In May of 2016, Harry and Heath Bennett’s friend Timmy was brushing his teeth when he felt a lump on his neck. He was 11 at the time and about to finish the 5th grade when he was diagnosed with Stage 1 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. The Malden, Massachusetts brothers could not believe that someone so young, active and healthy could have cancer. They decided then and there that they would do something to help their friend feel better and also raise money for childhood cancer research.
Harry and Heath learned that cancer patients’ lips and skin can get dry and chapped from chemo treatments, so Harry thought that they should start a lip balm company to raise money. They decided to donate the profits to Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, where Timmy was being treated. Bennett Brothers Balm, a not-for-profit company, was born with all of its proceeds going to a fund set up to support the pediatric Hodgkin’s research of Timmy’s doctor, Dr. Amy Billet.
All of the products are handmade by the boys in their home, with help from their family. The brothers take charge of every aspect of the business, from researching and learning about ingredients, to making the balm, to labeling, packaging, marketing and selling their products online and at local events. The brothers also host special fundraisers for friends, and have collaborated with organizations across the country to raise funds and awareness for childhood cancer. Their lip balm is included in chemo care pouches for Breast Cancer patients at three local cancer centers.
Altogether, Harry and Heath have raise over $12,000 for cancer research in honor of their friend Timmy. They continue to work tirelessly in support of cancer research in their community and are today’s Daily Point of Light award honorees. Points of Light spoke with 13-Year-old Harry and 9-year-old Heath about their commitment to service.
What inspires you to volunteer?
We learned that there so many kids with cancer and that there was a need for more research, especially for childhood cancer. We thought we could help by raising money to donate to local hospitals and cancer organizations to help doctors find a cure.
What has been the most rewarding part of your work?
The most rewarding part is knowing that we are helping people, both by making them feel better with our products and by raising money to help find a cure for cancer.
What have you learned through your experiences as a volunteer?
We have learned that every second we spend volunteering matters, and that no act of kindness is too small!
Are there any future partnerships, programs, or events that you are excited about?
We are very excited for our Light the Night Fundraiser on Oct. 6th, 2018. This is our first time hosting an event like this and we hope that everyone will come so we can raise a lot of money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. We are also excited for their Light the Night Walk because we get to walk at night with our friends and it’s a really fun and inspirational event. We are also looking forward to Christmastime because we do a lot of craft fairs then and the places we go usually have free hot chocolate and we love hot chocolate.
Why do you think it is important for others to give back?
We think it is important for people to give back because when you have more than you need, you should give it to others. Because we are kids, we have a lot of time to give, and we also have a product that can make money that we can give to doctors that need it for their research. Our mom read a quote to us once that we really like, “When you have more than you need, build a longer table, not a higher fence.”
What do you want people to learn from your story?
We want other kids to know that we are the face of our generation and together we can make a difference in the world. You are never too young (or old!) to help others. It makes everyone feel good.
Do you want to make a difference in your community like Heath and Harry Bennett? Visit All For Good for local volunteer opportunities.