At the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation, we believe there are many ways individuals and companies can make a difference. We’re grateful for local businesses in the community that put philanthropy and giving back at the forefront of everything they do.

When cancer hit close to home for the Barrett family, they knew they wanted to make a lasting impact among other families diagnosed with this terrible disease – especially with leading edge research.yb squared

At yb-squared, a boutique yearbook company in Southern California, the mission is not just to make great yearbooks, but to make a difference, too. So, instead of charging schools a penalty for missing their yearbook deadlines as many publishers do, the schools earn money for charity by turning their pages in early. When they first started their charity program seven years ago, yb-squared let yearbook staffs choose their own charities. That all changed last year when the company’s owner, Miriam Barrett, was diagnosed with colon cancer.

“It wasn’t just Miriam who got cancer, either,” said Miriam’s husband and company CEO, Bret Barrett. “One of her dearest friends was diagnosed with stage IV cervical cancer at almost the exact same time. Then, another one of our employees, who was just 35, was also diagnosed with colon cancer. It was a lot all at once.”

Realizing firsthand how a diagnosis of cancer disrupts lives, yb-squared decided to ask their schools to donate all of the charity money they earned toward fighting the disease. But to which cancer charity should they give?

“We wanted a charity that was focused on kids, because that’s who we work with every day. Then we wanted to focus on research, believing that finding a cure will help the most people in the long run. Finally, we visited CharityNavigator.com to see which charities were rated highest. The Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation was far and away the best choice,” said Bret.

To further incentivize their schools, yb-squared has turned earning money for charity into a good-natured competition, where the school which earns the most money gets to display a perpetual plaque in their classroom proclaiming them the charity champion for the year.

“Some of the schools really get into the competition,” said Bret. “This year, Great Oak HS in Temecula and Temescal Canyon High School in Elsinore were in a dead heat until Great Oak edged them at the finish, earning $1,925, just $50 more than their rival. It’s wonderful to see kids excited about earning money for charity.”

Overall, yb-squared and its customers donated over $10,000 to PCRF for the 2018-2019 school year. As to fulfilling their mission, only their customers can say if yb-squared makes great yearbooks. But when it comes to whether or not they are making a difference, that’s easy to judge. They do, both in the lives of their students who learn the joy of helping others, but also in the fight against childhood cancer.

Interested in being a partner in hope? Check out ways you can Contribute to a Cure and help eliminate childhood cancer through leading edge research.