Get to know Barbara Caparell. Founder of the Jim Mulhern Forever Families Fund, Inc.
Q: How did you start The Jim Mulhern Forever Families Fund?
A: Unfortunately, my husband, Jim passed away unexpectedly just 6 months after we came home from China with our second daughter. Jim was a loving, involved and committed stay-at-home Dad who embraced fatherhood. After his death some of our dear friends from our adoption travel group approached me with the idea to start a non-profit organization to honor Jim and his generous and giving spirit. The Jim Mulhern Forever Families Fund was established in 2008 to assist adoptive families with their financial, educational, health and catastrophic needs and to raise awareness of transracial adoption by celebrating and promoting the diverse cultural identity of the children it seeks to support.
Q: What do you hope to accomplish with the Jim Mulhern Forever Families Fund?
A: We started Jim's organization to be able to help families that have been created by adoption that are not able to provide for some of their own needs. In 2009 we were able to provide an adoptive family of a Mom and her 2 children with the financial support she needed to buy groceries, gas and clothes during a particularly difficult period for the family. We also hope to be able to help educate people by enlightening and informing them about adoption. We are currently working at funding a lending resource library for a Massachusetts adoption agency and working with local libraries to create positive and informative adoption sections in those libraries. Additionally, we wanted to instill in our "collective children and youth" a spirit of giving like Jim's by showing them what generosity, kindness and hope can provide. We aspire to continue to be able to do all of this for years to come.
Q: What do you do to raise funds?
A: Our main fundraiser each year is a Moon Festival Celebration which is a celebration of family reunion and is the second largest holiday in China. The Chinese people believe that the phases of the Moon represent the changes in life- --joy and sorrow, parting and reunion and when the Moon is full and round it is the perfect time for connection. Legend says that even for those families that cannot be together on that day that when they watch the full moon at the same time it is like they are side by side. Families get together on that day for fun activities and traditional food. We believe that the Moon Festival is the perfect event to symbolize what Jim was all about---togetherness, giving, understanding, and the love of his children's culture.
Q: When is the Moon Festival Celebration scheduled for this year?
A: The Moon Festival is scheduled for Sunday, October 9, 2011 and will be held at the East Bridgewater Commercial Center in Massachusetts from Noon to 4:00pm. We have a dance performance by Dance Revelasian of Boston, a music performance by the Perry Family Band, a traditional Chinese paper folding workshop, a silent auction, and raffles. There are also lots of fun activities for the kids like face painting, balloon sculpting and moon walks. You can get more information about the Moon Festival and the Jim Mulhern Forever Families Fund at www.jimmulhern.org. Tickets are still available for purchase on our website.
For more information please visit their website: http://www.jimmulhern.org/