Never Underestimate the Power of Connection

Guest post written by Jennifer Reddick, Director of Strategy at Carley’s Angels

Two weeks before Toronto went into a state of emergency I came across Kudoboard at work for a colleague’s birthday and absolutely loved the concept. Not only was it great for the recipient, but I had a ton of fun reading through everyone’s posts, watching the videos, and laughing at all the memes and chirps.

Fast forward two weeks, and I was in the Carley’s Angels Executive Team meeting discussing the impacts of COVID-19 on our organization and fundraising projections for 2020. But most importantly, the impact the virus would have on our community of cancer patients.

Carley’s Angels works to unite traditional and holistic cancer care in hospitals. Our mission started as the legacy of one young, brave cancer fighter named Carley Allison, who battled with unwavering determination to always smile. Carley’s cancer was so rare that traditional treatments alone were not enough, instead Carley was treated with a combination of traditional and holistic cancer care. Although very effective this combination of treatments was expensive and difficult to access, so in Carley’s honour we made it our mission to change that.

We kept finding ourselves coming back to isolation. Having cancer can be extremely isolating in itself without the addition of a global pandemic. Now compound that with hospitals restricting all visitors causing these patients to be completely alone during their treatments, hospital stays, and even a home.

When Carley was in the hospital her friends and family created this wall of inspiration in her hospital room. We posted inspirational quotes and photos, her cousin even posted a superhero t-shirt. It was incredible to see how much this improved Carley’s mood and energized her, it kept her motivated and inspired to keep kicking cancer’s butt! 

The Carley’s Angels exec team decided that we wanted everything we did surrounding the pandemic to be about supporting our community. As we brainstormed, Kudoboard came to mind and we thought what an awesome idea to help us create virtual inspiration walls for cancer patients that our online community could contribute to. 

We called it our #liftthemup campaign. It was a huge success – with nearly 4000 engagements and Kudoboard recipients who couldn’t have been happier.

Jess (@onetoughcookieclub) is one example of a Kudoboard recipient through the campaign. And here’s a note she wrote to Carley’s Angels in response:

“Hiiii, i just wanted to say thank you so much for including me in the #liftthemup project. It couldn’t have come at a better time.  I haven’t shared it publically yet, but this past week has been incredibly hard as I’ve been incredibly hard as I’ve been facing a new diagnosis and the challenges that come along with it. The carley’s angels community is so incredible. Reading through the board is so so moving. I can’t thank you guys enough”

Here’s Jess’s Kudoboard: https://www.kudoboard.com/boards/ddtH6Xil

Thanks for letting Carley’s Angels share your board, Jess. And thanks to Kudoboard for giving us this awesome group card platform so we could gather appreciation.

10 Paper Anniversary Gifts for Your First Wedding Anniversary

What qualifies as a newlywed? 1 month? 3 months? A year? Until you have kids? Maybe “newlywed” is just a state of mind. Who knows. Whatever your definition of newlywed, we hope you can agree that marking your first wedding anniversary is special—and important. 

Seriously. You can’t mess this one up. It’s going to set the tone for future anniversaries. Not to mention it’ll make up for all the times you burned dinner or bought the wrong type of mayonnaise this year. 

Don’t worry. We’re not trying to freak you out. It’s actually very easy to crush your first wedding anniversary, and we’re here to help. We’ll explain the traditional first anniversary theme (paper), the symbolism behind it, and 10 ideas for first anniversary gifts. 

All you have to do is remember the date. And if you can’t remember your first anniversary wedding date… well. No one can help you then. 

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The Best Quotes About Retirement

Chances are that someone you know will be retiring this year — in recent years more people have been retiring than ever before. When beginning to write a message for a  retirement card, it can be difficult to know how to start.  Need a bit of inspiration for what to write on a retirement card? We’ve got you covered with a diverse list of retirement quotes.

We’ve curated a list of some of the best quotes on retirement, getting older, and living well to give you a bit of inspiration as you begin writing your message to your colleague, friend, or family member who is retiring.

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How to Throw a Great Retirement Party in 2021

Congratulations to all 2021 retirees! Though this year may be different for retirement parties, there are still lots of ways to celebrate a retiree this year and party it up! We’ve put together a list of fun retirement party ideas specific to 2021 — there’s something for everyone to make their retiree’s celebration fun and meaningful.


1.Start a group card to share

A retirement group card is something your retiree will cherish long after their retirement party is over. Yes, we’re a little biased here — but there’s no better way to kick off a retirement party than by sharing  a thoughtful card with your your retiree! 

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Ways To Wish Coworkers And Friends A Happy Retirement

Retirement is such a momentous event — after decades in the workforce, being able to relax and focus on passions other than work is a wonderful gift. If you know someone who is retiring, wishing them a happy retirement — whether it’s writing a thoughtful message on a retirement card or saying something thoughtful in person — can be really meaningful to them as they make a big life transition.

Whether your retiree is a colleague, friend, or family member, we’ve put together a list of examples to help inspire you as communicate your best wishes for your retiree. 

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Best Retirement Gifts for 2021

Happy New Year! 2020 is finally at a close (we thought it might never end), and we’re looking forward to many good things to come this new year! 

One trend 2020 brought was that more people are retiring than ever before.  More than likely, you know one of the 10,000 people who are retiring per day!

We’ve created a list of 21 unique gifts categories just for the folks retiring in 2021 — these gifts are better than your everyday gift card, we promise! With COVID still keeping many activities at an arm’s length for the time being, here are a few retirement gift ideas to make gifting your retiring co-worker, loved one, or friend easy for you to navigate this year.

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CEO Pays For Service Members to Fly Home for The Holidays

N.C. software exec pays for military members to fly home for Christmas, others step up

An Air Force veteran and current software CEO wanted to give back to those who serve last holiday season. How? He paid for their holiday flights home.

Ed Roshitsh, the CEO of Dude Solutions, raises money for veteran charities every year. But last year, he wanted to do it differently.

“Lots of these folks don’t make hardly any money. An E1, which is basic paygrade, probably makes $15,000 a year. They can’t afford to get home for the holidays,” said Roshitsh.

He posted a message on Linkedin, which asked the public to submit names of active duty service members who wanted to get home for the holidays. He was going to pay for five himself.

His offer went viral, encouraging others to get into the spirit of giving.

“There’s probably close to 300,000 views,” said Roshitsh. “And from all the shares people started to ask,  ‘Can I donate a ticket?'”

Another veteran, Andrew Appleton, CEO of TravelAgent360.us, messaged Ed offering his assistance in booking the tickets. “Our team of agents is made up of veterans and active-duty spouses focused on booking travel and saving money for the military community,” said Appleton. “It only made sense that we offer our support.”

To make sure Ed knew the impact he had, Andrew also created him a Kudoboard to allow the recipients of the tickets to share their thanks.  “Many non-military don’t realize that the word KUDOs is a common term in the military. We use the term to show appreciation for a job well done. So Kudoboard was the perfect way to rally everyone in saying thanks.”  

See the full Kudoboard here.

The gesture hit home. “I had no idea the impact I was making,” commented Ed, “until I read the comments shared on the Kudoboard.”

After two weeks of booking tickets, Ed’s initial generosity – along with all the donors who chipped in – sent 65 active duty service members home for the holidays.

Honoring the Life of George Peterson

Kudoboard offers an online memorial to celebrate the life of a colleague, family member, or friend who recently passed away.  

The Hartnell College choir recently set up such a board for George Peterson, of Monterey County, here. If you knew George, please add a tribute honoring his memory.

Additional remembrances of George, written by Anna Oberst of the Hartnell College choir:

George Peterson
Pianist, composer, accompanist, musical director.
January 20, 1960 – December 7, 2020

George Peterson will be missed. He was not only a gifted musician, but a lovely person inside and out. Many know him from the musical community in the Monterey Bay Area. He was involved with many groups over the years as a pianist, accompanist, composer and/or a musical director. He also worked as a musician for many years on cruise ships.

Most would agree that George was a man of few words, but a man of much expression through his music. It is hard to think of George without thinking of music. He was a professional. Whenever tasked with any musical job, he usually put more than 100% of his time and talent into it. I recall him saying once that he wasn’t really one to want to ‘teach’ piano/music; but for those who knew him, George was one who really wanted to help other musicians reach their goals. Over the past few years he’d often stay after classes to work with students at Hartnell College in Salinas, Ca., where he was the accompanist for the Hartnell Choirs with Director, Sandy Rudo. 

The Hartnell choir students always enjoyed George’s little musical antics too. He’d often use the piano to inject bits of humor during rehearsals, like playing the Jeopardy Theme when a question was being asked of the students by Mrs. Rudo. He also was known to slyly manipulate an accompaniment into another genre, and he’d wait to see how long it’d take before the singers, and Mrs. Rudo, would notice.

I’m sure there are many people in Monterey County who have similar stories to share about George, so we’ve created this Memorial Kudoboard for anyone to contribute and share their memories.

Although he is no longer with us physically, his impression will continue to be with us for a very long time. His calm demeanor, infused with his silly bits of joy, found landing spots in all of our hearts, which we can continue to carry with us and share with others.

Wishing President Carter a Happy Birthday with Kudoboard!

President Jimmy Carter celebrated his 96th birthday on October 1st, 2020.

Tens of thousands of people wished him a happy birthday by sending him a message through a custom event Kudoboard started by The Carter Center.

Unlike a typical Kudoboard, custom event boards like the one used by The Carter Center include:

  • Your logo at the top
  • Custom background
  • Custom URL
  • Moderation options (i.e. ability to approve posts before they show)
  • Dedicated support person
  • Multiple administrators
  • Embeddable slideshow 
  • Export options (to download high res version of images/videos)
  • Metrics (kudos, page views, referral sources, etc)

To get a better sense for the outpouring of support for President Carter, see a slideshow of the full board here:


The Carter Center was founded by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and former First Lady Rosaylnn Carter in 1982.

For the last 38 years, The Carter Center has worked to wage peace, fight disease, and build hope in more than 80 countries around the world. Through peace and health programs, The Carter Center has improved the lives of some of the poorest and more forgotten people by resolving conflicts, advancing democracy and human rights, preventing diseases, improving mental health care, and creating a healthier and more peaceful world.

To learn more about how to get involved with The Carter Center, visit their website here: https://www.cartercenter.org

Thank you to President Jimmy Carter, former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, and The Carter Center for all the important work you do!


– The Kudoboard Team


ps – to find out more about creating custom Kudoboards for your event, reach out to our team at [email protected]

Top Online Memorials For Loved Ones

To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die.

– Thomas Campbell

Whether through funeral rituals, remembrance items, or telling stories to younger generations, celebrating the life of a loved one who has passed away is as old a tradition as humanity itself. 

But the ease with which these stories can be shared has improved dramatically with the creation of memorial websites.  These websites allow family and friends to add tributes, pictures, music, videos, and stories, all of which are compiled onto one website that can be easily shared. 

Some memorial websites even offer innovative features such as scannable QR codes that can be placed on a headstone to link to the online tribute page.

These online memorials for loved ones have become especially valuable in the time of coronavirus.  Many families currently cannot travel or gather in groups.  With online memorial sites, your loved ones can still be celebrated.


Here are a few noteworthy online memorial sites:

  1. EverLoved.  EverLoved is designed as a one-stop-shop for celebrating your loved one.  It provides an online memorial page, but it also offers features such as a fundraising platform to cover funeral costs, price quotes from funeral providers, and links to independent memorial companies to allow you to save money on funeral-related items such as caskets, urns, and headstones.  The website also provides ready phone and email support.  

  2. Keeper.  Keeper is a modern memorial website that offers a number of unique features.  You can create a timeline of milestones in the deceased’s life; you can create a family tree; and you can map the location of a funeral home, cemetery, grave, or mausoleum.  Additionally, the Keeper Mobile App includes step-by-step navigation service to these locations.  The Keeper Plus version is offered at a one-time payment of $74.99.  Keeper currently allows users video-streaming options during COVID-19. 

  3. Legacy.com.  Legacy is the largest, and perhaps oldest, host of online obituaries.  The website has obituaries and memorials for over 70% of all U.S. deaths.  It prominently features obituaries of famous Americans, and it partners with local newspapers to upload obituaries from across the country.  These obituaries have guest books, options to send flowers and gifts, and clearly-displayed funeral information.   While it’s design is less modern than several other options — if a ready-made connection between your online memorial and print obituary is what you are seeking, then this is often the default option.

  4. Forevermissed.com.  Forever Missed is a robust online memorial that offers many templates and themes to structure your tribute page.  You can also create a playlist of songs, light virtual candles, and control viewership settings.  The free plan limits the number of photos to five and does not allow for video uploads.  The paid plan is $6.99 per month, $64.99 per year, or a one-time payment of $124.99.

  5. Kudoboard. Unlike many other options, Kudoboard memorials are focused on simplicity and ease of use. You can share a link with anyone invited to the memorial website, allowing them to easily contribute memories, photos, or videos with the click of a button.  These contributions are gathered on a memorial board, such as this one.  The online memorial can be played as a slideshow or easily printed as a poster to display at a celebration of life reception.  Kudoboard offers both a free “Mini Memorial” with a limited number of posts and a “Full Memorial” board with unlimited posts for a one-time payment of $99.

Regardless of the memorial site used, we recommend a few things for a meaningful experience:

  1. The More The Merrier.  You might have the closest connection to the remembered loved one, but by inviting friends and family to share their own pictures, videos, and stories, you’ll allow them to remember the loved one in a unique way, and you’ll hear stories and see photos that you’d perhaps forgotten.  Additionally, the experience can allow you to connect with those you haven’t seen in some time.

  1. Tell A Story.  In addition to describing your loved one with descriptive adjectives (caring, kind, intelligent, fun, energetic, happy, etc.), consider writing down a particular story (maybe it was the time Mom lost her luggage, but she made the best of it by buying a silly souvenir t-shirt every day of the trip).  Stories bring out the loved one’s unique personality, and guests to the memorial website will enjoy remembering the same story.   

  1. A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words.  Unlike traditional guestbooks, memorial websites allow users the option to add pictures and videos.  This is a great opportunity to capture a moment in time in the loved one’s life, a particular trip or event, or just an encapsulation of that person (“Dad always loved that jack and wore it everywhere!”). 

  1. Find Pictures From Different Ages.  If you can find them, include pictures from different periods of the loved one’s life.  Everyone enjoys pictures from when dad was in his crazy twenties (“those sideburns!”) and then again from thirty years later (“what happened to dad’s hair?!”).  

  1. Keeping Adding.  You don’t ever have to stop.  Your online memorial site can continue growing as you remember different stories or uncover new photos.  By using a site like Kudoboard, your memorial site will last forever, and you can revisit it any time you want to remember your loved one.  

If you have any questions about Kudoboard Online Memorials, you can email us at [email protected] and we will get back to you within one business day. 

We at Kudoboard wish the best for you, your family, and your friends.