Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation recently delivered gifts to more than 70 families affected by pediatric cancer diagnoses, a record number for the nonprofit’s annual Project Holiday.
To relieve some holiday stressors, volunteers and supporters delivered gifts to each child in the household, a Christmas tree, decor and a filled stocking.
The foundation sponsored around 35 to 40 families in previous years and was able to almost double that this year, thanks to gifts from local businesses and individuals.
TBCF additionally partnered with Cottage Children’s Medical Center to host the foundation’s annual Holiday Party in Santa Maria and Santa Barbara.
In light of the pandemic, the party became a drive-through event where families pulled their car into Mission Hope Cancer Center in Santa Maria or Ridley-Tree Cancer Center in Santa Barbara, where Santa filled the cars’ trunks with gifts for the children.
In Santa Maria, Jeff Zamora, a former TBCF recipient whose son battled cancer 10 years ago, wore the Santa suit.
Dick Pool and Pat Weeks played Santa and Mrs. Claus in Santa Barbara and danced together while gifts were given.
Corey Pahanish, the foundation’s executive director, said TBCF was able to provide for families in a myriad of ways thanks to donors.
“Our families are not only battling pediatric cancer, they are also experiencing food insecurity and heightened transportation needs,” Mr. Pahanish said in a news release. “With the support of an anonymous donor, this year we will be addressing these insecurities by providing 70 families with $250 grocery gift cards and $250 gas cards.”
Teddy Bear Cancer Foundations advocates for families living in Santa Barbara, Ventura and San Luis Obispo counties that have a child with cancer.
In 2021, the foundation projects they will support a record number of families thanks to the donations and time given from their generous communities.
For more about the foundation, go to www.teddybearcancerfoundation.org.