Our mission is to enhance the quality of life in our community and to provide support to community members during their greatest times of need.
We support health and wellness within our community by providing free or low-cost wellness programs close to home; connecting businesses, organizations, and individuals with resources that foster physical, spiritual, and emotional well-being.
We also provide grants to assist patients and family members that are experiencing a catastrophic illness or loss to help alleviate some of the financial and emotional stress associated with these life-changing events.
Helping Families in Need:
The Can't Hurt Steel Community Foundation was started in 2015 by J.J. Hanson and his wife, Kristen Hanson as way of giving back to a community that came out to support them during their greatest time of need.
In 2014, JJ experienced an unexpected grand mal seizures while at a business luncheon in Florida. Testing revealed that JJ had terminal brain cancer, Glioblastoma Multiforme; and he was given a prognosis of 4 months left to live.
JJ immediately embraced the motto "Can't Hurt Steel" to signify his resolve to fight, no matter the odds. Can't Hurt Steel symbolizes more than just physical strength. It's about never giving up. It's the idea that we can endure life't greatest difficulties and turn it into something meaningful.
After undergoing standard and experimental treatment, JJ's cancer fortunately went into remission for 2 years. JJ and Kristen knew that the love, support, and generosity everyone had shown them was an integral part of JJ's healing. Both JJ and Kristen knew they had to find a way to thank everyone in our community for making this such an amazing place to live.
The Can't Hurt Steel Community Foundation was their way of paying forward the hope, strength, and courage our community gave them during the most challenging time of their lives. As a component fund of the Community Foundation of Orange and Sullivan, it is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization that raises funds in order to issue grants to individuals experiencing a catastrophic loss or illness, with a particular focus on improving the lives of those living in our community.
JJ passed away on December, 30, 2017 after a 3.5 year battle with cancer. Our hope is that you can live life the way JJ did following his diagnosis...cherishing as many moments with family and friends you possibly can, knowing that EVERY DAY IS A GIFT.
JJ Hanson was a natural leader and elite athlete with charm as infinite as his potential. He played Division II college football, commanded infantry Marines in Iraq, and worked for two Democratic governors before moving into an executive role in the private sector. The country boy from New York moved down to Florida to go live the American dream.
Founder & President
Kris is a long-time resident of Sullivan County and mom to two beautiful boys. She founded the Can’t Hurt Steel Community Foundation with her husband, JJ Hanson, in 2015, shortly after he was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer as a way to give back to our incredible community. She has become a champion for hope, supporting others spiritually, financially, and emotionally in their greatest times of need.
Kris graduated from the University of Miami, Phi Beta Kappa and Magna Cum Laude, with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology. She also holds a Master’s Degree in Elementary Education, along with a certification in Integrative Nutrition Health Coaching. Her experience losing the love of her life to cancer at the young age of 36 years old has inspired her to help others along their journey to health and wellness. Her motto has become: “Hold onto hope…for yourself, for those around, for people you don’t even know because it changes your life and theirs.”
Meg is a long-time resident of Sullivan County. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Economics from SUNY College at Oneonta. Meg currently is an Assistant Vice President/Community Manager at Jeff Bank in Monticello, NY. She also spends time as a member of several other organizations including, The Greater Barryville Chamber of Commerce, Yulan Fire Department Ladies Auxiliary, and the T/O Highland Lions Club.
Meg is passionate about helping others in need following her husband’s battle with cancer. She was motivated to be involved in the Can’t Hurt Steel Community foundation after the community helped her brother, JJ Hanson, who battled terminal brain cancer.
Amanda Scully is a lifelong Sullivan County resident, teacher, wife, mother and volunteer. As a former Town of Highland Councilwoman, Mandy is most proud of being in a team who enacted a ban on hydro fracking, keeping people and their beautiful environment healthy.
Mandy's journey with Can't Hurt Steel began at its inception. JJ Hanson, a friend since childhood, and his wife Kristen asked her to be part of a team they were putting together to help people in the community. Mandy's first assignment was to plan a gala, something completely out of her comfort zone. As she muddled through, she was inspired by the kindness and generosity of people who did not know her, JJ and had never heard of Can't Hurt Steel. This kindness was infectious and the created a sense of hope like she had never known. It is this hope that she wants to pass on through Can't Hurt Steel spreading the message that people are good and want to help, and that no one is alone who has friends.
George “Bubba” Fountain is a long time resident of Sullivan County, where he resides with his wife, Kimberly, and son, Heath. He is an alumni of Eldred Central School and studied at Orange County Community College. At the request of his dear friend, JJ, Bubba has been a Board Member of the Can’t Hurt Steel Foundation since it’s inception.
Bubba is passionate about carrying on JJ’s legacy of wellness and giving back to the community. Through his hard work, he was essential in securing JJ’s dream of revamping the trails at Hickok Brook Multiple-Use Area.
Bubba is honored to be part of the Foundation and looking forward to future growth and continued success.
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