The Jennie Foundation (officially “The Jennifer C. LePera Memorial Foundation, Inc.”) was established in 2016 by Jennie’s parents, Joy and Bill LePera, and Jennie’s sister Susan.
The Foundation raises money through events staged throughout the year, as well as through on-line donations and direct contributions. The events are listed on our Events page and may also be discussed in the Blog. Additional information can be found on our Compliance page.
The Foundation partners with children’s hospitals to deliver small grants in the form of vouchers or gift cards to families to offset expenses incurred while a child is in treatment. These expenses include food, gas, hospital parking, and other expenses. We also provide grants to Ronald McDonald Houses, which provide a place for parents to stay while their child is hospitalized. These grants can offset the cost of a stay for families that cannot afford the modest donation requested by the House. Finally, we donate food to support the Ronald McDonald House Meals Program, where families can enjoy a home-cooked meal prepared by Foundation volunteers.
(Note: The Foundation has no direct relationship with Ronald McDonald House Charities, and our reference to them does not imply an endorsement of the Foundation.)
The Jennie Foundation scholarships are intended for students who have overcome hardship or adversity and wish to study nursing, music, or culinary arts. The Foundation works with schools to identify students that can benefit from these partial scholarships.
Why these three particular fields of study? Jennie loved to sing, and did so with great enthusiasm. She also enjoyed cooking, and she and her family spent many weeks in the hospital watching cooking shows on TV, planning the meals she would prepare when she came home. She came to know and love the nurses who cared for her during her hospital stays and infusion center visits, as well as the nurses who came to her home. The Jennie Foundation Scholarships are intended to help students pursue careers in the fields Jennie loved.
The Foundation operates with low overhead. We employ no paid staff, and have no leased office space or vehicles. We do not hire professional fundraisers. Foundation expenses, such as web hosting, office supplies, postage, state and federal registration fees, and insurance are paid for by the Foundation Directors. The only expense we pay out of donated funds is for electronic payment processing of on-line donations. This gives the Foundation the ability to devote almost 100% of the money raised to our charitable objectives.
Details on the programs we fund can be found on the Giving Back page.