Words, photos and video by Olivia Bauso
Giving Tuesday -- better known as #GivingTuesday in the social media-sphere -- refers to the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, an international day of giving intended to kickstart the holiday season, following the commercialism of Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
CURE Childhood Cancer Association is just one of the many non-profit organizations counting on monetary donations to be made during the day of giving. Over the course of several hours, an updated count of donations is yelled between the offices of Executive Director, Holly Dutcher and Community Coordinator, Sam Corrigan. The small office is decorated for the holidays, and filled with toys and non-perishables.
The toys are donations made by community members that will eventually be wrapped by volunteers and given to families of children with cancer and blood disorders who have been connected with CURE through Golisano Children's Hospital. Similarly, the food will soon be arranged in baskets and gifted to the same families in need of holiday dinner assistance. These are just some of the ways CURE will aid families of children with cancer and chronic blood disorders this season.
CURE Childhood Cancer Association was founded just over forty years ago by a group of Rochester parents who had lost their children to cancer. Holly Dutcher elaborates: “It was founded by local families who found that they had needs that were not met through their own cancer journeys, and they wanted to make sure that no other family had to experience what they experienced. So it started out like a support group, and has grown into the organization that we are today.”
CURE is one of the only organizations that has a partnership with Golisano Children’s Hospital. They even employ two parents of cancer survivors that spend their weekdays with families at the hospital. Holly says, “They’re really a beacon of hope for our families, and also a sounding board for helping them get through this really difficult time in their lives.” In addition to providing daily emotional support, CURE donates parking passes and food vouchers to families of children with cancer and blood disorders, to help remove some of the day-to-day financial burden.
“Right now we’re really focused on the holidays, of course,” Holly says. CURE is pulling together wishlists for about 70 families, 25 of which will go towards their partnership with the organization Anna’s Wish. In addition to private sponsorships, CURE collects donations for their “CURE Shop” to provide additional gifts and food to families. Whatever doesn’t come in through donations, CURE will subsidize. Holly explains, “CURE is able to provide whatever we can’t source from the community, but it certainly helps having that local support so we can help out families going through a financial emergency during this time of year.”
CURE is currently accepting food, toy and monetary donations at their Westfall Rd office. They are particularly in need of toys for boys of any age and all teenagers, and non-perishable food items. For a complete list of needed items, visit the CURE Facebook Page.
This holiday season we are teaming up with Yelp Rochester to help fundraise for and bring awareness to CURE. Join us at Rochester Brainery on December 9th and 10th from 11am to 5pm for our annual two day Holiday Bazaar sponsored by Yelp Rochester, featuring over 40 vendors selling their locally made items.
The festivities will include local gift baskets put together by Yelp Rochester to be raffled off to attendees. All profits collected will go to benefit CURE Childhood Cancer Association. And-- as always-- the first 25 people who attend the Bazaar each day will receive a free Rochester Brainery tote bag stuffed with goodies from the artists.