Our mission is to provide comfort, support, and love to the families of parents, caregivers, or children diagnosed with cancer. Families must reside in or be employed by the Red Hook Central School District. Caregivers/parents are defined as legal guardians of children, under the age of 18, who are currently living in the caregivers/parents home. Caregivers diagnosed with any cancer that requires chemotherapy, radiation, or surgery qualify.
Our services may include home-cooked meals, gas cards, cleaning services, household services, etc... as well as other "comfort items" such as a tote bag containing items helpful to someone going through cancer treatments, and frequent get-well cards hand made by our "team"
"This is why we live in Red Hook, this is just what we do..." - community member
"I remember seeing a facebook post to set up a meal train for 'Nora', my heart sank. Nora and her husband are visible, active volunteers in the community in many organizations. I decided that as a community, we needed to rally behind them, so I set up Team Nora for logistical purposes. The community was her team, and we were there for whatever she needed, things just took off! People quickly exchanged ideas wanting to make her chemo treatments more tolerable, they donated magazine subscriptions, portable dvd players, dvd's of her favorite shows and movies - then it turned into Christmas carolers going to her house, snow removal, house cleaning, gift baskets, prayer blankets, treats for her daughters, and two once in a lifetime experiences. First she was sponsored on a week long pilgrimage to Lourdes, France by the Order of Malta, where she even got to meet Cardinal Timothy Dolan.!! Then a July 4th James Taylor concert which was kept a complete surprise to Nora until it actually happened, which was complete with a limo ride, multiple coolers of food & drink, arrangements to not only attend the pre-show sound check but a one on one meet & greet with James himself, facebook updates from Ed as Nora paced through the day kept people glued to their phones in anticipation waiting for the next update! One of my friends, a cancer survivor, had once written an article titled "Red Hook is a great place to get cancer"...and, I suppose it is. We don't look for reward or huge thanks, we simply look out for each other. There is comfort in knowing that if this ever happened to us or our family, the community would be there to rally around us as well. As I overheard someone say at a recent local fundraising event for a child with a rare illness "this is why we live in Red Hook, this is just what we do" - Jen Norris
"even though my chemo treatments continue, this new non-profit that we have created is NOT for me, but for others in our community who may have to face a cancer diagnosis at some point. The name TeamNora just has so much personal meaning to me, that it just seemed appropriate to keep that name going forward. Ed and I have decided to not dwell on our family situation and instead focus our energy on giving back to our awesome Red Hook community, who were and continue to be SO supportive, loving, and generous to our family" - Nora Mercier
Nora & Ed were so overwhelmed by the outreach of support and were uncomfortable just sitting back and accepting things from others, they knew they too just needed to do something. In early 2016, they decided it would be a great example to their daughters, and fulfilling for themselves to 'pay it forward' to other families who find their own lives turned upside down in trying to manage a sudden cancer diagnosis.
"TeamNora's mission is to provide comfort, support, and love to the families of parents, caregivers or children diagnosed with cancer -- living in or employed by the Red Hook Central School District
Two days before Thanksgiving, November 2014 at age 44 - Nora received the devastating news of a stage IV metastatic colon cancer diagnosis. As a successful local realtor, religious education teacher, PTA board member and mother of 2 young daughters, family life was immediately turned upside down and from that point on would never be the same. Friends, family, neighbors, and former strangers from all over the country were stunned, they knew they just had to do something to help. As a result, the idea of Team Nora was born on Facebook, it then took on a life of its own as it quickly grew to hundreds of members, led by Red Hook resident Jen Norris.
A committee of original Team Nora community members was soon formed, several with first hand experience with cancer and its aftermath. It was established that the organization will prepare to provide for newly diagnosed cancer patients residing in the Red Hook (Dutchess County) School District, and also employees of the Red Hook school district. This was followed by a mission statement, concepts, and many ideas. Nora's daughters created a logo which was quickly adopted as the official logo. In summer of 2016 #TeamNora, Inc officially became an IRS 501(c)3 charitable organization allowing donations and endowments to be tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.
Although #TeamNora hopes that its services are never needed, but the odds of getting cancer in your lifetime is close to 50%, so they realize that statistically speaking - they will be needed, and they vow to be there waiting with open arms to share and comfort on a moments notice!
Nora & Ed Mercier, co-founders of the #TeamNora, Inc 501(c)3 charitable organization