The Goddard School and CJ’s Thumbs Up Foundation: Supporting Families in Crisis

CJ'S Thumbs Up 1

Imagine you’re sitting in a waiting room at a pediatric hospital while your young son or daughter is down the hall, undergoing extensive treatment for a life-threatening illness. Instead of taking them to the park or setting up play dates, your life is filled with doctor’s appointments, driving them to treatment sessions and hoping for the best outcome. It’s a scary reality that many parents face and for them, support is crucial during this critical time. That’s why CJ’s Thumbs Up Foundation was created – to provide financial and emotional support as well as meals to families of children undergoing treatment.

CJ’s Thumbs Up Foundation was founded in 2010 by Roger and Rachel Reynolds, who lost their 4-year-old daughter, Charlotte (CJ), to a brain tumor. The couple garnered support from their community during a difficult time and they felt compelled to give back.

A “Month Of Giving” at The Goddard Schools 

The Goddard Schools in the Richmond area have teamed up every year for the past five years to raise money for CJ’s Thumbs Up, helping to ensure that the nonprofit can fulfill its mission. The month of October has been called the “Month of Giving” at Richmond area Goddard School locations as put on events throughout the month, raising money solely to benefit CJ’s Thumbs Up Foundation.

This year, the goal is to raise $12,000 by the end of the month through hosting various fall-themed events. Once the area preschools reach its goal, it would bring the total amount raised by The Goddard Schools for CJ’s to more than $40,000 in the past five years.

“CJ’s Thumbs Up Foundation does great work in the community supporting families with children undergoing treatment for life-threatening illnesses,” said Dave Hajek, owner of The Goddard School in Ashland, VA, who has spearheaded the fundraising efforts for the past five years. “Because Goddard is focused on providing a safe, nurturing and educational environment for children in our community, all nine Goddard Schools in the Richmond area are working together, again this year, to support CJ’s Thumbs Up as it continues its great work.”

So far, the school located in Ashland raised more than $3,000 from its fundraising kickoff fall festival on Oct. 6. Children attending the preschool created butterfly wings which were sold at the event to help raise money for the nonprofit.

Learn More About How You Can Help The Goddard School and CJ’s Thumbs Up Foundation

Several other fall festivals and events to help fundraise for CJ’s Thumbs Up are scheduled throughout the rest of the month. Here’s a look at what’s planned:

CJ's Thumb Up Foundation Logo

To learn more about The Goddard School, visit them at For more information about CJ’S Thumb’s Up Foundation and to learn how you can get involved, visit