Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation Serves Record Number of Families for “Project Turkey”
Every year, Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation (TBCF) kicks off their Season of Hope campaign by requesting various in-kind donations for Project Turkey, Project Christmas and Holiday Drive-Thru parties to spread cheer and needed resources to local families battling pediatric cancer.
“We seek to provide extra support to our families during the holiday season as they are under extreme stress. From trying to keep up with their child’s doctor and chemotherapy appointments, medical and household bills, to having enough gas to get to and from their appointments, they are often exhausted and planning celebrations for the holidays as well as the expenses included in holiday shopping can be extremely overwhelming. TBCF, along with our generous volunteers and donors, works together to deliver a holiday season many of our families would otherwise not have this year,” says Tessa Boyce, Community Outreach Manager and cancer survivor.
TBCF had a goal to deliver meals to at least 50 families this year. Many of TBCF’s families are food insecure due to lack of time and resources while caring for a sick child to adequately nourish themselves. Thanksgiving is a time when the community can join TBCF in providing a quality, culturally appropriate meal to our local families while also giving them the time to bond and connect over this holiday.
Thanks to the support of Sprouts grocery store on Milpas St., Appfolio, Boys Team Charity and donors like Mark & Amy Frank, as well Susie Perry and Summer Coale, TBCF has doubled their goal and delivered 100 baskets or bags of food for Thanksgiving meals to families battling pediatric cancer in the tri-counties.
“For families struggling with economic hardship due to a cancer diagnosis, or worse still, stuck in the hospital for treatment, this joyful time of year can sometimes become a nightmare. A little help from Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation to ease that burden allows parents to enjoy the spirit of the season and focus on making happy memories with their family”, says Steve Watson, Family Care Associate and Teddy Bear Parent.
Additionally, TBCF and hospital social workers worked closely with families in need to identify foods that are appropriate for their cultural traditions during the Thanksgiving holiday. This way, TBCF felt certain that they were delivering items that would not go to waste, and would honor a family’s cultural background.
A special thanks also goes to volunteers Susie Perry and Summer Coale, along with Ventura County firefighters and friends, for making many of the deliveries in Ventura County. Additionally, TBCF volunteer and sibling of a past TBCF recipient, Gerardo Banuelos, devoted two full days to make these special deliveries to families in Santa Maria, Lompoc and Santa Barbara.
The holidays have also encouraged a number of local businesses in the tri-counties to support TBCF’s Season of Hope campaign. Special thanks to the Carpinteria Holiday Stroll, Sensorio of Paso Robles, Melville Winery and Belmond El Encanto for hosting events and sales to benefit TBCF’s holiday efforts. There are still a number of holiday events benefitting TBCF (listed below) that the community can join in!
- Fall In Love with Veuve Clicquot at Belmond El Encanto- Friday, 11/26/21 from 3PM-7PM; this event is FREE for the community and a portion of sales will be donated to TBCF.
- Hannukah Celebration at Belmond El Encanto- Sunday, 11/28/21 from 5PM-6:30PM; this event is FREE for the community and a portion of sales will be donated to TBCF.
- Tree Lighting Festival at Belmond El Encanto- Thursday, 12/2/21 from 5PM-7:00PM; this event is FREE for the community and a portion of sales will be donated to TBCF.
- Bash Cancer Fest at Red Barn, Los Osos- Sunday, 12/12/21 from 11AM-5PM; $7 entry for adults, kids are free. All proceeds benefit Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation. For more information, visit bashcancerfest.com.
- Butterfly Tea at Belmond El Encanto- Sunday, 12/19-Tuesday, 12/21 from 1PM-3PM; please make your reservation with email@example.com. All proceeds benefit TBCF.
For questions about holiday beneficiary events, and how you or your organization can get involved to support families battling pediatric cancer this holiday season, contact Brittany Avila Wazny, TBCF Sr. Development Director at 805.563-4723 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
TBCF advocates for families living in Santa Barbara, Ventura and San Luis Obispo counties that have a child with cancer by providing financial, educational, and emotional support. For more information and to donate, please visit: https://bit.ly/31I8Gkm