News Headline: Bridging the Gap to Helping Children and Teens Fight Cancer
Outlet Full Name: Chicago Tribune
Author: Colleen Kisel
The Bridge Teen Center in Orland Park is giving back to children fighting cancer by lending a helping hand at the warehouse of the Pediatric Oncology Treasure Chest Foundation (POTCF). The teens help organize, label, pack and prepare the toys and gifts for shipment to Treasure Chests located in the various children’s cancer treatment centers served by the Foundation.
The Bridge Teen Center is an innovative grassroots nonprofit community center for teenagers located in Orland Park and serving the Chicago Southland area. Their mission is to provide free programs during after-school and unsupervised hours where students can develop mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually in a safe environment.
Bridge Teen Sarah McFalls, said “I wanted to volunteer at the Treasure Chest Foundation today because I have people in my life that are fighting cancer and I wanted to take the time to give back to the kids.”
POTCF Founder and CEO Colleen Kisel was grateful for their help. “We are so blessed to have the support of the Bridge Teen Center,” she said. “The goodness of the Bridge Teen Center is overwhelming. The teens are very creative and hard working.”
The POTCF’s unique services impact more than 9,000 young cancer patients each month in 46 hospitals across 16 states and the District of Columbia. Nowhere else in the nation does such a program exist. Colleen Kisel founded the organization in 1996 after her then seven-year-old son Martin had been diagnosed with leukemia in 1993. She discovered that giving her son a toy after each procedure provided a calming distraction from his pain and his new world filled with doctors, nurses, chemotherapy drugs, surgeries and seemingly endless painful procedures. Martin will celebrate his 21st anniversary of remission from the disease in early 2014.
If you would like further information about the Treasure Chest Foundation, please contact Colleen Kisel at 708-687-TOYS (8697) or visit the Foundation’s web site at www.treasurechest.org.