Do Good Campaign
When Hillary McManama Harrelson was younger, she and her sisters ,led by their mom, would help prepare and deliver meals to breast cancer patients and their families for the Ellie Fund. Years later, Hillary is now the director of development for this amazing organization. Most people have been impacted by breast cancer in one way or another. Maybe it was your mom, your sister or a friend who struggled with the disease so you understand how breast cancer not only is a physical and emotional stress for the patient but it affects the entire family as well. The Ellie Fund was created with that in mind to provide important services from childcare to preparing meals, to housekeeping to help the the family heal. All of these services are free of charge for the patients. Hillary McManama Harrelson a South Boston resident is helping Southie turn pink for National Breast Cancer Awareness month with the Do Good campaign.
Local South Boston businesses will be offering special deals, discounts, shopping events, and fitness classes all to benefit the Ellie Fund. We recently sat down with Hillary for a little Q&A session:
How long have you been working for the Ellie Fund?
I’ve been at the Ellie Fund for 6 years. I was introduced to the organization by my mom and together we volunteered for the Dish & Deliver Program. Coming from a large family (I am one of five girls), the Ellie Fund’s recognition that an individual doesn’t get cancer, a family does was something that really resonated with me. I started as a full-time volunteer before becoming the Ellie Fund’s second full-time employee. I am now Director of Development.
What is it important to support an organization like the Ellie Fund?
A breast cancer diagnosis means physical, emotional and financial stress for the patient and the entire family. For a majority of the patients we serve, maintaining a sense of normalcy and order for themselves and their families is a challenge, particularly when faced with the side effects of chemotherapy and radiation, and the emotional and financial strain associated with breast cancer. There is a huge financial burden associated with breast cancer treatment. When I first started working for the Ellie Fund we received a thank you letter from a single mother who had been given grocery store gift cards. This mother had to decide between filling a much-needed prescription and buying groceries. In the letter the patient wrote, “chemotherapy wreaks havoc on your body, but that in no way compared to the helpless feeling I had when I couldn’t feed my daughter. When I went to the mailbox, I not only received grocery store gift cards so I could feed my daughter but I also got the most important gift of all – hope.” This is why it is so important to support the Ellie Fund – to take away these extraordinarily difficult choices, to allow a patient to focus on their family and healing and to provide hope.
How long have you lived in South Boston?
I’ve lived in South Boston for 8 years.
Favorite part of living in Southie?
The sense of community that South Boston’s residents, businesses and organizations foster. I was thrilled with the overwhelming response of the restaurants, stores and gyms in joining Caught in Southie’s efforts to turn the neighborhood pink in support of the Ellie Fund and in honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. …..And, the grilled chicken sandwich at Lincoln.
What are you most excited about Southie turns Pink for the Ellie Fund?
It will be amazing to see and feel the support of our community on a day-to-day basis. Founded in honor of a life-long Newton resident, the Ellie Fund thrives on the support of its local community, organizations and individuals who are committed to helping those in their own backyard. This is what South Boston does, I look forward to seeing it in a pink light.
How can people get involved in helping to support the Ellie Fund?
Join Caught in Southie and other South Boston businesses to Do Good this October – they are making it easy and fun to support the Ellie Fund. You can also visit our website at Elliefund.org for volunteer opportunities and future events.
To find out more details about Southie turns pink visit: https://caughtinsouthie.com/feature/southie-turning-pink
Do good, Southie!
Photography by Joel Benjamin