Jack’s secret fundraising sauce—a virtual barbecue to help families in need

by: Amy Blasco

Have you ever been to a virtual barbecue?

Well, you’ll get the chance every day throughout the month of June when Jack’s Helping Hand hosts its first-ever annual barbecue celebration and fundraiser online through the Central Coast nonprofit’s website and social media channels.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the nonprofit’s founders Paul and Bridget Ready and staff decided to transform the traditionally in-person event into a virtual experience. While guests won’t be together to enjoy the barbecue—they are invited to make or order it themselves and donate to make a big difference in the lives of Central Coast children and families.

Jack’s provides essential financial assistance and community programs, such as equine and aquatic therapy, to SLO County children with cancer or special needs and their families. This includes helping pay for travel to and from doctor’s appointments, specialized medical equipment, meals and more.

The Readys explain, “These needs do not go away, regardless of the current circumstances that COVID-19 has presented. Cancer, medical treatments and special needs don’t stop and neither do we.”

The Readys have a deeply personal understanding of what it’s like to care for a child with special needs. They founded the nonprofit in honor of their son, Jack, whose three-year battle with a rare form of brain cancer ended in 2004.

Undoubtedly, the support Jack’s Helping Hand offers becomes even more essential during an international crisis like the COVID-19 pandemic. Guests of the virtual barbecue can support these children and their families in the following ways:

  • Donate your ticket amount of $100
  • Sponsor your “table” for $1,000
  • Raise your paddle for the amount of your choice
  • Purchase your raffle ticket for $100 for a chance to win a one-of-a-kind gold Jack ’s Helping Hand pendant donated by Kevin and Kathi Main. (Online tickets only. The drawing will be held live on June 30 with auctioneer Jim Settle.)

As part of the barbecue, Jack’s Helping Hand will also be sharing stories all month through email and social media about the children and families they serve, as well as donors and sponsors.

Visit www.jackshelpinghand.org or Jack’s Facebook page to get your ticket to the hottest virtual barbecue in town and lend a helping hand to families in need!

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