ST. LOUIS - Tom Wiley will always remember December 5, 2015. His wife, Laura, had been battling cancer for more than two years at that point. Her health was in decline and she was in considerable pain. However, that morning she woke up pain-free and made the most of her day by making breakfast with her two kids, putting up Christmas decorations, going out to dinner with friends, and visiting Winter Wonderland in Tilles Park. Unfortunately, she never had another good day again and passed away in January 2016. Later that year, Tom founded The December 5th Fund (D5F) with the vision of giving a day filled with joy and laughter to families with a loved one currently going through cancer treatment.
Every year on December 5th, D5F encourages people to do random acts of kindness. The staff and board of directors of The December 5th Fund also do good deeds on that day. In the past, they have volunteered with other charities. In 2020, they purchased and delivered hundreds of meals to healthcare workers throughout the region.
This year, D5F surprised “5 Families on the 5th.” Each family was presented with a $1,000 check, $500 in gift cards, and enrollment in the organization’s Helping Hands support plan, which offers services such as house cleaning, meal preparation, and lawn care to families with a loved one dealing with cancer of any type.
Representatives from The December 5th Fund started their deliveries in Valmeyer and made their way north through Illinois. They ended their day in Alton, making stops in communities like Bethalto along the way.
“The mission of The December 5th Fund is to help families forget cancer, just for one day,” said Chief Operating Officer of The December 5th Fund, Ryan Farmer. “In recognition of our organization’s five years of serving this community, we wanted to do something special for these families to let them know that there are people thinking of them and working to alleviate some of their burdens.”
Throughout each year, The December 5th Fund provides memorable experiences for families affected by cancer and provides ongoing support for the family as they continue their journey through treatment.
About The December 5th Fund
The December 5th Fund aims to give a day without worry to families with a loved one who is dealing with cancer and going through treatment. More information, including how to nominate a family to receive a “Great Day” and sign up to volunteer, can be found at December 5th.org.