Joe and I feel strongly about supporting our community throughout the year but even more so during the holidays. We do this by picking a charity each December to focus our efforts and this year we chose, “Friends of Kids with Cancer”.
This organization is devoted to enriching the daily lives of children undergoing treatment for, and survivors of cancer and blood-related diseases. Their mission is to be an advocate for these special kids and provide them and their families with the educational, emotional and recreational support needed as a result of the long hours of chemotherapy, illness and isolation.
Friends of Kids with Cancer has a proud 25-year history exclusively in St. Louis of helping kids with cancer…be kids. Jill Turec, Developmental Specialist at Mercy Clinic Children’s Cancer and Hematology Center, along with concerned parents, Molly Henry and Susie Snowden, saw the great need to enrich the daily lives and divert the attention of the patients outside of the medical treatments. These three women shared a dream that every child with cancer would experience as much fun, laughter, support and normalcy as possible. It was this idea that was the birth of Friends of Kids with Cancer. Starting in the office of Dr. Bob Bergamini in 1992, “The Toy Closet”, was launched to brighten the long gloomy and painful days spent in the treatment center.
Friends has been driven to meet the ever-evolving needs of not only the patients but their entire families. Everything they do is suggested by medical professionals and patient families. Dr. Bob’s philosophy is to “treat the needs of the entire child…not only the cancer”. Friends is such an important and unique charity because it gives back something that medicine can’t. The Educational, Emotional and Recreational programs build self-esteem and improve the quality of life to assure that the patients and their families remain positive, focused and prepared to meet their future needs.
JJ Kokesh and Son is working towards filling up “The Toy Closet” this Christmas… so that each child can choose something that provides the distraction from treatment and brings much needed joy in their lives. We are collecting:
-Toys for all ages -Legos – Barbies, babydolls
-crafts/craft kits -gift certificates for teenagers
-Art supplies -comics and coloring books
Every year, we do our best to encourage our customers,suppliers and employees to GIVE… and every single year, we are blown away by the incredible outpouring of love and generous support that we receive. We cannot begin to express our humble gratitude to all who help make this possible. Please think about how you may help us to make Christmas 2018 the most successful year ever!
Megan, Joseph and Jackson Kokesh