Hopecam Connects 1,000 Children Battling Cancer to School Friends with Mobile Tablets, High-speed Internet, Videoconferencing

Seeks to Raise $1,000,000, Starting with Fundraiser on October 20 in Tysons Corner

Reston, Virginia – October 10, 2016 – Hopecam, an organization dedicated to helping children battling cancer overcome social isolation during their treatment, marks this month with the connection of 1,000 children to their school friends since its founding in 2003. Including children, teachers and family members, the organization is estimated to have impacted over 10,000 people with a program that can help healing for patients, lighten the burden for families and encourage empathy among classmates.

Among the first side effects a child may experience after being diagnosed with cancer is isolation.  

With tablet computers, web cameras and high-speed Internet, Hopecam provides the equipment and IT support to connect children with their classmates and teachers.

“Providing a child with a Hopecam tablet has the potential to mitigate the impact of social isolation. School is what children do. Connecting children to their peers while in treatment provides needed ‘hope,’” said Hopecam board member, Carol J. Kaffenberger, Ph.D., Associate Professor Emerita, George Mason University.

The organization has thrived over the last 13 years, raising over $2 million since its start in the greater Washington, DC area. Hopecam has now worked with 250 school systems in 44 states, with 70% of its programs serving children attending Title 1 schools.

“Over 15,000 children a year are diagnosed with cancer. Our goal is to never have to say NO to a child that wants to connect with their classmates”.  Len Forkas, Founder Hopecam

To reach its goals of doubling in size and serving all 50 states, Hopecam is holding its major annual fundraiser on Thursday, October 20. The Give Hope, Get Connected! Celebration will be hosted at the Silverline Center at 7900 Westpark Drive, in Tysons Corner, Virginia from 6:00pm to 9:30pm. The event features heavy hors oeuvres with dishes inspired by the home states and countries of Hopecam children, drinks and FUN! Tickets to the event are $150 per person. Donations in lieu of attendance may also be made. For more information and to register, visit: https://www.501auctions.com/hopecam2016

About Hopecam

Hopecam is a 501c3 organization that connects homebound children undergoing treatment for cancer, and other life-threatening illnesses with their friends at school using mobile tablets, high speed internet connections and web cameras. Recognizing the critical need for socialization, Hopecam seeks to bridge the lonely divide between homebound children and their friends at school during this frightening time. Staying connected to school significantly reduces the stress of re–entry when treatment is completed and children resume a normal life.  Since its founding in 2003 by a parent whose child was diagnosed with leukemia, Hopecam has connected 1,000 children with their friends, classmates and families.  For more information, visit www.hopecam.org

Hopecam receives a $4,800 Grant from Ronald McDonald House

Ronald McDonald House Charities of Greater Washington, DC. has awarded Hopecam with a grant of $4,800 to help local children get connected!

Ronald McDonald House Charities of Greater Washington, DC (RMHC DC) eases the hardship of children’s illness on families through programs that help children heal faster, cope better, and stay healthy.  Hopecam is happy to partner with Ronald McDonald House and we truly appreciate their continued and generous support of our program.

Thank you Ronald McDonald House Charities for helping Hopecam put smiles on children's faces!

Hopecam 5K 2016 raises $40,000!

Thank you all who came out for our Hopecam 5K this year! Despite the soggy, wet day, we had over 400 race participants and raised over $40,000 to help children with cancer!

Despite the weather, the race was kicked off by Ben, a Hopecam child, greeting the crowd and talking about his experiences with our program. His Hopecam tablet allowed him to keep contact with his classmates, and even participate in events like historical dress up day. He also goes back to school for the first time on Monday!

We had a record turnout of children this year for the race, as 2016 was the most kid friendly race we have hosted. The top male finisher 16 and the top female finisher was 10! Thank you to all our runners who came out and participated!

As for our corporate teams and sponsors, we want to thank each one for supporting us and turning out. The largest team award went to Team Cooley, with 42 members registered! The top fundraising team was Booz Allen Hamilton, who also had a great turnout of 37 members. 

Thanks again to all those who attended and helped make this event possible, and we hope to see you again next year! 

Hopecam Launches Adult Career Transition Internships

Are you looking to change careers?  Re-enter the workforce?  Find out whether you might enjoy non-profit work?  Seeking a way to give back during retirement? 

Hopecam is accepting applications for part-time unpaid internships from adults with work experience.  Successful applicants will make a 4-month commitment and agree to work a minimum of 8 hours per week.  After initial training and experience, some work from home may be possible.

Open Positions include:

  • Publicity and Marketing for Hopecam Founder Len Forkas’ speaking and book tour.  Please see www.whatspinsthewheel.com  (1 position)
  • Fundraising & Development (1 position)
  • Grant Writing and Research (1 position)
  • Event Planning (1 position)
  • Family and School Liaison (5 positions)

In addition to gaining experience and brushing up skills, you will receive resume assistance, interview coaching, networking opportunities and references.

Successful candidates must have working knowledge of Microsoft Word, Excel and Outlook. 

Please e-mail resume and cover letter to info@hopecam.org.  No phone calls please.

Northern Virginia Businesses Compete to Raise $ for Hopecam

Normally these Northern Virginia businesses compete for clients and customers, but at the Hopecam 5k, they’ll compete to see which can run the fastest, raise the most money or register the most participants to help children with cancer.  This year marks the 15th anniversary of the race and the first time that Hopecam has added a team competition to create awareness among the community.

Companies such as Booz Allen Hamilton, Cooley, Salesforce.com, Baker Tilly, Bernstein Global Wealth Management, National Association of Manufacturers, Avizia, BDO, TiE DC, Savi Technology, Deloitte,  christopher consultants, PCCW Global and Avalon Bay are all participating in the competition this year to help promote Hopecam and their goal of helping to connect more children this year.  

Executive Director of Hopecam Susan Koehler explains, “15,780 children will be diagnosed with cancer this year. Nearly every one of these children will have to be isolated from their friends and unable to attend school as a result of their treatment. Today, thanks to technology, this isolation can be overcome by giving the child a tablet computer and persuading schools to establish a connection with the hospitalized and homebound child. Hopecam is the only charity in the United States providing these services to children with cancer. It's no wonder that in 2014, Hopecam was asked to help six-times the number of children as the year before. 2015 will be no different and we are well on our way to helping 700 children, if not more, before year's end.”

Sponsors of the race are Booz Allen Hamilton, Elm Street Development, Bridge Builder Tax & Legal Services, P.A., NB+C, JBGR, Teltronic Towers, The McLean Group, Cooley LLP and Savi Technology.  Trader Joe's will be there to volunteer and deliver treats to hungry runners, while Ali Khaligh of Your Dream Shots Photography and Scene 2 B Scene will capture the action of the race and donate photography services.  Nicole Fine of Nicole Fine Photography is also making a donation of services as Team Photographer.  Water donations were kindly given by Cardinal Bank and Wheat's Landscape.

It costs about $1,000 to connect each child. About 12% of the children live in homes unable to afford Internet, which Hopecam provides at a cost of $500 per year. 70% of the children attend schools eligible for Title 1 (low income) financing.

The Hopecam 5K is a USATF certified race-fast and flat for those wanting to set a personal best record. This is also the perfect race for families featuring an easy course for runners and walkers of all ages and fitness levels. This fun, family event is also stroller friendly. 

The 15th Annual Hopecam 5k Race/Walk will take place on Sunday, May 3rd at 1890 Preston White Drive in Reston, VA. The race will start at 8:15am with registration starting at 7:30am.  Participants can register online at https://prracing.enmotive.com/events/register/54db6f86-ffac-4793-bffe-20edc0a86526.  

Wise Investor Group Raises $21,000 for Hopecam

The Wise Investor Group at Robert W. Baird & Co., a team of experienced financial professionals offering financial planning, portfolio management, investment analysis and account services, today announced that their Annual Seminar raised more than $21,000 for Reston, Virginia-based non-profit Hopecam.

The Wise Investor Group hosted this year’s seminar, entitled “Scaling the Mountain” at the Fairview Park Marriott, attracting an audience of more than 300. Attendees were treated to an expert discussion of the economy and key investment decisions to make in 2015, featuring advice from Simon Hamilton, Portfolio Manager; Eric Wightman, Portfolio Advisor and Greg Smith, Senior Financial Planner.

“Our Annual Seminar is aimed at providing investors with the information and tools they need to achieve their financial goals in 2015,” said Nancy Popovich, Director and Portfolio Manager at The Wise Investor Group. “Each year, it also presents a great opportunity for us to give back to our community. Hopecam is doing remarkable things to support childhood cancer patients, and we’re honored to be able to support their mission.”

Hopecam is a Reston, Virginia-based non-profit charity with the mission of using technology to overcome the social isolation of children with cancer. Hopecam provides the child with a tablet computer, Internet access in the home if the child is without, then works with the child’s school to persuade them to establish a regular connection with the child. 70% of the children helped by Hopecam attend Title 1 (low-income) eligible schools and 12% live in homes that can’t afford Internet access.

“15,780 children will be diagnosed with cancer in 2015,” explains Hopecam Executive Director Susan Koehler. “One of the first side-effects they experience is being isolated from their friends and classmates. Modern technology can overcome this problem. Thanks to the generosity of The Wise Investor Group, Hopecam can continue growing to help many more of these children.” In 2014, Hopecam grew from helping children living in 5 states to 37, and from partnering with 6 hospitals to 50.

The Wise Investor Group is honored to support children’s charities. In addition to Hopecam, the Wise Investor Group has supported the Neediest Kids and the Orphan Foundation of America, now known as Foster Care to Success, for more than a decade. Over the years, they have donated more than $200,000 to the organization with proceeds from their financial seminars. The Wise Investor Group is proud to support their local community through the efforts of these non-profit organizations.

For more information about The Wise Investor Group, please visit http://www.thewiseinvestorgroup.com.

To learn more about HopeCam, please visit http://www.hopecam.org

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About The Wise Investor Group
The Wise Investor Group (http://www.thewiseinvestorgroup.com) at Robert W. Baird & Co. is a full-service investment firm located in Reston, Virginia focusing on financial planning, portfolio management, investment analysis, insurance and annuity services as well as overall account services. Formed in the 1990s, the firm follows a disciplined, research-based approach to value-oriented investing.

National Developer of Seniors Housing Communities Donates $10,000

Hopecam kicked off the New Year with a gift of $10,000 from Capitol Seniors Housing (CSH), a developer and owner of more than 45 seniors housing communities across the United States. 

In 2014, Hopecam grew from partnering with 6 hospitals to 50 located in 37 states to help children with cancer.  Hopecam works to overcome the children’s isolation, one of the first side effects of their treatment.  They give the kids tablet computers, provide Internet access if the family is not connected, then work with the child’s school to persuade them to establish a regular Skype connection so the child can see and be supported by friends and classmates.  Hopecam is the only charity in the United States providing this much needed program to children in treatment for cancer and other life-threatening diseases.

In 2014, Hopecam was a Northern Virginia Technology Council Award Finalist for "Most Innovative Use of Technology."

CSH Managing Partner S. Scott Stewart sits on Hopecam’s Board of Directors.