The Valerie Fund Blog
#GivingTuesday is a social media initiative that encourages people around the world to get involved in their communities, use their talents to help others and give back. #GivingTuesday has been celebrated on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving for the last five years and follows the frenzy of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. This worldwide day of giving marks the start of the charitable season, and is a reminder to give back during the whirlwind of the holiday season.
When Valerie’s family and friends sought to honor her memory 40 years ago, most were new to the world of philanthropy and unlikely fully aware of the challenges of raising money.
Since the first Valerie Fund Children’s Center opened at Summit’s Overlook Medical Center in 1976, the extraordinary growth of The Valerie Fund has been rooted in founders Sue and Ed Goldstein’s own heartbreaking experiences and their desire to provide compassionate care close to home. This year we will celebrate the generosity, willingness to give back and tireless efforts of so many.
While there is so much more to do, we can reflect on the 40th Anniversary of the founding of The Valerie Fund and be proud of the fact that thousands of critically ill children and their families were not alone as they navigated the many challenges faced following a devastating diagnosis of cancer or a blood disorder.
We can appreciate the integration of top-notch medical care with a growing range of customized therapeutic services offered by social workers, child life specialists, educational liaisons, psychologists and specialists in integrative medicine and palliative care. We can acknowledge that while rarely covered by health insurance, these social services play a vital role in addressing quality of life issues during the treatment and healing process.
According to Dr. Gregory Armstrong, a researcher and pediatric oncologist at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital who led the federally funded Childhood Cancer Survivor Study, there are about 450,000 pediatric cancer survivors today. This is not only great news for the hundreds of thousands of children but multiply those children by the number of immediate and extended family, you will quickly see that these little warriors each have their own personal universe.
Your holiday gift to charities that support childhood cancer and blood disorders works as an anchor and a rocket ship. As an anchor, it allows the charity to provide their core offerings. As a rocket ship, it allows them to expand their menu of services to better accommodate their patient's needs.