’t happen without you…

As with all great, social-entrepreneurial ideas, Jennifer has already invested decades of time, and oodles of enthusiasm. But now, she needs money. Which is why I pledged to help her crowd-funding campaign. And so can you. Best case: she reaches her goal and you get some cool perks (see links below). Worst case: if she doesn’t reach her goal, it costs you nothing.

So go on, please help a monkey out.

Some more links:

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