Updated: Jan 20, 2020
We are excited to share with you our biggest Christmas donation ever! Check out this press release for all the details on how we were able to give $6,900 to help 23 children have a great holiday!
Local Fund Provides Assistance with Christmas Gifts
NORTH WINDHAM, CT, December 2019 — The Jolly John’s Keep You Truckin’ Fund, Inc. distributed $300 Walmart gift cards to (23) children who have a family member coping with cancer this past Christmas. The hope was to take some of the financial burden from each of the families this holiday season.
Nurse Navigators and Social Workers from Eastern Connecticut Hematology and the William W. Backus Hospital Radiology Department assisted Donna Wallace, Administrator for the Fund, with providing recommendations of the ten families to be assisted. Each of these families have a mother, a father or custodial grandparent who are coping with a variety of cancers (Breast, Pancreatic, Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, Colon) in various stages. Wallace said that when she mentioned the program to the Navigators and the Social Workers, they were brought to tears by the generosity being shown to their patients.
The ages of the children ranged from toddlers to elementary school age. Craig Gates, Founder of the Fund, stated “the hope was to bring some joy to these families for Christmas.” “Most of these families have limited resources due to their illness and the struggle to make ends meet, doesn’t always leave extra money for things like Christmas presents.”
The fund was established in 2012 by Gates in memory of his cousin, John Bellavance. Through-out the last year of his life, John spent many days receiving treatment. John fought until the very end but ultimately succumbed to the disease. He questioned how people with families that struggled on good days just to get by, could make it through such a scary and stressful health crisis. John’s own struggle opened his eyes and heart and he wanted to be a part of doing something great to help others that have had to experience the heartbreak and worries of fighting such an unforgiving disease.
Since it’s inception the fund has helped 137 local families through applications received from Hartford Healthcare, Day Kimball Hospital, and Eastern Connecticut Hematology. The fund has also made donations for (3) specialized chairs and to the Transportation fund for the Oncology Department at to the William W. Backus Hospital located in Norwich, Connecticut.
Pictured here are 5 of the children we were able to help!