My name is Elizabeth and I am the Founding Director of Brave Little Fighters Foundation (BLFF), a new nonprofit organization in Buffalo, New York. BLFF creates a place of belonging and increases hope and happiness for children with serious illnesses by offering outings year round, all completely free of charge. Brave Little Fighters face a range of illnesses including cancer, cystic fibrosis, spina bifida, chiari malformation, neurological disorders and other serious and terminal illnesses. Brave Outings offer a unique kind of healing in a carefree atmosphere. Sports games, superhero family photo shoots, art and cooking classes, and trips to the pumpkin farm and theme parks are among the outings we have hosted for families and, in our first year alone, Brave Little Fighters was able to host 24 outings in total. One father remarked with great happiness that he had not seen his son smile in so long... until our superhero photo shoot.
For a bit of background, in November 2018, I learned that my job, which allowed me to serve sick children, would be ending after 10 years. I knew what I needed to do and although it would be challenging to found my own organization, within 3 weeks, I established Brave Little Fighters. Despite having no funding in our initial months, I worked hard to establish our roots and grow the number of families we could impact. BLFF has quickly grown and had a highly positive impact in our community, where there is a great need for our children to "just have fun and create happy memories".
More children are joining BLFF each day but we still have incredibly limited resources. I remain devoted to this work, which is my life’s calling. My goal is to be able to dedicate my time fully to Brave Little Fighters in the months and years to come. Among BLFF's goals for 2020 are: continuing to build awareness, growing the number of Brave Little Fighters to 100 and holding approximately 20 outings for the year, including our two annual events, the summer festival and Christmas Party. Of course, creating and implementing our outings at no cost takes a tremendous amount of time and effort and I need your support to be able to continue this work.
At the culminating event of the year, we welcomed more than 150 BLFF family members to our 2nd Annual Christmas Party in December! The party featured food, snacks, live music, a Santa Claus, face painting and a wonderful photographer on this festive occasion! The venue was filled with the sounds of joy and laughter from our children and offered them a chance to be together and to connect with others who understand the stress and uncertainty they endure daily. As with so many of our outings, it was magical and heartwarming to see new friendships being formed and for children to say that they now feel that they "belong to something special”. They are part of what one mother has coined the Brave Family!
These children are truly the heroes for whom I want to continue to be able to work so hard! To support Brave Little Fighters Foundation as we look ahead to 2020, we invite you to make a donation. All donations will be used for the growing efforts of BLFF.
Thank you all!
Sincerely, Elizabeth + Brave Little Fighters
“Together, we can make things brighter."