Bubba Crowder used to feel helpless when it came to supporting children with critical illnesses. Now, he's found several simple ways to do just that.
Crowder is this year's Committee Chair of Walk For Wishes, an annual community event that raises money for Make-A-Wish Mid-South. Make-A-Wish is a nonprofit organization that makes dreams come true for children with cancer and other life-threatening diseases.
Walk For Wishes has been in existence nationally for years, but this will be the third year for it to be held in DeSoto County. This year's walk will include a five-kilometer run event in order to involve the running community.
Crowder has served Walk For Wishes in some capacity for all three years the event has been in DeSoto County. In 2017, he was a sponsor and supporter and attended the event with his kids. In 2018, he served on the committee as marketing director.
Crowder's heart for sick children in part comes from personal experience.
"We’ve had several friends who have dealt with childhood cancer and other diseases," Crowder said. "I always felt like I was limited in how I could support them."
When the opportunity to support Make-A-Wish arose, becoming involved made sense.
"I don’t have a medical degree or any experience dealing with sick children in any capacity, so I always felt somewhat inadequate to do anything significant to help them," Crowder said. "When I was asked to be a part of Make-A-Wish, it was a clear answer. There’s such an obvious difference in the life of a diagnosed child after they receive their wish or are just part of the wish process. It’s an easy way I can make a difference in the life of a family and child dealing with such illnesses."
Crowder's local T-shirt printing business, Fund the Nations, also plays a part in supporting Make-A-Wish. Having started in 2008, Fund the Nations custom-designs T-shirts and provides a fund-raising avenue for mission trips, adoptions, nonprofits and other causes like Make-A-Wish. To date, his business has helped raise over $25 million for a variety of causes and needs.
"We’ve partnered with Make-A-Wish Mid-South for the past three years, and it's been a great honor to play a part in what they’re doing," Crowder said.
Having lived in DeSoto County for 12 years, Crowder is also a strong community advocate.
"I think it’s easy for DeSoto County to just get lost as a 'suburb of Memphis,' but it has a ton of great features and characteristics unique to itself," Crowder said. "It’s really become home. We employ 17 local DeSoto Countians and are thankful to be able to do so. Because of our national reach, it’s sometimes hard to market as a 'local company,' but we are definitely that and love to serve local people with any of their t-shirt, apparel or design needs."
This year's Walk For Wishes event will be held on Nov. 2 at Snowden Grove Park in Southaven.
To learn more about Fund the Nations, visit www.fundthenations.com.
Brent Walker is a Staff Writer for the DeSoto Times-Tribune.