A local charity raised $53,311, one dollar at a time, in just a few weeks to give sick children some cheer.
Gotta Dream of Yuma and most of the Chevron gas stations in the Yuma area teamed up to raise funds for the nonprofit organization, which makes dreams come true for kids with life-threatening conditions. From early November through Dec. 9, Chevron customers purchased die-cut paper certificates that they could sign and have displayed at the gas station, with proceeds going toward the charity. Every dollar meant a separate certificate, so a generous donor — such as the one who gave $100 — could wallpaper a mini mart with their support for Gotta Dream.
The charity has granted about a dozen dreams since its founding in 2007 and hasn't had to turn anybody away, said Jon Pitts, one of the founders. Its three most recent dreams have included a hot tub to calm the severe spasticity of a boy with cerebral palsy, a trip to Las Vegas to see professional bull riders in action, and a trip to Universal Studios in Florida to visit the Jurassic Park attraction.
Pitts said that as a local, volunteer-run charity, Gotta Dream can act quickly and keep the money it raises right here in Yuma. Kids from age 3 to 18 are considered.
No dream stands out for Pitts — they're all touching.
“The reward is when you're able to fulfill that dream. It's pretty overwhelming, but it's very rewarding, too.”
Gotta Dream cannot accept donations online, but its website — www.gottadreamofyuma.com — has contact information to arrange a gift.
“No gift is too big, no gift is too little,” Pitts said.