In Business: Pohl Children’s Foundation Helping Families Deal with Tragedy
When a loved one passes away, especially a child, the situation may be the same, but the grief is always different. One foundation takes it upon themselves to lighten the burden that surrounds a family when tragedy strikes.
Each bingo number that was called out Monday night at Brainerd’s VFW helped the Pohl Children’s Foundation, which was founded in January of 2020.
“Last meeting, we donated to their foundation, said David Meyer, Brainerd VFW Senior Vice President. “We give them $20,000, and if they help continue to help us, we’ll help support them.”
“It’s a foundation I set up for my children who passed away from a rare generic disease called spinocerebellar ataxia type 7, or SCA7,” said Suz Pohl, founder and president of Pohl’s Children Foundation. “My husband also has the disease, and is considered terminal.”
It’s a brain disease that causes problems with coordination, balance, speech, and vision and currently has no cure. Going through the process of losing not one, but three of her four children, Pohl knew the struggles each family was going through after losing a loved one. She created the foundation with one goal in mind.
“Just to help people,” said Pohl. “When we were going through this, we didn’t have a great support base beyond the people in our family and our church, and we want to be able to provide things to help families through these tough times, because we’ve seen what happened when you lose a sibling. I’ve seen it with my own children, and I can tell you that they get left behind. Children do get left behind when a parent or another sibling passes away.”
To help those children going through this time, she prepares six healing kits to assist children in the healing process after losing a sibling or a parent.
“Every other week, they get a package in the mail from the Pohl Children’s Foundation and each package helps them through the stages of grief, and the sunshine kit is for children who are sick and in the hospital or are going through treatments,” added Pohl. “They’re for life threatening illnesses, so they get something in the mail from the Pohl Children’s Foundation to hang on to.”
As trips to hospitals and treatment centers start to climb, she also provides gift cards to relieve the stresses of gas and food expenses.
“Everything we do is to help families who are going through the crisis of either losing a child or a life-threatening illness,” stated Pohl.
On Monday night, the foundation volunteered to help with bingo night with promises of nothing, just to do what they do best and help out the VFW in need. But as some winners came up to claim their prizes, each did the same as the last and donated some of their winnings to the foundation.
“It’s amazing, it really is,” said Pohl.