To say that 2020 will be a year that no one forgets would be an understatement. However, it is easy to forget that along with all the hardships that have come during this past year there were also victories, successes, and smiles. Let's take a look back at 2020.
In January of 2020, before we had ever heard the word COVID, The Valerie Fund started the year off as it always does by celebrating the achievements of The Valerie Fund Scholars. The Valerie Fund Scholarship Committee awarded over $430,000 to more than 100 deserving students this academic year, 31 received a named scholarship. You can click here to read more about our amazing scholars.
One of our absolute favorite times of any year is Camp Happy Times. While we may not have been able to bring our to our normal week of adventure at Tyler Hill Camp, Camp Director Matt went beyond the call of duty to ensure our kids had an amazing Camp experience in their own homes. For the first time, we even invited siblings of patients to join in on the fun. You can CLICK HERE to learn more about everything that went into making Camp Happy Times go virtual and then CLICK HERE to see some photos of our kids having fun this past summer.
Our many events throughout the year looked a lot different this time around. Switching most events to a new virtual format was not without risk but friends, family, and supporters of all kinds came together to help our Valerie Fund kids get the support they needed this year.
Our Taste of Giving night was thankfully held in person as it took place in February. You can read all about this fundraising night that takes place high in the sky in New York City by CLICKING HERE.
The 15th annual CAREoke for the Kids may look the most different from its normal version but it may also have sparked the most creativity. We may not have been able to host the live karaoke competition in Irving Plaza as usual but the media and tech companies of NYC came together to record at-home music videos that belong on MTV! You can read more about the event here and even watch the full video from the night with so many amazing performances!
The Valerie Fund calendar would not be complete without the event that brings our entire community together. The Valerie Fund Walk & JAG-ONE Physical Therapy 5K is an important part of many of our patients' journeys and while we could not come together in Verona Park as usual, the theme of "Together Apart" was strong. We began the year with a Captain's Kick-Off event before the quarantine began but we quickly pivoted to a virtual celebration of our kids during our normal Walk and 5K weekend in June. You can CLICK HERE and HERE to read more about how we met the virtual challenge this year. We held our official Virtual Walk & 5K in October and so many families sent in photos of their walks and runs that you can check out here.
Our last event of 2020 was the Thanksgiving Ball Gala. While it seemed at first glance that there wasn't as much to be thankful for in 2020, The Valerie Fund shone a spotlight on the healthcare heroes in The Valerie Fund Children's Centers who kept our kids and families safe and secure through this pandemic. We also took some time to share the stories of some of the brave kids themselves.
- Meet our Valerie Fund Ambassadors in part one and part two.
- Read the stories of our healthcare heroes.
- Check out this wrap-up of the virtual event including the full program, our Learning Depots, and videos from the evening!
It would be impossible to talk about 2020 without discussing the impact that COVID had. Our Valerie Fund Children's Centers had to not only adapt to changing standards of care but in many cases needed to completely change the way they provided care to our kids.
We had several stories centering around the effects of COVID on our kids battling cancer and blood disorders as well as showing what The Valerie Fund was able to do for our families in crisis.
- Learn about The Sue & Ed Goldstein Emergency Fund to help families hit hard by the financial burden of having children in treatment.
- We featured the healthcare heroes in our Valerie Fund Children's Centers and the work they have been doing. One focused one the caregivers themselves while another focused on how the Centers adapted to COVID.
- How did our kids deal with the pandemic uprooting their routines? CLICK HERE and HERE to see what they were up to in between learning virtually and becoming Zoom professionals.
- A patient's sister even got into the spirit and made headlines with a program she started for Valerie Fund kids.
- You can also read one patient's story about how treatment prepared her for the difficulties of quarantine.
Over the past year we got to show off some of the amazing people at The Valerie Fund's fundraising office in Maplewood, NJ. We'll be shining a spotlight on more in the coming year but let's check back in with our first three staff profiles.
We also got learn some more about The Valerie Fund staff and families through music. All TVF patients young and old are welcome to create a playlist of music that is important to them or the soundtrack to their lives in some way. We had a few this year including a joint playlist from the entire fundraising staff. Are you a Valerie Fund patient or family and want to make a playlist for everyone. Email Brett at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Thank you to everyone who helped make 2020 a special year in so many ways. We are excited to kick off 2021 and show you what we have in store. Stay tuned and enjoy the holiday season and stay safe!
During this difficult time of the COVID-19 pandemic, The Valerie Fund remains dedicated to the children battling cancer and blood disorders. We are in this together and continue to treat every child who needs our help.
We are in this together. #BecauseofValerie