The Kindness of Strangers

Since the first day I set foot in the Spare Key office as its Executive Director in 2012 I have relied on the skills, talents, kindness, and generosity of others to help support our mission of helping families facing a medical crisis “Bounce and not Break.”

The Kindness of Strangers by Erich Mische


We have grown our footprint in the United States from 2012 where we served families in one state – Minnesota – to today where we are now licensed and registered in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. 

In 2012 we served families who had a critically ill or seriously injured child with a single monthly mortgage payment in a calendar year.  At the time our guidelines required that your child had to be 18 years or younger, hospitalized 21 out of 90 days, you had to be current on your mortgage and you had to live in Minnesota. 

Over time we expanded our commitment to serve families in three additional states, reduced the number of required hospital day stays, added eligibility to include adult members of the family other than children, and accepted applications to cover other bills in addition to a mortgage payment.

Finally, in late 2019 we fully launched a revolutionary new way of delivering our mission through our platform that allows us to connect donors to families facing a medical crisis throughout the United States so they can...

Be Seen. Be Heard. Be Found.

None of this growth or ability to re-imagine our capacity to serve families facing a medical crisis could have happened without the skills, talents, kindness, and generosity of others I mentioned at the beginning of this post. 

And, much of what I will write about in the days, weeks and months ahead in the Help Me Bounce Blog will focus on those “others” – the people who have been, and continue to be, instrumental in being the catalyst for a new way to deliver philanthropy at a time when donors are demanding greater transparency and accountability – and families in need require a larger “village” to help them through their medical and financial crises.

From Spare Key Board Members, to Staff, to Donors, to Volunteers, to the Families we serve, and even other non-profit organizations there is no shortage of people who come together to help others “Bounce and not Break.” 

Erich Mische, Executive Director



Erich Mische, Executive Director