The Issue: Limited Access to Healthful Food in Hospitals
When children become ill and need to be hospitalized, the resulting shortages of parents’ time and assets can make it difficult for them to provide healthful meals for their families. Many of them eat food primarily from hospital cafeterias and vending machines during their child’s hospital stay.
The Campaign: Providing Meals to Families on Pediatric Wing
If this Grassroots campaign raises $300, then CJ’s Thumbs Up Foundation can provide healthful, catered meals to 60 families with hospitalized children through its semimonthly lunch program. Collaborating with Connor’s Heroes Foundation, CJ’s Thumbs Up Foundation sponsors lunches for families and staff on the seventh floor of the pediatric wing of the Children's Hospital of Richmond. Each additional $300 raised will fund meals for another 60 families. The organization aims to eventually expand the program to a weekly version that will serve 240 families every month.
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CJ’s Thumbs Up Foundation
After Roger and Rachel Reynolds’s young daughter Charlotte Jennie—also known as CJ—began experiencing headaches, a CT scan revealed a large malignant tumor pressing on her brain. She went though courses of chemotherapy and multiple surgeries that proved unsuccessful. The family decided to spend their limited time with their daughter traveling. CJ passed away at the age of 4 on January 7, 2010.
Touched by the response of the community in their time of need, the Reynoldses founded CJ’s Thumbs Up Foundation (CJSTUF) to honor her memory and help families in similar situations. It provides financial and emotional assistance to families of children with chronic and life-threatening illnesses. CJSTUF distributes $500 financial grants for necessary expenses to families at the Children’s Hospital of Richmond. Through its meal fairies program, the organization also serves healthful lunches to families at the hospital with meal vouchers and food carts.