About Us

Our Story

The organization was founded in 1998 by Jamie Panetta. Jamie continued his vision and passion to ease families during their difficult times up and to his passing in June 2016. The “J” Foundation was founded in memory of Joseph Novelli and Joseph Giovansci. For over 20 years the “J” foundation has provided assistance to families with terminally ill children. These funds help ease many of the financial burdens that arise when a child becomes ill and or passes away. The “J” Foundation has become known as one of the area’s primary supporters of terminally ill youngsters and their families.

Our Inspiration

We began fundraising in 1998 as a benefit dinner for a young boy joseph Novelli. Joey was a six-year old boy who was in first grade. He was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. There was not much medically that could be done for him except to continue to shower him with love and affection and provide him maximum comfort. We hosted the, “First Annual Joseph Novelli Benefit Dinner.” Our goal was to help ensure his family stability for the limited time joey had and so richly deserved. Unfortunately joey passed away in the arms of his mother shortly after the first dinner. The following years, the annual dinner was held. Proceeds were donated to the American cancer society and to the palliative care program at Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia. It became obvious that more needed to be done to help needy families in these situations. In January 2002 The “J” Foundation Inc. was established and has been providing funds to help families in these situations. The organization was founded in memory of Joseph Novelli and we named it in his honor. The J stands for Joey.

Our Mission

The “J” Foundation promotes, protects and sustains the physical, emotional and behavioral health of children and adolescents with life limiting illnesses. We assist not only the children but also their families with end of life care and financial support.

Our Vision

Our vision is to provide the best quality of life for children and their families that have been faced with life limiting illnesses.

What We do

There are minimal government resources in the tri-state area earmarked for terminally ill children and their families. The “J” Foundation sets out to fill that void. Requests are evaluated by the board members on a case by case basis and responded to quickly often in days or even hours. By doing this we hope to assist the many families in need at the most difficult time of their lives.

We provide financial support approved for the following

    1. Funeral Expenses
    2. Utility bills, mortgages, taxes and car repairs
    3. Counseling services both before and after the loss of a child
    4. Medically necessary home improvements
    5. Wheelchair ramps and electrical upgrades
    6. Other expenses as seen necessary
Our Founder

Jamie was born in Philadelphia, PA, raised in Havertown, PA, and graduated from Cardinal O’Hara High School. He was a loving and devoted husband, father, son, brother, uncle, and loyal friend. Jamie attended the Philadelphia Restaurant School and worked for the Wood Company as an executive chef before leaving to work with his family at R.J. Evercrest, which brokers and recycles plastics and chemicals. Jamie enjoyed football in every capacity. He coached football for over ten years at St. Maximilian Kolbe Church, West Chester, and Malvern Prep, Malvern, PA. Jamie also attended every Eagles home game for twenty years in the company of his friends. When he was not working or coaching football, Jamie devoted much of his time to the “J” Foundation, a charity he founded to aid a terminally ill children and their families. Jamie passed away peacefully on June 6, 2016, at his home in Thornton, PA. The Board Members of the “J” Foundation are committed to continue with Jamie’s vision and legacy by providing the best quality of life for children and their families facing life limiting illness.

Our Board Members and Volunteers

Our board is composed of a dedicated group of volunteers who donate their time and service to the cause.

Jenna O'Toole

Social Media Coordinator

Tom Millison

Board Member

Lisa Panetta

Sponsorship and Community Relations

Tim Wallace

Board Member

Steve D'Antonio


Alicia Cabrelli


Joseph Amincone

Secretary Leadership

Jeanne Curran


Neale Boyle

Board Member

Sue Carroll

Board Member