Cancer is never easy for the patient or the patient’s loved ones. But one New Providence-based charity is making cancer a little more bearable and a whole lot brighter.
Christine and Bill Ferdinand, the owners of Ferdinand Jewelers in New Providence, are the founders of Operation Bling Foundation, a 501(c)3 that was established in March of 2008. The foundation, which was honored with a joint resolution from the State Assembly and Senate in September of 2011, delivers sparkly baubles to cancer patients during their hospital stay, brightening up some of their darkest days.
“You feel so good when you give out that gift and you see their face,” Bill said. “Their color changes. They smile and it’s just doing this simple thing of saying, ‘Here you are, but you’re not alone anymore. We get it. We care and we want you to smile.’ That’s what we’re doing.”
Bling gifts are presented completely free and may be given at any point in a patient's journey. The recipient has a choice of a silver cubic zirconium ring, earrings, necklace or bracelet. There are even gifts for male patients, such as watches, money clips and crosses. All gifts are presented in a Lucite crystal box nestled in a white organza pouch that contains the inspirational poem called "What Cancer Cannot Do."
Four years, $300,000, 9,754 bling gifts, and 11 hospitals across three states later, the foundation is trying to expand — a costly endeavor — and they are asking for the public's help to get national exposure on The Ellen Degeneres Show.
The Ferdinands said this past year was not a good fund-raising year due to the economy.
“It wasn’t as strong, but we’re still supplying all the hospitals and this is why Chris is [trying to get on The Ellen Degeneres Show],” Bill said. “We need someone to give us a boost to get us to the next level. We’re definitely going to be sustaining the ones that we are in — that’s not a problem. But to get to the next level, we need to get the funds. Once we’re in another facility, we will do fund-raising through them. At Robert Wood Johnson, [a hospital waiting to join the foundation], we would sell Bling in their cafeteria. But we have to get in the door. So it’s a start-up and it’s a conservative $3,000 we need, at a minimum. Then we have to make sure we’re sustaining any new facilities.”
The Ferdinands said it’s not just as simple as supplying one hospital with one unit of Bling. Instead, they supply each cancer treatment department with one unit of Bling.
To get just one hospital department started, they need $3,000 to $5,000 in funding.
“If we go into a hospital, we’d love to give 200 Bling. The cost of that donation is $5,000. We don’t charge the hospitals one cent,” Bill said. “If they use it up, they could Bling it up in six months and then we have to replenish. We have eleven hospitals. We have about 90 units, [consisting of one tray each of earrings, pendants, rings and bracelets], out there right now.”
Chris said it could cost about $25,000 or more per year for just one of the eleven hospitals.
For example, at one hospital, there could be three separate departments that Operation Bling is giving $5,000 worth of Bling to at one time. If the foundation is replenishing the supply for each department three times per year, the foundation is spending $45,000 on that hospital alone. Combine it with the eleven hospitals in three states, all with varying degrees of replenishment throughout each year, it adds up to a lot of money. So in order for the foundation to expand, they need a boost in donations.
So why are the Ferdinands trying to get help specifically from Ellen Degeneres?
“She’s cool. She’s really cool and she’s philanthropic, and I think she would love this,” Chris said. “It would be right up her alley, I think, to see a foundation like us making a difference in the way that really makes a difference.”
Bill and Christine are asking community members to support Operation Bling, which received the American Cancer Society’s “Humanitarian Award” in 2008, by writing to Ellen and asking that Operation Bling be invited as a guest on her show.
Just being on the show could help the foundation immensely, Bill said.
“It’s the exposure and that we could get contributions that will enable us to reach out to more hospitals than what we’re doing now. That’s what we’re getting at,” Bill said. “We’re helping thousands and we’re making a difference every day in someone’s life.”
While Chris said she’d prefer to keep it quiet and not try to get the attention from someone like Ellen Degeneres, she realizes how much it could help the foundation and, in turn, allow the foundation to "bling" even more cancer patients, which is what is truly important.
You can write to Ellen directly on her show’s website, http://www.ellentv.com/be-on-the-show/653/.
BEHIND THE SCENES OF OPERATION BLING
CHRISTINE AND BILL
The Ferdinands said the success of the foundation is beyond their initial expectations.
“Chris and I use this term. It’s like we have this glass roof over our heads and it’s ready to explode. I say, ‘God has put this thin layer of plexiglass over the top, called funding, and God is saying, ‘Alright, we have to make sure we have everything in order before the rooftop explodes,’” Bill said. “To us, it’s like oh my gosh, we think back to where we started and where we are, and it could be even bigger. It can be a lot bigger, but it all has to do with getting the funds in so we can continue to give.”
The Ferdinands are also limited with their time, as they own and operate Ferdinand Jewelers and are heavily involved within the New Providence community.
“Chris jokingly says that work gets in the way of it because that’s our paying job. So work gets in the way of more that we can do,” Bill said. “Our son lives in Virginia. We go to visit him and he says, ‘I’m exhausted [from work]. Mom and Dad, how do you have so much energy to do your job, and do the stuff in town? And now you’re doing this foundation?’ We’re going seven days per week.”
When the Ferdinands arrive at their home in Morris Township each evening, after a long day of work at their jewelry store, Bill said he cooks dinner while Chris takes care of the behind-the-scenes work for the foundation.
“What I will do is go through receipts [from Bling sold at an event] and make a list of all the people who bought something and their address, and how it was paid for,” Chris said. “Then I will email that list to my one friend, Sue Cregan, who is a breast cancer survivor, and she writes thank you notes. It’s her way of helping. We send a handwritten thank you note to every person who buys something or makes a donation. I send the same list to my friend, Carol Cunningham, [a "Bling Angel"], and she keeps all of that information in excel spreadsheets.”
Christine said Carol keeps track of how many units each hospital has, how many Bling gifts were sold or donations received at an event, and so on, so the foundation has detailed records.
“BLINGING” AND “BLING ANGELS”
While there isn’t a designated “Bling Angel” at every hospital, the Ferdinands said anyone working in the hospital or willing to donate their time as a hospital volunteer can be a Bling Angel.
“It’s usually the person who visits with the patient is a Bling Angel,” Christine said. “It could be the oncology social worker, it could be the patient liaison, it could be the radiation technician, it could be an official hospital volunteer.”
There are official hospital volunteers who solely dedicate their time to "blinging" cancer patients, Christine said, who are trained by the hospital to be volunteers. The foundation currently has three Bling Angel volunteers.
Patients are usually only blinged once. However, if a Bling Angel sees that a patient is really having a rough day, Chris advises them to bling that patient again to brighten their day. However, they will not bling someone again who may just want another sparkly bauble for free.
“I don’t even say ‘no’ if someone really needs it,” Chris explains. “If they really need it, there’s no question. But honestly, they need to be in the mindset of sharing and understand, and let someone else have that experience, too.”
As for the Bling itself, the Ferdinands have a variety of pendants, rings, earrings, bracelets, as well as watches, crosses and money clips, to choose from, all made of stirling silver. While most are made with cubic zirconia, others may have real diamonds, various types of precious stones or even freshwater pearls.
“Our Bling Angels will walk into a patient’s room with three trays — a tray of pendants, a tray of earrings, a tray of rings, maybe some bracelets, and say, ‘I’m here from Operation Bling and they want to give you a gift. You get to chose.’ And they smile, just like that. They just say, ‘what, me?’ And then, it’s not only a gift they are getting. They become a part of our family. They can be on our prayer list. Most say ‘yes.’ Those who say ‘no,’ Chris still prays for; she has her own little private list. And then they have that. It just gives them a little up lift.”
The Ferdinands are always adding new pieces of Bling to their selection.
“This is just a small sample. We have boxes and boxes. This is just a few,” Chris said, referring to six trays of Bling she showed me during our interview. “But as far as on the web site, [the selection is limited]. I have to have a product photographer take the pictures because I’ve had all type of photographers but you need a macro lens and the lighting right.”
SEVERAL HOSPITALS ARE EAGER TO JOIN
The foundation can only sustain the eleven hospitals they are in right now. But the Ferdinands said there are several other hospitals, near and far, looking to join the Operation Bling family.
“Robert Wood Johnson wants us very badly,” Chris said. “They’ve been waiting for over a year. My Board of Directors won’t let us expand yet because we have to have enough money to nurture where we’re in and we’re in eleven area cancer centers.”
Others include Trinitas in Elizabeth, Monmouth Medical Center in Long Branch, and Center for Hope Hospice in Scotch Plains. There are even some hospitals in Virginia, their next target area for expansion, as well as Vermont, Massachusetts and even California who have requested to join the foundation.
Not being able to expand to other hospitals right now doesn’t stop the Operation Bling founders from reaching out to patients in other areas of the country.
“I send Bling gifts all over the country,” Chris explains. “I just sent one to Oregon. I’ll ship off a gift whether someone pays for it or not. If I get a tip that somebody [isn’t doing well], I’ll say, ‘give me your address.’ Sometimes people say, ‘I’d like to ship this and they pay for it.’
OPERATION BLING BOARD OF DIRECTORS
The Ferdinands said their Board of Directors was established when the foundation was founded in 2008, a requirement to receive their 501(c)3 designation, the “holy grail in the non-profit world,” Bill says.
The board, which includes Chris as the President and Bill as the Secretary, decides when the foundation can expand to another hospital.
Jim Allison, their Treasurer, is a Harvard Business School Graduate.
“We used to jokingly say he is our ‘black cloud.’ He is the one who pulls in the reigns because we’re the type where we want to say ‘yes’ and give it up. We get too excited,” Bill says. “But most of the time, we say to him, ‘Don’t worry, we’ll raise the money.’ But by holding us to eleven hospitals, we haven’t slighted anyone.”
Other board members include Christine’s sister, Kathryn Finnegan, and Brandy Johnson, an Oncology Social Worker for St. Clare's Hospital in Denville, who serves as a Bling Angel, brings balance to the board, and helps out through fund-raising.
Bill said it’s great for Brandy to be a social worker in the hospital because it opens up the door to patients in a unique way.
“Brandy says she uses it to pull the onion back because sometimes the patients don’t want to talk about something but it sort of breaks the ice,” Christine said. “Brandy says people do bling when someone is first diagnosed, people do it when they graduate, people do it at any time in between. Maybe they just need a push to get over the hump because they just can’t see the end and yet, they’re practically there.”
The foundation also has an attorney and an accountant to handle more of the behind-the-scenes tasks.
“This is the real deal,” Christine says.
“BLINGING” ISN’T JUST FOR CANCER PATIENTS
Yes, most Bling is given to patients. But Bling recipients sometimes choose to eventually buy a Bling gift for their caregiver, the person who stood by them and helped them get through their darkest days. While any Bling gift could be a gift for a caregiver, the Ferdinands said they are planning to add Bling gifts specifically for caregivers.
“They deserve recognition and some Bling recipients come in after treatment and buy a gift for their caregiver,” Chris said. “This one Bling recipient came into [Ferdinand Jewelers] to buy a Bling gift for her caregiver. She said, ‘I look at it like this: I didn’t have a choice. I got this diagnosis, I did battle; there was no choice. But the caregiver has a choice. The caregiver doesn’t have to be there. They don’t have to be there for every chemo treatment.’ It’s really important to the Bling recipient to thank them for being there.”
Chris said a patient who has been blinged may even buy the same Bling piece as their own for their caregiver, out of solidarity.
“We give watches to the men. We have money clips; we have a cross,” Chris said. “If they don’t like any of the gifts for men that we have, we encourage them to pick a gift for their loved one instead to wear.”
OPERATION BLING TOUCHES MORE THAN JUST CANCER PATIENTS
The foundation impacts the lives of Chris and Bill each and every day, especially in instances when they have the opportunity to sit with oncology patients and help them pick out their own Bling.
For example, Bill said he sometimes blings at Summit Medical Group in Berkeley Heights when he visits to replenish their supply.
“I go to the nurses’ station and one of the nurses who is treating one of the patients says, ‘Oh, one of the [Operation Bling] founders is here. Do you want to meet him?’ So I walk over and say, ‘What are you picking out?’ She says ‘I’m picking out a ring.’ So I bring over two more trays of rings and I sit with her and I say, ‘Go ahead, pick what you want.’ She looks and says, ‘Oh, this is perfect,’” Bill said. “Then I feel someone tapping me on my shoulder. I turn around and see this little lady, who says, ‘I was just blinged!’ She was just so excited. Then there’s this woman sitting there and she’s watching us. I said, ‘Have you ever been blinged?’ She says, ‘Oh, no, I’m an old-timer here. Take care of the other ones.’ She had two or three rounds, coming back with cancer. I said, ‘Wait a minute. You need to be blinged.’ She says, ‘Okay.’ She sits down and picks out a pendant. I cry because it’s just so emotional."
Bill said after a visit like that, he comes back to the store and tells Chris everything about his wonderful day.
The foundation has even touched the lives of children with learning disabilities, in a unique way.
Students at ECLC of New Jersey, which serves special needs children in Chatham, and the Morris Union Jointure Commission in New Providence, are “lifesavers” for the foundation.
“A bunch of teachers [at ECLC] are customers with us and they said, ‘Do you have anything for us to do?’ They have a skills department and they practice all these little things,” Chris said. “They look at us as an employer to them. We’re not really, but we’re helping students. They’re not getting paid, but it’s helping them learn. They are thrilled, we’re thrilled and it doesn’t cost us anything.”
Students at ECLC will label each Lucite crystal box and stuff each white organza pouch with Operation Bling Foundation’s story, mission statement, and contact information, and the inspirational poem, “What Cancer Cannot Do,” which is a time consuming process but helps those students who need practice with basic skills.
While the foundation continues to positively affect the lives of others, near and far, Operation Bling has left a profound impression on a few individuals who are very close to the foundation's founders.
Gwendolyn, the Ferdinands’ daughter, and her fiancé, Shaun Adair, live with the Ferdinands in Morris Township and are getting married in December of 2013. Both of their lives have been touched by Operation Bling and prompted each to move their careers in unexpected directions.
In a recent Operation Bling newsletter, Chris wrote the following:
Did I tell you that our daughter, Gwendolyn, is in nursing school? She was a marketing director on Fifth Avenue in New York. She felt that world had their priorities a bit askew. She wants to make a difference! Off to CCM, Gwen took herself with her sights on a BSN in the future. Gwen is already in her third semester of getting her pre-requirements fulfilled before entering clinicals. Congratulations to Gwendolyn! We are so proud of you! You are following in your grandmother’s footsteps! She would be so proud of you, too!
Did I tell you that our son-in-law-to-be got accepted to UMDNJ Medical School?
Shaun's dream has been to become a psychiatrist. His undergraduate and pre-medical studies have all headed him to his goal of attending UMDNJ Medical School. In January, I took him "blinging" with me to Trinitas in Elizabeth to show him what we do. I basically dragged Shaun along because Bill was busy and what I was bringing to them was a bit too much for me to carry in by myself. We had a fabulous, fun time "blinging" the patients! Shaun enjoyed the day and was very moved by our Bling recipients' reactions to being "blinged.”
What I did not know was that Shaun wrote about that day in Trinitas in his medical school application. What I did not know was he spoke extensively of Operation Bling and its affects on the patients to the dean and the committee of the Medical School at UMDNJ.
UMDNJ said to Shaun that psychiatry often gets a negative connotation and yet the oncology population is one that could benefit so much from psychiatry. They tell Shaun that they would like to see him go into oncology. They would like him to be a psychiatrist who specializes in oncology and then told him, "Here is your opportunity! Welcome to UMDNJ Medical School!"....and they handed him his acceptance letter! Classes started two weeks later and Shaun now studies his brains out in my Bling office because it is the quietest room in our house! HOW AWESOME IS THAT STORY?!
FAMILY AND HELPERS
The foundation really is a family affair, as their children help out in various capacities.
Gwendolyn continues to help with marketing because that’s the field she previously specialized in.
The Ferdinands also have two sons. Brad, 31, is married to Cydney and told Chris, “I’m proud of you, Mom. You’re making a difference, one person at a time.”
Their other son, Peter, 28, and girlfriend, Stacy, are “huge helpers. They are major hands on at all events, big and little,” Bill said.
Besides family, Chris said she has a lot of different volunteers at different levels.
Children in the New Providence community, who need community service hours for their Bat Mitzvah or Confirmation, volunteer their time to help the foundation after school by refilling the trays with new bling at Ferdinand Jewelers, which is also a time consuming process.
For example, Brandy Johnson, a member of the foundation’s Board of Directors, has a daughter named Willow. Willow volunteers for the foundation as a part of her “Mitzvah Project” and she helps at every event.
FUNDRAISERS AND BLING PARTIES
Besides the usual blinging of patients in nearby hospitals, the foundation hosts Bling parties, which have been around since the foundation began, at people’s homes.
They’ve even met individuals at Bling parties who have proved to be quite helpful for the foundation. For instance, Operation Bling was a vendor at the Raritan Riverfest and Rubber Duck Race on the Raritan River a few weeks ago, where they were able to sell bling with the help of eight volunteers. Chris said they met the organizer at a recent bling party, who allowed them to set up as a vendor, free of charge.
The Ferdinands also hosted a wine tasting at Morristown Club in June, which attracted 125 people and raised $12,000 for Operation Bling. This wine tasting, which was the fourth large event the foundation has held to date, will be an annual event.
Bill said Chris was also recently at a local Quest Diagnostic location, selling Bling. In one day, they sold 23 Bling gifts and raised about $1,000. “We can use that money to replenish what was sold and bring in more Bling,” Bill said.
When the Ferdinands host a fundraiser, take part in a community event or host a Bling Party, they bring trays upon trays of Bling in leatherette boxes, neatly stacked in little black cases on wheels, and they bring multiple cases to each event.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
To assist the foundation with their charitable efforts, the Ferdinands said community members can:
- Buy a piece of Bling for themselves or someone they know
- Spread the word about the foundation
- Make a donation online (http://www.operationblingfoundation.org/) or send to: Operation Bling Foundation, 6 South Street, New Providence, NJ 07974
- Write to The Ellen Degeneres Show — http://www.ellentv.com/be-on-the-show/653/
- “Like” Operation Bling on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/OperationBlingFoundation) and “follow” the foundation on Twitter (https://twitter.com/OperationBling)
- Morristown Memorial Medical Center — Morristown, NJ
- Overlook Medical Center — Summit, NJ
- Summit Medical Group — Berkeley Heights, NJ
- American Cancer Society — Springfield, NJ office
- Jersey Shore University Medical Center — Neptune, NJ
- University Medical Center — Princeton, NJ
- American Cancer Society’s Hope Lodge — New York City
- St. Clare’s Hospital — Denville, NJ
- Newark Beth Israel Medical Center — Newark, NJ
- St. Barnabas — Livingston, NJ
- Holy Redeemer Women’s Health Center — Southampton, PA
CONTACT OPERATION BLING FOUNDATION
6 South St.
New Providence, NJ 07974
(From the Operation Bling Foundation web site)
When I was at Overlook Hospital, with a 103 degree fever, an infection, feeling scared, depressed and most unattractive with my bald head, no eyebrows and no eyelashes, a "Bling Angel" stopped in, let me choose a piece of jewelry (which I wear with great pride), and really changed my mood for the better. I had been pondering about returning to work or retiring, a decision I had a terrible time making. What would I do after retiring that could be as rewarding as teaching? After she presented me with a lovely, sparkling pin, she stayed and chatted and listened. It was nice to know that somebody cared, and I snapped out of my depression. That day I vowed that, if and when I recovered, I would like to be a "Bling Angel" and try to help others in their battle with cancer. Helping others with cancer was something I could do after retirement that semed really worthwhile and a way of giving back after all the kindnesses I had received.
That wish has come true. I am a survivor and am presently taking bling gifts to cancer patients at Overlook. One woman chose a silver ring with a zirconium. She was thrilled because she had lost the diamond from her engagement ring, which she sorely missed, and this one was an exact duplicate. Another woman told me that she had been a singer and member of a choir, but felt too sick to sing while having chemo. When I asked her about the songs she used to sing, she told me that "Ave Maria" was her favorite and then burst into song and sang it loudly and beautifully. All the other patients and nurses in the chemo room heard her and applauded very enthusiastically. She beamed and offered to give a concert to the cancer patients. I felt so happy to see her looking so pleased.
Every time I "bling", I love to see the smiles on the patients, and I always feel so grateful for my recovery.
Dear Chris, I need to share a Bling incidence, one that surprised me. This summer I have been undergoing radiation treatments for a breast cancer diagnosis I received in the Spring. The prognosis was/is very positive, so we hadn't really "broadcast" it. As one doctor said, he thought it would be a "blip" in my schedule. Anyway, I finished today and the radiation therapists told me they had a gift for me. Imagine my surprise when I saw the Bling display boxes at their workstation! (For some reason, I never made the connection with radiation treatments.) You already know what a great thing you do--many times for a multitude of people you don't know....and sometimes for folks you do! I had never planned on being on the recipient side of Operation Bling(!) but thanks for bringing some bling to my "blip". Blessings as you keep blinging!
My name is Yusleine, I’m the mother of Katarina who is 4yrs old and was diagnosed with leukemia less than a year ago. She attends the Valerie Center in Morristown, NJ in which our social worker Ann Stocknoff and Cathy Cerutti introduced us to Operation Bling.
I would like to thank you for having such a wonderful foundation in which you not only lift the spirits of the child but of the family members as well. Katarina loves her heart shape pink earing as she feels likes a princess wearing them.
Your foundation is truly a blessing not only to my daughter but to all the children and family members that need a little brightness brought into their lives.
April 19, 2011
I just wanted to send you a little note to thank you for my bling! I love love love my bling...
August 2010, I was 43 and diagnosed with Invasive Lobular Breast Cancer, this was obviously very upsetting to my family and I. I learned of Operation Bling when I was speaking to a friend of mine; Brandy Johnson who is a social worker from St. Clares Hospital in Denville New Jersey. Brandy was preparing me for some of the difficult decisions I would be facing in the upcoming months. Brandy talked about the physical and emotional stresses I could have during my treatment. Then Brandy said, now let's talk about the good stuff...Brandy began telling me a story about a wonderful woman who wanted to make a difference for woman with cancer. She told me the story of how you started Operation Bling. Then to my surprise, Brandy pulled out a fancy black velvet box with the most lovely pieces of jewelry in it. She told me I could pick anything I wanted out of the box. I never heard of such a thing. All the pieces were so beautiful. My first decision was, would I like earrings or a ring...I decided on earrings because I knew I would be losing my hair from the chemo treatments and I thought a beautiful pair of earrings would make me feel better about that. And they did!Christine, I am much like you. Very spiritual and striving to make a difference in the world. I believe people are in our lives for a reason, as was your customer that inspired Operation Bling, as you are in mine. I admire people who act on Divine inspiration. You have done just that; you listened, you acted and you made a difference. Christine, you absolutely made a difference for me during the most difficult time in my life. Not only did you add sparkle to my life when it was very dull, but you also added warmth and kindness.
Christine, I wanted to personally thank you and your husband for your kindness. I love love the earrings I picked out. When I wear my earrings, I don't think of the negatives of breast cancer, I think of the positives; people making a difference for others. I will have them forever.
Here is a photo of me wearing my bling sitting in front of a get well card made for me by some precious preschoolers.
Oh and CONGRATULATIONS on being selected for WOMAN OF THE YEAR!
I am a 42 year old mother of two boys (ages 13 and 9) who was diagnosed with a brain tumor while pregnant with my 9 year old son. I had brain surgery to remove that astrocytoma tumor 9 years ago and have been monitored closely ever since. I have always felt uneasy about things and certainly celebrated my 40th birthday. Unfortunately, this past September my "routine" MRI showed that the roots had acted up again. I had to have surgery again and this time the tumor was a grade 3 astrocytoma. My worst fears had been realized. I started radiation and chemotherapy shortly after our return to New Jersey (I had my surgery in North Carolina at Duke University).
My network of friends and family is incredible but your Operation Bling brought such joy to me. My dear friend was working on getting my wristwatch fixed for me so that I could keep an eye on when to take my medication. She was referred to your shop and it was there that she was able to grieve all that was happening to me. You immediately made her a "bling angel" and allowed her to have her pick of something beautiful for me. My friend could not wait to bestow upon me my bling! Retail therapy at its best. We both were thrilled and felt the beauty of the moment. (as I do every time I wear my beautiful necklace and retell this story). Cancer does have so many dark sides, but you bring light to the darkness and I am so thankful.
I hope to have a "bling party" once I am feeling better as I believe in your mission so much. I may have lost my hair, but I can still feel pretty and sparkle!
Thank you for making such a terrible time a lot brighter.
Dear Mrs. Ferdinand,
On 8-21-09 I started a collection for O.B.F for my Bat Mitzvah project. My Bat Mitzvah is 4-21-12. I have had 2 lemonade stands plus my Aunt and Grandma each gave me money. But, my dad has contributed the most. He puts all of his pocket change in my bucket. I went to TD Bank today with my mom and we cashed in the change. We were both so surprised how much I have collected in one year. $91.02! I will continue to raise money for your foundation. Hope to see you soon with another big check!
p.s. My dad has contacted Merck to see if they could match my contribution. (A note from Operation Bling, Merck has matched Hannah’s $91.02!)
Thanks for the amazing work you do. I was "Blinged" the 1st day of my radiation treatment at Overlook last January. It was not my happiest day; however I could have never imagined someone I had never met gave me such a special "just for fun" gift. It caught me completely off guard and made my heart smile. It brought me happiness just when I needed some happiness. I selected earrings and they always warm my heart when I wear them! I hope this donation will help you continue doing your special work.
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