Our History

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Our History

In April 1998, a group of volunteers met to organize a fundraiser that would have a direct impact on people in southern Wisconsin touched by life-limiting illnesses such as Alzheimer’s, cancer, diabetes, heart disease and more…

The Little Charity that Could
When a serious illness touches your life or the life of someone you love, your whole world gets turned upside down. It’s no longer ‘over there’. It’s right here, and it’s worse than any bad dream you’ve ever had, because you can’t just wish it away.

In these tough times, though, we are typically reminded of what is truly most important to us. Family, friends and neighbors become the real focal point of our lives, as they should be.
People affected by life-limiting illnesses, either directly or through a friend or loved one, are forever changed. There is both a void and a maturity that comes from these experiences. It sets us apart from others. We understand the similar paths others have journeyed before us. We are connected with them in many ways.

It’s this connection that motivates us at Tomorrow’s Hope to give back, and pay it forward. We understand that each person on this journey needs what we, as an organization, offer – hope, healing and the opportunity to be helpful.

The ability to directly provide hope, healing and help to local people touched by life-limiting illnesses is a powerful experience. It is wonderful and inspiring to work together with people who know the passion and need in your heart, because it’s in theirs as well.

None of us can predict what the future will bring. Big changes can happen very quickly. What we do know is that we are blessed in many ways, and we can take action here and now to help others.

Helping the people who have helped us and making a positive difference in the lives of others is a great gift to give!
We hope you join us, so you too can feel the life-enhancing power of Tomorrow’s Hope.

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Tomorrow’s Hope was created in 1998 by a handful of energetic and caring Jefferson, Wisconsin residents. These people had been leading successful Relay for Life events, in Jefferson, for the American Cancer Society for several years.

They became disheartened, however, when they couldn’t get answers to their questions about how much of the money they (and other area Relay groups) helped raise for ACS was used to directly benefit people in Jefferson, Dodge and eastern Dane counties. About the same time, they also learned that Fort HealthCare, one of the key local healthcare providers in the area, didn’t receive any funds from the American Cancer Society (and they still don’t).

These local leaders wanted to make a big and positive difference in their communities. They were working hard for the cause and felt the money that they, and their friends, family, neighbors, businesses and others raised should stay in the local area and benefit local residents. They wanted to make sure donated dollars were used to directly help local people close to home.

Finally, although many founders of Tomorrow’s Hope had been personally affected in some way by cancer, they also knew that patients and families touched by any type of serious life-limiting illness had the same fears and needs. People affected by Alzheimer’s, heart disease, lung disease, stroke, diabetes and more needed just as much help and support as cancer patients and their caregivers.

So, Tomorrow’s Hope was created to raise money, and grant it locally, for the benefit of all area residents with any type of life-limiting illness. Everyone hurts and hopes the same. We are all one in the journey of life.

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Tomorrow’s Hope works directly with the local health care providers that our friends, families and neighbors use. These local health care facilities know what local people need, and funds from Tomorrow’s Hope help enhance their programs and services for people affected by life-limiting illnesses. It’s definitely a winning collaboration.

Tomorrow’s Hope also directly funds cancer research pilot projects at the UW Carbone Cancer Center in Madison. This is one of the few comprehensive cancer research and treatment facilities in the nation. Pilot projects often open the door to better treatments, improved early detection techniques, and, hopefully, one day, a cure.

Since 1998, Tomorrow’s Hope has granted over $3.9 million to local health care providers and researchers to benefit and support area residents with life-limiting illnesses. Because these charitable dollars stay in the area, the UW Extension estimates the local economic impact of these grants to be about $6.4 million. Tomorrow’s Hope helps make people and communities stronger.

Tomorrow’s Hope supports specific programs and services at a full spectrum of local health care facilities, from American Family Children’s Hospital to Rainbow Hospice Care. Two area clinics for low-income families receive funds, as do Fort HealthCare and Watertown Regional Medical Center. All grants benefit local people affected by life-limiting illnesses.

Just like the little engine that could, we at Tomorrow’s Hope keep working and keep trying because we know we can make a positive impact in the lives of family, friends and neighbors.

With your help we can do even more! Please donate locally and support Tomorrow’s Hope.