After the birth of her second child, Kristen Frazier needed help. So she started a nonprofit to help others. Wicked Good Cause, her brainchild, came about while the Duxbury resident was struggling with postpartum depression.
“I was just having a hard time after a lot of fertility treatment and finally getting pregnant again,” says Frazier, who is 40. “The hormones and chemicals definitely took their toll. I had everything I could want in life, but I just couldn’t be present in it.”
Then Frazier would go on Facebook and see what some others were going though.
“It helped me refocus and regain perspective,” she says.
Frazier heard about a woman from her childhood hometown of Carver who had metastatic breast cancer and two young children. The woman died the day after Thanksgiving in 2012. Frazier reached out to friends, who decided to put together a Christmas package with food and gifts for the husband and kids.
Then she read about the plight of Calle Cronk, a Norwell girl battling terminal brain cancer. In spring 2013, she formed a team of friends who ran in a fund-raising race for Calle, who died two years ago at age 5.
After those efforts, Frazier felt she had some momentum.
“It made me feel better personally, and I feel like it brought the right kind of people into my life.”
She’s not particularly religious, but she felt a calling to do more. The result: a nonprofit called “Wicked Good Cause” (www.wickedgoodcause.org), founded by a woman who admits she didn’t even know exactly what a nonprofit was.
“I started Googling,” Frazier says. “It seemed like a huge undertaking, but I just felt I was supposed to do this.” Her husband lent her the money she needed to legally register as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit.
The launch party was in the fall of 2013 at the Kingsbury Club in Kingston, where Frazier plays tennis. She put the word out among friends and in town, then formed a board. The mission: to focus on families south of Boston who have an unforeseen crisis.
Their first official recipient was the family of Delaney Madden of Norwell, 6, who had part of a leg amputated after being diagnosed with bone cancer. There were three other siblings to care for, too.
Wicked Good Cause held its first Winter Ball in 2014 at Indian Pond Country Club in Kingston to support the Madden family, raising more than $25,000. The girl’s parents, Jackie and Chris, now speak at Wicked Good Cause events.
“When Wicked Good Cause reached out to us, it was just overwhelming that there were so many people – friends and strangers – who wanted to help,” says Jackie Madden. “Now that our daughter is in remission, we are happy to be able to support WGC and be involved in making a difference for other families facing tragedy and illness.”
Eager to bring their own children and others into the effort, the board of directors decided to hold an annual family event. The first was in June 2014, a Family Movie Night.
“We want an event every year that involves children, so we can introduce them to charity,” Frazier says. “We want to teach them about giving back.”
Some of the night’s proceeds went to Danny Nickerson, a Foxborough boy with brain cancer whose desire to get mail went viral, prompting a quarter of a million cards and letters from around the world. He was 6 when he died in April 2015.
Frazier and her directors decided to form an advisory board for each person they help, composed of the recipient’s family and friends.
“We knew we needed to get help or we were going to exhaust our resources,” she says.
Last fall they had a cocktail party, raffle, and auction for Zachary Kane, a Carver teen who is fighting cancer.
The second annual Winter Ball, in February 2015, raised enough money to donate $20,000 to each of two recipients. One of them is 3-year-old Alison Light of Hanover, who is fighting germ cell tumors. The other was a young mother from Scituate who died in May, a month after giving birth. Casey Stone was 38 and left three children under the age of 7.
“We really wanted to help the father and the three children,” says Frazier, whose own brother died unexpectedly just before Christmas.
Frazier’s group began to hear smaller tales of woe — a woman who needed a wheelchair, a fire disaster, meals during holidays. They decided to fund some of these more temporary needs, and so Wicked Good Cause Do-Gooders was formed.
Besides their big fund-raisers, they’re doing smaller events such as Shopping Night at Derby Street Shoppes in Hingham, which raised money for the Do-Gooders campaign, Breathe Easy for Noah.
The 5-year-old Taunton boy has a degenerative lung disease and is on oxygen 24 hours day. His mother, a single mom and a nurse, lives in a one-bedroom apartment where tenants smoke in the hallways. She hung posters asking them not to smoke, but they ripped them up and left them at her door. Wicked Good Cause has raised money for first and last months’ rent in a nonsmoking building, and to provide for Noah’s dream “pirate bedroom,” including an air purifier.
On Sept. 27, stores at Derby Street, including Lululemon, will hold a spin-a-thon for a South Shore mom fighting ovarian cancer, with bikes set up in the parking lot.
As so often happens with volunteers, it is Frazier who feels like the lucky one.
“I’ve seen such beautiful things come out of this, that it just lifts me,” she says. “I feel privileged to be a part of this.”
Bella English writes from Milton. She can be reached at email@example.com.