Hope Strengthens Foundation (HSF) is a 100% volunteer-run 501(c)(3) public charity that provides critical financial support to individuals and families facing life-threatening illness or recovering from traumatic injuries.
Five years ago, our roots were established when Joe Merry (current Board Member) valiantly battled against and beat cancer. Joe’s drive towards remission was centered in two simple words: Hope Strengthens. That motto not only drove Joe, it inspired his family and friends to come together as a community to cover Joe’s expenses so he could focus his energy on recovery.
The conceptual vision of HSF has developed into an impactful reality. To-date, we’ve donated over $70,000 in targeted support to individuals and incredible programs that align with our mission. In 2016, we will continue this important work, but we need your help.
Contributions have been used to provide targeted support, such as therapy treatment sessions and critical equipment for a disabled 5-year old boy that insurance wouldn’t cover. By removing these financial burdens, our donors have helped numerous beneficiaries concentrate all of their energy on getting healthy.
When you give to HSF, you help us create a powerful community of support around an individual in need. The following story is perhaps the most powerful example of what our donors have helped create and foster.
In 2012, HSF was connected to an aspiring nurse named Tara White by our friend and current Board Member, Kerry Brothers. Tara and her mom Joie moved from their home in Oklahoma to Boston, MA to begin a clinical trial at Dana Farber Cancer Institute to fight brain cancer. Thanks to our donors, HSF was able to cover numerous medical bills for Tara as she underwent treatment.
Thankfully, Tara’s recent MRI showed no tumor regrowth and she is feeling well. While it has been a challenging road to recovery and doctors at Dana Farber are still monitoring Tara, she has never lost her interest in pursuing a nursing career. Recently, she began volunteering at the Ronald McDonald House of Boston. In her role, Tara has met numerous families facing difficult situations but one family’s story was particularly moving.
In 2013, 9-year old Michael Silverio was diagnosed with leukemia. Soon after a yearlong battle with intense chemotherapy and radiation, Michael relapsed. Following a bone marrow transplant, Michael relapsed a second time in November 2015. Michael and his mom Michelle decided to continue the fight and temporarily relocated to Boston to take part in a clinical trial at Children’s Hospital. Soon after taking up residence at the Ronald McDonald House of Boston, they met Tara during one of her volunteer shifts.
Because of Tara’s first-hand knowledge of the great work HSF does, Tara was able to introduce Michelle to us. This month, we began the process of providing assistance to Michael and building a community of support around him.
The story doesn’t end there. Erica Maloney, a nurse at Boston Children’s Hospital, is the sister of Greg Finger who HSF had the opportunity to support during his recovery from a life-threatening spinal cord injury. Because of Erica’s position at the hospital, she will be checking in with Michael to offer additional support.
This is perhaps the most vivid example of why our work matters and how a community can rally to provide meaningful support to fellow community members in need. While we are a small, volunteer-run organization, our network of donors and beneficiaries serve as a force multiplier, helping to provide support to those facing life-threatening illness or recovering from traumatic injuries.
We remain humbled by our donors’ commitment and support. As you gather with loved ones this holiday season, be proud of the positive difference you are making in the lives of others.
Wishing you a joyous holiday season and a healthy, happy New Year!
Jake, Jim, Joe, Kerry, and Rafe
Hope Strengthens Foundation