Our Birthday Campaign
We're celebrating 12 years!
Twelve years ago, I started The Kelly Weinberg Foundation, in memory of my late husband Kelly, with hopes of giving back the support I had received, to the cancer community. Kelly lost his battle (or however you choose to word it... we all have different views and wordage preferences) on December 20, 2007. I choose the word "battle" because he fought so unbelievably hard to stay here with us. He was young and had so much to live for. He had a new wife and a daughter. He never used the word "step" when referring to my Sam. My Sam became his Sam, too.
Kelly was only 34 years old when he died. We had only been married 30 months. We received the news that his cancer had returned two months before our second wedding anniversary and only three days after losing his Mother to cancer. There really are no words to describe the shock and the heart-break. Everyone who was blessed to have known him also felt the heart break. Kelly touched so many lives in his short time here on earth. As one of his MP's said "he bumped into awesome" when he met Kelly. When I started this organization, there was no doubt that it should be named after him, and so The Kelly Weinberg Foundation was born.
This organization has been part of my grieving and healing process. Our support group members have become my family. It hasn't always been an easy road filled with warm fuzzies; we have lost some of our dearest group members -- our chosen family, to cancer along the way. Every single one of them, including our survivors have touched my heart. I'm a better human for having known them. We learn from each other. Our lives our enriched. So to those who poo-poo support groups, or think that they are for the weak, I have some words of wisdom: allowing yourself to be vulnerable and authentic while seeking support is one of the best ways to give support as well. It takes strength and courage. Support group goers are some of the most brave people that I know. Those who choose to go it alone are missing out on one of the best gifts... love.
This year has brought some challenges in offering support. Human connection, especially when facing an illness, is so important. Having support group members who are in a high risk category, has definitely forced us to get more creative. But we've done it! Since the start of the pandemic we have been offering weekly virtual support groups to those touched by cancer, including those grieving the loss of a loved one. We have had virtual pizza parties with Grub Hub gift cards, virtual healing arts, care package drop-offs, one social distance dinner and a Fall Photo Session. Our support has not stopped. If anything, we have become more busy. This year and all of its challenges has not only forced us to change up how we support our cancer community, it has caused us to be still, reflect, discuss tough issues and realize that we could be helping more people with our 501(c)3.
The Kelly Weinberg Foundation has broadened our mission, so that we may help more people and communities. We will continue to provide the same support that we have offered all of these years to the cancer community. With our new mission and as we grow, we are hopeful that we may provide even more resources to our cancer groups, along with many other groups in need. I'm excited to announce that one of our amazing cancer survivors will be partnering with The Kelly Weinberg Foundation. Our group member is the founder of a new and worthy cause, and we are so happy and honored to have her non-profit join us. We will be sharing more and kicking off Karon's charity throughout our campaign and leading into the new year.
One more thing that you should know as you decide to support our cause... we have ZERO paid employees. For twelve years, our sustainability has come from our volunteers. Love has sustained us. We have no large corporate donors. No grants (yet...hopefully soon). No big sponsors. We do have those of you who have fundraised in the past and/or continue to give each year, and for that we are beyond grateful. Your support has made it possible for us to provide more for our group members. Our group facilitators have been showing up for years, for free, to run our groups. They have visited hospitals, accompanied group members to chemo, drove them to appointments, made calls, held hands, baked cakes and attended funerals. Your contributions go directly to our charity and helps us provide more for our communities. Our Walsingham Student-led Dodgeball Tournament fundraiser, that has taken place for the past five years, unfortunately could not happen this Fall due to covid. This is our first fundraiser for 2020. Your donation is truly a gift. You are truly helping people. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts.