Philanthropy and helping others in need are values that were instilled in me at a very young age and continue to be extremely important facets of my life. In launching the Little Moo brand, it is important to me that the brand embodies these values as well. Since I was a little girl, I have loved volunteering with various charities in Pittsburgh and would like to continue to support these important organizations through Little Moo.
LITTLE MOO & The Mario Lemieux Foundation
One of our missions at Little Moo is centered on bettering the lives of children in need through charitable donations and community activism. Little Moo has chosen to partner with the Mario Lemieux Foundation, a non-profit organization created in 1993 that is committed to helping others in need, giving back and to raising funds for cancer research as well as patient care initiatives. Through their cancer research projects, the Mario Lemieux Foundation has established the Mario Lemieux Center for Blood Cancers, the Mario Lemieux Lymphoma Center as well as their most recent project, the Mario Lemieux Immunotherapy Center located at the Hillman Cancer Center in Pittsburgh, PA. Along with their cancer research initiatives, the Mario Lemieux Foundation also focuses on improving patient care, specifically through Austin's Playrooms and the Children's Home & Lemieux Family Center.
Why we chose the Mario Lemieux FoundationWhile there are so many charities locally and nationally that do wonderful things to help others in need, the Mario Lemieux Foundation holds a special place in my heart due to my own personal connection to the foundation. My father, Mario was diagnosed with Hodgkin's disease in January of 1993 at the young age of 27. He was playing hockey for the Pittsburgh Penguins at the time and his team had just come off of back to back championship years. Following his diagnosis, my parents, Mario and Nathalie created the Mario Lemieux Foundation as an avenue to help others who may have to go through a similar cancer journey. Today, the Mario Lemieux Foundation has donated over $25 million dollars to help find a cure for cancer.
Three years after my father's successful battle with Hodgkin's disease, my brother Austin was born prematurely at 26 weeks, weighing 2 pounds 5 ounces and spent 71 days in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. My older sister Lauren and I were only 2 and 1 years old at the time and there was no place in the hospital for my sister and me to play while my parents visited with my brother in the NICU. So, my mother Nathalie established Austin's Playroom, a children's patient care initiative that creates playrooms for children and families in medical facilities. Austin's Playroom gives an opportunity for children, healthy or otherwise to have a space to play and just be kids. Since my mother Nathalie began this project with the foundation in 1996, the foundation has opened 30 Austin's Playrooms and counting in Western Pennsylvania and the surrounding regions as well as three military playrooms.
We are proud to donate at least 5% of Little Moo's annual profits to Austin's Playroom!