Friday, November 19, 2010

Going Pink: Local Catholic school students raise over $500 supporting moms with cancer

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No one expects to get cancer.  But the girls of the "Think Pink" Club at St. Bernadette's School in Montgomery County know just how hard it is to get the bad news--and to pay the bills that come with that bad news.  And that's especially true if you're a single mother.

The "Think Pink" Club wanted to show their support for single mothers with cancer by raising money for Catholic Charities’ In the Name of the Mother Fund, and they had a great idea.  Anyone who went to Catholic School will remember how uncomfortable--and sometimes embarrassing--the school uniforms were.  Well, the students at St. Bernadette's academy had the option to trade those boring, plaid outfits for PINK on the last Friday before Halloween.  The catch?  They had to donate $1.50 to the "Think Pink" club's In the Name of the Mother fund.  The program was a HUGE success--on Nov. 10, "Think Pink" ceremoniously and proudly presented Kevin McConville, from In The Name of the Mother, a check for $516.

So let's do some math.  St. Bernadette's enrolls 476 full-time students in grades K through 8, and collectively they donated $516 (many gave over the $1.50 requested donation).  That means at least 300 students got decked out in pink on Oct. 29--that's a lot of a pink, an awesome way to show support and an ingenious way to raise awareness of the difficulties single mothers with cancer face.

In the Name of the Mother was created by Kevin to honor his late wife, and mother of three daughters and one son, who passed away from breast cancer in 2004. The fund is administered through Catholic Charities' Montgomery County Family Center, where staff can connect mothers who are being treated for cancer to the assistance of the In the Name of the Mother fund.
“This is such a great thing these St. Bernadette’s girls have done. This money will make a huge difference in the life of a mother struggling to put food on a table or keep a roof over her children’s head while she undergoes cancer treatment,” Kevin said. “ It is really inspiring what impact these girls will have on a family.”
The fund recognizes that many of the expenses that come with a cancer diagnosis aren't necessarily things we think of with cancer.  Mothers who are tired or just need to relax may need help with tasks that many of us think of as routine: caring for children, cleaning house, grocery shopping--just to name a few.  Since Kevin started the fund, he's helped to raise more than $200,000 to benefit single mothers in the DC area who need everyday help.

Kevin McConville and "Think Pink" are reaching out to mothers to offer financial assistance for everyday costs that most of us take for granted. These helping hands are especially important, since one in eight women will be diagnosed with cancer in her lifetime--that's nearly 13 percent.  The statistics may look grim, but with the work of In the Name of the Mother and the welcome generosity of St. Bernadette’s, we can make a big difference at a very hard time in the lives of many mothers and their families.