A Bakersfield family touched by cancer is helping others with the fruits of their labors.
Their mission is to provide fresh produce to families with a child experiencing a medical crisis, as they know all to well the overwhelming stress of such a crisis.
Anastasia has down syndrome and at 17 months old, a doctor confirmed she had leukemia.
“She said ‘you know your life is never going to be the same and it’s your choice whether its going to be a good outcome or a bad outcome so you need to decide what you’re going to make it,'” said Belinda Pursel, Anastasia’s mother.
Anastasia fought through and is now cancer free at age 8.
A couple years later, their son Benjamin had to have several surgeries to fix an inner ear condition.
During the battles, the family couldn’t help but think about others going through the same situation.
“You know parking at UCLA is $12 a day and when you’re dealing with a child that has to be taken down to a medical facility like that you have gas, parking bills, medical bills and so there’s just a need to help out and we just saw that here in Bakersfield and wanted to help,” said Scott Pursel, father.
Scott and Belinda Pursel quit their jobs and started the non-profit S.O.S., or Supporting Overwhelming Situations, to help ease the burden that parents face when their child is experiencing a medical crisis. The non-profit delivers fresh USA grown and organic produce weekly to the families experiencing crisis at no cost.
It’s giving relief to families who no longer have to think about grocery shopping or leaving their child’s side in the hospital.
“We just wanted a way to give back and a way to help those families with something like we went through,” Scott Pursel said.
To fund S.O.S., the Pursels founded Hopeful Harvest which delivers the same box of hope to paying customers.
It’s a cycle of help and care, bringing comfort and financial assistance to families in crisis.
If you would like to order produce from Hopeful Harvest you can contact the organization on Facebook or call (661) 205-7932.
A box is $30, contains 6-8 different organic fruits and vegetables totaling roughly 10 pounds.