One of the greatest benefits of running the Nonprofit of the Week section is that I get inspired by the amazing amount of work that is being done to improve our community. The issues and causes are vast and I am overwhelmed when I discover a new organization that is making a lasting contribution to our community.
As the first nonprofit profile of the decade, let me introduce you to one of the most creative and inspirational organizations, I’ve run across – Jeremy Bloom’s Wish of a Lifetime.
Jeremy Bloom’s Wish of a Lifetime (JBWL) was established by two-time Olympic Skier, former NFL football player and Colorado native Jeremy Bloom. Bloom left competitive sports two years ago to launch the Foundation with a vision to initiate a cultural change by granting the wish of a lifetime to deserving seniors throughout Colorado. “I just believe that too often in our society, seniors are an afterthought,” Bloom said in a recent interview. “Our focus is to affect change in the way we look at aging.”
Bloom founded the foundation in living honor of his grandmother, Donna Wheeler, who at the age of 83 still works and lives in Keystone and serves as a constant inspiration to Bloom in his athletic and professional endeavors.
Most low-income seniors have one thing in their life that they have always wanted to do or experience. However, because most of their income and/or life savings is spent on necessary living expenses and medical bills, often times they never get to experience these dreams. Through JBWL they are making those wishes come true, contributing to an American cultural change that honors and celebrates the lives of our elders.
In its short existence, the JBWL has fulfilled the wishes of many low-income seniors.
* There’s Muriel, a 71 year old woman who has been battling lung cancer. Laying flat at night was causing Muriel a lot of pain. Her wish was for a comfortable reclining chair that she could sleep in. With the generosity of a $300 gift card from America Furniture Warehouse and $100 contributed by a JBWL Board member, Muriel was able to get a recliner and sleep easy and restfully again.
* Jerry was involved in a bicycle accident a few years ago and suffered from a brain aneurysm. His wife Linda is by his side 24/7 as his caregiver. Their wish was to get their freedom back. The JBWL foundation put a bruno turney chair in their van so that Jerry can leave the house.
* The Foundation granted the Wish of a Lifetime to Lucy Gallegos, a 72-year old grandmother of six, whose life long wish has been to skydive. The Foundation purchased a laptop and a printer for a senior who is getting her college degree. They provided a 72-year-old full-time volunteer with a $600 shopping spree and a day at a spa.
In addition, the JBWL foundation granted wishes for seniors wanting to:
* Learn to fly fish
* Visit a daughter who has terminal cancer in Arizona
* Go on a dinner date with Jeremy Bloom
* Race a car
* Grow a garden for a blind person
* Go to a Rockies game
* Travel to New Mexico to visit daughter’s grave
* Take a Hot Air Balloon ride
* Ride a white horse
* See a Broadway show
You can read about these wishes granted and others by clicking here.
You can also read a profile on JBWL that was featured in Sports Illustrated last week by clicking here.
There are lots of ways to get involved with JBWL. In addition to corporate and individual donors, JBWL is also looking for volunteers. In addition, they are looking for wishes to grant! You can find out more information by going to www.jbwl.org.