Willie’s Cornerstone Foundation: To provide critical support for Door County residents facing life-threatening illnesses

Willie’s Cornerstone Foundation aims to assist Door County residents who are suffering from life-threatening illnesses, excluding cancer, and lack coverage under Medicare or Medicaid by providing financial support. The support provided is not meant for medical expenses, focusing instead on alleviating the financial burdens caused by severe illnesses. Applications are now being accepted at www.WilliesCornerstone.org.

Wilhelmina Leist, affectionately known as Willie, faced multiple life-threatening diagnoses, leading to significant challenges for her and her family. Despite enduring financial burdens from medical treatments, the Door County community rallied around Willie. In the face of adversity, the outpouring of support not only eased the family’s financial worries but also became a powerful testament to the strength of community and the transformative impact of collective compassion.

The founders of Willie’s Cornerstone Foundation recognize that some individuals in need may be running in smaller social circles or lack the financial capacity within their support network to alleviate the financial burdens that come with a life-threatening illness. The unfortunate truth is that not everyone has a robust support system. This foundation provides a safety net for individuals facing life-threatening illnesses, sparing them from the burden of fundraising and financial worries during their battle. Willie’s Cornerstone Foundation embodies the Door County way of life, that was displayed as the community rallied around Willie, where community members take care of each other with unwavering commitment and mutual support.

We have identified an unmet need in the community, and our efforts are focused on complementing the existing initiatives by providing support and services in an area that has been underserved. While we admire and recognize the valuable work done by these other great organizations, it’s essential to highlight that our mission is not about duplication, but rather about addressing a specific gap that exists. The GO BO Foundation aids families with children facing life-threatening conditions, offering direct financial assistance to alleviate their financial worries. DOOR CANcer, Inc. supports Door County residents battling cancer by helping with non-medical bills. Willie’s Cornerstone Foundation extends its support to adults over 18, who face life-threatening illnesses, excluding cancer. At the core of each of our missions lies the unwavering commitment to compassion, healing, and hope. Together we strive to make a positive and meaningful difference in the lives of individuals facing challenging medical diagnosis and making a meaningful difference in their journey toward healing and hope.

During this initial phase, Willie’s Cornerstone Foundation offers a maximum award of $5,000 over a 6-month period to eligible applicants. To qualify, applicants must consent to the foundation contacting a health care professional, identified by the applicant, to certify that the patient has been diagnosed with a life-threatening condition. Additionally, recipients are required to grant permission for the foundation to share their story anonymously, in the abstract. Applications and more information are available at www.WilliesCornerstone.org.

Donations to Willie’s Cornerstone Foundation have a profound impact, offering hope and relief to families navigating the challenges of illness, regardless of direct personal connections. A gift to Willie’s Cornerstone Foundation exemplifies the unyielding dedication of our community to support and uplift each other. Those interested in supporting Willie’s Cornerstone Foundation should visit www.WilliesCornerstone.org or call the Door County Community Foundation at (920)746-1786. Willie’s Cornerstone Foundation is a component fund of the Door County Community Foundation, Inc., a 501(c)(3) public charity. Thus, all gifts are tax deductible to the fullest extent as allowed by law.

Door County Community Foundation, Inc. is a collection of separate charitable funds set up by individuals, families, non-profit organizations, private foundations and businesses that are managed, invested and disbursed for the current and future good of Door County. The Community Foundation was launched in 1999, currently administers more than $50 million in assets, and distributes more than $5 million to charities in Door County every year.