This year, with your help, we have been privileged to support grants to fifteen different organizations. They range in area from Baltimore to Savannah, and from Israel to the Ukraine.
The Lyn Stacie Getz Foundation is now in its 16th year. We write this letter each fall to briefly summarize the status of the charitable work done by the Foundation. Please know that your generosity has made it possible to support countless children through the years. With your help over these sixteen years, over five hundred thousand dollars has been donated by the Foundation directly to help disadvantaged, medically frail, and underprivileged children. We plan to continue to “do good” for many years to come.
Many things have changed in the world since we began this Foundation and now, there is a small change in the Foundation itself. Alan has stepped down as the Vice-President. Have no fear though, Alan and Carollee remain the brains and brawn behind the organization. They are the largest contributors and the hardest workers on its behalf and all will remain the same. Part of the reason for Alan’s transition is to ensure that Lyn’s Foundation will continue into the future with the help of next generations. Randy Getz has assumed the position of Vice President and will be chairing the annual meetings.
Thank you again for supporting the Lyn Stacie Getz Foundation. We strive to insure that every penny that is donated is spent on direct services to children. We thank our co-trustees Michael Friedman, Johnny Lewis, and Jim Glick, as well as The Associated and especially Amy S. Blow. Thanks also to our friend and advisor, Carolyn Zalesne. She is a miracle worker who makes all things happen. (Take a look at our new web site that Carolyn did; it’s a winner: http://www.lyngetzfoundation.org).
Most of all, we thank YOU for your generosity, willingness, and care in helping to make the children we all help, better.
Each year we highlight one of the programs that the Foundation supports. This year we asked L.O.V.E. to update you on their camp and tutoring programs:
L.O.V.E. is a mentoring program and camp program for disadvantaged children in the Savannah, Georgia area. This group of dedicated people has managed to not only provide tutors and mentors for elementary students who live in the area, but also to provide summer camping experiences. Knowing that not all students are lucky enough to be able to attend summer camp, in fact, some of Savannah’s neediest school children have never even seen an ocean. Many never leave their homes during the long hot summer months. Two members of L.O.V.E. realized the lack of summer activities for these children and the summer camping program was born, allowing 67 children to attend camp this year.
Bravo to Bill Monroe and Jim Higbee and L.O.V.E. for this much-needed initiative.
This year the Lyn Stacie Getz Foundation made gifts totaling $62,000 to the following 15 organizations:
Chana –Therapy Groups for Adolescent Girls and Young Women
Every year, 4 million children are abused in the U.S.; more than half of whom are girls. This trauma leads to a variety of mental health disorders that result in eating disorders, self injury, and even suicide. Early intervention is an effective tool that can mitigate the harmful effects of early abuse and decrease vulnerability. Meeting together in groups with dedicated leaders the girls will have a supportive environment where the participants can share their experiences and learn of strategies for overcoming challenges.
Back Pack Buddies
Into their 6th year of helping to feed school children – averaging 110-125 meals every week as well as providing Thanksgiving dinners and purchasing 515 new books – all for the children, the Agudat Achim Synagogue and Ron Robbins in Savannah, Georgia do a yeoman’s job helping to see that the children are nourished not only by the food they receive but by the books that they read.
Flashes of Hope
Looking photos of our children always makes us smile …. taking and looking at photos of children with cancer is even more of a blessing. Flashes of Hope arranges for photo shots at Maryland hospitals and camps that have units for children with cancer. The photos are taken by professional photographers who volunteer their time. Each family receives, at no cost to them, a beautifully mounted 8×12 portrait as well as numerous 4×6 printed photos. So far in 2015, 32 families have been photographed.
Local Outreach Volunteer Educators (L.O.V.E.)
As mentioned above in our featured report, 67 children of various ages, in total, were able to attend summer camp in Savannah, Georgia because of the generosity of various people and organizations. The Lyn Stacie Getz Foundation was responsible for 16 of those students being able to enjoy the camping experience.
Children’s Hospital at Memorial University Medical Center
Thanks to support from the LSG Foundation, the Children’s Hospital at Memorial Hospital has provided community outings and events for pediatric oncology patients and their families in Savannah since 2007. The program consistently receives overwhelmingly positive feedback from grateful children and family members. The much-anticipated events enjoy full participation by children receiving cancer treatment and their families.
Park Place Outreach
Park Place Outreach is a youth emergency shelter that is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year and offers temporary shelter and related services to runaway, homeless, abandoned and neglected youth, ages 11 thru 17 in Savannah, Georgia. Serving approximately 125-150 youth each year, no child is turned away. Additionally 2,600 youths are reached thru outreach services designed to prevent incidents of running away and homelessness.
Lyn’s Fund at Sinai Hospital
Mary Bolen, the social worker for the pediatric hematology oncology department at Sinai Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland said it best:
“It is hard to put into words the gratitude that is felt by the families we serve because of your generous and continued support of the Lyn Stacie Getz Fund. This year there was one family that exemplified the impact in ways that I had never experienced before. A two-year-old patient, admitted and diagnosed with leukemia, with a young father that had just gained custody of his child needed help desperately. The family had recently lost their housing and were staying with relatives – moving from one relative to another every couple of weeks, they needed to take two buses to get to the hospital for treatment and then two buses on to various relatives that would take them in. Lyn’s Fund came to the rescue allowing the father to take cabs to and fro as well as helping to alleviate the anxiety of the father.”
JVC “Keeping Kids Safe in the Summer”
JVC is supporting the efforts of Baltimore non-profits and the Baltimore City Department of Recreation to provide safe and supervised environments that will enhance learning through the summer and keep the children engaged and motivated. Our grant to this program will help to underwrite program supplies and materials for the children.
JCC Year-Round Programming for Youth with Special Needs
The JCC’s Special Needs programs provide year-round opportunities for special needs children, teens, and young adults to interact with their peers, enhance their self-esteem, and improve their social skills. This program, one we have supported for many years, currently services 130 youth and ensures that everyone has the opportunity to participate fully in each activity, regardless of physical or developmental limitations.
Learning to read can be problematic for some pre-school and kindergarten children. Identifying and helping these students as they begin to learn to read, far better prepares them for elementary school and beyond. Shemesh provides the reading specialists that work directly with the students.
Dream Girls Mentoring
Dream Girls Mentoring is a non-profit organization in Baltimore City dedicated to uplifting, empowering, and educating teenage mothers. In addition, this organization runs an 8-week, all-day, summer camp program for 40-50 boys and girls ages 5-12. This fun and safe environment — which includes breakfast and lunch each day — is truly a blessing for children who live in the very dangerous and needy west Baltimore area.
JCC Camp Klal Vocational Activities
Suggested by the newest member of the LSG Foundation, Hannah Getz, Camp Klal (Keep Living and Learning) is a camp for young adults with disabilities that focuses on vocational and life skills and activities. The grant will help to underwrite the purchase of food and supplies for the camper-run café that helps participants learn about nutrition, menu planning, food preparation, and interacting with the public.
ASHKELON – Operation Protective Edge Recovery
As we know from the media, the city of Ashkelon in Israel, located just 8 miles north of the of the Gaza border, has been under frequent attacks. Last year, when the thousands of pre-school children were under constant pressure due to the attacks, they were introduced to Hibuki (a play on the Hebrew word for “hug”), a stuffed puppy dog with Velcro strips at the end of its long arms so it can ‘hug’ a child and be hugged back. Once children agreed to take on the role of ‘caregiver’ to their own Hibuki, they were counseled on how to look after the puppy, thus indirectly helping them cope with their own fears and anxieties. This simple toy helps to alleviate, or even reverse, the effects of stressful situations, especially the war experience.
Orr Shalom – Summer Camp for Abused Children in Ashkelon
Recommended by Sophie Getz, Orr Shalom operates four group homes that provide a supportive and therapeutic family environment for 38 abused or neglected children and teens in Ashkelon, Israel. The grant will help to underwrite summer camp fees so the children have the opportunity to interact with peers and develop new skills over the summer.
Summer Camp for Children in Odessa
This grant, recommended by Eli Getz, helps the Jewish Agency in Odessa help 400 Jewish children learn about Judaism, Jewish culture and Israel through fun educational programming. The grant will provide supplies and materials for upcoming one-week summer camps.
This year, with your help, we have been privileged to support grants to fifteen different organizations. They range in area from Baltimore to Savannah, and from Israel to the Ukraine. We’ve helped children who are Christian, Jewish, and non-affiliated. They are black, white, brown, and colors in between. They are infants, pre-schoolers, elementary schoolers, middle schoolers, high schoolers, and young adults. None of them knows us and we do not personally know them. What we do know is that these children benefit from what we collectively do, and that, simply put, is a very good thing.
Without you, this could not happen.
Board of Directors
Michael Friedman, President
Randy Getz, Vice President
Carollee Getz, Treasurer
Jonny Lewis, Secretary
Jim Glick, Member at Large
Alan Getz, Member at Large