The inspiration for Desiree Vargas Wrigley’s company, GiveForward, is rooted in a desire to help people. The idea was born during Hurricane Katrina, when the recent Yale grad pondered why there were no credible methods to donate directly to families needing to rebuild. Sure, there were plenty of donation sites already existing, but none offered the type of service that she had in mind.
Her concern was still lingering months later when she met her soon-to-be co-founder, Ethan Austin, at a Super Bowl party. Discussion between the two revealed that Austin shared a similar dream, only his involved raising funds for marathon runners. A light bulb went on, and seven months later, the two launched GiveForward.com, an online fundraising site where anyone can securely raise money for loved ones in need.
Though the site initially supported all types of fundraising, it has since shifted its focus to medical related expenses only – raising more than $120 million for these costs thus far. But the GiveForward mission doesn’t stop there – the company is also devoted to creating a supportive and nurturing environment for families going through the (often difficult) fundraising process. Each fund site contains the option for visitors to provide words of encouragement and progress updates, creating a virtual support network for those going through hard times.
The website continues to grow at a rapid pace, employing 30 people on staff and helping to fund thousands in the process. At Far West Capital, we can’t help but be motivated by their mission and hope they will continue unleashing potential for many years to come.
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