Rebecca Genet shares a special bond with the third graders she teaches at Brandeis Hillel Day School in Marin County, her alma mater. So when her stepmother died of cancer, her students wanted to comfort Rebecca and help others with the disease.
At school, the eight-year-olds practiced tzedakah -- Hebrew for charity -- donating small amounts to a class collection each week. Knowing how much Christine Genet meant to Rebecca, they decided to give this money to the fund Rebecca's family had established at UCSF to support cancer patients.
Deeply touched, Rebecca said she would match their gifts, as did her father and sister. "The kids were so excited," Rebecca recalls. "They redoubled their efforts, giving money they earned from chores and anywhere they could find it."
Rebecca's father Phil Genet visited the class a few weeks after Christine died in May. There, the students presented him with simple white envelopes containing everything from coins to large bills -- $372 in all. With the matching funds, the children contributed more than $1,500 to the Christine O. Genet and Family Fund for Patient Support Services at UCSF.
Read more at UCSF Philanthropy Insider