CJ’s Thumbs Up Foundation: An Exclusive Club – Guest Blog Post
By Rachel Reynolds | Feb 27, 2012 | Blinky Fun, Insights
TBL Networks is proud to present guest blogger Rachel Reynolds, Executive Director at CJSTUF.
Many of you belong to clubs. Some of those clubs were easy to join. You just had to sign up, pay some small annual dues, and enjoy the benefits of membership. Other clubs are more exclusive: the country club, the garden club, fraternal organizations. All of these clubs carry with them a common cause, a sense of belonging, and a certain set of privileges for membership.
On January 20, 2009, our family joined an exclusive club in which nobody wants membership. That was the day our daughter Charlotte was diagnosed with cancer. We became one of the many families affected by chronic and life threatening illness.
Each school day, 47 families nationwide join this club when a child is diagnosed with cancer. Each day, up to 75 children seek treatment on the 7th floor of Children’s Hospital of Richmond at MCV. Many of these children are frequent flyers, making multiple visits every year and requiring care for illnesses such as cystic fibrosis, sickle cell anemia, tumors, leukemia, other types of cancer, and complications due to HIV.
The dues in this club are steep. They include draining of emotional energy, sleeplessness, medical bills, financial hardship due to job loss or a leave of absence from work and excessive weight gain (or loss). Sometimes, you pay the ultimate price: the life of your child.
At CJ’s Thumbs Up Foundation, our primary goal is to help the families who have joined this club. In a way, we help pay their dues. In our first two years, we provided over $30,000 in financial assistance to over 60 families. This year, we are poised to do the same. Unfortunately, membership in the club continues to grow. CJSTUF currently has a waiting list of families requesting financial assistance and we do not expect this demand to wane.
When individuals and businesses like TBL Networks support CJSTUF with their financial contribution, they help families pay their dues to a club they never wanted to join. With your contribution, you help Roger and I pay forward the kindness that we received during our darkest hours in 2009. With your contribution, you can help a family in your own community in their time of need.
If you would like to know more about our organization, visit our website for information on how to get involved. You can also follow us on Twitter and Facebook or hook into our blog for the latest updates.