During UCLA's spring practice, the Bruin football team is trying to help children with cancer.
On Friday April 28th, some UCLA players and coaches will deliver JoyJars to courageous kids at UCLA Mattel Children's Hospital. A future second date will be set for other players and coaches to deliver JoyJars to Mattel's second hospital in Santa Monica.
A "JoyJar" is a 64-ounce jar filled with age-appropriate toys and activities for kids fighting cancer.
The idea was started by a 12-year-old named Jessie Rees to help kids fighting cancer find a little joy and hope. Jessie lost her own 10-month battle to inoperable brain cancer, DIPG (the same form of cancer that afflicted our own Avery Huffman), but she succeeded in stuffing and delivering over 3,000 of her JoyJars (named after her middle name, Joy). The Jessie Rees Foundation, started by Jessie, is now led by her parents, and the organization has done many things to help kids fight cancer. The Foundation was the driving force behind 12-year-old cancer-fighter Cade Spinello taking an official visit to UCLA in January of 2016.
The Foundation has now shipped more than 150,000 JoyJars across the country, to all 50 states and 32 countries.
Since the JoyJar concept has been so successful, and UCLA football had a history with the Jessie Rees Foundation, it decided to get involved in delivering the JoyJars to children at Mattel.
The Jessie Rees Foundation and UCLA football need your help, though, Bruin fans.
Please visit https://www.teamnegu.org/
If you wish to pay by check: Please mail to: Jessie Rees Foundation, Attn: Tami Trigo, 9451 Toledo, Irvine, Ca. 92168. For proper acknowledgement, you must add a note stating it is for UCLA Bruins JoyJar Stuffing Event - also write it in the memo section.
The Foundation is looking to raise $10,000 to help UCLA's football team create smiles for 500 courageous kids fighting cancer.
This fall, UCLA football will also host a courageous child and his family for a VIP event including: pre-game field passes, tickets to the game, meet-and-greet with the team and coaches after the game, signed gear from the team, and perhaps walking out for the coin toss with the captains.
The Foundation's motto is NEGU -- Never Ever Give Up. UCLA fans this spring can help make that happen.