St. Louis Area Charity Inspires And Empowers By Fulfilling Bucket List Wishes
Seeing a need, Collinsville, IL resident, Ashley Swip established a new charity,|
3 Little Birds 4 Life, to provide individuals 18-40 currently facing cancer with the opportunity to experience and live out their final bucket list wishes and gain a sense of serenity, strength and closure. The organization focuses on two main program components; to fulfill bucket list wishes for current cancer patients 18-40 years of age, and to create and give personalized gift bags to cancer patients currently in treatment at a hospital or treatment center.
"Even though we are a brand new organization, we really hope to inspire and empower cancer patients and survivors by fulfilling 'bucket list' wishes," said Swip. "The program is intended to serve not only the individual, but families, friends, communities and donors as well."
The Story Behind 3 Little Birds 4 Life
In February of 2010, Guy "Tyler" Gifford was diagnosed with malignant melanoma. It was only a total of nine months from learning about his melanoma to his death on November 2, 2010. Before Gifford passed away, his sister, founder and President of 3 Little Birds 4 Life, Ashley Swip, wanted to give him one more great day doing the things he loved. Swip worked with the St. Louis Cardinals organization to create the perfect day for Gifford. Gifford got to sit in the press box, meet the announcers, and go on the field before the game during batting practice.
While the experience was truly amazing and unforgettable, it was also an eye-opener. In the endeavor to make Gifford's final wishes come true, Swip hit several dead ends, made many phone calls, sent countless emails and did internet searches. There needed to be an organization that could give adults battling cancer the opportunity to live out and experience their bucket list desires.
"When Guy was sick but still able to function, I tried to find an organization that helped young adults with cancer. There wasn't one in the entire country," said Swip. "After all the struggles I encountered while trying to give my brother one last amazing day, it was obvious to me that there needed to be an organization that could provide adults battling cancer with the opportunity to experience one of their 'bucket list' desires before their time came."
The 3 Little Birds 4 Life Program
The non-profit's main mission is granting wishes to young adults who are suffering with any form of cancer as well as helping them obtain a sense of serenity, strength and closure. The organization focuses on two main program components; to fulfill bucket list wishes for current cancer patients 18-40 years of age, and to create and give personalized gift bags to cancer patients currently in treatment at a hospital or treatment center. "Bucket list" wishes range anything from tickets to sports events or concerts, or dinner out with family, to shopping trips and skydiving.
While 3 Little Birds 4 Life just completed its first project in December of 2011, the organization is currently working on its first major case to make a 31-year-old cancer patient's wishes come true. The organization is currently based in Collinsville, IL and the first projects have been carried out locally, but Swip wants to spread the message far and wide.
"We want to introduce this to the entire country and I think as soon as we do that, we'll take off," said Swip. "There's nothing like this anywhere else in the nation. It's needed."
For more information, to request to check off a bucket list item for you or someone close to you, or to make a donation, visit www.3littlebirds4life.org, or email Ashley Swip at email@example.com.