As part of a website redesign project, I just uploaded photo albums for nearly all of Jeremy’s Circle’s events over the past 15 years.
I worked my way through the photos starting from our earliest days at Jeremy’s Circle, the organization I co-founded to support children and families affected by cancer, after the loss of my husband, Jeremy in 2008. His sisters, close friends, and I were determined to create a community where our small children could find support, fun, and connection with others with similar experiences.
The photographs testify to the resilience and growth among the children. They capture the laughter and cooperation during workshops, sports days, trips to activity parks, and more. These events provided a semblance of normalcy for them in a world marred by fear and uncertainty.
As I look through the albums I am overwhelmed with gratitude. This organization, made possible by the dedication of countless volunteers and supporters, has been a beautiful source of friendship and healing for thousands of children in Jeremy’s name. The resulting memories, and the photographs that capture them, narrate the story of our children’s growth as well as theirs.
This month we welcomed our 1000th family to Jeremy’s Circle.
1000 families means over 30% growth over 18 months, and while I have mixed feelings about growing so quickly (I wish everyone could be healthy!) it reinforces our growing responsibility to each participating family and their unique challenges.
Together with the new families are those who have been with us for years – some even many years – growing from babyhood into teenagers and into young adults who at times return as volunteers. Along with demonstrating the participating children’s growth, the new website also reflects how we’ve evolved as an organization. We have become more experienced, knowledgeable, and professional, with better defined and expanded programs for children and teens. The new website – now in Hebrew, English, Arabic and Russian – is easier to navigate, and will better serve our rapidly growing membership.
This month we also celebrate the Jewish New Year and the new school year.
I co-founded Jeremy’s Circle with Z heading into 2nd grade, L going to kindergarten, and G, too young for nursery school. As G begins 12th grade, this is my last “new school year” as a mom. I can’t help but be sentimental about how much the kids (and in parallel Jeremy’s Circle) have matured.
At the start of this New Year, I must thank everyone who supported and joined the Jeremy’s Circle community over the years. I invite you to look at the albums of happy moments you helped give the children of Jeremy’s Circle, who so desperately needed them. As we look ahead to the next 15 years and beyond, let us continue to celebrate and support each other.
Wishing you all a joyful Rosh Hashanah and a successful, transformative new school year.