As we launch our annual 250k challenge I wanted to take a moment and reflect on both the challenges and triumphs of the last year. As you can imagine the COVID pandemic presented the Dear Jack staff and those we serve in the adolescent and young adult cancer community with hardships we could never have imagined. Health and travel restrictions required us to put our 2020 Breathe Now retreats on hold along with many vacation-related wishes from our LifeList participants. Along with these logistical challenges, we faced serious concerns regarding our ability to fundraise in a time of economic volatility. Through all of this, I have been moved by the dedication and resourcefulness of our Dear Jack staff, the families we serve, and you – the donors, who stepped up to help us weather what was a nearly catastrophic storm for many nonprofits. I am proud to say that we were able to keep the lights on, to keep our staff fully employed, and to continue fulfilling our mission throughout the pandemic. Forced to pivot, we found ways to take our message online, creating a comprehensive Breathe Now series for the AYA community, expanding our Letters with Love campaign, and live streaming the most successful Dear Jack Benefit concert to date.
As I look forward to the months ahead, I feel it is important to consider the additional hardships that patients and survivors have endured throughout the pandemic. Many in our community are immunocompromised and what would have been a dangerous world for them before COVID is even more isolating today. Doctors and nurses have faced unprecedented challenges and necessary health protocols have left many patients traveling the road of disease and recovery with fewer people at their bedside. As our programs return to full capacity, those we serve will have new and unforeseen difficulties attached to the trauma of being diagnosed and treated with COVID in the background. It is our mission at Dear Jack to interface with those on the frontlines of AYA cancer and work with them to adapt and ease the ever-changing burdens of our community.
Looking back on this year, I am reminded that there is beauty to be found in times of struggle and that a strong community coming together can achieve great things. It is my hope that you will join us in our mission and start your team today as a part of the Raise Your Voice 250k Challenge. Year after year, it is these months and this community-based fundraising drive that has had the greatest impact on our ability to bring hope and relief to the families we serve at Dear Jack. While there is still so much uncertainty we face, there is one thing I know for sure, young people facing cancer need us more than ever. With your help, I believe Dear Jack is well positioned to be the beacon of hope for so many in need.
Leukemia Survivor and Founder of the Dear Jack Foundation
Raise Your Voice 250K Challenge Happening Now
Our annual giving challenge has grown out of an identified need to further close the gap in resources made available to adolescent and young adult cancer patients and survivors.
Together, we have raised over $1,300,000 over past challenges!
Help us achieve our annual challenge goal of raising $250,000 by 11/14/21.