Back in 2012, when I started conceptualizing the HelpFirst marketplace, I scribbled down the phrase, “We are defined by the challenges we overcome.” I thought there should be a better way for consumers motivated by social impact to connect with and be empowered by the businesses and brands they purchased from. Most people do not have the resources to fund research or support the non-profit organizations that serve and strengthen our communities. I thought the process of learning about, engaging with, and supporting effective community nonprofits , should be a whole lot easier and the process should be more transparent and social.

Its not the challenge that defines, it’s the response

Our experiences have a way of changing our perspective. After my dad passed away from prostate cancer, that phrase, as written, no longer held the same meaning. He did not overcome that challenge, but it most certainly had not defined him. The courage to continue in the face of the insurmountable odds. The grace, character, and strength displayed throughout that horror, in my opinion, were his defining virtues.

Lord Byron once wrote, “Adversity is the first path to truth.” It’s through life’s great challenges that we discover not only what we are made of, but also the true nature of our relationships.

My relationship with ZERO The End of Prostate Cancer began last October, as they, along with SeaShare and Children’s Organ Transplant Association were the first national charities to sign up for the HelpFirst Marketplace. When the staff at ZERO found out dad’s prostate cancer was terminal, they sent him a card signed by the entire staff, with a personal message. It meant a great deal to both him and me. To know a group of people who had never met him not only cared, but were working tirelessly to prevent others from facing the hardships he was facing was significant. When it comes to prostate cancer, there is no greater advocate for patients, and indeed no greater force to end this horrible disease than ZERO The End of Prostate Cancer.

Problem Solving Requires Ownership

The reason a great many of our problems are not matched with the resources required for a solution is fairly simple: there is no ownership. We don’t go around solving other people’s problems. If it’s not your problem, if you don’t own it, then you have no interest in finding a solution.

One in eight men will develop prostate cancer,

this is all of our problem.

This year alone, more than 161,000 American men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer, and about 26,700 will die from the disease. These men deserve more effective prostate cancer treatments – new treatments that can save and lengthen lives and improve the quality of lives. The ZERO Research Fund directly supports cutting-edge research that offers the best return on investment, with a track record of expediting life-saving treatments from the laboratory to patients. In the past year, They’ve invested more than $120,000 for promising research to improved methods for early detection at UC San Francisco and targeting gene activation at Oregon Health & Sciences University.

For more than twenty years, ZERO has helped save lives, support research and new treatments, educate and test men, and unite communities to make prostate cancer a national priority. They’ve made a significant impact on the fight against the disease. They’re on the front lines investing in patient support programs, research for better diagnostics, and creating awareness. No other prostate cancer charity spends more per dollar on programs – more than 84 cents. ZERO puts every donation to good use.

Challenges That Unite

Prostate Cancer is not affiliated with either the Republican or the Democratic Party. It’s not of the Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist, or Muslim faith. It does not belong to the upper, middle, or lower class. Like each of the 15 cause groups we will be fundraising for on the HelpFirst Platform; its a challenge that we all face together. It’s a challenge that should unite.


Impact Driven Deals

The HelpFirst platform will help consumers identify community challenges, then empower those consumers to support nonprofits like ZERO through their purchases.

For my family, it was cancer; but the challenges people face across the country are as unique and varied as our 89,004 communities. As humans, we build and use tools to help us solve problems. They help us reach greater potential and progress. With the HelpFirst platform, we’re working to build technology that will improve lives through empowerment, cost savings, and education. 


Impact Driven Commerce

Progress requires common purpose

New York skyline

When inspired people work together with a shared goal and sufficient resources, there are no incurable diseases, or unachievable technological advancements. There are no goals too large, too ambitious, or too grand. There is nothing out of our reach. When we work together, amazing things are not only possible, they’re inevitable.


At the founding of the Plymouth Bay Colony in 1630, William Bradford said; “All great and honorable actions are accompanied with great difficulty, and both must be enterprised and overcome with answerable courage”. We have always encouraged our citizens to live empowered and embrace challenge.

It is no mistake that our national motto “E Pluribus Unum” means: From Many One. We were put here to connect with one another and solve problems. Any great effort requires team work. It’s the only way significant projects are accomplished. We all have unique talents. It’s not until they’re put to work in unison that we realize our great potential, and our ability to achieve the unachievable.

American Challenge @helpfirstusa

We launch Wednesday February 7th at 1776 DC

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