Hey, GiftStarter fans! My name is Melissa, and I’m a proud part of GiftStarter’s incredible community-rallying team. Each week, I get to share awesome news about all things giving here on GiftStarter’s blog. This week, though, I’m excited to share something really special to me.
I’ve used GiftStarter to give amazing gifts before, but I’d never been a recipient until this past April when dozens of my friends and family pitched in on a campaign my best friend Danielle started for me. Together, my friends got me a $500 Visa gift card to help me afford a trip to Texas to come see them for my 30th birthday. It was funded in no time! Best 30th birthday gift, ever.
How GiftStarter helped my friends give me the best 30th birthday gift:
The gift meant the world to me. I grew up in Texas, but moved to Indiana in 2009. Sure, I’ve made some friends over the past 7 years living in the Midwest, but my life, my closest friends, and everything I’ve ever known (the Gulf of Mexico, amazing breakfast tacos, blazing sunsets) are all still in Texas. Traveling there to visit isn’t cheap, either—especially as a single, working mom.
I wanted to do something special for my 30th birthday, but wasn’t sure I’d be able to afford to. I’d also been feeling pretty stressed out and in need of a vacation. That’s when Danielle surprised me by starting a campaign for me to visit Texas.
I can’t even begin to describe how it felt to watch my GiftStarter campaign unfold—with each contribution, friends from all over the country left notes on my group card that made me feel valuable, and friends in Texas left notes expressing excitement about my visit. It made me feel so loved!
In the end, my trip went better than expected. It started in San Francisco, California, where my boyfriend lives. We spent a week driving down the Pacific Coast Highway and up to the Grand Canyon, before crossing into Texas where my friend-reunions began. I saw friends in El Paso, Austin, and the Rio Grande Valley before ending my trip with a swim in the Gulf of Mexico. It had been almost 10 years since I’d taken a dip in those big, beautiful gulf waves and smelled the ocean breeze.
I am so grateful to GiftStarter for creating a platform that enabled Danielle and so many of my other friends to provide me with such an incredible, unforgettable gift – the best 30th birthday gift ever. Now, I’m even more excited to start my next GiftStarter campaign so I can make someone else feel as loved and valuable as this gift made me feel.