“Give Hope! Get Connected!” raised $150,000 for Hopecam making it the second most successful fundraiser in the organizations 11 year-history. The dinner parlayed a theme that communicated the charity’s mission of giving hope to children with cancer by getting them connected to friends at school through the power of technology.
Founded in 2003 by the father of a child with cancer, up until this year, Hopecam was mainly a grassroots charity helping Washington, D.C. area children in treatment for cancer by giving them computers, providing Internet access when necessary, and persuading schools to maintain a Skype video chat connection with the children when they were hospitalized or homebound. In 2012, founder Len Forkas undertook the arduous Race Across America during which he rode his bicycle from California to Maryland in 11 days to raise the dollars necessary--$350,000 and Hopecam’s most successful fundraiser thus far—so that Hopecam can serve children from across the United States.
From serving an average of 25 children each year, Hopecam grew to serve 58 in 2013. Thus far in 2014, Hopecam has helped 303 children living in 34 states—making Forkas’ dream a reality—with the numbers growing every month as more children and pediatric oncology social workers learn about Hopecam’s much needed program. Hopecam is the only charity in the world that works with schools to keep children connected to their friends and classmates through the use of technology.
With 15,780 children estimated to be diagnosed with cancer in the United States next year, the demand for Hopecam’s services is large. Hopecam’s next fundraiser on #GivingTuesday, Dec. 2nd, will challenge people to donate a penny, a dime or a dollar for every friend they have on Facebook so that kids with cancer don’t have to be isolated from their friends.
As Hopecam Executive Director Susan Koehler explains, “Hopecam is all about friends—those social connections that support and cheer us on. We are challenging people to donate in honor of their friendships however they want to calculate it.”
Hopecam’s goal for the #GivingTuesday Facebook Challenge is $15,780--$1 for every child who will be diagnosed with cancer in 2015.