The township high school’s girls volleyball team hosted a breast cancer fundraiser match earlier this month, with all proceeds split between two donor recipients, Inspiring Life Together and Pockets of Hope.
“We’ve done a couple breast-cancer fundraiser matches in the past, nothing consistent,” said Kristin Radcliff, varsity girls coach. “This year, as a new varsity coach, we’re trying to bring back the tradition and keep it on a consistent basis, so we’re always looking to do something to help people and give back.”
The team played against Cinnaminson High School, which chose the nonprofit Pockets of Hope as its fund recipient.
“A Cinnaminson player’s mom was battling breast cancer, and during her chemo, was actually blessed by Pockets of Hope to receive a sweatshirt with pockets on the inside of the sweatshirt for the drainage bags after her mastectomy,” Radcliff explained of the nonprofit’s mission to provides the sweatshirts to women recovering from a mastectomy.
“So Cinnaminson’s player wanted to spread the word on that organization and give back to that foundation as well.”
“I started Pockets of Hope after my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer for the second time, and since February (2022), I’ve donated over 650 hoodies to women all over the United States, London, Australia and Canada,” said the organization’s founder, Katelynn Devinney.
“And I intend to (donate) as many as I can,” she added before the volleyball match.
Inspiring Life Together is a nonprofit that provides practical goods and services to women and their families as they undergo cancer treatment. According to its website, Founder and President Spring Williams – also a teacher at Moorestown High School – modeled the organization on the outpouring of support she got during her battle with breast cancer years ago.
“ … I had an entourage of people around me all the time, and they provided my family and I with groceries and toiletries,” she recalled. “They would come over to my house and help clean my house and mow my lawn. They would send my kids to camp while I went under chemotherapy.”
“Going through surgery, radiation and so many things not only impacts the women, but it also impacts the entire family …” Williams added. “Through all of it, I got a group of people together and we started Inspiring Life Together.”
The nonprofit focuses on up to 12 diagnosed mothers in South Jersey and follows each one and her family for a year. Care boxes for chemotherapy, radiation and surgery are also provided; they include items to relieve discomfort throughout each stage of treatment.
During their time with Inspiring Life Together, families also receive milestone gifts and cards for special occasions, such as birthdays and holidays; monthly calls from volunteers; and invitations to virtual and in-person social gatherings to connect with current and previous households.
Radcliff hopes the fundraiser match inspires the team.
“I think the volleyball team just wants to help and support the community just as the community supports them,” she noted. “Also, just bringing awareness to the two specific foundations that we’re raising money for … I hope that they learn that when we all work together, we can make a difference, even if it is on a smaller scale.”
“I think everyone knows someone who has been affected by this terrible disease, so we really just wanted to find a way to raise money for a cause close to our hearts.”
For more information on Inspiring Life Together, visit https://www.inspiringlifetogether.org. For more on Pockets of Hope, visit its official Facebook page.