Leidos Serves: Larger Than Life supports pediatric cancer patients in Israel
Leidos Serves is dedicated to sharing the stories of employees that give back to charitable organizations.
In November, representatives from Leidos Israel helped answer phones and collect money in a fundraising telethon for Larger Than Life, an Israeli charity that provides a wide variety of support programs to families affected by pediatric cancer. The event, aired on national television throughout Israel, was a huge success and raised over seven million shekels (about two million U.S. dollars) for the organization. In addition, it has sparked an ongoing relationship for the company and the organization. “We are really establishing the connection with them and taking part in the program,” said Myriam Talbi, director of business development and strategy for Leidos Israel.
Larger Than Life began in 2000 from humble roots, when a small group of parents of children with pediatric cancer got together to help each other through the tough times in any way possible. From there, the organization has grown exponentially to support patients and their families from all angles, working to bring joy and stability to families across Israel regardless of religion, gender, or nationality. “They started it from families, practically, and it’s become a very big organization,” added Talbi. “It’s managed in a very proper way.”
Today, Larger Than Life offers about two dozen programs for pediatric cancer patients and their families, including Dream Trips to Orlando and Los Angeles, summer camps for all ages, and the Kindergarten of Dreams, a sterile educational and recovery center that allows young children the chance to learn and play together. It is a well-rounded organization that cares deeply for those it serves, and the many diverse programs are evidence of that. In addition to putting smiles on the faces of the children, Larger Than Life also works with families who struggle under the burden of affording care, navigating their way through a complex health care system, or even simply finding a ride to the hospital. In Talbi’s words, “knowing that Larger Than Life is dedicated to providing Israeli families affected by pediatric cancer in their greatest time of need with emotional, logistical, and recreational support makes this a perfect fit for Leidos.”
The first steps in the relationship with Larger Than Life, spearheaded by the telethon, have already been so rewarding for the Leidos team that they are itching for more. Prior to major Jewish holidays such as Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year) and Passover, Larger Than Life prepares baskets full of sweets to raise money, so Talbi’s management team began to purchase baskets and send their employees home with chocolate to celebrate the holidays. The aforementioned Kindergarten of Dreams is also opening up a new location in Be’er Sheva, just blocks from Leidos Israel’s headquarters, which Talbi says “will give us even more opportunity to volunteer.”
Part of the Leidos mission is to make the world healthier, and while it is a small team in Israel, they are mission-driven and are excited about growing their charitable footprint. “We found them to be the perfect fit with how we want to act in Israel and in the community, and how we would like to volunteer” said Talbi. “It is going to be very rewarding, and we are looking forward to experiencing more.”
To learn more about Larger Than Life or to support their cause, visit their website.