How Jokes4Miles Started
We began collecting jokes for cancer patients because of our namesake Miles, who was facing rare, recurring brain tumors called germ cell tumors. Miles’ father Len witnessed firsthand the positive impact something as simple as a joke could have on Miles’ morale. Laughter was the difference between not having the strength to get out of bed, and getting up and facing the day.
Len set out on a mission to collect 5,000 jokes and well wishes as a surprise for Miles, to support his cancer journey. The campaign garnered attention from all over the country, including famous comedians, celebrities and athletes. The impact was so tremendous that Miles wanted to extend the effort to other children as well. Together, they created Jokes4Miles, collecting thousands of submissions and posting them online for everyone to enjoy.
Although Miles has passed, Jokes4Miles lives on, gathering jokes and well wishes for children worldwide. As per Miles’ request, we never ask for monetary donations, nor do we accept them if offered. All of our services are underwritten through T-shirt sales, as well as through the generous service of volunteers and gifts from the community.
What We Do Now
Our new website, launching this summer, will feature a host of interactive resources for children facing cancer as well as their families, charities and the medical community. We offer private support forums, form templates for caregivers, tips from parents and other kids, and of course thousands of jokes all sorted by category. Our programs also include free use of our physical location, the Chicago MAC, for birthday parties, shows and fundraisers. Throughout the month, we host several free events for the community, including movie nights, family breakfasts and wellness days.
We believe that laughter is powerful medicine when faced with any difficult situation, especially cancer. Our mission is to share that joy with others, through funny T-shirts, joke campaigns for kids and regular local events. We host movie nights, family breakfasts, wellness days and more at our Chicago MAC, providing those facing cancer with an escape from the stress of everyday life. We provide services to families and charities for free such as website development and video production. When charities and heroes in the community help us out, we produce a video to thank them for their contributions.
Why We Provide Services For Free
Everything we do for families and charities is free of charge because cancer is already expensive; medical bills, deductibles, travel expenses and hospital parking all add up quickly. Facing cancer also takes an emotional toll on patients and their families. Jokes4Miles wants to be the refuge for these families, providing them with services and a space that help them take their mind off treatments and bills.
A unique service we provide is a place for parents and those who have faced cancer to leave tips for others in the cancer community. Our caregiver tips section of our website catalogues these tips for everyone to view. We began collecting tips because of the Schnake family, and the idea caught on with others. We loved the idea so much, we named our lounge area in the Chicago MAC the Schnake Lounge.
Together, we can work to provide uplifting entertainment, services and support to those afflicted with cancer and the ones who care for them. If you would like to help but can’t purchase merchandise, consider submitting your own jokes or well wishes through [our website]. We ask for jokes, not donations, and every joke brings a smile to a sick child’s face.
How To Get Involved
We look forward to serving you!