Attorney Jon R. Perry and his wife, Joni, know of the hardships that come with a child having an extended hospital stay. When their son, Trevor, was 2 ½ years old, he was diagnosed with acute lymphocytic leukemia. While no cancer diagnosis is a desirable one, this form of leukemia was treatable.
At the end of a long and winding road, Trevor beat his cancer, but the experience and people met along the way left a lasting impact on Jon and Joni. While the couple were financially able to stay by Trevor’s side throughout his fight, they learned that the same could not be said for many others in the local Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh.
During Trevor’s stay at the Hospital, Jon befriended another father in a room where the two could get beverages for their sick children. The two connected and shared stories of their children’s battles.
Unfortunately, as Jon began receiving good news for his son, his new friend did not hear the same. His daughter had bone cancer that would require her leg to be amputated at the hip.
On the day of the scheduled procedure, Jon waited to hear news from his new friend of how things went. However, the man did not show up to the room, as he typically did.
Jon saw his new friend the next day, who held back tears before explaining that he was at work the day of his daughter’s procedure because he could not afford to take another day off. Jon almost collapsed in disbelief that this man’s daughter had to have a life-changing procedure without the comfort of her father by her side. When Jon shared the story with Joni, she too was horrified.
As Trevor’s stay extended, Jon would push his son around the oncology wing seated on his IV pole to get him out of his room. Trevor likened it to being in a racecar. As Jon raced his son around, he could not help but notice too many children looking out at him from their rooms without parents by their side. Jon and Joni sadly realized that most of these children’s parents simply could not afford to be there with their child through all of the tribulations.
As Trevor progressed and was discharged from the hospital, these thoughts stuck in the Perrys’minds. Jon & Joni both believed their love and support gave Trevor an added strength to recover that many other children may be missing.
Not long after, the two founded Pennies From Heaven which aims to ease the financial hardships on parents so they can stay with their children while in the hospital. The charity raises money to provide economic assistance to these families going through the treatment and recovery process.
The Impact of Pennies From Heaven
The hope is that Pennies from Heaven can keep families together in difficult times and help them piece elements of their lives back together amidst trying times. Pennies From Heaven will donate gifts that range from overnight toiletry bags to lunches, transportation, bills, and mortgage payments. Pennies From Heaven will provide whatever is needed to allow parents to remain with their children through the duration of their hospital stay.
Families who can receive gifts are determined by social workers at the Children’s Hospital. For more substantial gifts, the head of the department and founders are consulted for approval.
Pennies From Heaven has been active for almost 20 years with the fund helping more than 300,000 families and raising over $3 million for those in need.
Events and Chances to Donate to Pennies From Heaven
The fund is entirely self-directed and managed. This guarantees that every dollar raised or donated goes directly to families in need.
Funds are raised through donations as well as events throughout the year. These events include Pennies Pedal, where cyclists race for a great cause, and Penny Wars, which is a competition between elementary schools where students try to raise the most money for their class. The foundation also hosts an annual Oktoberfest event that features music, food, drinks, and plenty of prize donations.
You can also volunteer at events, or hold a fundraiser benefit for the Pennies From Heaven fund. For more information on volunteering or hosting a fundraiser please email [email protected] or [email protected]
Pittsburgh Penguins Player’s Favorite Things Auction
This holiday season, the Pittsburgh Penguins Wives Association is hosting its 14th annual Holiday Basket Auction where fans can bid on baskets filled with the favorite items of each Penguins player. The proceeds from this year’s auction will benefit the Pennies from Heaven fund and help families in need at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh.
Bidding on the baskets can be done online at pensbasket.givesmart.com and will start at 5pm EST on December 10th. Fans have until 8pm on December 14th to place their bids. Baskets can be found on display during home games behind the KeyBank Club (near Section 104).
Rosen & Perry are proud to support such a great foundation founded by one of our partners, and we are dedicated to helping the charity achieve its goal of keeping families together during hospital stays.
Media Coverage / More Information:
Pennies from Heaven Website: https://penniesfromheavenpittsburgh.org/
Sparkt, “This Caring Lawyer Helps Keep Hospitalized Families Together”
NHL (Pittsburgh Penguins), “Penguins Wives Association to Host Holiday Basket Auction”
KDKA (CBS Pittsburgh), “Pennies From Heaven Helping Children, Families At CHP”