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42. Acts of Kindness to Bring Smiles to the Community

42. Acts of Kindness to Bring Smiles to the Community

CSI Gives Back

The CSI Companies, a recruiting firm based in the United States, extends its community contribution beyond providing job opportunities. Through its social responsibility initiative, CSI Gives Back, the company actively partners with local organizations to meaningfully impact the lives of children in need. One such organization is Dreams Come True, a Florida-based nonprofit organization dedicated to providing support to local children battling life-threatening illnesses. CSI Gives Back has supported Dreams Come True since 2012, raising more than $100,000 for local dreams.

“Keyden loves building things,” said Theindia Hall, Keyden’s mother. “He always wanted to become an engineer when he grew up.”

When Keyden was 11 years old, he was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, a type of blood and bone marrow cancer that spreads rapidly throughout the body. Keyden quickly underwent chemotherapy treatment, but the process took up much of his energy. It was devastating for his family to see Keyden, who had always been so full of life, gradually lose the strength to walk and play like he used to.

But Keyden is a dreamer, and despite the challenges he faced, he wished for a 5-day tropical getaway to Disney’s Castaway Cay with his family. With the support of CSI Gives Back and Dreams Come True, they made it happen.  

Dreams Come True works with more than 400 families each year to plan and schedule upcoming dreams. For many families with a child suffering from a life-threatening illness, important activities such as days out together or vacations can become extremely difficult to arrange, given the logistical and financial challenges that accompany serious medical conditions. Together with its partners, Dreams Come True works to ensure that despite not knowing what lies ahead for their child, a family needn’t worry about expenses when it comes to making a dream come true.

“At CSI Gives Back, our mission is to identify and support local organizations that directly impact those in true need,” said Becky Lowry, CMP, Director of CSI Gives Back. “Dreams Come True was our first partnership and it remains our longest-lasting community partner today.” 

On May 16, 2019, CSI Gives Back hosted a cruise-themed fundraiser with Dreams Come True to raise enough money to send Keyden on his dream family vacation. And in August, CSI team members hosted a cruise-themed Dream Party to celebrate Keyden’s upcoming cruise, featuring his favorite food, pizza, departure gifts, and very special appearances from Minnie and Mickey Mouse. 

“CSI went above and beyond to make this fundraiser a special night for Keyden and his family,” said Andrea Siracusa, APR, CPRC, Director of Community Relations at Dreams Come True. “We are honored to have the support of an amazing community partner.”

Giving back is at the heart of CSI’s corporate culture and every one of CSI’s team members is involved in CSI Gives Back in some capacity. In 2018, CSI Gives Back hosted a holiday party at the company’s Jacksonville headquarters for a Dreams Come True Dreamer named Alexandra, who had cerebral palsy. Together with Dreams Come True, the team transformed the office into a winter wonderland for Alexandra and her siblings who were thrilled by the decorations and gifts they received. Rylan, Alexandra’s youngest brother and a Batman fanatic, was especially thrilled to unwrap lots of Batman toys, and gleefully proclaimed, “This is the BEST DAY EVER!”

“Knowing there are children like Keyden and Alexandra who need encouragement and support makes the organization’s cause so meaningful,” said CSI Gives Back Secretary Deborah Valentine. “Through CSI Gives Back, we hope to continue making a difference for as many people as possible.” 

In 2020, CSI Gives Back will host a special event to celebrate its 20th dreamer, Shelby, through the annual A Tee of Dreams Fundraiser. In December of 2018, eighteen-year-old Shelby suffered from an undetected arteriovenous malformation that ruptured in her brain, impacting her ability to walk, talk, and eat. As she continues to recover and prepares for college, CSI Gives Back has partnered with Dreams Come True to grant Shelby’s dream: a room makeover. All proceeds from A Tee of Dreams will help create a whimsical place of relaxation and joy for Shelby.

To learn more about CSI Gives Back, please visit www.csigivesback.org. 

Update on Keyden’s Progress

In January 2020, Keyden had his last IT/LP chemotherapy and was able to ring the Dreams Come True bell at Wolfson Children’s Hospital. This bell symbolizes that the patient has officially completed their treatment program!

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