FAIRVIEW, N.J. — At 17, Marjoriet Matatue was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma.
She went through treatment and was told she'd never be able to have her own children.
Twelve years later, she had two: Devin and Tristan.
Grateful for her "miracle children," Matatue wanted to teach her new family about the realities of her cancer in case complications came up in the future.
"Devin & Tristan Give Back," started with this small goal, but today the organization is a philanthropic enterprise.
"It went way past my humble beginnings," President and Founder of Devin & Tristan Give Back Marjoriet Matatue said.
The organization now reaches far beyond cancer awareness. Focusing on a different cause each month, the group hosts events all around New Jersey and New York City.
"We realized that people have a need to give in general."
Matatue said that people have an interest in helping others but get roadblocked at figuring out how to do so.
"People want to give, people are desperate to get involved they just don’t know. They’re busy, life is complicated. The actual gesture of giving, it lives in everybody," Matatue said.
Devin & Tristan utilizes a strong social media presence to simplify the process. The various accounts inform followers where and how they can help.
The organization makes an effort to show people the effect of their goodness. For example, Devin & Tristan Give Back's instagram feed will post pictures and videos of people in need receiving the supplies that were donated.
One of the goals for the philanthropic group is to have a new theme every month throughout the year. In the past they've covered a range of issues including prom dress collection, school supplies, food drives and toy drives.
Events span across the state including Bergen municipalities like Hackensack, Ridgefield, Fairview and Tenafly.
Despite the prosperous growth, Matatue said the group's personality is similar to a family.
"As much as it sounds like an enterprise, it still is mom and pop. The other members are very close to me. We created a family dynamic within our community," Matatue said.
The other members of the group are all locals to Bergen County, hailing from Dumont, Rochelle Park and Fairview.
Matatue said the experience of growing the organization has changed her as a person.
"With every person I meet I’m exposed to a little more of the world. I learn every single day," Matatue said.
"My kids have no idea how I tried to teach them and they’ve shown me the world, they teach me."
Devin & Tristan Give Back will focused on Alzheimer's and Suicide Prevention for quarter one of 2017. More information about their activities can be found at http://www.devintristangiveback.com/