When I was at Spring Practice on Saturday, Tracy Pierson mentioned to me that Bruin Report Online has put together an event with UCLA Football and the Jessie Rees Foundation to help kids with cancer.
The Jessie Rees Foundation was started by her parents to help kids fight cancer after Jessie lost her own 10-month battle with DIPG, which is the same inoperable cancer which afflicted young Avery Huffman, whose father Brandon has been a great friend of Bruins Nation.
The Foundation’s motto is NEGU. It stands for Never Ever Give Up.
UCLA Football has partnered up with the Jessie Rees Foundation before. The Foundation helped bring Cade Spinello to campus in January of 2016 so that the 9-year old could sign his “scholarship offer” to play for the Bruins.
Before Jessie passed away, she stuffed and delivered 3,000 “JoyJars” (named after her middle name Joy). Each “JoyJar” is a 64-ounce jar filled with age-appropriate toys and activities for kids fighting cancer.
The Foundation has now shipped more than 150,000 JoyJars all across the country and to 32 other countries.
On Saturday, April 29th, the players and coaches are planning to deliver “JoyJars” to kids at UCLA Mattel Children's Hospital. They will do the same thing at UCLA Santa Monica Hospital on another day which hasn’t been determined yet.
UCLA Football and the Jessie Rees Foundation are asking for some help from Bruin fans in order to make this event possible. They are looking to raise $10,000 to help the UCLA Football deliver “JoyJars” to 500 children who are currently 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.
So far, about $5,900 has been raised.
Please visit https://www.teamnegu.org/UCLAJoy to help UCLA players and coaches create smiles for courageous kids fighting cancer.
If you wish to pay by check: Please mail your check 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.
Hopefully, each member of Bruins Nation will do what we can to help make this a successful event and help bring some joy to some children who deserve it as they fight cancer.