I’m so excited to be walking for Candlelighters again this year and dedicating it to Posey Raish, a precious 3 year old baby girl, battling Leukemia at Texas Children’s. I am also on the Candlelighters Board, and this is an organization that is very important to me.
Candlelighters is an organization that provides daily services for childhood cancer families and the Fun Walk raises money for those services and programs which are offered FREE to children with cancer and their families. This has obviously changed quite a bit since COVID-19 hit, and I'm happy to be able to provide real-time results of how Candlelighters has adapted their processes to continue their mission throughout this trying time.
Here's what Fun Walk donations will be used toward this year:
1. Hospital Parking Assistance - Candlelighters has still been able to provide hospital parking financial assistance to families digitally
2. Emotional Support - families more than ever before are nervous to leave their homes, feeling isolated, being torn apart (thanks to hospital visitor restrictions) and we've been ramping up all our peer-to-peer support efforts. Our weekly support group meetings have grown, and Candlelighters Parent Consultants (staff who are also parents of childhood cancer survivors) are working around the clock to touch base and check-in with our families and their needs.
3. Gas Cards & Grocery Cards - these have been Candlelighters top request throughout the COVID-19 crisis as families more than ever are strapped for basic needs thanks to furloughs and layoffs.
4. Memorial Funds - cancer hasn't quit unfortunately. Children are still being diagnosed and gaining their angel wings. Candlelighters provides financial assistance for families to hold memorial services for their children.
In addition to Candlelighters daily efforts, they're staying on top of the CDC and American Oncology Camping Association message boards to make the best decision for their weekend family camp, Camp CLIFF. The Fun Walk usually completely funds this weekend getaway for Candlelighters families – a getaway that is much needed from the daily grind of a childhood cancer diagnosis. Should camp be unable to happen this fall, it is Candlelighters goal to be able to provide a virtual camping experience and activities for families instead of a physical weekend getaway.
Thank you for supporting my efforts for this amazing organization. Whatever you can give, thank you for helping all the children with cancer and their families that Candlelighters serves!