Sara’s Smiles Foundation: Lift the Cloud, inspire the joy
Sara Smiles Foundation, a designated 501C3 organization, was created by Sara’s family to carry on her memory, spirit and legacy of hope, determination and cheer. Our mission is to foster a more positive environment and upbeat experiences for children who are diagnosed with cancer by providing a variety of resources to entertain, comfort and educate. The three major facets of Sara’s Smiles are our website, Inspiration Kits and Inspiration Stations. Each is designed to cultivate a warmer, more personal, more empowered experience for children and their families.
Our website; http://www.saras-smiles.org is designed for both the child diagnosed with cancer as well as his/her family and friends. The website provides information about our Inspiration Kits, Inspiration Stations and many valuable resources. A comprehensive, user-friendly list of organizations that support and advocate for kids with cancer as well as websites and apps for games, arts and crafts, stress management and pain relief are also featured on our site.
Our inspiration Kits:
Sara’s Smiles Inspiration Kits help cultivate a more positive environment and frame of mind for children who are fighting and surviving cancer. Each Inspiration Kit is designed to be durable, portable, practical and fun. Our kits contain a sampling of the resources found on our website-items that can help families stay organized, connect with others and explore creative ways to encourage smiles. Whether in the hospital or at home, we believe that engaging children not only brightens their spirits but empowers them as well. Sara’s Smiles donates Inspiration Kits to pediatric cancer patients in the many hospitals with whom we are partnered and also upon request free of charge. Kits can be ordered by phone or via our website.
Our Inspiration Stations:
Sara’s Smiles Inspiration Stations are where clouds are lifted and joy is inspired via the creation of bright, beautiful Inspiration Cards. Inspiration Stations are easy to set up and can be hosted by anyone, anywhere such as at schools, parties, shopping centers, etc. Volunteers hosting Inspiration Stations encourage people to share colorful, uplifting and positive words, phrases, quotes and pictures on cloud-shaped Inspiration Cards. The cards, crammed with positive ‘graffiti’. offer an extra measure of love and support to the patients and families who receive them. The Inspiration Cards can also be used to add a spot of colorful cheer to the walls of a child’s room. They act as a constant reminder of the strength that lies within each child and the unbroken, loving connection to a community that cares about them. Inspiration Cards are included in our kits. They can also be delivered as a surprise package of love and cheer to a child diagnosed with cancer upon request by family and/or friends. More information on how to host an Inspiration Station or to request the delivery of Inspiration Cards can be found on our website.
Sara Burke was a vibrant, energetic, fun-loving five-year-old. She loved arts and crafts, mac’ n cheese, music, her Big Wheel and her big brother and big sister.
On July 6, 2007, Sara was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor. She underwent many surgeries, chemotherapy, stem cell transplants and procedures of all sorts. Sara’s initial brain surgery left her with significant deficits, such as left-sided weakness and double vision. Sara worked very hard in a variety of therapies to regain her strength, coordination and independence. The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia became a home away from home for Sara and her family. She and her mother lived there for seven months.
Tragically, on May 12, 2008, Sara lost her courageous battle with cancer. She leaves behind a legacy of hope and love that is truly inspirational. Sara battled her disease with fierce determination and an unwavering positive attitude, living every moment to its fullest, even under the most adverse circumstances. Although physically distant from the world she knew, Sara was able to harness the power of love and support. This energy filled her heart, brightened her outlook and strengthened her resolve to fight.
Hearing the diagnosis of cancer is both shocking and frightening and the hospital can be a scary place. Many families are unable to imagine happiness as part of the equation. Some may feel joy is inappropriate, others simply may not know how to incorporate it into their ‘new’ lives. Sara’s Smiles Foundation was created to help.
All donations to the Sara’s Smiles Foundation are tax deductible. Checks may be payable to: Sara’s Smiles Foundation and mailed to:
1349 Lindsay Lane
Meadowbrook, PA 19046
Visit our website to donate online at http://www.saras-smiles.org
Disclaimer: This information was taken directly from the Sara’s Smilies Foundation pamphlet and I give them full credit for the information. If you need any information on the organization, please call or email the above numbers. Thank you to this family in memory of their daughter.