Elena Cohen of Easton PA is the 12 yr old daughter of Eva Grayzel Cohen, a stage 4 oral cancer survivor, now seven years out from her disease. In preparation for her Bat-Mitzvah, Elena had to choose a ‘Tzedakah’ or charity project to complete. She wanted to do something she enjoyed and would help others at the same time. Baking is one of her favorite things to do. She created and delivered a flyer for baking orders all around her neighborhood. For Thanksgiving, she had taken a few orders, and by Christmas there were many more, even some repeats! She gave a suggested donation price, and explained that she was donating ALL the money to the Oral Cancer Foundation, and included the OCF pamphlet which describes the work of the foundation with her flyers. Elena was excited at one of her sales, clearly from someone interested in the charitable idea equally to delicious cookies, when she exclaimed, "One woman gave me $20 for two large cookies!" So far Elena has raised a total of $300. She hopes to raise more money during the spring baking challah’s for her synagogue. Hopefully, neighbors will continue to call her up for special orders, so she can continue with her efforts to help. When asked for comment, Brian Hill from OCF stated “ In a world that is so frequently dominated by thoughts of personal gain, Elana’s desire to help others is not only a great example of living part of your life in service to others, but a lesson that many adults could learn from. She is truly an extraordinary young lady”.
OCF Note: My faith in the future is renewed by stories like this one about Elena, of 15 year old Robbie Schwieder who hiked the Appalachian Trail to raise money for the foundation, and 14 year old Kayla Lovett, who along with other young dancers put on a production to raise money and help strangers they will likely never meet. We literally have millions of people visit the OCF web site for information each month. Thousands more get help from our survivor/patient forum, many being helped with hundreds of postings for months and months as they go through treatment and have questions or need moral support. But from all those visitors, only a handful take the time to make an online donation of a few dollars to OCF. A matter of a couple of minutes and little expense to them to help support a foundation’s efforts that brought them help when they needed it, seems not to occur to them. Now we have three stories of kids, who on their own initiative, have stepped up to make a small change in the world. I am very grateful to all of them that have taken the time, and made the personal efforts that help sustain the work of the Oral Cancer Foundation. What would the world be like if their example was more common? Brian Hill/ OCF Founder.