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The December 5th Fund surprises five Illinois families battling cancer

This is the 5th year filled with acts of kindness around the community, thanks to the organization.

VALMEYER, Ill — Five families in Illinois got the surprise of a lifetime Sunday afternoon. 

A local organization set out to give the gift of ‘a day without worry’ to families helping a loved one battle cancer. 

The December 5th Fund showed up at the front door of five families in the Metro East, and they didn’t come empty-handed. 

5 On Your Side tagged along to capture one of those surprises Sunday in Valmeyer. 

The organization gave each family a check for $1,000 and gifted $500 in gift cards. 

The last gift is one that keeps on giving. 

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Each family is now enrolled in the groups’ "Helping Hands" support plan. This means each family is eligible to receive services like house cleaning, meal preparation, and lawn care to help make each day a little bit easier while they support their loved one through the long journey of fighting cancer. 

Our crew spoke with Tom Wiley, Executive Director and Founder of The December 5th Fund to talk about the idea behind "Helping Hands". 

He says, "We send a team of volunteers back to their home - 20, 30, 40, 50 people - and take care of all those chores that get ignored when you're caring for somebody who has cancer... such as housecleaning, landscaping, lawn care. Whatever we can get done in a 6-8 hour time period, we get it done. So, when that family comes home, it's not to a to-do list, it's to a stress-free environment."

2021 marks the 5th anniversary of The December 5th Fund. 

And each year on December 5, they challenge the community to do random acts of kindness.

About The December 5th Fund:

The December 5th Fund's mission is to give a day without worry to families whose loved one is afflicted with cancer and currently undergoing active cancer treatment. Through the Great Day and Helping Hands Support Plan programs, The December 5th Fund creates once-in-a-lifetime memories for families affected by cancer and provides ongoing support for the family as they continue the long journey through treatment. The organization is named for the last good day (Dec. 5, 2015) the late wife of founder Tom Wiley had before she passed from complications related to breast cancer in January 2016.

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