About six years ago, Leslie Lehrman and her daughter Jennifer discovered first-hand the loneliness and fear that can plague patients diagnosed with cancer. When Leslie received the devastating news that she had cancer, she and her daughter had the choice to simply lament what was happening. However, like so many people we highlighted here at Inspiring Generosity, Leslie and Jennifer decided to turn their struggles into a way to help many other people who are also fighting the multitudinous types of cancer threatening our loved ones.
The mission statement, ultimately, is pretty simple to understand. Jennifer wants everyone who has cancer to be able to get at least one SMAC! (sock monkeys against cancer) sock monkey, not just to cheer them up but to give them a tangible reminder that they are not alone and that they are cared for. To get to that point though, the campaign needs to get enough funding to get off the ground.
The Big Why
This whole entrepreneurial endeavor isn’t just about some random monkeys and attaching cancer to their name. It’s about Jenn’s Mom… and too many others like her.
The SMAC! monkey line was inspired by Jenn’s Mom, Leslie Lehrman, who was diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer six years ago. No, she never smoked. ANYONE can get lung cancer (whole ‘nother story).
Cancer can be a very lonely existence. Family and friends can’t always be there. Jennifer lives 1,200 miles away from her mom, making her appointments, tests, scan results and treatments that much harder for both of them.
This is why Jenn created SMAC! — to give her mom a “buddy” she could hug to remind her that Jenn is with her.
It’s hard for me to describe how my boys (NoMo and Phoenix) make me feel. I look into their little eyes and they just make my heart melt. It may sound silly, but when I get up, I say ‘good morning’ to them too. They just make me happy… even on my darkest days.
-Leslie Lehrman (Mom)
Right now, NoMo is just a prototype.
But, with YOUR help, NoMo and his SMAC! buddy, Phoenix, can soon be in the hands of those with/impacted by cancer to help them SMAC! it, by pledging your financial support here.
Funds pledged to the SMAC! campaign on the Start Some Good crowdfunding platform will be used to launch the startup SMAC! Sock Monkeys Against Cancer product line.
Jennifer has just one month to raise approximately $35,000 to launch the SMAC! monkey product line (November 1-30). You get some sweet rewards for pledging–as if participating in this project wasn’t enough! Check them out here.
The ultimate goal: Create a custom monkey for each type of cancer.
The ultimate dream: Anyone diagnosed with cancer gets a SMAC! monkey from their hospital.
Jenn and Leslie want to build “SMAC! Nation,” a global movement in the fight against cancer that arms those with/impacted by this dang disease with cancer-crushing companions of the sock monkey kind.
With YOUR help, SMAC! Nation will be built with great philanthropic purpose, with giving at the heart of it all.
The SMAC! Mission
Tangible Support: Provide constant comfort, sock monkey “mojo” and a cancer-busting buddy to those moving through their cancer journey.
Giving: “One SMAC! = Two” Business Model: When you buy a SMAC! monkey, one will be given to someone with cancer (model to go into action the minute the company can financially sustain it).
Create Social Change: By giving to those impacted by cancer, you will also be contributing to advances in cancer research and programs (model to go into action the minute the company can financially sustain it).
So, doing good to create good – all bundled together in one package.
Leslie with NoMo & Phoenix at chemo.
Following the implementation of One SMAC = Two, Jenn’s next giving goal is to direct steady SMAC! corporate funds to the following:
National Coalition of Oncology Nurse Navigators – Professional organization that supports oncology nurse navigators assist patients and families to receive essential support services that help ease the burdens during cancer treatment.
Liz’s Legacy at the UNMC Eppley Cancer Center – One of 66 National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated cancer centers in the U.S. Funds will be directed to lung cancer research.
I’m a huge advocate for ensuring people understand where their money is going when they give to any cause.
Jane and NoMo going for a spin.
Little SMAC!-ers spreading the word!
Join the Movement
For kids and adults alike, the SMAC! monkeys are ready to get down the business.
Join the movement! Help bring NoMo and Phoenix to life to help you and/or your loved ones SMAC! cancer. Pledge here!
ps…if you only feel comfortable pledging by writing a check, you can send a check to the following (needs to arrive by November 28th):
Gothenburg State Bank
Leslie Lehrman SMAC! Memorial Fund
P.O. Box 81
Gothenburg, NE 69138
Please add a sticky note: “To be deposited into account # 944041”
Those who write a checks are, unfortunately, not eligible for campaign rewards, but you will still help send SMAC! monkeys to cancer patients at the Nebraska Medical Center.
pps…Feel free to hang out with the SMAC! monkeys online. They kinda think they are social media super stars.