I was up most of the night, not sleeping, when I should have been. Since my mind was running its own, unauthorized marathon and keeping me awake, might as well think about anything and everything. During that time, I wrote about my Disappointing Evening. I was very upset and wasn’t sure what I was going to do next.
Then an idea came to me. A couple years ago, I pondered the idea of starting a non-profit, in honor of my sister. I’ve discussed my new idea with a couple of close friends this morning and they are very supportive. While a non-profit status is probably a couple of years down the road, my grassroots efforts can get started to network this idea.
As my Relay teammate mentioned, she would like to meet someone who directly has benefited from the money she and others have raised. We read stories about where the money goes, but rarely get to meet direct recipients. That was the perfect transition to tell her about my new venture.
I am going to privately fundraise, by selling baked goods, donated items, etc., just like I would if I participated in the Relay. The difference is, once I have completed raising funds, I would purchase some gift cards and perhaps include come cash, and give at least one local individual and/or family dealing with cancer, these items.
I too want to see who my efforts benefit. There are so many organizations “finding a cure”. What I remember about my sister’s cancer is the behind-the-scenes issues. Who was going to watch her children while she was having treatment? How was she going to afford gas to the hospital that was an hour away? How does the electric, water, garbage get paid when the person can’t work anymore because the treatment or the cancer is taking its toll? How can they afford groceries?
I will say, my hometown stepped up and helped my sister and my family during her fight with breast cancer. Through my fundraising, I would stress it takes a community to fight cancer. As a community, we have the opportunity to help and show support.
The program will be called, “The Kathi Cares Program”. My mother taught us to help those in need. My sister exemplified this. When we reach the non-profit stage, the name will be changed to the “The Kathi Cares Memorial Foundation”. At this stage, we will be supporting a local individual that has cancer. As we grow, I would like to extend this program to assist several individuals a year as well as adopting a military family for Christmas. My sister was a huge military supporter and this would just further honor her memory.
So, out of a disappointing evening, a program was born. In the upcoming weeks, I will create a web page to promote this new adventure. With the help of people who knew my sister and my friends, I’m confident we will be able to shed some light on the dark face of cancer and bring some joy into a few hearts.