November 2020 E-Newsletter
A Message from our National Director amid the COVID-19 Pandemic

The last eight months have brought incredible changes to all of our lives as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and civil unrest. Never did we imagine that the effects of those occurrences would last so long and have such detrimental consequences on our health, livelihood, and families. It is during times such as these that we must be compelled to muster the strength to press forward each and every day. Now more than ever, I have learned to be intentional in my interactions with others. I now check on my family members and friends immediately when the thought crosses my mind because tomorrow is not promised. I have come to better recognize the power of words and acts of kindness and appreciation.
These uncertain times are causing income and health insurance loss for many families whose members were already financially vulnerable. Fresh Start Caring For Kids Foundation has seen increasing demand for multistage surgeries --- surgeries that many families are unable to afford and surgeries that are deemed as cosmetic by insurance companies. Patients are able to receive the surgeries they so desperately need and desire because Fresh Start Caring For Kids Foundation stands in the gap left vacant by our healthcare system. SUCH SURGERIES ARE POSSIBLE DUE TO THE GENEROSITY OF OUR FAITHFUL DONORS. Now, more than ever, we need to take care of our most vulnerable population. Won’t you recommit yourself to making lasting change in the lives of children --- one surgery at a time? YOUR CONTINUED SUPPORT OF OUR MISSION MATTERS.
This e-newsletter is filled with stories of hope and inspiration, all of which were made possible by the generosity and kindness of others. I hope they bring a smile to your face, even if only for a little while, during these still uncertain times. Be safe, and be well as we continue to pray for you, your loved ones, and our community.

Utica J. Gray, PhD, MSHSA, BA
National Director
Support Fresh Start Caring For Kids Foundation While Getting a Head-Start on Your Holiday Shopping

Fresh Start Caring For Kids Foundation will make your holiday shopping as easy as clicking a few buttons. An online auction will be hosted from November 25, 2020 thru December 2, 2020. Would you prefer to make a monetary donation that would be 100% tax-deductible? You will be able to do so via the online auction platform as well. Proceeds from the online auction and donations will benefit Fresh Start Caring For Kids Foundation in its efforts to transform lives --- one surgery at a time.

Former Chicago White Sox and 2005 World Series MVP, Jermaine Dye, along with Honorary Chairperson, Kevin Miller, will host the 6th Annual Celebrity Golf Classic on May 23-24, 2021 at Rich Harvest Farms (7S771 Dugan Road, Sugar Grove, IL 60554). The event will feature a Celebrity Shootout, a Celebrity Golf Classic Pre-Tournament Dinner, and a golf tournament with VIP celebrities and the opportunity to mingle with MLB, NHL, NFL, and NBA friends as well as other celebrities. Attendees can expect a very memorable and exciting time as we raise money to support low-income, uninsured, and underinsured children with physical deformities through comprehensive healthcare treatments at no cost to their families. Proceeds will benefit Fresh Start Caring For Kids Foundation in its mission to provide children with no-cost reconstructive surgery and follow-up medical care.
October 2020 Surgery Weekend Recap
Our 19th Chicago Surgery Weekend was held on October 24, 2020, and we served three patients. We are very grateful to our volunteer medical team, support staff and The University of Chicago Medicine Comer Children's Hospital for their continuous support.


February 20-21, 2021
May 1-2, 2021
September 18-19, 2021

Patient Spotlight Update: Jasper

Jasper is an 11-year-old who underwent surgery in February 2016 at The University of Chicago Medicine Comer Children's Hospital to correct his left ear deformity. Read about how his life has changed since his surgery.

Volunteer Spotlight: Monica Kniss, RN, BSN

We are delighted to introduce Monica Kniss, RN, BSN as a member of our volunteer team. Monica is a Registered Nurse at The University of Chicago Medicine.
Volunteers from Skulls and Drills Partner with
Barrington High School Students to Use Their Talents to Benefit Surgery Weekend Volunteers

Volunteers from Skulls and Drills, a charity that provides financial help through donations for those unable to afford care for brain-related injuries, partnered with Barrington High School students to make 207 cloth masks. The masks were generously donated as tokens of appreciation to our volunteers at our October 24, 2020 Surgery Weekend. Our Surgery Weekend volunteers loved the colorful and beautifully-crafted masks. Even the COVID-19 pandemic cannot keep the goodness of humanity down!

Thank you to Carol Ann Jacovich-Ochwat, our Medical Program Coordinator, for establishing the partnership with Skulls and Drills and the Barrington High School students. Special thanks to our friends from both organizations for using their skills to enable us to provide practical and functional tokens of appreciation to our volunteers who generously donate their time during Surgery Weekends!

Other Ways to Give
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