For its fourth consecutive year, on Sunday, December 18th, 2016, the Summit Area YMCA will host the Curémonos Holiday Cheer Celebration, an event that ensures that those in need also spend the winter warmly and happily. For the past three years, the Summit Area YMCA association office has partnered with Curémonos, a grassroots community based organization in Summit to provide holiday cheer to breast cancer patients and their families and will be continuing the tradition this year for 2016. Since inception in 2009, Curémonos has been providing education, support and advocacy with healthcare services and resources to underserved women with breast health concerns or breast cancer diagnosis primarily in Union County. To help these families enjoy Christmas this holiday season, Curémonos welcomes donations of Target, Walmart, and ShopRite gift cards.
This year, the Curémonos Holiday Cheer Celebration will be taking place at the Summit YMCA from 3:30pm to 5:30pm and entertainment will be supported by the Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield, including a Santa visit, face painter, balloon twister, and Christmas Carolers. Thus far, 30 families will be benefiting from the program, including 25 children under 10 years old and 16 children between 11 and 16 years old. Patients participating in the program are from local communities of Morris, Hudson, and Union County attending Overlook, Morristown, Trinitas and Christ Hospitals.
“For these people who are getting chemotherapy, they are not working and often not getting pay checks. Their families often have to stay home to take care of them. Medication is expensive,” says Dr. Bonnie Guerin, Director, Breast Cancer Treatment and Prevention of Carol C. Simon Cancer Center at Overlook Medical Center. “They are sick and often can’t do food shopping. They have children that may need counseling and often times language might be a barrier, or insurance is a barrier, and they don’t even know how much help there is! Sometimes all Curémonos does is connect the need with the source.”
During the holiday season, Curémonos partners with the Summit Area YMCA, other organizations and donors to provide holiday cheer to breast cancer patients in active treatment who are facing financial difficulties. This past December, Curémonos Holiday Cheer Program impacted the lives of 26 patients and their 33 children who received gifts, gift cards, supermarket gift cards, and more. “Curémonos means, ‘healing together’ which is what I felt we did during this event. It gave us the opportunity to come together and celebrate the upcoming holidays. This event helped lift my spirits during this very difficult time.” says Nina M., Curémonos participant. As part of the program, Curémonos provided a holiday party sponsored by Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield for the families at the Summit Area YMCA in which Santa Claus, a balloon twister and face painter entertained the children. The biggest highlight of the Curémonos Holiday Celebration was being able to see the heartwarming smiles and laughter from the children.
“My kids were so excited about their gifts and I have to admit, the gift cards they gave me were such a big help, especially during the holidays,” said Silvia, another Curémonos participant. “From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank all the volunteers who gave their time to bring a bit of happiness to people they have never met.”
This holiday season, the YMCA of the USA is partnering with the NBC TODAY Show to champion the #ShareKindness initiative, which aims to inspire 1 million acts of kindness in one month from viewers across the country. As part of the initiative, the Y has committed to share 10,000 acts of kindness representing the 10,000 communities that the Y serves. The Summit Area YMCA will be spreading acts of kindness this holiday season in a variety of ways as well, including hosting gift drives, sending stuffed animals to kids at the Overlook hospital, mentoring youth, providing financial assistance to members, serving meals to those in need, and more.
For all #ShareKindness events this holiday season, please visit the Summit Area YMCA events calendar or the SAY’s Share Kindness page to see where you can help give back this winter.
Curémonos is a 501(c)3 organization and all donations are tax deductible. To learn how to get involved with this years’ Holiday Cheer Program, please contact Dora Arias at firstname.lastname@example.org Volunteers and donors are always welcome to help us spread holiday warmth and care to breast cancer patients in need! For more information about Curémonos, please visit www.curemonos.com
No matter the season, the Summit Area YMCA is relentless in its endeavor to serve its community and give back to support those who are in need. With the participation and generosity of our members and donors, the Summit Area YMCA is able to run programs and projects that make for a better community. In 2015, Summit Area YMCA volunteers donated time of over 7,000 volunteer hours to the SAY in policy or programs, all to help further the Summit Area YMCA mission of providing programs and services that encourage youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility.For more information about volunteer opportunities and giving back to the community, please visit www.thesay.org.
The Summit Area YMCA is one of area’s leading 501(c)3 organizations. Our programs and services are open to all through our financial assistance programs made possible through the generosity of our members, donors, staff and partners. To help us help others, please make your donation today at www.thesay.org.