The spirit of those in the North Country shines the brightest when we are faced with adversity, and when one or more of our fellow neighbors needs a helping hand, we always rush in to help. That’s the North Country way.
There is a little-known organization in the North Country that could definitely use a helping hand from all of us. The Jazzy’s Children Fund is a charity organization with a mission to “fulfill Jasmine's dream by raising money for families with children who have cancer or other life threatening illnesses or injuries.” Their goal is to improve the quality of these children's lives with the money raised by this organization.
Dawn Lazzara, one of the founders of the Jazzy’s Children Fund, sat down with North Country Local to tell us the story of the Fund, and why it’s so important to support it.
“Jazzy was a quiet shy girl who loved life!” Dawn says, “She was the type of person who if she saw someone not being nice to others she would say something; that included people and animals.”
Jasmine “Jazzy” Paye was born on August 5th, 1998, and when she was 7 or 8, she asked Dawn to be her Godmother. “Being her God-mom was an honor, as I loved her as if she was my own,” Dawn says. When Jazzy was diagnosed with cancer, everyone except Jazzy was devastated, Dawn recalls. She just said “I will do what I have to do.” She never complained while doing her treatment even though she would be so sick with chemo and tired from radiation. Jazzy’s cancer made her lose her ability to walk. On top of her treatments was intense physical therapy, and through all this Jazzy had no complaints. Every time Jazzy saw a child in the hospital she would worry about them, and would ask her mom if they could do something to help them.
The community, including all of Jazzy’s loving friends and family, rallied around her, not only with emotional support, but they also came together raising much-needed funds to help Jazzy and her family. This financial support helped keep the family together when Jazzy needed to travel for treatments, and Jazzy was so grateful and throughout this time she said her dream was to help other kids with cancer or life threatening illnesses. After Jasmine passed, her friends and family, including Dawn, made this dream come true and started the Jazzy’s Children Fund.
As someone who has had cancer strike several family members, Dawn sat down with Jazzy to see what kind of organization she wanted to create. Jazzy always wanted to adopt children when she was an adult, and have a “house full of kiddos.” This is Jazzy and her family’s way of helping other children and families who are in need.
Financial support for The Jazzy's Children Fund is raised through various fundraising events including craft shows, dinners, raffle parties and more. To date, the Jazzy’s Children Fund has helped dozens of families with over $40,000. Their organization is made up of family and friends of Jazzy, and they are always trying to get their name and mission out in front of as many people as possible to help spread the word. They pay mortgage payments, car loans, car repairs, gas, groceries, living expenses while in treatment...basically whatever the family needs. They also bring gifts to kids at the hospitals, along with any of the blankets and pillowcases that people make.
If anyone knows of someone who could use the services of the Jazzy Children’s Fund, you can fill out a request form on their website at www.jazzyschildren.org, and that information goes in front of their board for approval, along with a requested letter from the child’s doctor or child life specialist.
How can you help? You can reach out to them on their website to see how you can help with any of their events, and of course you can donate to their cause. If you know of any families that could use their services, refer them on their website. Spread the word, like them on Facebook here: www.facebook.com/thejazzyschildrenfund.