Welcome to The Jester & Pharley Phund
Home of The Jester Has Lost His Jingle by David Saltzman
Helping Children With Cancer and Boosting Literacy
We are a charitable 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to helping children with cancer and other serious illnesses with the inspiration of David Saltzman’s award-winning The Jester Has Lost His Jingle.
The Jester book and Jester & Pharley Doll have been bringing smiles into the lives of thousands of children coping with serious illness. And our literacy programs make it possible for students to join The Jester’s journey to help children in crisis.
“It’s up to us to make a difference. It’s up to us to care.”©
This year, David’s New York Times best-seller celebrates its 26th anniversary of giving hope and humor to children nationwide. The Jester book and the Jester & Pharley Doll have been bringing smiles into the lives of hundreds of thousands of children coping with serious illness. And our literacy programs make it possible for students to join The Jester’s journey to help children in crisis.
David wrote and illustrated The Jester as his senior project at Yale University before his death from Hodgkin’s disease in 1990. His desire was to give The Jester, with its upbeat and hopeful messages, to children facing serious challenges. Today, his family’s promise to fulfill his wish remains our commitment.
Children and families feeling the impact of the COVID19 pandemic find comfort, laughter and hope in The Jester Has Lost His Jingle. “The Jester books and dolls will provide humor, laughter, normalization, increase patient coping, and will encourage patients to read,” says a lead child-life specialist in a Southern California hospital.
This year, in addition to coping with COVID19, another 15,700 children will start their personal fight with cancer. By joining our Smiles for Kids With Cancer program, you can help us give The Jester book and the Jester & Pharley Doll to each of these youngsters. While we wait for tomorrow’s cures, The Jester & Pharley Phund gives children hope and laughter as they battle cancer and other serious illness today.
When you give the joy of The Jester, you make a real difference in a child’s life. The bilingual English/Spanish edition of El Bufon ha perdido su gracia/The Jester Has Lost His Jingle makes it possible for Spanish-speaking families to share the magical love of life, laughter and optimism in David’s story.
The Jester & Pharley Doll has been carried into hundreds of hospitals to help children keep their jingle while going through medical procedures that might be scary. “I like to hold the doll when I get my spinal taps,” 9-year-old Morgan O’Brien said, “The doll and book make me feel better when I get chemo.”
Our Literacy Programs inspired by The Jester Has Lost His Jingle, give students a unique and engaging way to help ill children while expanding their reading skills. Children and teachers join a Read-A-Thon to donate Jester books and dolls to local hospitalized children.
Jester & Pharley Smile Carts™ make laughter a part of the healing process in hospitals, clinics and shelters across the country. The Smile Cart activity center with audio-visual equipment includes Jester & Pharley books and dolls for patients.
The smallest donation will bring the biggest smile to many children.
Through these programs as well as special projects, more than 200,000 Jester books and Jester & Pharley Dolls have been given to hospitals, shelters, underserved schools and other special-needs facilities. “The Jester came to us in our time of need and gave us hope when we needed it most,” said one grateful mom.