THE DAVID AND JANIS LARSON FOUNDATION AND OTHERS MADE THE $1 MILLION+ SUPPORT POSSIBLE WHILE CREATING EVEN MORE SUSTAINABILITY MOVING FORWARD
EDINA, MINN – [FEBRUARY 4, 2021] – The global COVID-19 pandemic affected everyone from all walks of life, but the childhood cancer population was hit especially hard. The overwhelming fear and anxiety of a new wide-spread and unknown virus has made life for these families even that much more difficult. Many parents faced job loss and other financial stressors while medical bills and everyday costs continued to rise. Pinky Swear Foundation stepped in and assisted families with a child battling cancer with over $1 million in direct support during 2020, allowing these families to feel a sense of security during an incredibly uncertain time.
“This pandemic has been incredibly challenging for all of us,” says Erica Campbell, Pinky Swear Foundation’s executive director. “But having to deal with 2020 while your child was also battling for their life against cancer is unimaginable. These families have had to endure so much, and I am so humbled to step alongside them to let them know they are not alone in this journey.”“This pandemic has been incredibly challenging for all of us,” says Erica Campbell, Pinky Swear Foundation’s executive director. “But having to deal with 2020 while your child was also battling for their life against cancer is unimaginable. These families have had to endure so much, and I am so humbled to step alongside them to let them know they are not alone in this journey.”
Pinky Swear Foundation received a life-changing $2 million gift at the end of 2019 from the David and Janis Larson Foundation. This gift is in honor of a close Larson family friend’s son, Cal (also known as “Super Cal”), who passed away at age five from childhood cancer in 2016. At the request of the David and Janis Larson Foundation, $1.5 million was directed to a new endowment to create long-lasting stability, while $500,000 was donated for direct family support – paying for families’ mortgages and rent, car payments, gas and grocery expenses and more.
“We are incredibly humbled to support so many families, especially during a global pandemic that has affected us all,” says Lance Larson, trustee to the David and Janis Larson Foundation. “Giving back and supporting our community is the purpose of our Foundation, and it’s a true honor to be able to do this in a way that carries on the legacy of our friend’s son, Cal. We are incredibly grateful for this mission to help kids with cancer and their families and look forward to a bright future together with Pinky Swear.”
After seeing the impact of their inaugural gift, the Larson Foundation stepped up once again during a year of extreme uncertainly with an additional $2 million gift – dividing the gift into the same areas to both ensure future stability and immediate support for families right now. This bold gift was met with other generous family foundations and supporters following suit, allowing for more than $1 million dollars to help kids with cancer and their families, the most financial support Pinky Swear Foundation has ever given out in a single year, nearly doubling the amount of support from 2019.
“With 15,000 new childhood cancer diagnoses each year, it’s extremely difficult to support every family that applies to Pinky Swear Foundation when their world is turned upside down,” continues Campbell. “This generous gift allows us get closer to closing the gap and say ‘yes, we can help’ when these families need it most – right now.”
About Pinky Swear Foundation Founded in 2003, Pinky Swear Foundation is a national 501c(3) nonprofit headquartered in Edina, MN passionately committed to helping children with cancer and their families with financial and emotional assistance. Pinky Swear Foundation activities include a variety of community engagement and fundraising events around the nation, raising more than $17.5 million to-date. To learn more, visit www.pinkyswear.org.