Nonprofit, event benefit children in hospitals

Amanda Goss, pictured last year, has started a nonprofit that gives kids in hospitals surprise bags to help them get through the experience. Goss, 28, of Hartford has survived cancer several times. 

HARTFORD — Spending time in the hospital can be difficult for anyone, but even more so for children. 

That’s why Amanda Goss, 28, of Hartford started a nonprofit this year called “youtoo.”, inspired by the phrase “you too can be a hero.”

“I’m also a stage four breast cancer thriver and just had brain surgery last August,” she said. “Because of being in the hospital and staying in a place that didn’t feel like home, I wanted to share my love and everyone else’s love to kids going through this disease. It’s hard enough going though it as an adult let alone being a child and having something.”

The organization gathers donations to create surprise bags to give every three months to children in the hospital.

Goss said the next donation coming at the end of September is youtoo.’s third.  So far it has donated 100 bags and has another 50 already for the next drop off. 

She said the nonprofit wanted a challenge this time so it decided it would give to two hospitals instead of just one. 

“We usually just give to Bronson Children’s Hospital in Kalamazoo,” Goss said. “But we just wanted to do something bigger and help bring joy to other kids in the area that might be going through this. So we’re going to spread the joy to Kalamazoo and Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital in Grand Rapids.”

To help support such a big donation, they came up with hosting a “Superhero Mud Run.” 

The muddy 5K run/walk and family one-mile run/walk is set for 9 a.m. Sept. 22 at the Hartford Speedway.  

“We have a couple hills with drop-offs so that people can get extra dirty. It’s not as intense as the Marine mud run. We are wanting everyone to have lots of fun and get pretty muddy at the same time,” Goss said.  

Registration is $35 at Participants are encouraged to dress up as superheroes, but it is a mud run so wear clothes that can get dirty.

Goss said they have done other events in the past, but they wanted to think outside of the box and a mud run just came to their minds. 

All proceeds from the event will go towards the upcoming delivery of surprise bags. 

Goss said youtoo. is always collecting donations. Those wishing to donate can visit the youtoo. Facebook page, call 313-3143 or email

Contact:, 932-0357, Twitter: @HPANewman