Thank you to Kidding Around Greenville contributor Kristina Hernandez for sharing a very special charity with us. I hope you and your family will join Let There Be Mom for their upcoming Dine Out For Mom Day on October 22, 2020. And, fair warning, grab a tissue before you read this.
One Greenville mom got to thinking one day not the most pleasant of thoughts – what would her children remember her by if she was diagnosed with a terminal illness and wasn’t able to be there any longer for her kids? It’s not a happy thought but it is one that spurred her to start an incredible non-profit called Let There Be Mom that helps parents diagnosed with terminal illnesses to create memories for their children.
Giving Peace to Families
Kipra Anderson wanted to give peace to families going through the harrowing diagnosis and treatment of a terminal illness of a parent. It is a nightmare scenario for any family but Kipra felt called to work on making tangible memories for the young children of parents facing their last days.
So in January 2007, the idea became a reality and Let There Be Mom was born. To date, the charity has helped over 85 families and 216 children. The charity works to create memories through scrapbooking or helping to compile letters or cookbooks of family recipes or special photos.
As the daughter of a mother who passed away due to terminal illness, I wish I had an organization like Let There Be Mom to contact to help create these beautiful memories of my mother so I could pass them on to my own children since they have never met her. This ministry is a unique – and needed – opportunity to preserve the legacies of parents for their children as they grow up and feel the absence of mom or dad.
Who Does Let There Be Mom Help?
Families interested in creating legacies to leave their children have to submit an application through the website – www.LetThereBeMom.org – and then will be contacted if they meet the criteria. Let There Be Mom serves families that have at least one dependent child (18-years-old or younger), where the doctor has agreed that the parent is facing a life-threatening illness and attest to the fact that the life expectancy of the parent is two years or less, and the ailing parent must be able to communicate with the non-profit.
Families in need must apply themselves due to the sensitive nature of the ministry but if you know of a family in need, Let There Be Mom can send them a brochure with a note that says they may benefit from the organization’s mission.
Getting Through the Emotional Pain
Wouldn’t this kind of work weigh heavily on the emotions of those involved? What about Kipra and the volunteers who are going through this journey with multiple families?
“I have become very close to some of the families that we serve and it is extremely difficult to watch them go through this journey,” explained Kipra. “For the most part, they are preparing to leave their children and there is nothing easy about that. The majority of the families we are privileged to serve are Christians, so they do have a tremendous peace in knowing that whenever their time may come, they will be with their Savior; that does not, however, take away the pain they feel regarding potentially leaving their loved ones.”
Kipra’s faith is her rock, which she has relied heavily upon since starting the ministry.
“The most difficult time I’ve experienced was at the funeral of the first dad that we served. The mom and two children displayed very honest, raw emotion and while it was not the first funeral for a Let There Be Mom family I had been to, it was the one that brought the weight of the situation to light.”
But the rewards are great for these families that Let There Be Mom has helped. Kipra spoke to the student council at Eastside High School this past summer at the request of one of their members, Maggie.
“Maggie was just 10-years-old when we began serving her mom Lisa in 2007; she will turn 18 this year,” explained Kipra. “When I finished my portion of the presentation, Maggie began hers. She spoke about how much the keepsakes that her mom had prepared for her and her siblings meant to them, and how since her current friends never had the chance to meet her mom, she uses her scrapbooks to introduce her mom to them brought to full light the importance of what we do.”
Dine Out For Mom 2020
One of the many ways to help Let There Be Mom is through volunteer work. They post on their Facebook page when they are in need of volunteers. However, if you want to help the group now, they are holding their annual fundraiser, Dine Out For Mom, on Thursday, October 22nd – it’s a tasty one. Diners choose from over 100 restaurants to eat out at that day and each establishment will donate 20% of the profits to Let There Be Mom. So don’t even think about cooking that day – eat breakfast, lunch and dinner out at any number of the participating restaurants to help this great local charity and the families they serve. They also need lots of volunteers that day.
A list of participating restaurants is available here: participating restaurants.
To keep posted on other ways to help out, sign up for regular updates from the charity through their website at www.LetThereBeMom.org. You can also donate at their website. All donations are 100% tax deductible.
Let There Be Mom
1200 Woodruff Road Ste H13
Greenville, SC 29607
Where will you eat on October 22nd for Let There Be Mom?