“There are no handbooks for facing tragedy, There are not schools for learning to live with loss. But, with every sadness there is a chance for hope, and with every challenge there is an opportunity.”
This year on November 15, 2009, we marked the tenth anniversary of the death of our beloved daughter and sister, Lyn. As we think back over these past ten years and to the tragic event of her loss, we lament the fact that Lyn is no longer with us. We miss her smile, the way she could tell amazingly funny stories about life in New York City and the comedians she worked with, and the daily updates of what was or was not “happening.” Sadly, Lyn is no more…..a simple statement that is full of emotion and angst for us. This Foundation and the many other projects in her name that we are involved in, helps us to know that even though Lyn is not with us, her ideals of charity and justice for the children and people she championed, live on.
Yet and still, we marvel at the good that this Foundation does, the untold number of children that are helped and the comfort that this assistance brings to families. Simply said – all of which could not and would not be done without Lyn’s ideals and your generous assistance!
If you are receiving this report, it means that sometime over these past ten years, you have been a donor to this Foundation. You have helped us and quite frankly to say “thank you” doesn’t quite indicate how grateful we are for your help and participation. Just know this….as Leonard Nimoy said, “the miracle is this – the more we share, the more we have…..one’s thoughts become one’s dreams, one’s actions become one’s reality and one’s vision can change the world.”
As in years past, this yearly report lists the grants made for the coming year. We feel that it is important for you to know just how the monies that you have so generously given have been dispersed.
The grants this year are:
1. Flashes of Hope
A grant was made to Flashes of Hope for a photo shoot at Camp Sunrise. Camp Sunrise is a residential camp for children ages 6-18 that provides “a week of companionship, caring and just plain fun for children living with cancer.” This grant helped Flashes of Hope to photograph ninety one children this past summer giving them beautiful reminders of their summer and new friends. Most of the counselors are cancer survivors and are able to give hope to these children.
2. Memorial Hospital – The Backus Children’s’ Cancer Center
A grant was made to the Backus Children’s Hospital to continue the “Let’s Have Some Fun” program for the children and their families in the cancer unit. This program is set up to provide “fun” for the children suffering from cancer with trips to the bowling alley, a fun park visit , a movie excursion, and a visit and treat at the Candy Kitchen among others. Additionally, this grant will allow the hospital to continue its “Beads of Courage” program that honors the challenging journey that each and every child receiving treatment must face and go through. The smiles that these programs bring cannot be measured and is a fantastic way to lift the children’s spirits.
3. Jewish Community Center of Baltimore
Grants were made to the JCC for the year round social and recreational programs for children and teens with special needs.
Funding for the Karma Dog program, sensory integration and adaptive recreational equipment, and Picture Exchange Communication Systems (PECS) will help children on the autism spectrum improve their communication, fine and gross motor skills, social skills and sensory integration.
Cap Milldale Program
Since 1997, the JCC of Baltimore has provided a non-sectarian special needs summer program at Camp Milldale. Divided into two parts, one for children age 5-12, the other for teens 13-21, this program places the campers with mild to severe developmental and physical disabilities into “bunks” with their non-disabled peers. Using a 1:1 special need camper to counselor model, this program is a godsend to the children involved and their parents.
Because of the economic times and the added cost that comes with special programming for children with both autism and other developmental challenges, the funding that the LSG Foundation provided allowed the JCC to continue their service to this community without cutting any programming or staff.
4. Sibling Connections
Sibling Connections matches adult volunteers with children who have siblings or parents who are either critically ill or are experiencing long-term illnesses. This grant underwrites admissions to the National Aquarium, movie theatres, bowling alleys, ice skating rinks, and other activities so that ‘Bigs’ and ‘Littles’ can have their own special one to one outings without regard for the cost involved.
5. JCS Community Services
A grant was made to community services to be used specifically and exclusively to support medical costs and food assistance designated for families with children. As a result of the current economic crisis, the need for financial assistance is greater than ever. Many of the families are non insured or under insured and are coming to family services for help in paying their medical bills for their children’s medical conditions. Job losses, in danger of losing their homes and dealing with sick children have overwhelmed these families and community services is helping to provide a ‘safety net’.
6. Franklin Square Hospital
A grant was made to the Franklin Square Hospital for the purchase of peak flow meters and spacers for under/uninsured pediatric asthma patients at Franklin Square Hospital. These flow meters and spacers for the children with asthma will help to enable them to follow an asthma management plan and gain self management skills so that they can live a more normal life. Many of these pediatric asthma patients have little access to personal physicians and depend upon the hospital for their care. With the use of these flow meters and spacers the children are taught how to manage their illness in times of distress.
7. The Chatham County Foster Parents Association
Once again a grant was made to help the children in foster care in the city of Savannah, Georgia. With over 200 children presently in foster care, there is a huge need for clothing and other items for the children. These children come to foster homes without any resources. This grant will help to fill the “Clothes Closet” so that the foster parents can come and shop for free.
8. PACT Israel
PACT (Parents and Children Together) is a national initiative that is narrowing the educational gap between Ethiopian-Israeli children and their Israeli born peers. Reaching 558 Ethiopian-Israeli children from birth to six years of age, along with their families, each PACT program is designed to promote early childhood education, increase literacy and strengthen parent/child bonds. The integration of the Ethiopian community into the greater Israeli society has not been an easy one and programs like PACT have helped to make that situation a better one.
9. Children in the Ukraine – Partnership for Children
Partnership for Children came about in response to the plight of children in the Ukraine. Malnourished pensioners were siphoning items from their food packages or hot meals to feed their hungry grandchildren. Children’s needs are particularly intense in the Ukraine, where the runaway inflation that grips the country has kept parents from meeting their children’s fundamental needs. The Partnership for Children utilizes a multi pronged approach that encompasses delivery of basic material assistance, food and clothing, removal of hazards in the child’s living
environment, and early childhood intervention and programs for children with special needs. As it has been said: “to allow children to starve to death when there’s food to go around is simply inexcusable. Nobody knows about them, but they are human beings. They are God’s children.”
10. Lyn’s Fund at Sinai Hospital
Lyn’s Fund at Sinai Hospital is still going strong and continuing to provide transportation and other needs to the children receiving chemotherapy and radiation whose parents simply cannot afford to do so themselves.
People often ask us…”just exactly what is the aim of the Lyn Stacie Getz Foundation”? Both the writer Edith Wharton and the Prophet Micah answered that question perfectly: Edith Wharton wrote “there are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle, or to be the mirror that reflects it,” and the Prophet Micah said, “God has told you oh man what is good and what does God require of you: only to do justice and to love goodness and to walk modestly with your God.”
Simply put, to be able to help children who cannot help themselves, to create some joy where there is only despair, to give when the people you are giving to do not know you and you do not know them, and to give when there is absolutely no chance of receiving anything in return are the aims of this Foundation. We think that collectively we have achieved those goals and more over these past ten years. Thank you for joining with us.
Alan and Carollee Getz
Randy and Stacey Getz