The Kimberly Conca Fund....administered by Carondelet. When Kimmy passed, of course I was devastated. She was an amazing person - always optimistic, upbeat and a good word for everyone. She gave and gave and gave to our schools, church and community in so many ways. She could not say no - she believed in people helping people to make our world a better place. And she never grew weary or complained.
As Volunteer Coordinator at Rincon Vista Middle School - she worked on the clock 15 hours per week and put in 40 hours to help the school and district. "You are your own best volunteer!" she was told. She LOVED it!!
The beautiful thing about Kim was, no matter how much she gave, she never expected anything in return. She was so humble, she was embarrassed by thanks and praise.
To keep her giving spirit alive, the bambini and I decided to start a foundation in her name to keep giving back to Tucson, as Kim would have wanted. But where to start? I looked into starting an entity on my own, but, I could not focus through the grief to get through the myriad of red tape and government requirements. I looked to national cancer groups, and found that advertising and administrative costs would eat away about 60 cents of every dollar before it got to the people who needed help and I would have no control over where in the country the remaining 40 cents would be used.
I researched and researched before deciding on Carondelet. They administer Kim's Fund for me cost free. So, 100% of every dollar goes to help people. AND every penny stays here in Tucson! I have been able to spearhead the fund raising, determining what the larger need is, and have those funds allocated directly. Immediate help and I get to do the best part - work with our incredible and generous community!! No red tape to filter through my fog.
We've done a lot of neat events! And, through your generosity, raised $10K towards the new all faiths chapel at St. Joseph's Hospital....where we found ourselves today...running the stairs, as we had done so many times that Kim was in the hospital...the bambini wanted to see the nurses, doctors and technicians who had helped their Mama while she battled cancer at St. Joe's. And, they were rewarded...We stopped in at ICU, and Autumn would not go past the waiting room (where the phone of nightmares still waited on the desk)...She asked that Tonio and I go on, and if we found Deborah and Vivian, we should come get her. We went to ICU East, where Kim spent most of her time while in ICU. They told us Deborah had just gone to lunch and Vivian was working in either West or North. We went to West...nothing. We went to North and were told that Vivian just went to lunch, but they'd let her know we were there. They were taking lunch together.. Deborah and Vivian ran out to get Aut and then took Autumn and Tonio into the breakroom and gave them bowls of Rocky Road ice cream. These two work tirelessly to take care of patients, put a smile on their face and help them on their road to recovery.
After our visit, and run back down the spiraling stair case...I took the kids to see the chapel...and the paver that says "Cody, Autumn and Tonio Conca...in loving memory of our mom, Kim"
Here they are at the entrance, just north of the Outpatient entrance - there is a wall with Kim's name on it.
(can you spot Kimmy's name just to the right of Tonio's shoulder? And yes, Autumn is wearing one of Kim's tshirts!)
Another $6K was raised for those diagnostic machines on wheels that they roll into patient's rooms, hook it up to their index finger and take their heart rate, etc - Vivian tried several times to teach me technical name for these, but it escapes me. The rest, so far, has been used for families, with loved ones in a Carondelet facility, who are having trouble with groceries, gas, medical bills...they can apply for a $250 grant through Carondelet and Kim's Fund.
Deborah and Vivian would like some new recliners for ICU. They are down to 1. They vividly recall the joy it brought Kim to be able to get out of her bed and sit in a recliner. It gave her back her freedom, for a brief moment. Made her feel like a functioning human again. She could not sit in the regular chairs that they have, it was too painful. For me, my hours visiting were made so much more pleasant in a comfortable recliner - catching a nap when I could, watching tv with Kim...in the regular chairs, I could sit about an hour. So, that's what we will be working towards.
And, if you can't make it out to help at Breakers, but would still like to donate, you can!
If friends and family would like to donate with a credit card we have two options:
1. They can call the Foundation 873-5000 and give their information over the telephone
2. They can go to our website: www.carondelet.org
If they would like to send their donation by check, the address is:
120 N. Tucson Blvd.
Tucson, AZ 85716
The check should be made payable to the Kimberly Conca Fund.
You can also give checks/cash to me and I will run it over to their office!
They will send you a letter that you can use when preparing your taxes. If any large donors need the Fund's tax ID #, let me know and I can provide that!
I don't know what else to tell you...Kim was everything to us...everything. Her Fund, helping people, helps us....
Please let me know if you have any questions OR ideas on what we can do next!!!