Closing this crazy chapter with some concluding impact metrics:
♥️ 888 cancer care kits distributed! The number 8 (“bā”) is considered lucky in Chinese, as it sounds like “fā”, which means “fortune.”
♥️ Patients in 45 U.S. states received kits shipped from here in Maryland, either requested by them or their loved ones.
♥️ 10 hospitals and a local nonprofit received kits and blankets.
We could not have done this without every single one of our volunteers and donors. It has been tough operating in COVID times, but the mere fact that we still did means so much to both me as a survivor and our recipients.
I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to all of our amazing remote volunteers who have been mailing in and dropping off handmade items. More than 700 volunteers have been contributing 4,000+ service hours (excluding countless of my own!) to write inspiring letters, fold amazing origami, sew face masks, craft art journals, weave friendship bracelets, and make comfy fleece blankets for cancer patients.
Without their help, Kits to Heart would not have been able to distribute hundreds of kits without cost to patients. Every time a volunteer’s work arrives, I feel so humbled to be able to share their work. From four year olds to grandmothers, from Girl and Boy Scout troops to police officers, the community of support has truly been a miracle during this pandemic. The joy and hope that the recipients of such work feel is priceless.
Donors and Partners
It's also important to highlight the 30+ companies that have responded to our mission since we started our efforts during the pandemic. From hand sanitizers to better-for-you, allergen-friendly protein snacks, the items and reading materials donated by these companies have truly made our cancer care kits extra special. 💫
Kits to Heart started with me purchasing everything, and while I still choose to support awesome small businesses through wholesale orders, these companies certainly have helped move us forward and allowed us to continue giving free kits.
Deeply grateful for the support from (in no particular order):
⭐️ Bluelene (@getbluelene)
⭐️ Kuur Therapeutics
⭐️ Patient Empowerment Network (@power4patients)
⭐️ Bradshaw’s 4 Ring Protection (@4ringprotection)
⭐️ D&T Industries LLC (@dt.industries.llc)
⭐️ Triage Cancer (@triagecancer)
⭐️ Sauce Beauty (@saucehair)
⭐️ Dove (@dove)
⭐️ Cotton & Reed Distillery (@cottonandreed)
⭐️ Send A Smile Today (@sendasmiletoday)
⭐️ The Ginger People (@the_ginger_people)
⭐️ Serenity Family Dental
⭐️ One Eight Distilling (@oneeightd)
⭐️ Earth Mama Organics (@earthmamaorganics)
⭐️ Elephants and Tea (@elephantsandteamagazine)
⭐️ Ulman Foundation (@ulmanfoundation)
⭐️ Soom Foods (@soomfoods)
⭐️ Reed’s (@drinkreeds)
⭐️ Raw Elements (@rawelementsusa)
⭐️ R.E.D.D. (@reddbar)
⭐️ Badger Balm (@badgerbalm)
⭐️ Lupii (@getlupii)
⭐️ SeaSnax (@seasnax)
⭐️ SanRe Organic Skinfood (@sanreorganic)
⭐️ Rule Breaker Snacks (@rulebreakersnacks)
⭐️ Undercover Snacks (@undercoversnacks)
⭐️ Nana Joes Granola (@nanajoesgranola)
⭐️ LipBulbs (@lipbulbs)
⭐️ Klēnskin (@klenskin_spf)
⭐️ SuperFat (@superfat)
⭐️ Epic Experience (@epicexperience)
Plus, thanks to nonprofits such as the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (@llsusa), CancerCare (@cancercareus), and Cancer Support Community (@cancersupporthq) that send free informational resources through a simple online request form!
In December, we were able to deliver 110 holiday kits and blankets, with the incredible support from the Chinese American Parent Association of Howard County and Wang Art Studio. They helped with fundraising and enlisted the most talented young volunteers to create beautiful artwork and write inspiring cards. Read about us in the Baltimore Sun article!
I am so proud of what we have accomplished—especially during a global pandemic, when people lost steady sources of income while having to deal with a cancer diagnosis.
This year, an estimated 606,250 people died of cancer, with 1.8 million new diagnoses, according to the American Cancer Society.
Among adolescents and young adults (ages 15-39), ACS estimated 89,500 cancer cases diagnosed and about 9,270 cancer deaths.
In 2020, I received so many messages from patients and their loved ones asking for help. It’s not just about seeking essentials such as face masks and hand sanitizers, but also about receiving gifts that were made with love and care. Our kits are intended to show that recipients are not alone, while inspiring hope from a three-time cancer survivor.
It is an honor and a pleasure to do what we do. Stay hopeful, stay safe, and stay awesome. Wishing you all a happier, healthier New Year 💪
P.S. Thursday, 12/31 is the last day to donate and lower your 2020 income taxes :) Any amount would be greatly appreciated and will help further our mission. 🙏 Donations also accepted here or via Venmo/PayPal @kitstoheart.