enCourage Kids Foundation

Project Description


Since 1985, the enCourage Kids Foundation (EKF), 501(c)(3), helps humanize healthcare for children and their families by resourcing impact-driven pediatric programs and supporting the Child Life Community. Serving more than one million children annually, EKF is focused on making hospitals a better place to get better. Their programs offer relief from the constant burden of treatment, hospital stays, and doctor appointments, while also helping pediatric facilities to meet the unique needs of their patients.
Encourage kids 35th

Client: Encourage Kids Foundation

Year: 2020

Timeframe: 6 months

Main Service: Quick-response Public Relations



Indra PR had less than 24 hours and was tasked with handling the non-refundable cancellation of the enCourage Kids 35th Anniversary Gala due to the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic and elevating the voice of Michele Hall Duncan, President & CEO of the organization. This annual gala is EKF’s largest annual fundraiser of the year that was to take place at Cipriani Wall Street in NYC.


To launch this initiative with great impact and to elevate Michele’s voice as a nonprofit leader, our team devised a strategy to get Michele interviewed on all the local TV networks and speak on the decision to cancel the event, the significant funds the foundation would be losing by cancelling the event and the money that wasn’t being refunded by Cipriani.

Indra PR devised a strategy along with Michele and the EKF team to have Cipriani cook the food for the 750 paid attendees, have City Harvest pick up the meals and have the food delivered to the food insecure at the Bowery Mission. Indra PR crafted a media alert and focused on outreach to local TV media members with verbiage that included the reason of cancellation for the safety of their guests, a leadership decision despite the fact of losing over $1.5 million that would have been raised from this well attended fundraising event.


Through the media alert that was crafted that included the heartfelt details of a nonprofit not being refunded for the event that was booked at Cipriani with a pandemic looming, highlighting the work of Michele and the mission of the organization, we were able to secure local TV media and conducted a press conference outside of Cipriani. The media interviewed Michele and filmed the handoff of the meals from the staff at Cipriani to the EKF team and into the City Harvest truck. The media then captured additional interviews at the Bowery Mission with Michele and James Winans, the interim CEO of the Bowery Mission. This garnered incredible visibility and hundreds of thousands of media impressions with the local news stations and their national affiliate partners. The foundation received donations from hundreds of supporters who saw the interview on the various news stations. Below are just a few examples of media coverage.
  • NY1
  • CBS
  • NBC
  • ABC
  • FOX
  • News 12
  • YAHOO News
  • Huffington Post
  • New Yorker of the Week


Review From Our Client

MJ has consistently been our greatest champion, always going above and beyond, leveraging her vast network of contacts, and seeking out media and fundraising opportunities to support and promote the work of our foundation.


Michele Hall DuncanPresident & CEO