LOCAL ORGANIZATION GIVES BACK TO INDIVIDUALS EFFECTED BY CANCER
September is typically the month to “Go Gold” for pediatric cancer awareness, but as we all know, there are many types of cancers that strike every age. When cancer survivor and IgniteHope co-founder and president, Jenna Lindman was in the middle of her battle, she often struggled with depression and loneliness. Although she deeply appreciated the support of her family and friends, there was something incredibly special about someone beyond her closest network of people reaching out to her.
“I felt empowered and inspired in the darkest days of my journey by these kind words from strangers,” says Jenna. “I wanted to bring this uplifting feeling to others.” Along with her now husband, Patrick Lopardo and friend, Tino Spears, the group came up with the idea to make candles that would have messages of inspiration hidden throughout the wax and are discovered as the candle burns. Jenna’s friend and CPA, Kristy Young, later joined the organization to help expand their efforts and implement new ideas. For the last five years, IgniteHope has sent out thousands of candles to cancer warriors, cancer survivors and cancer caregivers. Last year alone, they sent out over 556 care packages that included the inspirational candle.
Before COVID hit, IgniteHope co-hosted socials at cancer resource centers with Imerman Angels, the American Cancer Society, Lemons of Love and Albums of Hope. These events invited cancer warriors to pick up care packages, share their stories and connect with one another.
They also hosted candle making classes at centers like Gilda’s Club, Livingwell and Wellness House. “Although we have had to temporarily halt these events, we can’t wait to get back to these activities when it is safe to do so,” says Jenna.
The organization’s website has a page where they encourage anyone and everyone with a cancer warrior to nominate them to receive a care package. Although they sell the same candles on their website to help fundraise for the program, they are currently in the middle of a move and had to temporarily pause the sales. “We will be up again soon,” says Jenna, “but we can still fulfill any donation requests.” For more information on Ignite Hope, donating to their cause or to nominate a cancer warrior, visit www.ignitehopecandles.org