Beth Mann, the director of a leading women’s philanthropy, tells the following:
“A dear friend told me the story of a mother and her young daughter walking on a beach where hundreds of starfish had washed ashore. The mother remarked how sad it was that they would all perish on the sand. So the little girl began to pick up starfish, one at a time, and toss them back into the ocean. “You know,” the mother said, “you can’t possibly save all of them. What difference do you think it will make?” As the little girl tossed another starfish into the waves she turned to her mother and said “it will make a difference to that one.”
We write this report each and every year for one reason and one reason only. Your acts of kindness in supporting the Lyn Stacie Getz Foundation make an impact and we are very grateful to you. No matter for what reason: whether to honor, to memorialize, to wish someone good health, or just simply to support the work this foundation does, your contributions make a huge difference and you should know exactly where your contributions go.
This year, the Foundation distributed over $41,000.00 to the following organizations. As always, our criteria for worthwhile causes leads us to find needy charities with low overhead and administration costs that benefit children.
The grants for this year are:
1. The Ark Pre-School
The Ark pre-school is a project of the Episcopal Community Services that serves homeless children. This grant will allow The Ark to pay for books, art supplies and other supplies for an entire school year.
2. Flashes of Hope
Flashes of Hope is a national organization that works with hospitals that care for children with cancer and other life threatening illnesses. Professional photographers come to the hospital and take wonderful creative photos of the children without charge. These photographs help children feel better about their changing appearance by celebrating it. For families of terminally ill children, it is especially important to have a portrait that preserves forever the bravery, grace, and dignity of their child. Flashes of Hope provides portrait packages to the families for FREE and never solicits them for donations of any kind. A grant was made to Johns Hopkins Hospital Children’s Oncology Department that will allow Flashes of Hope to fund a year’s worth of portraits. Everything Flashes of Hope does is at no cost to the families and everyone involved in the Baltimore chapter volunteers their time.
3. Chatham County Foster Parent Association
There are approximately 200 children in foster care in Savannah, Georgia and many of them come into their foster homes with absolutely nothing. No clothes, no diapers, no medicine, no pens or pencils, no toothbrushes – no nothing. Our grant to the Foster Parent Clothes Closet helps to provide book bags, school supplies and uniforms so that the foster children can attend school on an equal basis with the other children.
4. Memorial Hospital/Backus Childrens’ Hospital’s Childrens’ Oncology Unit
Children with cancer are a most vulnerable group. Backus Children’s Hospital in Savannah, Georgia is starting, with our grant, a program called “Beads of Courage” that will provide support to the children and their families. Artists from around the world who are members of the International Society of Glass Beadmakers hand make glass beads so that the children who are going through cancer treatment can have a way to “tell their story”. Each time a child comes to the clinic/hospital for any sort of treatment, they will receive a bead that represents that treatment. For example, a child that receives a bone marrow aspiration would receive a beige bead, a child that has the beginnings of hair loss would receive a brown bead, a child that undergoes radiation would receive a glow in the dark bead and so on. Clinically, this type of program has been proven to help the children cope with their treatment. Additionally, this grant will provide fun activities every few months for the children and their families such as a bowling party, a trip to the movies, a visit to the Family Fun Park and a trolley tour that includes treats from the Savannah Candy Kitchen.
5. Jewish Family Services
Given the tough economic climate and the resultant huge increase in requests for emergency financial assistance by families in need for their children’s medical expenses that are not covered by insurance, or other programs, a grant was made to Jewish Family Services to be used exclusively for those children.
6. Big Brother/Big Sister League “Sibling Connection”
A grant was made to “Sibling Connection” that matches adult volunteers with siblings of children who are either critically ill or who are experiencing long term illness. This program provides support and resources for families who have a physically or mentally ill child and a well sibling impacted by the challenges faced due to their brother or sister’s illness. A volunteer is matched with the well child and they spend time enjoying activities together. In homes with very sick children, the overstressed parents oft times do not make time for their well children and thus the well children are the forgotten people. Our grant to this program will provide vouchers for admission to movie theatres, bowling alleys, amusement parks and other fun places and allow the volunteers and the well children to be together so that the cost of these outings are not a factor in what or where they can go and do.
7. Parents and Children Together (PACT)
In the 1980’s a large number of Ethiopian’s were airlifted to Israel where they began a new life in a new land. Their integration into Israeli society has not been an easy one.
Serving the Ethiopian community in Israel, PACT, since 2007, has been working to identify Ethiopian-Israeli children with special needs. Unfortunately, some 70% of adult Ethiopians who are now living in Israel are unable to read or write in Hebrew, making them an underclass in Israeli society. That illiteracy also inhibits them from being involved in their children’s education or even understanding their children’s academic needs. This grant, through the offices of PACT will help address a variety of health needs of these Ethiopian families, from early diagnosis of learning disabilities to adaptive equipment for children with physical disabilities.
8. JCC Childrens’ Autism Program
Autism is a word that did not become commonplace in America until recent years. Over the past ten years there has been a significant rise among children with autism spectrum disorders. One of the biggest challenges is communicating with children who are non-verbal or those with very limited verbal activity. This grant will allow those working with these children to use various methods such as the Picture Exchange Communication System, the Tomatis Method, Sensory Integration and Adaptive Recreational Equipment and Karma Dogs to help the students develop the skills to better communicate their wants and needs.
9. Lyn’s Fund at Sinai Hospital
This grant provides gas cards, taxi vouchers and wigs for the children with cancer being treated at Sinai Hospital. Mary Bohlen, the social worker that has direct responsibility for the children with cancer at Sinai shared the following as examples of the good that is being done by this grant:
“The circumstances of two of our families especially stand out in my mind this year as I think about the tremendous benefits that Lyn’s Fund provides. Both children needed to have amputations as a result of their cancer diagnoses.
The first little boy is 7 years old who had to have his leg amputated above the knee. At the beginning of his treatment, his family did not have a car and there were no family members or friends who could bring him to the hospital for treatment. Had it not been for Lyn’s Fund public transportation would have been their only option and because of his suppressed immune system, that would have been an extremely hazardous environment for this child.
Another patient is a 14 year old boy who had to have his entire leg amputated to remove his cancerous tumor. In addition to the emotional devastation of his diagnosis and treatment options, the family was financially destroyed when first his mother and then his father lost their jobs because of their child’s treatment needs. Providing the means to get their child back and forth from the hospital was a blessing for this family.”
We are pleased with the grants made this year. They match very well with the mandate of helping children. “People don’t necessarily have the best of everything, they just have to make the best of everything”……this quotation applies very well to the people, both children and parents, that are benefiting from the grants made by the Lyn Stacie Getz Foundation A poet once said that “life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.” Let us bless these children for their courage and pray that in some small way we – all of us – together have made their lives a bit better and a bit easier.
Alan and Carollee Getz
Randy and Stacey Getz
Joel A. Getz