According to the American Childhood Cancer Organization, in the United States more than 15,000 children under age 21 are diagnosed with cancer every year and approximately a quarter of them will not survive the disease.
September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month; people everywhere are working to raise funds needed for research and family support. Kristine Schaffer has joined the cause, not just for this month, but for her “lifetime.”
As a volunteer program director, she’s raised more than $4,000 since January. Her American Childhood Cancer Organization’s (ACCO) Founding Hope Program is titled “Kristine’s Joy for Kids.”
Since Schaffer is a volunteer, 100 percent of the money she raises goes directly to local children battling cancer. She’s currently connected with 12 families in South Carolina, mostly in Summerville, Moncks Corner and Goose Creek.
“I just get so attached to these kids,” Schaffer said. “I really just wanted to be able to bring joy and hope to kids with cancer and their families.”
Schaffer said she’s been motivated by a “passion to help,” and once she began to meet some of the local children suffering from the disease, she was determined to do more to help support their families.
“These families are struggling financially,” Shaffer said.
Many times the money she raises is used to buy gas gift cards for families that are traveling repeatedly to Charleston’s Medical University of South Carolina.
“It’s unique with me because I literally can give to these families what they need,” Schaffer said.
Every Friday night for the rest of this month Schaffer will have a table set up at Summerville High School football games at John McKissick Stadium. She’ll be raising awareness and funds for her ACCO Founding Hope Program. She’s also seeking sponsors for her Go Gold event to be held at the Sweet Tea Festival on Sept. 20. To donate or find out how to sponsor, visit https://www.acco.org/kristines-joy/ or email; firstname.lastname@example.org.