Since our founding in 2002, The Grace Foundation has touched the lives and hearts of many within our local communities — people of all ages and from all walks of life. We make a direct impact in three primary ways:
The Glad Hatter
Our flagship program, The Grace Foundation provides comfortable, whimsical hats for women and children living with cancer. Our soft, handmade hats are distributed free of charge at both Froedtert Hospital and through The Grace Space at the Sherman Cancer Center within the Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare-St. Joseph Complex.
The Glad Hatter program is made possible through the tireless efforts of Carolyn Madeska and many volunteers, and it is funded solely by The Grace Foundation. We are always looking for others to help us in our efforts. If you knit, crochet or sew and want to offer your talents and time, please contact us.
The Grace Space
Research has shown that mind and spirit must be nurtured to promote healing and improve physical health. Recognizing this, The Grace Foundation created The Grace Space at the Sherman Cancer Center within the Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare-St. Joseph Complex in October, 2004. Colorful and inviting, this room offers a warm welcoming oasis in an otherwise clinical environment.
Here, women can receive a beautiful handmade hat from our Glad Hatter program. Most importantly, The Grace Space exists to nurture the spirit. In this soothing living room setting women enjoy:
· A beautiful glass sculpture designed specifically for the space by Catherine Lottes
· An amusing shoe quilt wall hanging designed by Hilde Strigenz for our 2000 shoe show
· "The Story"- a scrapbook of our story from the beginning created by Cathy Young
· "The Pink Lady" painted by Kathy Corby.
In 2008, the popular designation was relocated from the hospital's main lobby to the entrance of the Sherman Cancer Center.
Individual Gifts of Support
As our resources allow, The Grace Foundation makes monetary and other gifts to those facing life-altering illnesses to help ease their struggle. While we don't actively solicit applications for funding, we make grants on an individual case basis. Examples of our efforts include:
· A Wauwatosa family was struggling with mounting financial stress when bone cancer touched their lives. When it seemed like things couldn't get much worse, their only car broke down and was beyond repair. The Grace Foundation purchased a car for the family, alleviating a major worry in their lives.
· After beating breast cancer nine years prior, a Hartland mother was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia. Her only hope was a stem cell transplant, which her insurance deemed experimental and denied. The Grace Foundation was one of many individuals and groups who contributed to her medical fund so she could have the procedure.
· A single Milwaukee-area mother was battling cancer and facing the overwhelming financial and emotional effects of the disease. The Grace Foundation purchased grocery store gift cards, giving the family a year's worth of groceries to eliminate one worry for this mom.
· A young Wauwatosa boy was seriously struggling — physically, emotionally and scholastically — due to lazy eye, or Strabismus. Intense Vision Therapy offered hope, yet insurance didn’t cover the cost. The Grace Foundation contributed a sizable amount to help pay for the therapy, and his progress has been nothing short of amazing.
These are just a few examples of individual gifts provided by The Grace Foundation. We know that our contributions make a profound difference in these lives.