2010 has been a year of uncertainties. The market is up, the market is down, jobs are evaporating, business is not good, homes are not selling, or selling at a very slow rate. The future is uncertain with regards to health care and tax rates, and still and even more so than before, the needs of the children we care about and want to help are rising.
The statistics we have seen for this year are staggering and depressing:
1. 750,000 more households are without safe and nutritious food since 2007
2. 500,000 children are homeless
3. There are 20 million children where parents have no secure job
4. One in five children in the United States are living below the poverty line
The decisions of how to use the available monies that many so generously have given over this past year has not been an easy one for the trustees. King Solomons we are not, but rest assured that we have tried to do our best to meet the requested needs knowing that even given the conditions of the economy, 2010 is another year and another chance to put the aims of the Lyn Stacie Getz Foundation to work.
With the words of Mother Teresa as our guideline — ”in this life we cannot always do great things, but we can do small things with great love” — we are encouraged to increase our resolve to help.
The LSG Foundation, with the help of the donations you have made, is pleased to let you know of the grants made this year. Always mindful of our goal to seek out programs that have little or no administrative costs, some of the organizations receiving grants this year are new and some are ones that we have supported over the years. We have always felt that is was important for people who have given money to this Foundation in honor of someone, in memory of someone, to wish someone good health, or simply to support the ideals and mission of the Foundation to know just exactly where the Foundation funds were granted.
The grants this year are:
1. Flashes of Hope
Once again 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 will help Flashes of Hope to photograph children next 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 the program 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.
Camp Milldale Program
Since 1997, the JCC of Baltimore has provided a non-sectarian special needs summer program at Camp Milldale for children age 5-12. 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 provides allows the JCC to continue their service to this community without cutting any programming or staff.
Keep Living and Learning
Klal is a new program for teens and young adults ages 16-24 with learning, developmental, social, emotional and physical disabilities. Camp activities, social and life skills and good deeds projects are part of the programming for this forgotten age group of the developmentally-challenged population. Although parents pay for their children to be a part of this program, the LSG Foundation grant enables the program to become a year-round one rather than just during the summer.
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, miniature golfing, and other activities so that „Bigs‟ and „Littles‟ can have their own special one-on-one outings that could not occur without our help.
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. 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. L.O.V.E (Local Outreach Volunteer Educators)
L.O.V.E. is an organization made up of volunteers from the Landings Community in Savannah, Georgia that helps students on a one-to-one basis in the areas of math and reading at elementary schools in the city of Savannah. Totally a volunteer organization, these tutors work one to one with a particular student during the school year under the guidance of the homeroom teacher and the principal. It was found that many of these students spent time alone in their homes during the summer with nothing to do, and thus, the idea of sending some of these students to camp in the summer was developed. The camp is run by the local YMCA and the children thrived there. Our grant will allow additional students to participate and have the opportunity to be outside under guidance in a “camp” atmosphere.
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 clothing for the children without cost.
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. Backpack Buddies
Many children come to school hungry and it has become the practice in many local schools to make sure that breakfasts and lunches are provided for them there. Their parents, for one reason or another, simply are not capable and thus, the children suffer. The question remained….what do the children eat during the weekends? Who provides for them and how to insure that healthy nutritional food is available to them at home during each and every weekend. Ronald and Samra Robbins and Paul and Judy Todtfeld had the answer. They initiated the Backpack Buddies program at Congregation AA. Backpack Buddies is a national program that matches a group of people – could be a church or a synagogue – with a local school and volunteers from that institution in conjunction with a food bank pack good nutritional food into back packs which the children take home for use over the weekend. Totally volunteer driven with one hundred percent of the funding raised going to feed the children, this program is a winner. The LSG Foundation made two grants to them over this past year: the first grant was used as seed money to start the program and the second grant helped to increase the base from one school to two.
11. Lyn’s Fund at Sinai Hospital
Lyn‟s Fund at Sinai Hospital is still going strong and continues to provide transportation, cab vouchers, gas cards, wigs and other needs to the children receiving chemotherapy and radiation whose parents simply cannot afford to do so themselves. The stories that Mary Bohlen, the social worker, at Sinai writes to us are heartbreaking. Renewing this grant and helping these children and their parents is truly a blessing for these families.
Two of our most interesting past presidents, Harry Truman and Teddy Roosevelt, both wordsmiths who were not afraid to say what they wanted to –- and whenever they wanted to — have captured the essence of the Lyn Stacie Getz Foundation and the aims that it hopes to achieve:
Harry Truman said, ”Isn’t it amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit?”
And best of all it was Teddy Roosevelt who said, ”Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”
You, our donors, deserve the credit and as one can see from the grants given, we have met the needs of children who cannot help themselves. The Lyn Stacie Getz Foundation gives what it can, from what we have, and where we are, with credit given to all of our donors and to the children it serves!
We thank you and hope that 2011 is a year of good health and good happenings for you and your families.
Alan and Carollee Getz
Randy and Stacey Getz