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#FeelGoodFriday: OneBlood & Their Partners Pour Blood Sweat & Tears into CLT!

Our city is full of the best people and best businesses.  Every day we learn of something spectacular that our volunteers, supporters, sponsors, and partners are doing during this crazy time and it brightens our hearts and gives us hope.  We plan to spotlight these stories through #FeelGoodFriday. Every Friday, we will spotlight something spectacular around us.  We hope it will brighten your day too! 

Today’s #FeelGoodFriday shout out goes out to OneBlood who has been working their tails off to help make sure our local hospitals have blood product supplies during the pandemic.  And also a shoutout to all the partners and donors who stepped in to make that supply possible.  If you’re healthy and able to donate blood products, make sure to set up your appointment.

Early into the Coronavirus crisis there was great concern surrounding the availability of blood for our hospitals and their patients.  As businesses and organizations in our region and across the country began to shut their doors and stay at home orders were announced, blood drive cancelations started pouring in.  The level of cancelations was unprecedented.  We began to inform our hospitals of a potential blood shortage. 

The hospitals we serve immediately answered the call in a big way.  Atrium booked blood drives at 11 hospital locations every single week in April, and are continuing some into May.  They didn’t just give a place to park the bus, they had donors show up in droves.  Since March 23rd Atrium’s locations alone have collected over 1,300 units of blood.   The team at Atrium is literally pouring their blood, sweat, and tears into this community.  That’s enough to make you feel good every day, but even more so on #FeelGoodFriday!

OneBlood is also part of an important advancement in the fight against Covid-19 by collecting COVID-19 convalescent plasma (CCP).  This plasma is collected from donors who have completely recovered from Coronavirus.  Their plasma contains an antibody that when transfused, can help aid in the recovery of patients currently suffering from Coronavirus.  

Oneblood’s first CCP collection happened on Friday and one unit has already been sent to a local hospital supporting a patient in need!  We are so proud to be partners with Oneblood and appreciate them working their tails off for our community! 

A few ways you can help:

❤️Learn more about Oneblood’s convalescent plasma program and eligibility requirements

❤️Learn more about hosting a blood drive in the future

❤️Schedule a blood donation appointment

Dear JEM Project: Your Donation is Giving Children Fighting Cancer Time

It’s hard to put into words how grateful we are for the impact The JEM Project’s $250,000 donation to ISF is creating for kids fighting rare pediatric cancer and for our community.  Follow along this week as we share ‘Thank You’ letters from many of those who feel the incredible significance of their gift.

Isabella’s Grandmother shares what donations like this have given to her…

Dear JEM Project, 

Thank you. Those two words cannot begin to express how grateful I am for your generosity to ISF. I am Isabella’s grandma and I, along with Isabella and her family have faced pediatric cancer head on. Somewhere, deep inside, during her journey, I always knew losing her was a possibility. The cancer could win. We all knew it. It was this fear that grew like a fire inside all of us who knew her and formed ISF.  But the money and the research needed were not available at the time to save Isabella and on June 28, 2012 our hearts were forever broken. 

It is well known that donations are made to fund research. To search for a cure. To promote the cause. But let me share with you what donations like yours have given to me. They gave me time. Almost eight years have passed, and I am slowly able to look at the pictures and smile at the memories of Isabella and our time together. The clinical trials, those like you are helping fund, gave me time with her to bake cookies, take walks, laugh, and even argue. The research that people like you help fund gave me real life moments with Isabella like talking to her in the car on the way to school about getting married and boyfriends. The money that you gave to pay for the best oncologists to treat her gave me time to read to her and sing silly songs about broccoli. They gave me time to have her try on a flower girl dress for my wedding. These donations unfortunately, did not save her life but they gave us time. They gave us time to say I love you to her every day. They gave me time to support my daughter, Erin, as she navigated through the most incomprehensible decisions that any parent must make. They gave me time to lie in bed with them and understand the importance of that simple moment. As I write this, I understand that this is a selfish look at the significance of your donation, but I hope you understand that your donation today is giving children precious time. It is giving parents, brothers, sisters, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and friends time. It is giving doctors and nurses time. It is giving research hospitals time. The cure will come. It is on the horizon and it is exciting to hear of the new research and technologies available that were not available for Isabella. But this too will take time. 

I am so grateful for your extremely generous donation to the foundation. ISF is doing incredible things and making a difference in the lives of children and their families. They are refusing to let pediatric cancer hide in the shadows. They are shining a bright light on the future and I am so glad to welcome you into this light. They are not going to give up and it is because of your generous heart that they are able to continue their mission. I hope I can meet you someday to thank you in person. 

From the bottom of my heart……Thank you!

Connie Stewart, Isabella’s Grandma

Isabella Santos Foundation Receives $250,000 Gift by The JEM Foundation

Sweet’s Elderberry Donates $8,000 to Pediatric Cancer Research

Most families we know fighting cancer swear by Sweet’s Elderberry Syrup. Not only do we love their product, we love what they stand for in our community. During the month of March, Sweets Syrup celebrated their 4th birthday with Sweetsgiving, their annual campaign to give back to the community. During the first week of March, the Sweets team committed to donating 20% of their sales of Sweet’s Elderberry Syrup to ISF.

“I had hoped and prayed for a big week, and little did I know we would have OUR BIGGEST WEEK EVER!! 🙌🙌🙌Sweet’s Syrup is donating $8704 to the Isabella Santos Foundation to help fight pediatric cancer – a cause I support with all my heart. I can honestly say that in my four years in business, this is the pinnacle for me, the BEST. And thank you all for making it happen!!”

In early 2018, Sweet’s Syrup began donating organic elderberry syrup to nurses in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Levine Children’s. Soon, this expanded to include the Pediatric Critical Care and Pediatric Oncology units. The little patients in these wards must be protected from infection, so it’s important that their caregivers have strong immune systems and come to work healthy. 

Sweet’s also provides 16-ounce bottles syrup to several families dealing with cancer, with the goal of helping them stay healthy during their child’s treatment. Qualifying families can DM Sweet’s via Facebook or Instagram. Those in the Charlotte area will be given a location to pick up syrup. If you live elsewhere, you’ll receive a special code to get a free bottle at www.sweetssyrup.com. Simply pay for shipping.

Shop online today or locate a Sweet’s retailer near you:  sweetssyrup.com