January 2021 Charity Spotlight- Lemons of Love

Ortman Group
Ortman Group
Published on January 12, 2021

Their Mission

Lemons of Loves mission is to deliver chemo care packages, provide programs and make moments for anyone impacted by cancer.

Their Story

Lemons of Love was created in 2014 when founder Jill Swanson Peltier was diagnosed with late-stage colon cancer. Determined to make lemonade from her diagnosis, she began making care packages and sharing them with other patients in treatment. While Jill initially shared these packages in order to connect with others, she experienced firsthand how a small act of kindness could make a big impact for those diagnosed with cancer. 

Lemons of Love Care Packages

Lemons of Loves Chemo Care Packages help ease the short-term side effects of treatment, while also offering strength and support to keep patients moving forward. Each year, we implement two special care package programs:  Kids’ Holiday Care Packages and Veterans’ Chemo Care Packages. Most of our packages are funded through philanthropic support and delivered as gifts to oncology centers. Individuals may also send care packages to a loved one by making a donation.

Lemons of Love Cancer Resource Center

In 2018, we opened the Lemons of Love Cancer Resource Center in Mt. Prospect, IL to provide free wellness programs and build community for those impacted by cancer—including survivors, caregivers and loved ones. We also offer private head shavings, utilizing local stylists who volunteer their services. In addition, volunteers and corporate groups help us fund and fill care packages at our building.

What makes them unique?

While some organizations support people living with cancer through care packages and others assist cancer survivors through educational programs, Lemons of Love is unique in that it does both. Our goal is to help people live better with cancer from diagnosis through survivorship.

Lemons of Love was founded on the premise that a small act of kindness can make a big impact. Today, it’s still the guiding principle behind everything we do. We believe that creating powerful moments for people impacted by cancer is not only important but necessary.

What precautions have they taken during COVID?

Cancer doesn’t stop during a pandemic and neither do we. Here are some of the adaptations we made in 2020:

Pausing Chemo Care Package Deliveries to Hospitals: Safety precautions meant we couldn’t deliver chemo care packages to cancer patients in the hospital.  Thankfully, we resumed these deliveries in (MONTH) as these packages are even more crucial for those who face treatments alone.

Expanding their Mission: When we couldn’t deliver care packages to hospitals, we created Frontline Superhero Care Packages to thank and support essential hospital staff. We shared more than 360 of these packages in Illinois and Wisconsin.

Partnering for Online Programs: With the health and safety our Lemons of Love Center guests in mind, we closed our Mt. Prospect building in mid-March. Since then, we’ve continued to give our clientele access to online programs through our partners Wellness House and Northwest Community Healthcare.

Virtual Fundraisers: While we had to cancel most of our in-person fundraisers, we were able to hold our annual Pink Lemonade 5K and Lemons on the Links golf outing virtually.

How Can People Get Involved?

·   Join our 2021 golf outing and 5K planning committees

·   Host a third-party fundraiser to benefit Lemons of Love

·   Draw Happy Pictures for our care packages

·   Support our Kids’ Holiday care packages by donating items, helping us fill packages, and delivering them to Chicago-area locations. (November/December)

In-kind donations may be placed in the donation box outside the Lemons of Love Center. For larger donations or to learn more about supporting Lemons of Love, please email  [email protected]

Lemons of Love
406 W. Central Road, Mt. Prospect, IL 60056

Hours: Currently, The Lemons of Love Center is open by appointment only. For safety reasons during COVID, we are unable to conduct in-person programs for people impacted by cancer. The best way to contact us is by emailing [email protected]

To learn more about Lemons of Love, visit http://lemonsoflove.org/

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