Started in 2008, with a mission of delivering sparkling jewels to cancer patients, lifting their spirits along their journey, the charity is already serving 12 area hospitals. But Ferdinand, who owns New Providence's Ferdinand's Jewelers with her husband, Bill, believes that scoring a 30-second commercial during the Big Game could help achieve her goal of taking the philanthropy nationwide.
It was Ferdinand's future daughter-in-law, Stacy, who first told her about Intuit QuickBooks Small Business Big Game Contest, which offers entrepreneurs a chance to tell the world about their work in the ad which will be aired during the Super Bowl on Sunday, Feb. 2, 2014.
Immediately, the Morris Township resident went to work sharing Operation Bling's story online and using social media to spread the word about the charity which provides, for free, an assortment of sterling silver cubic zirconium rings, earrings, necklaces and bracelets to oncology patients. OBF “blings” both inpatient and outpatient women, men and pediatric oncology patients.
Having made it to Round 2 of the contest, the Ferdinands are asking for the public to "vote early and often" to help them advance to the next level. Voting, which ends Oct. 13, will determine the top 20 contenders. From there, Intuit's employees will narrow it down to the top four. The public will once again have a chance to vote and the winner will be announced on Dec. 1.
Ferdinand is asking that everyone vote daily, as per Intuit's rules, and added that winning the 30-second spot would be a touchdown not only for the foundation but for all those facing a cancer diagnosis.
"This would give us enormous exposure," Ferdinand said. "Can you imagine how much attention and how much growth Operation Bling would gain with the spotlight a Super Bowl TV commercial would bring us?"
Though only five years old OBF has provided over 11,000 “Bling Gifts” and delivers to the following centers:
- Morristown Memorial Medical Center - Morristown, NJ
- Overlook Medical Center - Summit, NJ
- Summit Medical Group- Berkeley Heights, NJ
- American Cancer Society - Springfield, NJ office
- Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune, NJ
- University Medical Center at Princeton, NJ
- American Cancer Society's Hope Lodge - New York City
- St. Clare's Hospital - Denville, NJ
- Newark Beth Israel Medical Center - Newark, NJ
- St. Barnabas - Livingston, NJ
- Holy Redeemer Women's Health Center - Southampton, Pennsylvania
The foundation's website is filled with heartwarming and inspiring testimonials from those whose lives have been touched by Operation Bling. But for the Ferdinands, the couple believes they are the ones who have been truly gifted.
“You feel so good when you give out that gift and you see their face,” Bill told Patch in 2012. “Their color changes. They smile and it’s just doing this simple thing of saying, ‘Here you are, but you’re not alone anymore. We get it. We care and we want you to smile.’ That’s what we’re doing.”