SALT LAKE CITY (KUTV) — About three years ago, Jason Clawson's wife Valerie was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer.
"We were just left to pick up the pieces and try to figure out life," Clawson said.
During a difficult time, Clawson and his family received a "sunshine basket" filled with yellow items from Wyatt and Melissa Ernst.
When Valerie passed away and he needed support and healing, Clawson--a therapist--quit his job, gathered his sons, and decided to start giving "sunshine baskets" to others like him.
"It was therapeutic for me because I could forget about my pain and what I was struggling with," said Clawson.
He and his kids first set up a lemonade stand to raise money to make the baskets. He put out a call on Facebook for people in need who could use a bit of sunshine and the response was overwhelming.
Eventually he teamed up with Wyatt Ernst to start Giving Sunshine and go beyond just gift baskets.
They now give sunshine boxes filled with support cards, activities, and books to help people dealing with loss, cancer, and more.
Ernst wrote books geared toward kids and adults using Clawson's experience as a therapist.
"We like to say that the boxes of sunshine are kind of a coaching to get people through their grieving process," said Ernst.
They not only help people in Utah; they've shipped boxes to people in 21 states and hope to get boxes to all 50 states.
People who have received the boxes say the resources inside have help them find peace and support.
"Knowing that we are able to lift them up has really dramatically improved my life" Ernst said.
"It's one of the best feelings that I've ever experienced in my life," said Clawson.
Mountain America Credit Union donated $500 to help Giving Sunshine gather materials for boxes.
The men want to make more boxes specifically designed for military families, those dealing with addiction issues, and more.
They will start a Kickstarter campaign to gather the funds to make it happen. They also have started a podcast and morning "sunshine" workouts.
For more information, visit givingsunshine.org or the Giving Sunshine Facebook page.