Connor's Heroes Foundation
11512 Allecingie Parkway
Suite E
Richmond VA 23235
Mission Statement Connor's Heroes Foundation® builds a community of heroes who provide hope, guidance, and support to children with cancer and their families. Our vision is to make fighting childhood cancer a journey a family never faces alone.
Web and Social Media
Video
Three of the hundreds of children helped by Connor's Heroes
Leadership
CEO/Executive Director Lisa Spickler Goodwin Esq.
Board Chair Jeffrey Brownstein
Board Chair Company Affiliation Community Volunteer
Contact Information
Address 11512 Allecingie Parkway
Suite E
Richmond, VA 23235
Telephone 804 897-1272
Fax 804 727-0004
E-mail lisa@connorsheroes.org
History and Background
Year of Incorporation 2006
Financial Summary
 
 
Projected Revenue $425,500.00
Projected Expenses $326,850.00
Statements
Mission Connor's Heroes Foundation® builds a community of heroes who provide hope, guidance, and support to children with cancer and their families. Our vision is to make fighting childhood cancer a journey a family never faces alone.
Impact
Connor’s Heroes understands that cancer is different for every child and so are the burdens every family faces. We spend countless hours with a family getting to know their lives, interests and challenges. As a result, we develop programs that offer compassionate, targeted assistance. We start with a Heroes Bag and Backpack filled with toys, resources, gift cards, and vouchers. As the family moves into the routine of repeated clinic visits and hospital stays, we organize our community of volunteers who directly help the family. We give a family individualized support that is unique to their lives and child’s diagnosis.
 
As a result, over the past 12 months we have:
  • Distributed Heroes Bags and Backpacks to children newly diagnosed with pediatric cancers and their parents;
  • Decorated the hospital rooms of every child admitted to the bone marrow transplant unit;
  • Provided more than $10,000 in gift cards for gas, parking, groceries and housekeeping to families who needed financial assistance due to rising medical bills, loss of income and countless days spent in the hospitals;
  • Paired pediatric patients and their siblings with volunteer sidekicks who took their superhero buddies to fun activities such as baseball games, the circus and movies;
  • Established the Connor’s Heroes Pediatric Cancer Research Fund, the only research fund with Massey Cancer Center that is focused on research specifically for pediatric cancer;
  • Collaborated with Massey Cancer Center, CJ’s Thumbs Up, Sweet Frog, VCU student groups, Richmond SKIP, glave kocen gallery and others for special events.
Needs

As more and more children are seeking treatment at hospitals served by Connor’s Heroes, we are in need of the following:

  • Corporations, churches, community service groups who want to organize a charity drive for donations, gift cards, craft supplies, personal items, etc. for our Heroes Bags and Backpacks.

  • People who want to support our families behind the scenes by serving on our committees for marketing, development and planning events such as our Heroes Art Ball.

  • Volunteers who want to work directly with our families by training as a Superhero’s Sidekick or as Helping Heroes.

  • Passionate citizens who want researchers in Richmond to impact the study of treatment and cures for cancer's youngest patients.

Background
“Your child has cancer,” were not the words Lisa and Steve Goodwin expected to hear when they took their 22-month-old son, Connor, to the doctor for what they thought was an ear infection. It was leukemia. For the next 30 months, the Goodwins spent countless hours in doctor offices, outpatient clinics and the hospital, searched for parking in the infamous MCV parking deck, and cared for their newborn daughter, Emily. Family, friends and the community helped the Goodwins with chores, yard work, meals and whatever was needed. Through the experience, Lisa discovered many families endure childhood cancer on their own. After Connor successfully ended his treatment, Lisa was determined to make sure every child diagnosed with cancer has a community of heroes to help them. Now, 10 years later, Connor’s Heroes is a well-respected, non-profit supporting families treated at the Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU. Doctors, social workers, nurses and other parents recommend Connor’s Heroes to families who, like Lisa, heard the words, “Your child has cancer.”

What makes Connor’s Heroes unique is Lisa developed each program based on her experience with Connor’s illness. She “gets it,” parents tell her, and she empathizes with the challenges, insecurities, joys of caring for a child with cancer. Below is a summary of our programs. You can read about the impact of these programs in our Programs section.
  • Heroes Bags and Backpacks: patients and parents receive gifts designed to make the first few months after a diagnosis as easy as possible. 
  • Bone Marrow Transplant Services: Connor’s Heroes arranges for volunteers to decorate the hospital room of a pediatric patient prior to his/her arrival and surprise the patient, siblings, and parents with gifts. 
  • Superheroes and Sidekicks™: Volunteers train to be a buddy to a pediatric patient or their sibling.
  • Helping Heroes: Volunteers train to help families with chores, yard work or delivering meals.
  • Connor’s Heroes Pediatric Cancer Research Fund: The only fund in Richmond dedicated to conducting research and developing treatments specifically for pediatric cancer patients. 
  • The Heroes Art Ball: Our signature fundraising gala, raising close to $100,000 for our programs.
CEO Statement

Walking into clinic, I recognize the parents who just learned their child has cancer. They look stunned, scared and overwhelmed - the same emotions I had when my son, Connor, was diagnosed. I am convinced that what makes Connor’s Heroes relevant to a family is the fact I walked in their shoes. The programs we offer anticipate a family's needs before they are even aware of those needs. We provide gas and grocery cards for parents, arrange for a free house cleaning or schedule a family portrait before the effects of chemotherapy set in. When our volunteers decorate a pediatric bone marrow transplant patient's room, they help relieve a child’s stress and anxiety about starting a long, isolating treatment. I am honored to have shared the journeys of close to 1,000 families since I started Connor’s Heroes. Connor’s Heroes is named after my son and in honor of the community of heroes who stood by my side during his illness. No family should face the burden of cancer alone. Connor’s Heroes gives them a community of support.

Areas of Service
Areas Served
Area
Metro Richmond
Tri-cities Region
Southside Virginia
Ashland
Chester
Chesterfield County
Goochland County
Hanover County
Henrico County
Hopewell, City
Richmond, City
Amelia County
Ashland
Chester
Chesterfield County
Colonial Heights, City
Dinwiddie County
Ettrick
Essex County
Goochland County
Hanover County
Henrico County
Hopewell, City
Matoaka
Petersburg, City
Powhatan County
Prince George County
Charles City County
King and Queen County
Louisa County
New Kent County
Northern Neck
Southside Virginia
Connor's Heroes provides support to all families with a child being treated for cancer at Children's Hospital of Richmond at VCU. Families come from all over central Virginia, sometimes traveling up to 100 miles for treatment.
Board Chair
Board Chair Jeffrey Brownstein
Company Affiliation Community Volunteer
Term Apr 2014 to Apr 2017
Email jebrownstein@yahoo.com
Board of Directors
Board Members
NameAffiliation
Michael Barnett Romp n' Roll
Jeffrey Brownstein Community Volunteer
Marisa Cherry Adobe
Lisa Spickler Goodwin Esq.Connor's Heroes Foundation
Pamela Hill HF Hill & Associates
Rob Jones Alliance Group
David Lionberger Esq.Hirschler Fleischer
Kimberly C. MacLeod Esq.Hunton & Williams
Ashley Menninger Genworth
Didier Occident Northwestern Mutual
Celia Tetlow University of Richmond
Kendra Ver Beek Community Volunteer
Thomas C. Voekler Esq.Kaplan Voekler Cunningham & Frank
Jimmy Whitten Whitten Brothers
Megan A. Witherspoon Altria
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 1
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 14
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 7
Female 8
Governance
Board Term Lengths 2
Board Term Limits 5
Written Board Selection Criteria? Under Development
Written Conflict of Interest Policy? Yes
Percentage Making Monetary Contributions 100
Percentage Making In-Kind Contributions 100
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 6
Standing Committees
Board Development / Board Orientation
Board Governance
Communications / Promotion / Publicity / Public Relations
Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
Program / Program Planning
Executive
Other Boards
The tables below contain information about other groups that advise this nonprofit on operations and projects.
Executive Director
Executive Director Lisa Spickler Goodwin Esq.
Experience

 

Lisa Goodwin is Co-founder and Managing Director of Connor’s Heroes Foundation. Lisa began her professional career as a social worker who supported a program providing transitional housing and case management support for single mothers. Although she was able to positively impact the lives of many women and children, she sought a graduate degree in order to make a difference on a larger scale. Lisa obtained her law degree and practiced as a full-time environmental attorney, while providing pro bono legal assistance to women from the YWCA domestic abuse shelter and Central Virginia Legal Aid. When her son, Connor, was diagnosed with leukemia, Lisa left the full-time practice of law and guided her family through his two and a half years of treatment. As Co-founder and Managing Director of CHF, Lisa has provided direct emotional and financial support to the parents of a child with cancer. Her first-hand knowledge of the difficult journey these families will take makes her perfectly suited to provide support. She has received numerous comments from mothers who found her support invaluable.

Staff
Full Time Staff 1
Part Time Staff 4
Volunteers 500
Plans
Organization has a Fundraising Plan? Yes
Organization has a Strategic Plan? Under Development
Years Strategic Plan Considers 3
Management Succession Plan? No
Organization Policy and Procedures Under Development
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistleblower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy No
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy Yes
Programs
Description

Connor's Heroes gives every pediatric patient (infant to age 20) diagnosed with cancer at the Children's Hospital of Richmond at VCU a Heroes Backpack. Each backpack contain age-appropriate gifts and activities (such as Leapsters, portable DVD players, scrapbook kits, books, crafts, toys, and stuffed animals). We reach out to parents as well, giving them a Heroes Tote Bag with toiletries, playing cards, journals, vouchers for meals in the hospital, a gas card, note cards and stamps, and a free portrait with a local photographer. We continue supporting the family by visiting them in the hospital, bringing them more gift cards and vouchers for healthy meals. After the family arrives home, they receive a free housecleaning by a professional cleaning service arranged through Connor’s Heroes. We partner with CJ’s Thumbs Up to provide the Lunch Bunch Program - a free catered lunch provided to any family on the Pediatric Floor at Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU.

Population Served Children and Youth (0 - 19 years)
Description Research shows that childhood cancer not only affects the child in treatment but also a patient’s brothers and/or sisters. Siblings share in the burden of the illness and often feel neglected. Some are called on to be heroes themselves and go through the painful procedure of donating bone marrow for a sibling’s transplant. The Superheroes and Sidekicks Program connects community volunteers with siblings who need support, encouragement and friendship during their family’s cancer journey. Our volunteers take the children to fun outings such as the Let It Snow holiday performance by the Richmond Symphony, Flying Squirrels baseball games, the circus and performances by the local children’s theater company. Patients join in the fun as well. The Superheroes and Sidekicks program address the need to assist everyone in the family.
Population Served Children and Youth (0 - 19 years)
Description

Pediatric patients in Virginia who need a bone marrow transplant are treated on the adult bone marrow transplant unit at VCU Massey Cancer Center. These treatments last for extended periods of time, from three weeks to 18 months. A child is often isolated from friends with limited visits with family. Connor's Heroes knows that the families of children in bone marrow treatment need extra support and encouragement during a very uncertain time. The programs Connor’s Heroes offers are designed to bring delight to a child’s day and reassurance to the child’s parents. Our volunteers decorate a child’s hospital room with items relating to the patient’s interests. On the day of admission, a child opens the door to his/her hospital room to discover it decorated with his/her favorite cartoon characters, colors, sports teams and bedding. The volunteers leave gifts for the parents who usually live in the hospital with their child. We give a patient a gift commemorating “Day Zero,” the day a transplant is complete. Connor's Heroes also created The Room of Possibilities: a room where patients and their families can spend time together playing board games or the Wii, watching a large-screen television, using a desktop or laptop computer, doing arts and crafts, or reading books.

Population Served Children and Youth (0 - 19 years)
Description

Dozens of children are at Children's Hospital of Richmond at VCU, in and out of clinic, with their parents living the new normal of childhood cancer. Housework, healthy meals, lawn care get put to the side. Do you blame them? Connor's Heroes understands the needs of our hero families. Many want a clean house, a decent dinner and a raked yard but these are not a priority when you're helping your child through a round of chemo. This is why we created the Helping Heroes program. As we get to know a family, we learn where they need help. We develop a personalized care calendar to organize volunteers who will assist the family. Volunteers deliver meals, shop for groceries, run errands and do yard work. Our Helping Heroes offer simple acts of kindness to make it easier for parents to focus on their children.

Population Served Children and Youth (0 - 19 years)
Description

Pediatric cancer is the #1 disease killer of children yet it is severely underfunded. Connor’s Heroes is working to change that statistic. We started the Connor’s Heroes Pediatric Cancer Research Fund in 2007. It is the only fund with VCU Massey Cancer Center dedicated to research in the treatments and cures of pediatric cancer. We will conduct research in Richmond but our results will be shared with pediatric oncologists worldwide. In Fall 2015, Dr. Seth Corey was hired as the first endowed chair in pediatric oncology at VCU. He will lead a team of researchers with the hope of making strides in the fight against childhood cancer.

Population Served Children and Youth (0 - 19 years)
Fiscal Year
Projected Revenue $425,500.00
Projected Expenses $326,850.00
Form 990s
IRS Letter of Exemption
Detailed Financials
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201520142013
Program Expense$188,430$170,053$224,252
Administration Expense$29,384$33,768$25,381
Fundraising Expense$39,311$9,807$29,429
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.221.241.08
Program Expense/Total Expenses73%80%80%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue13%4%10%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201520142013
Total Assets$182,515$125,633$73,818
Current Assets$182,515$125,633$73,818
Long-Term Liabilities$0$0--
Current Liabilities$0$0--
Total Net Assets$182,515$125,633$73,818
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201520142013
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities------
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201520142013
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? Yes
State Charitable Solicitaions Permit
Solicitations Permit
Solicitations Permit ExemptionView
Comments
Foundation Comments
  • Form 990 prepared by Keiter, Stephens, Hurst, Gary & Shreaves, P.C.
  • Financial analysis performed with Form 990.  Supplemental information provided by the financial statements.