Urgent Need-Support the Tyler Fund

URGENT NEED – Support the Tyler Fund

Dear Friends,

Shine On! Kids, (formerly the Tyler Foundation) founded by Mark Ferris and Kim Forsythe in 2006, has made extraordinary strides for children with cancer and other serious illnesses living in Japan.  You may have been a generous supporter of the organization in the past, or perhaps you are not familiar with their work, but Shine On! Kids and Mark and Kim have an urgent need for our help.

The pandemic has made a difficult situation even worse. The annual fundraising events (gala, Executive Fight Night, etc…) were shut down by COVID-19 precipitating a record loss of funds for their important work.  The canceled Executive Fight Night raises approximately 15 million yen annually and the gala another 15-20 million yen which translates into a shortfall of almost $315,000 USD - money that is still desperately needed to keep the programs going! (Read more in Kim's heartfelt letter below). We are continually inspired by Shine On! Kids and ask you to join us in supporting the great work of this charity.

In order for US citizens to make a tax-deductible donation, Kim established a 501(c)(3) called the Tyler Fund set up through her hometown’s organization, The Pittsburgh Foundation. The Tyler Fund helps Shine On! Kids to manage its US-side program expenses related to collaborating organizations such as Assistance Dogs of Hawaii and Beads of Courage®. We realize that things are tough economically right now for many and that there are a lot of causes in similar positions, but please help if you can, and please share with your friends!! We set the goal high because the fundraising gap is large...but any amount will help!

Thank you for your consideration and generosity!

Kind regards,

Kelly Godbout, Katherine Hall, Jill Pulley, Hilary Wendel

 PS -The donation via GoFundMe will go to The Pittsburgh Foundation - Tyler Fund for a US tax-deduction. If you prefer to receive a Japanese tax deduction, you can donate directly here: ​Donate to SOK [https://sokids.org/how-to-help/donate/]


Greetings to all our amazing Shine On! Kids' supporters.

As I write this, I am reminded that the extreme uncertainty, discomfort and fear over the lack of control we each have over many aspects of this current crisis reminds me very much of the way I felt for two years as I awoke each morning when my son, Tyler, was undergoing cancer treatment.  What will happen today? Is the current protocol working? Has a new treatment been discovered? How long will this last? Will we be ok?

I am reminded that I was, and am, not alone in these feelings and that all of the parents and all of the children Shine On! Kids has supported, and are supporting, experience this to varying degrees. And yet, we all push through - one tiny step at a time.

I'll bet that anyone fighting cancer will tell you that the best way to manage the long road ahead is to control what you can each moment and confront what you can't with courage and positivity. Be grateful and rejoice in every small thing. Live in the present, day to day.

And perhaps not surprisingly, this is exactly what Shine On! Kids' programs aim to help our kids and families do.

At present in Japan, all of the usual volunteer activities at children's hospitals have been suspended due to COVID-19. Visitors have been either totally banned or severely restricted. To our knowledge - Shine On! Kids is the ONLY organization permitted to provide support to kids in hospitals. 


Because all of our programs are administered by medical staff.

All of our Bead Ambassadors who work with our patients in our Beads of Courage Program at 20 hospitals are on the medical team - nurses, psychologists, child life specialists.

All of our Hospital Facility Dog handlers are nurses. They understand infection control. They are part of the medical team.

People ask us why we don't use volunteers to handle our dogs. People ask us why it costs so much to train our dogs and nurses to do their work. People ask us if it would be less expensive if the dogs didn't go to the hospital every day. 

Well, at least for now - I can tell you that all of our hard work in creating strict quality control, strict infection control and strict safety protocols and having these executed by medical staff - all makes sense.

Our hospitals, our kids, and their families have expressed deep gratitude that we are able to continue our work when nearly everything else has stopped.

And in turn, I would like to express my gratitude to all of you for your support - be it recent, or long ago. 

This will be a hard year for Shine On! Kids and for many charities. But we will keep moving ahead with positivity each day, grateful for each little victory, grateful for each small joy, grateful for each smile on a child's face. 

If you are able - now, or in a few weeks or months - please consider making a tax-deductible donation. We hope to launch some innovative fundraising concepts throughout the year, but nothing beats a cash donation! Why be anything but honest?

SOK [https://sokids.org/how-to-help/donate/]

We know it's hard. And stressful. And uncertain. 

Be brave. Be kind. Share respect. We will make it through.

Shine On!

Kim Forsythe

Co-founder and President of Shine On! Kids


  • Kylie Schuyler 
    • $250 
    • 4 hrs
  • Kit Nagamura 
    • $50 
    • 5 hrs
  • Anonymous 
    • $250 
    • 6 hrs
  • Lien Do 
    • $100 
    • 6 hrs
    • $200 
    • 10 hrs
See all


Hilary Wendel 
Napa, CA
The Pittsburgh Foundation 
Registered nonprofit
Donations are 100% tax deductible.
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