FROM OUR HEARTS MISSION: to raise funds to provide screening and treatment for the debilitating disease of Breast Cancer for eligible people in the Greater Pine Island area.
Who we are. . .
A handful of Pine Island residents raised funds in 2001 to send a local resident to a three day, sixty-mile Breast Cancer Walk. That initial effort started with a few local musicians playing music at the Island Hardware store in St. James City and passing the hat. Their efforts to raise more funds continued and progressed into the First Annual Pine Island Breast Fest. In order to become more effective in their fund raising efforts, the not for profit organization called From Our Hearts, Inc. was formed.
Today From Our Hearts, Inc. still consists of a small group of Pine Island residents whose only focus is to raise funds to provide breast cancer screening and treatment for any qualified Pine Island resident who is in need of financial assistance. 100% of the funds we raise are donated to Partners for Breast Cancer Care and Regional Cancer Center/Lee Memorial Health System to be used only for residents of the Greater Pine Island area. These two organizations facilitate the qualification process and distribution of From Our Hearts funds to provide screening and treatment for qualified Pine Island residents.
What we do …
A few years ago a From Our Hearts member who is a Breast Cancer survivor, shared an idea of providing cancer patients with a bag of items that would go with them to doctor’s appointments and treatment sessions to help keep them comfortable and organized. The idea smoldered a bit and with input from other cancer patients, became a reality in 2015.
Led by Board member Terri James and supported by a grant from Wells Fargo, From Our Hearts compiled a bag of needed items and gave them to Lee Health who in turn, gives them to those clients from the greater Pine Island area who are being cared for under the grant provided to Lee Health by From Our Hearts.
The cancer bags include items such as a fleece blanket, spa socks with grippers, tissues, stress ball and more. It even included heart shaped pillows that were hand made by local volunteers and donated to From Our Hearts for the bags.
An important component of the bags is the clipboard, paper and pen, along with a multi-pocket expanding file organizer which helps the patient keep track of discussions with doctors, list questions they need answers to and keep track of records, prescriptions, bills and more. These bags have been a comfort to several cancer patients and will continue to be provided to Lee Health by From Our Hearts.
Contents of Cancer Bags
(L to R) Tammy Zinn, Lee Health Breast Cancer Navigator; Terri James, From Our Hearts Board Member; Mary Scott, From Our Hearts President 2016
Donation Funds at work….
“The funds we raise are donated to Partners for Breast Cancer Care and Regional Cancer Center/Lee Memorial Health System to be used only for residents of the Greater Pine Island are, ” 2018 FOH President Barb Riordan said.
From our Hearts was able to provide funds to Partners for Breast Cancer Care for a young woman names Ms. H. Partners for Breast Cancer shared her story:
“Since August 2016, when Ms. H called us for the first time looking for help she was a young woman very afraid and concerned about a ‘problem’ in her breast, Ms. H. is a single mother, with a 3 year old boy. She works a part time job as an office clerk, receiving $194 from Children & Families to help with food.
Ms. H had found a lump in her left breast a few days before the call and both her mother and sister (32 years old) were already diagnosed with breast cancer.
During all those months, Partners’, with the support of From Our Hearts, helped her throughout the process of testing and financial hardship. From our Hearts made it possible to fund two ultrasounds, one MRI, a cyst aspiration, pathology and surgeon (Dr. Lea Blackwell).
During the month previous to being diagnosed, Ms. H was fighting with the landlord to avoid eviction from the apartment she was sharing with her son. The Beacon of HOPE referred her to United Way and other community agencies for help and today she is approved for Medicaid.
Ms. H is currently in treatment with chemotherapy and we expect for her the best. She is brave and smart, and after all these experiences, more strong and capable than ever. Even when everything was looking really dark in her life, she keeps saying, “I have to make it for my son.”
From Our Hearts is now looking to the future to continue to provide financial help to members of the community in their fight against breast cancer.
“Our success has been because of the generosity of each of our members and volunteers,” Riordan said. “Over the years we have been able to help over 1,000 women and men in our community to receive critical evaluations and treatment in their fight against breast cancer. To do this we need the community’s help.”
John Thurston, From our Hearts Vice Present presenting a donation to the Art Teacher of the Pine Island Elementary School. The art students created original art work for a Pine Island calendar that became a fund raiser for From Our Hearts.
From Our Hearts, Inc.
PO Box 356,
Matlacha, FL 33993
E-mail: [email protected]
We always welcome new members to our organization. We meet the third Tuesday of each month, at 6:00pm, in the Pine Island Fire House at the Island Center. Please join us! Click here to download an Application Form
Notice from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services:
“A COPY OF THE OFFICIAL REGISTRATION AND FINANCIAL INFORMATION MAY BE OBTAINED FROM THE DIVISION OF CONSUMER SERVICES BY CALLING TOLL-FREE WITHIN THE STATE. REGISTRATION DOES NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT, APPROVAL, OR RECOMMENDATION BY THE STATE.”
- 1-800-HELP-FLA (435-7352) www.FloridaConsumerHelp.com
From Our Hearts, Inc. Registration Number – CH2811