As Tevya and Golda sang so eloquently in the song “Sunrise, Sunset” from Fiddler on the Roof,
Is this the little girl I carried?
Is this the little boy at play?
I don’t remember growing older,
When did they?
When did she get to be a beauty?
When did he grow to be so tall?
Wasn’t it yesterday…
When they were small?
With the words of that song in our minds as we reach the 13th year if the establishment of the LSG Foundation, we realize that it is now time for the 3rd generation of Lyn’s family to get involved and learn the meaning of reaching out to the greater community with help for those children who cannot help themselves.
Sophie and Eli are now 10 years old and soon to be eleven. They know the mission of the LSG Foundation (every year all the Getz kids have sent their piggy bank money to the Getz Foundation) and have researched on their own – with some help from their parents and grandparents – various areas where help is needed. They have been allotted a modest amount of money that they can recommend be designated for a specific charity. They had to present their suggestions to the Board, and as you can see from the list of grantees this year, they have suggested and chosen well. They will be followed in a couple of years by their sister, Hannah, and then by their brother, Noah.
And so we welcome the advice of Sophie and Eli and look forward to working together with them, their siblings, their parents, their uncle, and the trustees as the shepherds of the funds that you have so generously entrusted to us. We thank you for joining with us as we seek to continue our work of helping children.
We send a copy of the Lyn Stacie Getz Foundation report every year to our donors so you can see the wonderful causes that you help, and we want you to know that 100% of the monies you have donated go directly to the care and benefit of the children. This year, as in the past, our focus has been on children with cancer, children with autism, and children with special needs. Additionally, we have included organizations that feed and care for children, and those that educate and provide summer camping experiences for the less fortunate and special needs children.
This year, the foundation made grants totaling over $41,500 to the following programs:
Park Place Outreach
Park Place outreach is Savannah Georgia’s only emergency shelter for runaway, homeless, and at-risk youth. Established in 1984, the shelter admits 150 to 200 youths each year, ranging in age from 11 to 17. It is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and provides nutritious meals, personal care items, clothing, and counseling services to the youths, at no cost to them.
Lyn’s Fund at Sinai Hospital
Lyn’s fund at Sinai Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland provides gas cards, taxi vouchers, and wigs for children with cancer. As we have pointed out in prior years, these children and their families have to deal with life and death issues every day. Enabling the children to be able to take a cab — or furnishing gas cards for parents who cannot afford to drive them – to their chemotherapy sessions, doctor’s appointments, and radiation sessions, rather than depending on public transportation in indeed a good deed magnified. Renewing this grant and helping these children and their parents is a blessing.
JCC Kids Center Inclusion
While the JCC in Baltimore has an after-school childcare program for children in elementary school that provides transportation from their schools and recreation and for homework assistance, there has not been a similar program for children with special needs. This is the second year of a pilot program that was developed to address this need. This inclusion program for children with developmental and or physical disabilities, and those on the autism spectrum, allows special needs children to be integrated — with the help of an inclusion counselor — into his or her appropriate age group.
Villa Maria School in Harford County, Maryland
A grant has been made to Villa Maria School (VMS), a division of Catholic Charities’ children and family services to be used towards the purchase of SmartBoard technology. This grant will allow the school’s special needs children to better interact with the curriculum and improve their ability to learn. Villa Maria provides outpatient counseling, respite care, in-home intervention, and early screening for at-risk youth. Students range in age from 5-15 years. To access services at VMS, each student must have been placed in numerous settings prior to entering VMS. For these students, VMS is their last option.
Flashes of Hope
Flashes of Hope is a nonprofit organization dedicated to taking beautiful photographs of children facing cancer and other life-threatening illnesses. The photographs, taken by award-winning photographers who donate their time, do more than capture a moment in time; the children feel better about their changing appearance by celebrating it. Additionally, Flashes of Hope gives each family a treasure that captures forever the grace, beauty, and dignity of their child. The grant from the LSG Foundation was used to photograph close to 100 children at Camp Sunrise who are currently in treatment for cancer or who are cancer survivors.
JCC Sunday Funday
A year-round program for children and teens with special needs, including those on the autism spectrum, Sunday Fundays provide an afternoon of social activities, including games, arts and crafts, athletics, and swimming. Sunday Fundays help participants develop appropriate social skills and friendships, while enhancing coordination and increasing self-esteem. This program also provides a much-needed respite for the families of the participants, allowing them to spend time with other family members.
Toys for Children
Sophie Getz chose to allocate the money allotted to her to the Jewish Community Services’ Toy Closet. The Toy Closet acts as a distribution center for new toys and games given to children whose families are in crisis. As Sophie said when we suggested the Toy Closet, “when parents are in trouble by not having a job, or if their house catches on fire, that is really when children need toys and games. It takes their mind off their trouble. The toys mean a lot to the kids. It makes children happier that someone thought about them.”
Sports Equipment for Children with Special Needs
Eli Getz chose to allocate the money allotted to him to the purchase of recreational toys and specialized therapeutic toys to the Sunday Funday program that provides recreational and social activities for children with a wide range of disabilities. Eli said, “I chose this program because I love sports and I realize how important sports are for all children. All children should get a chance to learn and play a sport.”
JCC Keep Living and Learning (KLAL)
Once again a grant has been made to KLAL, a program for older teens and young adults with disabilities. This program provides 16 to 24 year old “campers” with age-appropriate camp activities such as swimming, art, nature, music, and games. Along with recreation, Camp KLAL provides structure opportunities for participants to develop and practice essential social and life skills.
For the second year in a row, a grant was made to Orr Shalom, a home in Ashkelon, Israel that serves children ages 6 to 18 who have been removed from their biological families following severe physical, sexual, and emotional abuse and/or neglect. Along with providing trauma therapy, and psychological and educational support, this home provides these children the opportunity to take part in after-school activities and summer enrichment programs.
Local Outreach Volunteer Educators (L.O.V.E)
L.O.V.E is an organization made up of volunteers from The Landings community in Savannah, Georgia that helps disadvantaged children on a one-to-one basis in math and reading. Many of these children had spent time alone during the summers with little, if anything, to do. L.O.V.E services the poorest of the poor. There are no parks in the area where the children live, there are no community swimming pools, and the streets are not safe. The L.O.V.E organization started sending some of these children to summer camp and year after year the program has expanded. Last year, with our help, they sent 34 students to camp. This year, again with our help, they were able to send 43 students.
Backus Children’s Hospital (Memorial Hospital)
Our commitment to the children’s cancer unit at Memorial Hospital continues. The children had some wonderful excursions this past year – a boat ride on a pirate ship and evening at Chuck E. Cheese are just a sampling of the kind of activities that these children and their families look forward to each year. When the staff at the hospital tells us and shows us how happy the children are, well, that just makes our day!
JCC Bogrim and Camp Milldale Inclusion Programs
Once again this year, we are continuing our commitment to these two programs that place children ages 5 to 15 who have mild to severe development and physical disabilities into appropriate bunks and/or camp experiences. Giving children with a variety of learning, development, social, emotional, and physical disabilities, these summer programs allows them to swim, play games, and learn, under the watchful eyes of the inclusion counselors. It’s a true blessing for the children.
JCS Social Skills Group for Children with Autism
Difficulty with social skills is one of the most challenging issues for children with diagnoses along the Autism spectrum. Social skills groups have been found to be an incredibly important means to help these children improve their interactions with peers, teachers, family members, and others. Our grant allows the JCS to facilitate 2-3 groups over the course of the year, serving 12 to 18 children. Parent groups run concurrently with the children’s groups to give parents the skills and tools needed to reinforce what their children are learning.
The Lyn Stacie Getz Foundation was formed 13 years ago and, this year, 14 grants were made to organizations that carry out Lyn’s dream of helping children. It is said, “There are times in everyone’s life when something constructive is born out of adversity – when things seem so bad that you’ve got to grab your fate by the shoulder and shake it.” With Lyn’s foundation, and in memory of Lyn, we have tried to do just that. We thank you for helping us.
As we anticipate the new year 2013, and celebrate the year 5773, we wish each and everyone of you a year of good health – all else will follow.
To leave the world a bit better – to know that one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Alan and Carollee Getz
Randy and Stacey Getz