When we set out to start CJSTUF, it was with the hope that we could capture some of the amazing energy that enveloped us during our time of need. Roger and I knew what it felt like to be stuck in a hospital for days (or weeks) on end. We knew about the financial stresses that grew out of chronic illness. We knew what it was like to rely on medical experts and advice for the health and well-being of your child. At a time like that, everyone could use a helping hand.
Over the past three years, the community has responded with kindness and generosity beyond our wildest dreams. We continue to support families in need through a quarterly distribution of financial assistance grants. This past week, we sent seven more $500 grants to families in the greater Richmond community.
We know these grants are needed and welcomed. Just before sending out the latest batch, I received a letter in the mail from a recipient of our first quarter grant distribution:
“The financial blessing I received was truly heaven sent. I was down to my last and I had just called my sister, telling her I didn’t know how I was going to make it and I know the Lord heard my prayer! I have been unemployed since June 2011 and my mother’s cancer came back and I have been trying to run two households. Every day I have been going back and forth to Richmond [a 90 minute drive]. Thanks again and may God bless you and your organization for helping someone such as me and my family. My son is doing well and we have not had any problems with the new heart.” –TB
Did you catch that? A new heart! This little 9-year old boy recently received a heart transplant and is also waiting for new kidneys as he fights end-stage renal disease. So much for one family to take in!
As our support has grown, we have gone from a waiting list of over a dozen families in 2011 to meeting the need in our Greater Richmond area as we serve families who receive care at any Children’s Hospital of Richmond location.
Are we going to stop there? No way!
I am excited to report that CJSTUF is getting ready to spread its wings and explore new territories! Before the end of the year, we hope to announce a new opportunity to reach out to families in a new geographic area of Virginia. We can’t say more until we have official information but this is what we know for sure: we can’t do this alone. We are meeting the need in the greater Richmond community thanks to your generosity.