We have continued to lend our support and will carry on with giving for as long as we can while spreading our passion for Chai to others

Written by the Gilis Family

My husband Kosty and I were introduced to Chai Lifeline Canada about four years when we were asked to make a donation. After doing some research, we both became very passionate about the organization and the services that Chai Lifeline has to offer to their families. We knew right away that this was a charity that we wanted to be a part of because it is not only rich with resources, but the people who work there do so much to make a difference in so many children’s and families’ lives. We all know someone who has been touched by cancer or other diseases, but when it involves a child, the impact is much greater. Our lives, as well as our children’s lives have had a personal connection with cancer, which is what really drew us to this organization. We immediately felt like we had a connection and could relate to the families that they were helping. The support that Chai Lifeline offers to their families is invaluable and that is why we continue to give each year. We have continued to lend our support and will carry on with giving for as long as we can while spreading our passion for Chai to others.

Over the years, our family has found fun and creative ways to give to Chai Lifeline. When our three children Madeline, Sam and Harrison were first introduced to the organization, they were all very eager to make a difference in these children’s lives. They have learned about various other charities and continue to be exposed to worthy organizations almost daily, but they all agreed that Chai Lifeline felt special. Mostly because the organization involves children, but also of their personal experience of having someone close to them deal with cancer. When a family is faced with this, there isn’t a day that goes by that they don’t think about it. When our kids first got involved, they really wanted to help the children that were staying in the hospital, so they decided to put together art bags that the social workers could take along with them on their visits to the hospital to bring cheer to their faces. So they went out and picked various kinds of art materials, crafts and projects and sorted them into individual bags, which provided hours of fun for the kids staying in the hospital. They continued this tradition for two years and then this year they put their money together and donated it to the after school program, which paid for various activities for the siblings to participate in. They chose cooking and sports because these are activities they all enjoy. We love that they choose something different every year because it gets them excited about giving to others and keeps them motivated to stay involved. 

 In addition to donating their money, our children have gotten involved in other ways as well. Our older daughter Maddie has been helping her Hebrew teacher organize an event called “Jump for Chai.”  She has been helping with this event for many years and raising money to support it. Our two boys have always participated in the event, but for the first time this year, our middle son Sam helped with organizing and running it with the boys from his Hebrew class. “Jump for Chai” is such a great event and a huge success because it teaches others about charity and encourages them to get involved. 

 The Gilis Family