Some Thoughts on the Corona Virus from Juggling for Jude

I made this video back in August of 2014 when I was 9. It’s 23 seconds of me explaining why I was doing Juggling for Jude, and it talks about kids with cancer missing out on exactly the kinds of things we are all missing out on right now. 

During this crazy time of being quarantined in my house, having online school, unable to do the activities I love or to see my friends, I’ve been thinking a lot. Last night, the power went out in our house, and it felt like a little much. My sister, mom, and I were up together (it was late, around 11pm), and we were talking about how thankful we will be when the power goes back on and how thankful we will be when life returns to normal. That made me think even more. Obviously, now is not the time to ask people to donate to charity. Understandably, people are focusing on their own well-being, and many people are out of work. My parents own a small business that has been shut down, and I know how stressful things are in my own home.

We have all had our normal lives taken from us. We can’t go to work, see friends or family, travel, play sports, or do almost any of things we love to do. I’ve been so sad at times and actually miss going to school and wish I could! What I realized last night is that, for some people, all of this happens every day, and has been happening for years. People’s lives have stopped. For them, this isn’t the first time.

When children get diagnosed with cancer, their lives as they know them stop completely. They go to a hospital, they can’t see their friends or go to school or play sports. Just like students around the country being ripped off of college campuses right now, or like my sister who is a high school senior finding out that all of her final performances for the year are cancelled and that she won’t have a prom or possibly even a graduation. When kids and teens get diagnosed with cancer, everything changes. They aren’t just quarantined. They’re also fighting for their lives and some have to pay loads of money for treatment. They are more stressed and scared than any person should be. Their whole lives are taken from them. This happens to the kids at St. Jude. Thankfully, St. Jude takes away the financial concerns and tries their best to incorporate some of the normalcy in kids’ lives at the hospital. They have a school program, they are able to see their families, they have activities, but it isn’t the same.

After this scary and unpredictable time in our lives is all over, and I know it will be, let’s try to be grateful for all that we have and all that we get to do.

If you come out the other side in a position to help, please keep in mind the people who have to go through this for years and years, praying that they will live.

Stay healthy, Everyone, and thanks for reading this!

~Hollis

St. Jude Founders Day in San Francisco!

Yesterday, February 4th, was St. Jude Founders Day, celebrating the day when Danny Thomas opened St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Since then, the survival rate for childhood cancers in the US has gone from 20% to 80%, and for pediatric leukemia from 4% to 94%. It’s truly amazing!

I got to spend the night with some of St. Jude’s leaders at an event in San Francisco. Rick Shadyac, the CEO of ALSAC, St. Jude’s fundraising arm, came to speak. He is like a celebrity to me. I met him back when I was 12 and won an award at St. Jude. Last night, he was so nice to give me a special shout out at the beginning of his talk. It was great! My mom caught it on video, which you can watch by clicking the photo.

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Mr. Shadyac’s speech was super inspiring, and I learned more about how St. Jude’s mission is to treat kids with cancer around the world, no matter their economic situation or racial or religious background. This is consistent with Danny Thomas’s mission from when he started the hospital in Memphis, a city he chose because it was segregated and he wanted to make sure that ALL kids with cancer were treated free of charge.

I also got to hear about some of the incredible medical advances and research methods being used at St. Jude, told by Dr. Beth Stewart. She is an amazing person who researches solid tumors, treats patients at St. Jude, and runs thousands of miles raising money for the hospital. Plus, she was just so, so nice and told me that she can do the work she wants to do because I’m doing the work I’ve chosen to do. AMAZING!

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I also got to catch up with one of my biggest donors, Steve, shown below. He is just the nicest person and so dedicated to helping me help St. Jude. Screen Shot 2020-02-05 at 10.01.49 PM.png

Big thanks to the St. Jude San Francisco office for putting on this special event. I loved it and made some connections that will hopefully lead to some fun projects that will bring in money for kids with cancer everywhere!

If you’d like to support the lifesaving work of doctors like Beth Stewart, please head over to my donation page HERE.

Thank you for your support!

~Hollis

 

It’s Official! More than $400,000 Raised!

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Happy New Year, Everyone!

2020 is starting out pretty well, and I’m excited to report that I am now on the road to $500,000 to support the lifesaving work at St. Jude! Huge thank you’s go out to all of my donors over the years for helping me pass this exciting milestone! I can’t wait to be able to say that we’ve raised a half a million dollars to help the fight against pediatric cancer!Screen Shot 2020-01-09 at 7.32.10 PM.png

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The first photo above is of little Riku with his mom during his treatment for brain cancer at St. Jude. The second photo was taken just months later, when I was lucky enough to meet Riku at the St. Jude Walk in San Francisco in September. THIS IS WHY I JUGGLE AND SPREAD AWARENESS. This is what donations do–it all saves lives like Riku and lets parents like his mom not have to worry about finances!

Here’s to a year of HEALTH for the kids at St. Jude and around the world who are fighting childhood cancer! I can’t wait for all I have planned this year to help make a difference and to show other young people that we can ALL find a way to give back!

Please go HERE if you would like donate to St. Jude and help save other kids like Riku.

THANK YOU for your support!

~Hollis

 

In Shape Health Clubs Donated $50,000!

 

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This is the third year in a row that In Shape Health Clubs has contributed to my fundraiser for St. Jude! I am so grateful, because this year, through their #InShapeFightsCancer campaign, they raised $50,000 to give to St. Jude through Juggling for Jude. This gift will go a long way in supporting kids with cancer!

Pictured with me above is Kris Mulkey, who is in marketing at In Shape and was the one who introduced Juggling for Jude to her awesome company.

I am so grateful for Kris and everyone at In Shape for thinking of kids with cancer again this year!

If you’d like to make a tax-deductible donation for 2019 to St. Jude, you can do that HERE. It just takes a minute!

Happy Holidays, and thank you!

~Hollis

GIVING TUESDAY WEEK: A LIVE TV INTERVIEW AND A SCHOOL SPEECH!

JFJ Giving Tuesday BannerLast week was #GivingTuesday, and I was honored to have two really great experiences talking about the importance of youth in philanthropy!

First, I was interviewed live on Mornings on 2 on KTVU. It was my second time on the show, and it was a blast! Here is a link to my interview with Sal Castenada. Just click on the photo to watch!

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I also visited a local middle school, where the 6th graders are doing a unit on young change-makers. I am so honored that they chose to study me and my work for St. Jude! I love going to speak to students, and this group had so many great questions for me after my talk! I can’t wait for my next school speech!

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Thank you for your support, and remember, you can go HERE any time to donate and help kids with cancer!

~HOLLIS

Giving Thanks!

During this week of Thanksgiving, I have so much to be grateful for! I’ll be posting another blog before Giving Tuesday, when I’ll be asking people to consider giving to Juggling for Jude to help kids with cancer, but for now, I’d like to say thank you to everyone who helped make this special honor happen:

I recently received the Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy award from the Association of Fundraising Professionals Golden Gate Chapter. I got to speak on a panel with some big names in Bay Area giving, and it was an incredible opportunity to share my story and learn from people like Roselyn “Cissie” Swig, a long-time philanthropist who was also on the panel.

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Click on the photo below to hear to my acceptance speech from the luncheon. I talk about how the importance of youth in philanthropy, and the lifesaving work at St. Jude and some of my patient inspirations.

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You can also see an interview with the AFP to learn more about how Juggling for Jude began!

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As you gather with friends and family, please keep in mind the kids at St. Jude and their fight against childhood cancer! You can donate HERE any time!

Thank you, and Happy Thanksgiving!

~Hollis

 

 

 

My Mom is Turning 50, so we did Something Special to Get more Donations for St. Jude!

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My parents always say that I should work hard for donations, and they do, too! When my dad turned 50 earlier this year, I juggled my soccer ball while he made 50 basketball layups.

This month is my mom’s 50th birthday, and she’s really good at pullups. She decided to try to do 50 strict pullups while I juggled, without dropping the ball until she was done. 50 strict pullups is a lot, so she had to pace herself and rest in between. We did it on the first try! It took just about ten minutes (910 juggles).

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Here’s the full video, and here’s a time-lapse version,  in case you don’t have ten minutes!

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I think it’s pretty impressive that my mom did this, and I hope you’ll think it’s worth a donation to help save kids with cancer! Any amount helps, so maybe $5 or $50 or $100 or $500! Whatever you feel inspired and are able to give!

Just go HERE. It only takes a minute to help save the life of a child with cancer.

Thank you, and HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MOM! I LOVE YOU!

~Hollis

 

Looking Back on Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

September is always a big month for me, because it’s my birthday month and it’s Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. This past month has been pretty great for Juggling for Jude! Here are some highlights:

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St. Jude Walk/Run San Francisco: Yesterday, I kicked off the walkers and juggled through the 5K route. Thanks to some amazing donors, I was tied for first place for the top individual fundraiser for the event! But what made the event even more special was meeting St. Jude brain cancer survivor, Riku. He’s four and has been done with treatment for six months after living with his parents at St. Jude for seven months! He’s been through so much, and he was so sweet and cute and I was so lucky to meet him. He liked my Juggling for St. Jude ball, so I gave it to him. It’s kids like Riku that make everything I do worthwhile! I got to do a live interview for KTVU-2 news, too!

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St. Jude Miracles on the Bay Gala San Francisco: This was my second year at the gala and I got to meet this year’s honored ambassador, Matt Ocko, a HUGE St. Jude supporter who is incredibly generous. I also got to meet a former patient, Beth, who was my age when she was diagnosed with the same type of brain cancer that Riku has. She has an amazing survivor story, and it was so great to meet her, as well! It was also so great to have my family with me to share in this inspiring night for St. Jude!IMG_0655.jpg

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Association of Fundraising Professionals Youth in Philanthropy Award: I was honored at the first of two events for this exciting award, and I got to spend time with Deborah Johnson, director of the Northern California chapter of St. Jude. It’s always great to spend time with her, and it was exciting to meet the other honorees for National Philanthropy Day. The big event is in November!

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Those are just some of the highlights of September! I can’t wait for October, because my mom has a big birthday, and we did something fun (and challenging) to raise money in her honor. I’ll be sharing the video soon! Also, October is when In Shape health clubs do their month-long FIGHT CANCER fundraiser, and they are once again including Juggling for Jude and St. Jude in their giving. Last year they donated $50,000! AMAZING!

As always, thank you for your support. If you’d like to help kids like Riku, please go HERE and your donation goes directly to St. Jude! We’re closing in on $350,000! Maybe you’ll help me get there!

THANK YOU!

~Hollis

I’ll be Kicking off the St. Jude Walk in San Francisco!

I’m so excited and honored that I’ll be kicking off the annual St. Jude Walk San Francisco, starting the walkers and juggling through the parade route on Sunday, September 28th!

If you would like to JOIN ME in walking and fundraising, or if you would like to DONATE in support of my walk (juggle!), that would be great! I’ve arranged for my SPONSORS of $500 or more to get some great sponsor benefits and exposure at the race, and you can see the levels of sponsorship HERE.

Feel free to email me at hollisbbelger@gmail.com or my mom at allison@tjsgym.com with questions about sponsorship or to become a sponsor.

Thanks so much!

~HOLLIS

P.S. If you just want to donate to my cause as usual and help save the life of a child with cancer, you can do that HERE any time!

 

 

Annual Golf Tournament Fundraising for St. Jude!

Each year, I juggle at the Have-a-Ball Golf Tournament in Danville, CA. The event is put on by Bob Hammer, a two-time testicular cancer survivor who has dedicated the past 15 years to supporting cancer-related causes. He lets me juggle at Hole #4 each year, with golfers giving me donations in exchange for juggles before they tee off at the hole.

This year I had to work my summer job in the morning but juggled my way to $930 for kids with cancer during the afternoon at the golf event!

Here is a clip from KPIX TV’s Vern Glenn’s sports broadcast on the event. He and I shared Hole #4 for the fifth year in a row!

If you would like to donate to my cause, please do so HERE. Every dollar helps save the life of a child with cancer!

Thanks for your support,

Hollis