Cancer treatment foundation Gift of Life has had a remarkably eventful and emotional summer. The foundation council decided to contribute to the treatment of 80 Estonians throughout June, July and August, paying for over 652,000 euros worth of treatment costs. The foundation continues to receive on average one patient application form per day.
Although the foundation received over 600,000 euros worth of donations throughout the three months, the need for aid is high and the foundation continues to pay out more than it receives. "So far, we have fortunately been able to support absolutely everyone who has contacted us and belongs to the foundation's target group," said the cancer treatment foundation's chairman Toivo Tänavsuu. "For this, we are grateful to our kind donors and active volunteers."
Never before have the foundation volunteers' calendars been as busy as they were this summer. Gift of Life volunteers attended over 120 events in Estonia to gather donations this summer. Within the first eight months of 2019, cash and card donations reached over 206,000 euros—almost as much as last year’s total.
The foundation's summer began with the Charity Duck Race. Cancer treatment foundation Gift of Life and charity foundation My Dream Day helped the Estonian Association of Parents of Children with Cancer organise the biggest family charity event in Estonia, the Charity Duck Race, in which 15,000 rubber ducks were released into water. The event, culminating in the Kadriorg Park at the beginning of July, raised nearly 262,000 euros to support children with cancer and their families, of which the cancer treatment foundation received 43,000 euros. The cancer treatment foundation is ready to support the treatment of young children when needed.
Foundation volunteers gathered donations at many events throughout the summer: Kapa Festival in Kohila, The Italian Music Festival in Haapsalu, Sunset nightclub in Pärnu, the Country Fair in Vastseliina, the demolition derby in Libatse, Tartu Song Festival, St John's Eve festivals in Kose and Pühajärve, concert production "Hakkame mehed minema" dedicated to Gustav Ernesaks, the Retrobest festival in Otepää, Delfi Rally Day at the song festival grounds, Rally Estonia in Southern Estonia, Tallinn Maritime Days, Saaremaa Opera Days, Viljandi Folk, Viru Folk, retro festival We Love the 90's, August Blues, the Tartu food and wine festival, Paide Opinion Festival, the Hauka fair, Brigitta Festival, the Maarjamäe fair, the Estonian Chamber of Commerce and Industry business season opening in Turba, Night of Ancient Lights and many more. The foundation was also present at big concerts like Bon Jovi, Sting, Andrea Bocelli and Ed Sheeran (in Riga).
Gift of Life volunteers received over 40 kilograms of cash, or 25,800 euros, at the song and dance festivals as well as plenty of positivity and encouragement from especially warm encounters with many kind-hearted Estonian people.
In the last 12 months, Circle K Estonia and its clients have contributed nearly 55,000 euros to the foundation. You can donate at Circle K stations with cash or card and through the coffee cup campaign that will start soon.
Before St John's Day, the foundation organised large charity events that gathered donations from many places in Estonia to support the treatment of young parents. The event, which was also attended by Prime Minister Jüri Ratas, raised 22,500 euros for the foundation.
The Aadu Luukas Foundation, which had been awarding mission awards from 2007-2018, ended their activities and donated their last 30,000 euros to the cancer treatment foundation − their final award winner.
Many businesses and people donated money they were gifted at anniversaries and other big events. For example, guests of the anniversary celebration of sanitary products wholesaler Hals Trading contributed over 8700 euros. Three wedding couples − Marek and Mairi, Helen and Rainart and Peter and Evrika − sent the money they received as wedding gifts to the foundation. Mapri Ehitus OÜ donated 15,000 euros to the cancer treatment foundation.
Škoda Laagri or SKO Motors supported the cancer treatment foundation by gifting us a new Škoda Superb to use for a year. Reklaamtreiler OÜ provides the foundation with free advertising space.
A charity football match was held at the Pärnu beach stadium where Pärnu JK Vaprus beat their rivals from Kohtla-Järve and gathered 4000 euros for the foundation with the help of their sponsor Coolbet. In August, the Tartu JK Tammeka women's football team organised charity family event Pink Football, which raised 1926 euros for cancer patients.
Korvpall.ee and Betsafe organised a charity competition in August for well-known basketball enthusiasts to compete against each other at throwing 3-point shots.
The cancer treatment foundation received its first inheritance this summer. Kaljo from Viljandi left 4000 euros to the foundation in his will in 2016. Kaljo, who worked as a land developer, battled prostate cancer at an old age and died this spring. Before his death, he decided to gift someone else the opportunity to live through his will.
Gift of Life began selling cloth shopping bags for charity this summer, which have been highly regarded by housewives. The bags can be bought from the Stockmann shopping centre and the foundation by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Carmen Cafe cafés in Tallinn (in Rotermanni, Kentmanni street and the film museum) sell charity coffees − 10 cents from every coffee ordered go to the cancer treatment foundation.
Chairman of the foundation Toivo Tänavsuu promoted the foundation in North America this August at the West Coast Estonian Days in Portland, the Tartu College in Toronto, nursing home Ehatare, Vancouver Estonians and the Forest University, giving a thorough overview of the foundation's work. He had with him a large suitcase full of Estonian handicrafts, books donated by Rahva Raamat and sound carriers donated by the Arvo Pärt Centre to sell at charity auctions. He gathered over 3000 euros in donations from Estonians abroad during his travels.
In September, Toivo began studying to be a doctor at Tartu University at age 38.
You can find stories of Estonians battling cancer and what it means to them and their families to receive the support of the cancer foundation and the chance to live on the foundation's Facebook page.
"As the year draws to a close and Christmas isn't far away," says Tänavsuu, "we urge businesses and individuals to stop giving useless Christmas presents and instead donate to the cancer treatment foundation, so someone can have hope and a chance to live."
In order to continue to provide the necessary treatment, hope and opportunity to all those in need, we invite the people of Estonia to join our circle of regular donors. You can easily make a 1 or 5 euro regular donation through you bank here. "If every Estonian donated one euro, we would have one million euros!"