The Happy Hope Foundation was started in 2011 with the mission of bringing happiness and a much-needed distraction to hospitalized children. Founder Emi Burke, a mother of a disabled young son herself, saw firsthand how children who spent long periods of time undergoing medical treatment had nothing to occupy their minds while they were in the hospital. Some of these children were suffering and in a dark place, and it was absolutely shocking for Emi to realize there was nothing to give these kids hope. She knew she had to do something to solve that for them.
Emi was a mom on a mission to serve children and deliver hope, but as mother of three, she needed someone to help her manage the business side of things. That’s when Emi found Wendy, a previous grocery store manager who managed hundreds of employees, and together they started the Happy Hope Foundation.
The Happy Hope Foundation provides bags filled with coloring books, toys, and other goodies to give admitted children something fun to do while in the hospital. The business takes a unique approach when it comes to e-commerce, as they don’t sell their bags directly to the parents of these children. Instead, corporate sponsors can order the supplies needed to assemble and ship the Happy Hope bags, which gives the company’s employees the chance to take a hands-on approach in making a difference in the lives of thousands of children. They work with small and large companies alike, and have served well over 5,000 children in over 16 countries. The Happy Hope Foundation employees, volunteers, and company partners are everyday heroes, making a difference in children’s lives all over the world.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the Happy Hope business model was simple – a company ordered a box of Happy Hope kits, packed the kits and shipped them back, and then the Happy Hope team shipped them to the hospital. At the time, they primarily used UPS because it was the best solution for shipping large boxes. They were shipping over 300 boxes a month until the pandemic hit, and then they had to pivot their entire business model to adjust. With many of the companies they work with going remote or hybrid, Happy Hope had to figure out how to ship 2-3 packages residentially at a time versus hundreds of kits in a single package. They needed to find the most effective, economical, and reliable shipping solution. “Companies changed the way they do business, so we had to change the way we do business. I wanted to find a (shipping) company that had a reputation, was reliable and responsible, and was a good steward of the world, but also could offer me the right product and the right price for us to continue to be able to do good”, said Wendy.
In June 2020, Happy Hope entrusted Shippo to help support their new business model and enable them to ship effectively. With Shippo, Wendy simply uploads a list of 100 names, imports the CSV file, and uploads all the addresses automatically. “I have to ship packages to places all over the world: US, Canada, Singapore. Shippo makes printing and doing business so much easier because it’s not such a manual task. I don’t have to hand-edit every address and every package. There’s bulk features and upload features! I can print 100 tags with return labels in no time!”
Wendy is also able to customize packages in ways that best fit and benefit the business. “I can tell you which day I’m going to ship on, what size I’m shipping, if I need return postage or not – I have the ability to customize any package I want to ship. All these capabilities through Shippo make it easy for us to do business. I don’t have to think about it! The ability to play it forward through the Shippo platform allows us to continue to do good”, shared Wendy.
As a non-profit organization, cost-savings is a huge benefit to the Happy Hope Foundation through Shippo as well. “Every dollar we spend matters, and we need to get the best bang for our buck”, said Wendy. With the Shippo customer support team, the Happy Hope team can use the solution in the most cost-effective way possible. “If I ever have any questions, I have a person that I can reach out to. The support and the service piece made choosing Shippo the easiest. The personalization of people reaching out to you saying how you can modify and make your system easier really makes a difference. I needed the ability to return packages differently than when I shipped them. For example, if I shipped something Priority Mail but wanted it returned to traditional mail, I have that capability now and not pay the bulk price of Priority Mail back and forth. As a non-profit, the most important thing we can do is spend our money wisely, so using a platform that allows us to modify and ship to our current needs and abilities is really important”, shared Wendy.
With Shippo, the Happy Hope Foundation has a partner that not only helps them save time and money, but one they can depend on. “It’s about price, but it’s also about reliability. I need to ensure that what I’m shipping is going to get there. It’s easy and it’s efficient. I can’t spend tons of time and money printing tags and looking for different prices. Shippo gives me all those options all at once when I list my packages and where it’s going. I get to choose who I am shipping with, how I want to ship it, and how much I pay – and I think that’s one of the most important things”, shared Wendy.
After doing their research on different shipping platforms, Happy Hope found their perfect fit in Shippo. “I challenge people to look outside the parameters because there are a lot of choices out there, but there aren’t a lot of platforms that offer all the different services that Shippo offers. When you log into Shippo, it’s easy – it talks about the pricing, it tells you how much money you’re going to save, it allows you to pick when you want to ship, and you can even schedule pick-ups so you don’t have to go to the post office. The convenience of all the features is something that should be touted! It’s easy to use and it continues to improve with all the new updates and features”, stated Wendy.
“Without a platform like Shippo’s we wouldn’t be able to service over 55,000 children around the world.”
A Shipping Solution for Businesses of All Sizes
Shippo is a single, easy-to-integrate program that powers everything leading e-commerce brands need for shipping. From a single integration, businesses gain access to over 85+ global shipping carriers. And since all carrier interactions are standardized, Shippo makes it easy for businesses to compare rates and ETAs, print labels, schedule pickups (with USPS and DHL Express), track shipments, facilitate returns, and more across several carriers, all in one place.
Connecting your online store is also fast and easy with Shippo’s pre-built integrations. Shippo can automatically connect with several popular e-commerce platforms and marketplaces, and getting set up can be done in a manner of minutes without the need for any technical developer resources.
You also have options for using Shippo: online through our web application or connected via API. The great thing about these options is that Shippo has the ability to grow with you as your business needs evolve.
For businesses that want to get started right away, the web app is a great solution. And getting started is as easy as opening an account, entering some basic information, and creating your first shipping label. For businesses looking for an even more customizable solution, Shippo’s API is the next step. With Shippo’s developer-centric API, businesses can take their automation efforts even further. Visit Shippo’s API information page to learn more.