Now beginning its third year, Jack’s Angels’ Board of Directors is conducting a thorough review of our beginning endeavors for the process of finding our long-term focus for how we can be most effective in our mission. Our mission itself is finding balance and clarity throughout this process, and our forward movement into 2015 and beyond is dependent upon it. One of the many results of this will be a complete financial report accessible to anyone, with a commitment to ongoing transparency. Our mission will continue to promote awareness, support, and research for Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma.
Our main accomplishments have been in raising awareness; in 2014, the State Assembly of California named May 25-31st “DIPG Awareness Week”, thanks to the work of CA State Assemblyman Scott Wilk, and our now U.S. Congressman Steve Knight, formerly CA State Senator in 2014. We are equally proud of the “for Jack” DIPG Research Fund at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, established in September 2013, thanks to the support of the Mod Hatters of Acton.
Generally speaking, we do not have the financial support to be a major force in the world of research, but we can be supportive to our local children’s research hospital’s neuro-oncology program, with the “for Jack” DIPG research fund. This is based at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. All donations tagged “research” go to this fund. Contributions from events that were not fully funded by Jack’s Angels, but supported by other organizations, such as the Powderpuff Football Game at Vasquez H.S. in Acton, CA, have been the most effective in contributing to research. A close second would be the “Art for Jack” events in May, of which the 3rd Annual Event is approaching. Other attempts at events conceived of and executed solely by Jack’s Angels been more costly than than our proceeds, and have functioned mainly to raise awareness for DIPG and the urgent need for research funding. So, we are happy to continue the “Art for Jack” music and art festival, and collaborate with others. The donation boxes from 2014 brought in a modest $248, from 10 change boxes in the local community. This money goes directly to the research fund.
Probably the most gratifying activity is the “Project Angel Box”, in which we create care packages with art materials to the afflicted. This is a direct way that we can be supportive, help in creating beautiful memories for posterity. We are a long way from a cure, so in the mean time we wish to be helpful to the families that call upon us, with comfort and support resources in our own local community. These care packages include now handcrafted winged hearts and angels, art supplies, and movies. This project cannot exist without funding, so there will be much effort in 2015 to find sponsors and donations from stores for our care packages.
Still in mind for the future is an art gallery committed to raising awareness for our cause, and providing a forum for artists to display their works, particularly young artists in the local community. We have yet to procure a location or the support in human energy to this project, though Jack’s Angels began collecting art donations in 2013; if we were to start today, we would have a nice art gallery! Collaborating with the local artists of Santa Clarita in having such a gallery will be one of our first ideas to investigate this year.
June 1st 2015, we will be announcing openings for positions in the organization. Our next important event is our 3rd Annual “Art for Jack” Music and Art Festival for Children, after which we will refocus and assess our greatest needs as an organization, including of course the information gained from our current review process for these announcements.
Finally, our volunteers have been the driving force for the survival of Jack’s Angels, for which our organization is named. Our current volunteer needs will be updated regularly on our Volunteer Page. We look forward to an industrious and collaborative year ahead!