Christine and Bill Ferdinand, founders of a charity called that brings joy to oncology patients by delivering sparkly baubles right to their hospital beds, were honored with a joint resolution from the State Assembly and Senate on Monday night.
The Ferdinands, owners of in New Providence, started the non-for-profit corporation in 2008, which is now in three states, 13 hospitals and has given “bling” to eight thousand cancer patients.
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. All gifts are presented in a Lucite crystal box nestled in a white organza pouch and contain the inspiration poem "What Cancer Cannot Do."
“Under the capable guidance of Christine and Bill Ferdinand, the Operation Bling Foundation has worked tirelessly and affectively in benefit of others, and is recognized and saluted for their outstanding service and exemplary dedication of contributing to the foundation’s sterling reputation,” said Assemblywoman Nancy Munoz, who presented the resolution to the Ferdinands with Assemblyman Jon Bramnick. “The strength and success of the State of New Jersey… and the effectiveness of our American society depend in great measure upon citizens such as the two of you who unite voluntarily, act together and provide your unique talents to further a cause, to perform a necessary service, to support one another and your communities, and to relieve others of unavoidable hardship and [those are] the key words here. What you do for those patients is really remarkable.”
Bramncik said in today’s society, a little humanity goes a long way, but a lot of humanity is truly appreciated by everyone.
“It’s so important in today’s society where there is so much antagonism, there’s so much rhetoric that you hear on television that is me versus you, you bring that kindness that we need so much, that is so needed in our society, and I can tell you that your legacy will live on,” Bramnick said. “You send a message to all of us that we should think of the other person so God bless you, and congratulations on behalf of 8.5 million people in the State of New Jersey.”
The Ferdinands received a standing ovation from the large crowd in Council Chambers and Bill said a few words about the foundation’s future plans.
“We’ve given out around eight thousands gifts already throughout the State of New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania, and we do plan on going nationwide and I’m saying this from the heart of my wife and myself, the best way to say this is the letters we get and the Thank You’s we get from cancer patients is just amazing, it’s totally amazing,” Bill said. “We wake up every morning and we thank God that we are who were are, because we know who we’re reaching out to, and I really thank you for this honor. I thank you both.”
For those looking to learn more about Operation Bling and share it with others, it's possible to host a bling party, where a bling angel will go to the host's home and explain all the information about the charity. Gifts can be purchased for someone who's battling cancer or for anyone who'd like to wear one out of solidarity. Each piece of bling is $45 and 100 percent of the proceeds go toward the purchase of more bling.
The foundation's website is filled with heartwarming and inspiring testimonials from those whose lives have been touched by Operation Bling.
For more information, visit www.OperationBling.org or call 1-877-BLING-03.
—Liz Alterman contributed to this report.