Hope is a Journey, Not a Destination

Author  Erich Mische   on  08/16/2022 - 2:15pm

I joined Spare Key as a Board Member sometime around late 2009 and served in that role, including on the Executive Committee, until I accepted the role of Executive Director in 2012.

Hope is a Journey


After spending nearly 30 years in government and politics I jokingly tell people that being the leader of a non-profit is my “penance” for all those years.  And, to be honest, my first year at Spare Key wasn’t exactly the stuff that made me yearn for a career in being an Executive Director of a charity.

It wasn’t that I didn’t believe in the mission or its purpose. I did, and I do. 

It wasn’t that there weren’t enough people who needed help. There was, and there are. 

It wasn’t that people weren’t willing to donate money or time to support Spare Key. They were and continue to. 

It was all the other noise that had me questioning my decision to take on this challenge and end my tenure before the first six months had even passed. Thankfully, through the support of key individuals who remained on our Board of Directors, an emerging group of new donors and a willingness of new people to serve on the Board, I made it through the first year with high hopes for Spare Key’s future.

This September 15th Spare Key celebrates its 25th year of serving families facing a medical crisis. That I have been associated with this organization for nearly half of its existence is something I am proud of and has meaning for me as someone who tried to dedicate most of my life to public service.

In the 25 years Spare Key has existed we’ve served thousands of families and even more thousands of individual family members through our program mission. What began as a non-profit serving families with sick or injured children in the hospital in a single state has grown to be a non-profit registered and licensed to serve families in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Today we help families facing a medical crisis be connected to donors across America to “Be Seen. Be Heard. Be Found.”


States Served Branded


As a way to celebrate this milestone I will be running 25 miles on September 15th during the Lend Smart Mike Lust Charity Golf Tournament to benefit Spare Key Presented by Network Title.  This run will take place on, near and through the tournament and will be an opportunity for us to raise funds and awareness for families on our www.HelpMeBounce.org platform.

Here’s some ways you can participate in this event on September 15th:
Run a Mile

You, your friends, co-workers, neighbors (and complete strangers if you like!) can run a mile with me during my 25-mile run.  All we ask is that you commit to raising a minimum of $250.00 per runner for a family that you want to support on our www.HelpMeBounce.org website.  We will match your $250.00 donation up to $250.00.  To join me contact Talia at Talia@sparekey.org

Donate to Spare Key

If you prefer to make a general donation to Spare Key, you can do so between now and the end of the day on September 15th.  We will soon announce some additional matching funds that will match your donation in celebration of our 25th Anniversary. Just go to www.Sparekey.org/donate to make your donation


We are looking for a t-shirt sponsor, a water sponsor, and mile sponsors. For more details about these sponsorships just shoot me an email at erich@sparekey.org and I would be delighted to share more information.

While running 25 miles may seem like a lot of work, it pales in comparison to the challenges that families facing a medical crisis deal with every single day. And your participation can help us help more of those families “Bounce and not Break” through your support of my run.

In 2020 I took a homemade raft down the Mississippi River to raise funds and awareness for Spare Key at a time when Hope was hard to find. Thankfully, the generosity of strangers from across America emerged to keep us a float for our “Hope On The River” journey.

After 25 years of helping families, it is abundant that for Spare Key Hope is not a destination – it’s a journey – and Hope never disappoints.

Erich Mische Signature




Erich Mische
Executive Director