(Editor's Note: This is a letter e-mailed to the community from , of the Amanda Riley Foundation. There have been minor edits. Also, if you want to find a way to help the charity, see the list of events below and needs for volunteers.)
Wow, it has been quite a while since I have had the time to sit down and send out an update on the foundation. There has been so very much going on I feel like I am always playing catch up, but it is a labor of love and gives me purpose and satisfaction knowing we are making a difference in the lives of children battling cancer. This past year was a year of healing, learning and lots of hard work as I am sure 2012 will be as well.
We just completed our first full fiscal year as a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit foundation and have raised approximately $85,000.00. Did not quite reach our goal of $100,000.00 but with this economy we will take it. As I have stated before, other than the cost of goods purchased for resale and a small amount spent on operating costs, 100 percent of funds raised goes directly to the kids and their families. We have no overhead and pay NO salaries! Not to get on a soap box but would like to remind you all, if you make a $100.00 donation to the American Cancer Society/Relay for Life - only .70 cents goes toward childhood cancer.
We have worked directly with 37 families with children battling cancer and sadly, we lost three of those precious kids. In the past week or so, I received three new applications that we will contact soon. Some of the gifts we have provided have been iPads, computers, Kindle Fires, lots of iTunes cards, portable DVD players, movies, toys, clothes and much more. We have taken meals, goody bags, snacks, care packages and meal gift cards to Scottish Rite on many occasions for ALL inpatient families.
For Christmas, with the help of , Chamblee First United Methodist Church and generous members of our community, we provided Christmas presents for 16 children battling cancer and a total of 52 family members. Some of these kids received as many as 15 gifts each!! It was quite a crazy busy couple of weeks but well worth the hard work seeing the smiles on the kids' faces.
We have set some pretty high goals for 2012 that we hope to accomplish. There are approximately 360 newly diagnosed children treated at CHOA (Childrens Healthcare of Atlanta, Scottish Rite and Egleston hospitals) each year. Our goal will be to touch the lives of each of these children in 2012. We have helped a few children over at Egleston already, but hope to do more at that hospital and start taking the same meals, care packages, goody bags etc. to that hospital, as well.
In order to accomplish our goals we have to raise lots of money. We have several events already planned and would love for you to mark your calendar to attend these events.
March 10th - Harlem Legends Basketball Game verses the Amanda Riley All-Stars. This event will be at . We are looking for help selling tickets to this event, sponsors and members to represent our all-star team.
March 16-17th - Booth at the Georgia Marathon Expo and trade show at the Georgia World Congress Center
March 18th - Georgia Marathon Hydration Station - We will be looking for around 35 volunteers to help with this event.
March 27th - Our second annual Dine-Out Night
April - We will be working with once again. This time to supply children with Easter baskets
April - Golf Tournament - still in the planning stages
June 9th - Second annual . Hope to get this sanctioned as a Peachtree qualifier.
August 31st - Still in beginning planning stages but hope to have an overnight event called "The Walk" to begin which is September. It will be our own "Relay for Life," but 100 percent of proceeds will go directly to children.
September - Hope to paint the town gold with bows and bring awareness to childhood cancer.
September - Hope to host our second
November 10th - Arts & Craft Fair
In addition to these events, we have been applying for grants and will continue our fundraising drives with jewelry, foundation items and T-shirts. If you have an idea of how we can raise money, please let us know. We are always open to new ideas.
I will close for now but not before thanking everyone for helping us bring smiles to children battling cancer in 2011 and look forward to working with you in 2012. We could not accomplish anything without your support.
Have a wonderful day.