Forrest Spence Fund
In September of 2007, Brittany and David Spence welcomed their first son, Robert Forrest Spence, into the world. Soon after he was born, he became ill and fought his illness at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital in Memphis for fifty-five days until he passed away. During these fifty-five days, the Spence family experienced many trials but found solace in the support of their friends, family, and those around them. The support and kindness of others inspired them to found the Forrest Spence Fund, which assists families with critically or chronically ill children with their non-medical needs throughout the Mid-south area and surrounding regions. For example, the Fund helps with anything ranging from car payments to utility bills to mortgages. Not only does the Fund pay bills, but Brittany Spence, along with other volunteers, hosts monthly dinners at Le Bonheur for patients and their families. Although the recent pandemic has made the Forrest Spence Fund temporarily unable to continue their regular functions at Le Bonheur, they continued to assist families with ill children in need actively. In the past months, the Forrest Spence Fund brought light into the lives of hospital patients in Memphis in ways such as paying essential monthly bills for twenty-six families, providing counseling for seventeen families grieving the loss of a child, and granting over 20,000 dollars to families in need.
Furthermore, the Fund showed benevolence by giving birthday celebrations to children in the hospital. Even though the recent pandemic has changed many aspects of the Memphis community, the Forrest Spence Fund is still working to provide support to those who need it most. To provide the support needed, the Forrest Spence Fund hosts many fundraisers throughout the year. The most popular fundraiser being the Annual Forrest Spence Fund 5K. Every year, close to 1,500 people come together to run in honor of Forrest and every other child who has suffered a life-threatening illness. The purpose of this yearly event is to ensure that families continue to get the financial assistance they need to focus all their efforts into loving their sick child. Through firsthand experience, the Spence family has seen how wearisome taking care of a sick child financially and emotionally is, thus the Forrest Spence Fund aims to relieve the financial burden as much as possible and show genuine kindness to strangers.
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