We always knew the CURE Childhood Cancer community was generous, but WOW! We never could have anticipated the response to our requests for help at the holidays. You, dear friends, provided holiday gifts for 41 families of children with cancer, more than double the number assisted in 2010. And while these families were blessed by your gifts, the CURE staff was equally moved as we watched tears of disbelief, humility and gratitude flow from parents who were without the resources due to the strain of childhood cancer to buy gifts for their children. Never anticipating that you would take care of them, too, with gift cards and groceries and basic necessities, the families were truly overwhelmed by your generosity and love. On behalf of each of these precious families, we thank you.
Two special groups of people interrupted their own holiday celebrations to make sure the families spending Christmas in the hospital were well cared for. For the 5th year in a row, the Kindred family, whose son, Trenton, was diagnosed with neuroblastoma at age 1, worked for weeks to coordinate dozens of neighbors and friends to prepare and deliver an extraordinary Christmas eve celebration to the Aflac Cancer Center of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite. On December 24, while most people were home with families, the Kindreds were up at the crack of dawn with friends and family all helping, receiving and preparing food, then loading mountains of food, hams, gifts and gift cards into an army of cars, then on their feet for hours serving not only the childhood cancer families, but everyone. Ginger Kindred describes the effort, “We delivered food to the other floors in the hospital, and to the emergency room, to the security staff, the maintenance staff and housekeeping staff. Moms and dads were crying as they were sent home with donated gift cards galore and Honey Baked Hams. It’s always the best gift we receive all year – seeing the families, helping them, giving them hope, standing there for hours holding their hands, serving them and just listening.”
Similarly, CURE volunteer extraordinaire Amy Hulett and her family and friends along with owner, chefs and staff of the Opera Event Center prepared, delivered and served dinner to families at the Egleston campus of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta on Christmas day, this after planning, organizing and putting on a spectacular holiday party for CURE families earlier in December. “For my family, serving the children, families and staff at Egleston is a highlight, not just of the holidays, but of the year. The families are stuck in the hospital on Christmas, yet they are all so appreciative just to have a special meal and know people care. For us, this is what Christmas is all about – going down there and just loving on those families. We leave knowing we got much more than we gave.”
And in addition to these incredible acts of kindness, you supported our work with your donations at record levels. Giving to CURE is up 15% from this time last year, even in the midst of tough economic times. Your generous giving is what enables us to serve families all year long. Your giving is what fuels the research our Scientific Advisory Council has identified as some of the most promising and important work being done. Without each one of you and each dollar you give, we simply couldn’t do any of what we do.
CURE is genuinely and abundantly blessed. From each of us to each of you, thank you. We hope you’re having a Happy New Year!