What is Walking with Jimmy?
Walking with Jimmy is an All Saints Episcopal Church mission program with the goal for families to take back their lives and move forward in a positive way by developing new connections with other families through fellowship, provide a sense of focus and achievement, replace the burden of an uncertain future with a focus on the present as well as build life long memories filled with joy, love and freedom.
How can I donate?
Donations by check should be made out to All Saint Episcopal Church. All outside donations to the church will automatically go toward the Walking with Jimmy program unless otherwise stated or requested.
How will my donation be used?
Since Walking with Jimmy operates out of the All Saints Episcopal Church building and all of the church’s staff are volunteers there is no overhead expenses that most programs and organizations have to account for. This allows us the rare opportunity to apply all the funding the program receives towards directly that portion of the program which directly benefits the families.
How is Walking with Jimmy different from the more traditional childhood cancer camps in the region?
Being different from the traditional childhood cancer setting is what sets us apart. We take patients and their families who live in the mid-west United States and send them to the Pacific Northwest where they will encounter a new world, new people and new experiences. In addition, we incorporate into our model the participation of some of our willing business sponsors/partners who have generously donated their time and business to help make the families experience a memorable life experience. For example, Islands Adventure will be taking us into the Straits of Juan de Fucca on an expedition to observe and photograph a multitude of marine wildlife such as seals, birds, orca whales and yes, the occasional Humpback whale which is now being observed on a regular basis in and around the San Juan Islands. Also, lets not forget the ferry ride to Orcas Island where participants will then lodge at Camp Orkila, Voted as best YMCA Camp in the country last year. There, families will enjoy traditional camp activities and much more. From there they will get a tour of Moran State Park and learn about the wildlife that inhabits the island as well as the plant life. Additionally, they will learn basic hiking and camping skills with a few and environment unlike any they have seen before. Any family who is into photography will be in heaven the whole trip.
How many family members can go on this expedition?
When WJ starts accepting applications, there will be 20 individual spots open. So if five families of four apply first, then all the spots will be filled. Now, we at WJ understand that not all families have four members as some may just have two apply, and some may have six members that will apply. Our goal this year is to take at least five families. Applications will be accepted in the order they were received giving preference to those applications with four family members or fewer. If after the five families are approved and there are still spots open, then additional applications will be reviewed to fill any slots still open. Qualified family members will of course consist of two parents/guardians and siblings only. It is hoped that the success of this our first year will allow future funding efforts to support additional participants the following years.
What are the benefits of participating in this program?
The WJ program hopes to address the issues of mental and emotional health of families dealing with childhood cancer. Besides the physical and financial effects this dreaded disease has on families, too often the emotional effects cancer and its treatment leaves behind are overlooked and support programs that do address this important issue are vastly underserved particularly in the Mid-West United States. Typically, the only avenue currently available which addresses this issue are traditional childhood cancer camps. While these camps are a vital component in raising the spirits of childhood cancer patients, very few if any incorporate the family unit into their programing. Here at WJ, we believe that it’s the whole family that is going through the whole process of healing.
Since this program is run by a religious organization to I need to be a member or will they try to convert me?
In one word…NO. WJ is open to all people of all faiths. There will be absolutely no proselytizing before, during or after the expedition or any other time. WJ recognizes that cancer has no such requirements, nor do we. In fact, many members of the WJ Advisory Board are assumed to belong to different churches and/or beliefs. We don’t know because it’s not why we are here. The WJ Advisory Board is made up of a talented and experienced select group of professionals who what to make a difference in the fight against childhood cancer. Additionally, “Families of childhood cancer typically build a deep personal relationship with God on their terms due to experiences dealing with the diagnosis and treatment of cancer.” (National Cancer Institute Project 212-46-1061, principal investigator, William J. Zwartjes, M.D).
WJ doesn’t want to do anything to undermine that relationship. However, regardless of religious affiliation or beliefs, it would be prudent to expect WJ staff, sponsors, other benefactors and the community at large to pray for those families who we are here to serve.
Can I sponsor a family?
Yes. The cost to sponsor a family of four is $850.
Is there any costs involved for my family?
Yes and no. There is a $100-dollar deposit required per application once the application is approved. However, this deposit is refunded back to the family during the expedition. Additionally, the $100 is also refunded if the family needs to cancel anytime for any reason up to thirty days before the programs first day. The reason for this is to cover any cancelation fees associated with flight carriers, or other business partners who we have a financial arrangement with and do not have enough time to fill the slots with another family applicant.