A time for play: Foundation builds playset for child with cancer

Published 8:49 am Thursday, December 8, 2022

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From its inception, the Gilliland Foundation has supported Davie County not-for-profits and other charitable endeavors in nearby counties by giving their time and resources.

Steve and Diane Gilliland believe in giving back to the community and helping those who need it most. Their altruism mission is based on the philosophy that no matter what you face each day, you must remain determined to find a way to bring joy and hope to the people around you.

The foundation’s two areas of focus are support for children battling cancer and helping to improve the lives of the underprivileged.

As part of their annual November “Giving Campaign,” the foundation presented A Storehouse For Jesus with a check and 200 hand-loomed beanie hats.

The foundation’s 2022 Spring and Fall Cornhole Tournaments, hosted at Raylen Vineyards & Winery, allowed them to purchase two backyard playsets for children during treatment who are battling cancer.

On Saturday, Nov. 5, 17 Gilliland Foundation volunteers helped breathe love, hope, and joy into the life of a 2-year-old by building a backyard playset in Statesville. Lucas is being treated at Brenner Children’s Hospital as part of the pediatric oncology program.

“Many children are admitted to start treatment immediately, and everything else comes to a screeching halt,” said Diane Gilliland. “It’s a moment no parent can be prepared for.”

Because of this, the Gilliland Foundation also donates “Ready Bags,” which include everything a family might need for their unexpected hospital stay. This includes toiletries, a blanket, a journal, a tablet computer, and more.

“These essentials are helpful and message to each family that they are not alone as they begin this journey,” she said.

With the support of local businesses, the foundation has given more than 2,000 hand-loomed beanie hats, provided backyard playsets for multiple children, contributed several ready bags, and donated $20,000 to bring joy and hope to people who need it most.

“There are no paid employees at the foundation, and the board members and volunteers trust they can be the brightness in the tunnel so that people can see the light at the end of it and, ultimately, the way out. The goal of the Gilliland Foundation is to provide joy and hope to make life better in some way for people less fortunate. They want to improve lives, help people envision a better future, and take the steps necessary to make it happen,” she said.