KATY MAGAZINE NEWS
December 9, 2020
By Natalie Cook Clark
Stuff the Sleigh, a locally based non-profit organization, aims to help families experience the Christmas spirit while they are suffering along with their child with cancer. Like so many charities, the pandemic has impacted them greatly, and they seek community support to bring joy to families who really need it this holiday season.
Braelyn, 3 years old, has Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML).
The Pandemic Has Greatly Impacted Fundraising
Stuff the Sleigh relies on events for about 90% of their annual budget. During the pandemic, they have had to postpone or drastically downsize their events, which means fundraising has suffered significantly.
“It is heartbreaking because the pediatric cancer patients and families we serve are in such devastating situations,” says Nicole Rueda, Executive Director for Stuff the Sleigh. “It is hard to imagine not being able to support them when they need it the most.”
Stuff the Sleigh will serve more than 100 families this year. This includes families served through our programs as well as our partnerships with the Ronald McDonald House Houston.
Eva, 6 years old, was diagnosed with DIPG, or diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma, a terminal brain cancer last year.
“We have 30 families that applied for assistance through our Holiday Angels program, each of which is not receiving assistance elsewhere and had been selected to apply by their medical social worker,” explains Rueda.
This year, the best way to donate is through the Stuff the Sleigh website or via Facebook. “We are always looking for strategic partners to help provide support throughout the year,” says Rueda. Those interested can send them an email.
“We need gift cards for our Holiday Angels program,” says Rueda. “In 2019, we were able to provide $250 on average to each of the 70 families we served through our Holiday Angels program.”
Families used the gift cards to purchase their holiday dinner as well as miscellaneous items they need.
“In so many instances, the items families get through our program are the only gifts given for Christmas,” says Rueda.
Learn More about 'Stuff the Sleigh'
Stuff the Sleigh was founded in 2008 and aims to help each child with cancer or a hematological condition. Learn more about their organization at their website.