Give to the Max Day: Don’t Swear at the Emails. Give Generously. A Lot of Good Causes Depend On You. #GTMD2016


Spare Key,, is a Minnesota based non-profit that provides housing grants on behalf of families with critically ill and seriously injured children in the hospital.

Founded in 1997 by Robb and Patsy Keech, Spare Key has been an essential source of support for over 3,100 families with more than $3.1 million in housing grants.

Next year we celebrate the organization’s 20th Anniversary.  Spare Key has been a living legacy to the memory of Derian Keech, the son of Robb and Patsy, who earned his Angel Wings at the age of 2 ½ years old.  The son whose own broken heart has given comfort to the troubled hearts of thousands of parents and their children and families for nearly two decades.

We say that Spare Key helps families “Bounce and not Break” with the gift of time.  Our program mission is designed to allow families to focus on the care and recovery of their critically ill or seriously injured child.  Or, to provide the grace of allowing families to be together when a child is nearing the end of their life.

It has been one of the great honors of my life in public service to help lead this organization with its talented staff, and working alongside a devoted and committed Board of Directors, and have our mission supported by the generosity of our amazing donors.

Spare Key is unique in several ways.

First, we have no income guidelines.  For nearly 60 percent of the families we support Spare Key will be the only source of financial support they will ever receive.

Second, we don’t take the type of illness or injury into account for families to qualify.  Whether your child is in the fight against cancer – struggling to survive from premature birth or a birth defect – battling against the effects of chronic disease – beating the effects of a devastating injury – or learning to live life with a mental illness – Spare Key is committed to supporting you and your family.

Third, we don’t limit the number of times we will serve a family.  Spare Key has provided some families with two, three, four or more mortgage grants over the years.

No matter the illness.  No matter the injury.  No matter the income.  For 20 years, Spare Key has been honored to help families Bounce and not Break.

This Thursday is “Give to the Max Day” in Minnesota.  It’s a special day of the year in which Minnesotans are called upon to donate to the charity of their choice.  It’s intended to be a day that allows non-profits in Minnesota – which number nearly the same number of lakes we are proud of highlighting on our license plates – to share with the public the important work they do in supporting our communities.

Spare Key will participate in Give to the Max Day with what we are calling “Smash to the Max” – an opportunity for you to come to Anchor Paper in St. Paul and for a $20 donation break, shatter and smash stuff to your hearts content.

If you can’t make it to Smash to the Max, don’t let that stop you from supporting Spare Key.  Go to and make a donation of any size.

And, thanks to the generosity of the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation, every new donor that day will have their donation matched dollar-for-dollar all day long.

Over the next few days any living person in Minnesota who has ever given money to a charity will be besieged by emails from those charities appealing for donations during Give to the Max Day.

I won’t lie to you.

We will be sending you those emails, too.

I know it will annoy many of you.  I get it.  But, I also get this.

If you don’t support the work of Spare Key – and the many other amazing non-profits in Minnesota – who will?

Without your support for Spare Key there is no bounce.  Only break.

We are honored to have the support of Anchor Paper, ASI Signage and The Break Room for Spare Key’s “Smash to the Max” Day for Spare Key.

Anchor Paper CEO Brooke Lee, ASI Signage CEO Wendy Pajor and The Break Room CEO Theresa Purcell are examples of strong business leaders who are focused on giving back to their community.  We could not be prouder of our association with them.

If you want to learn more about “Smash to the Max” for Give to the Max Day, please go to

We would love to see you smashing the crap out of stuff this Thursday!

Thank you in advance for your patience this Thursday.  Thank you for your good humor in not tracking me down and beating me to a pulp for the dozens of emails you are going to get from us and 10,000 other non-profits.

Most of all, thank you for helping families with the gift of time and allowing Spare Key to help them “Bounce and not Break.”

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