CaringBridge Celebrates 15 Yrs. With 30’x40’ Card

The nonprofit, which keeps people connected with family and friends during major health events, is celebrating its 15th anniversary on Thursday with a Mall of America event at which it will attempt to set the world record for the most people signing a greeting card.

Eagan-based CaringBridge will celebrate its 15th anniversary on Thursday by debuting what it’s calling “the world’s biggest greeting card.”

The 30-foot-wide, 40-foot-tall card—which will be displayed at the Mall of America’s rotunda—will be used to attempt to set the world record for the most people signing a greeting card. (Supporters are encouraged to stop by between 10 a.m. and 9:30 p.m. to sign it.)

The CaringBridge event—called “That’s a Lot of Love”—will also feature live music, treats, coupons, and a children’s activities area that’s hosted by Build-A-Bear Workshop.

CaringBridge provides free websites that allow people with serious health problems to stay connected with their families and friends by posting updates and receiving supportive messages. It was founded in 1997—seven years before Facebook—by Sona Mehring, who is also its CEO.

Mehring got the idea for CaringBridge when her close friend had a premature baby. The family asked her to let others know what was happening, and rather than making numerous phone calls, she created a website.

Since then, more than 323,000 personal sites have been created—and 43 million people visited the CaringBridge website last year alone. The organization has grown to include 64 employees, a governing board of 13, and 254 volunteers.

This year, CaringBridge expanded to include two new functions—“SupportPlanner, which allows family and friends to organize tasks like bringing a meal and caring for pets, and “Amplifier Hub,” through which people can volunteer for various tasks that spread the word about CaringBridge.