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At Palermo Law, we believe our success should first go to benefiting the community we live in and cherish as our own. We’d like to bring attention to The John Theissen Children’s Foundation.
The John Theissen Children’s Foundation is a Long Island non-profit organization founded in 1992 by John Theissen. The aim of the organization is to help sick and underprivileged children in any capacity possible. In 25 years, the organization has grown to amazing and admirable heights. With the support of sponsors, volunteers, and donations, the John Theissen Children’s Foundation is able to provide hospitals and child-care facilities with therapeutic and recreational equipment, support families in need of financial assistance for medical costs, offer children who are either sick or underprivileged toys throughout the holiday season and fulfill wish lists for children up to 18 years old throughout the year. And the story behind this wonderful organization’s inception is quite beautiful…
John was diagnosed with a large brain tumor at age 17, only a few years before he founded his organization. He spent most of his late teenage years in a children’s hospital where he met a girl named Tasha. Tasha was only 7 years old and diagnosed with cancer. She walked into John’s room and happily introduced herself. John was astonished to see her walking through the halls all on her own. He came to find out that her family never really visited her. She was essentially alone.
The hospital had a holiday party where every child had the chance to go up to Santa Claus and receive a gift. When it came to Tasha’s turn, she thought of John, telling Santa “I don’t want this for me…I want it for my friend upstairs to make him feel better.” Tasha walked into his room and handed him a giant teddy bear. It was an act of kindness John remembers vividly to this day.
John recalls being on the Oncology floor, witnessing numerous younger children in pain. He felt a profound calling to do whatever he could to help these children. A few years later, John started a simple holiday toy drive. Now, it’s a year-round organization. His community effort includes 5Ks, Galas, Casino nights and more. Almost every weekend, the organization throws a free 2-hour party for kids involved with the program. Their facility has 14 high-definition TV’s, each with an Xbox 1 or PlayStation 4, an arcade room in the back, and an arts and crafts room in the basement. The kids enjoy pizza, cake, and goodie bags. This is only one way in which the organization aims to bring some light into the lives of children in need. Every day, John thinks of new ways to help the children in his Long Island community. They’ve recently started a program called “Smiles and Miles” to transport kids back and forth to treatments and amusement parks.
We’ve recently donated to the John Theissen foundation for this holiday season. We want every child in need to have a more-than-wonderful holiday. If you’d like to donate, simply visit http://www.jtcf.org/jtcf_donations.html.