Our Story

Video courtesy of Steve Elizondo

In May 1999, Jill Wolford, a young Cary mother of two was diagnosed with breast cancer. The subsequent nine months were filled with chemotherapy, radiation, hospitalizations, and many experiences that challenged the life her family lived. Throughout that time, friends, neighbors, family, co-workers and even complete strangers helped her and her family through this very difficult period. Overwhelmed by the support they received, she and her husband, Eric, decided that the best way to show appreciation for those who had helped would be to help other individuals challenged with cancer; in other words, pay it forward.

With her treatment completed, the couple threw a party in June 2001, inviting friends and neighbors and asking for small contributions from partygoers. They collected $724 that night, which was given anonymously to LuAnne Goodwin, a single mother with breast cancer, to help pay for medications and other living expenses. LuAnne’s courage and perseverance are evident in the letter(see below) she wrote after receiving this assistance from people she would never know. LuAnne’s inspiring words sparked the creation of the Caring Community Foundation.

Sadly, LuAnne left this world without knowing the impact she would have on so many lives. Beginning in 2002, the size, scope and planning for the Foundation’s annual "Pay It Forward" Fundraising Event increased dramatically. The event has grown to include live music, raffles, live and silent auctions with strong support from private and corporate donors.

To date, CCF has distributed more than $1.7 million dollars to assist more than 2,700+ patients in need.

LuAnne was patient number one. Each year at the signature CCF event, we recognize one of her greatest achievements: LuAnne Goodwin changed the world.

A letter from LuAnne Goodwin to the Caring Community Foundation

To all the Angels who thought enough to do this kind act for someone else in need! I have cried for several hours because this has touched my heart more than anything I have ever known. To just thank you is nearly not enough! I am so overwhelmed; I wish I could hug each and every one of you! I feel as if I know you just because of the kindness of this act. I will pass this feeling forward to someone else so that they may know how I feel. I thank you from the bottom of my heart; there are no words to describe how I feel. I am a mom on disability with terminal breast cancer and right now I feel like one of the luckiest people ever! Please know you have eased my fears of how I will pay for my prescriptions and treatment this month. You have also given me a great sense of faith in people! You have also given me a new strength and courage to go forth and not to worry about money because God and people like you will always be close at hand! You are in my prayers. Also my son thanks you. He also has many fears and he worries right along with me. Included is a poem I would like to share with you. He wrote this in school this past year when I was very sick one weekend. I hope you enjoy it! Again, thank you for your kindness. You are all angels.

I Am 

I am a funny guy, who likes basketball 
I wonder how life will be in 2809 
I hear footsteps in the night 
I see ghosts soaring through the air 
I want Shaq O’Neal to come to my house 
I am a funny guy who likes basketball

I understand life and how it’s not fair 
I say I want my mom to get well 
I dream of making the All-Star basketball team 
I try to get good grades 
I hope for my mom to get well again 
I am a funny guy, who likes basketball

I pretend I win national championships 
I feel like Michael Jordan 
I touch the planets and the stars 
I worry how my mom is doing in chemotherapy 
I cry because my mom has cancer 
I am a funny guy, who likes basketball

by Christian Goodwin