The family of the late Chasen Stevenson has launched the Seeds of Hope Foundation, a charity with a mission to provide support for young farm families dealing with long-term and life-threatening illnesses.
The foundation operates in the memory of Stevenson, a Marion County farmer who died in late 2018 at the age of 31 after a battle with a rare and aggressive form of cancer.
A farmer and cattle raiser near Knoxville, Stevenson was very active in the Marion County Farm Bureau and the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation (IFBF). He served as chair of IFBF Young Farmer Advisory Committee, was a member of IFBF’s Ag Leaders Institute and served on the IFBF Resolutions Committee.
“We had a lot of help after Chasen was diagnosed, and it really meant so much to us,” said Chasen’s wife, Justine. “We got so much support with meals, cards and texts, but we know it’s still a very difficult time. That’s why we want to help young families in agriculture who are dealing with long-term illnesses.”
A vehicle for help
Stevenson said she hopes that Seeds of Hope can act as a vehicle for those who want to help young farm families in need but aren’t sure how to do that.
The Seeds of Hope Foundation, a registered nonprofit organization, is raising money through the sale of signs and other merchandise with the nonprofit’s logo. It is also accepting donations and holding fundraising events, including a silent auction last spring and a Ranger Ride and Poker Run that is scheduled for Sept. 8 in Marion County.
Money raised by the Seeds of Hope Foundation may be used to help families with medical bills that are not covered by insurance.
An example of this, Stevenson said, could be scooters or other equipment to increase the patient’s mobility.
“We found that those kinds of things were really helpful to make life more comfortable, and we want to do what we can to help,” Stevenson said.
The funds, Stevenson said, could also be used to help fund a “bucket list” type of vacation for farm families with long-term and life-threatening illnesses.
The Seeds of Hope Foundation has begun taking applications for grants from families in need and recently provided funds for the family of a young farmer being treated for a brain tumor at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, Stevenson said.
For more information on the Seeds of Hope Foundation, go to: www.facebook.com/seedsofhopefoundation.