About US


Why Helen’s Closet.org and the Thank You Run Began

Not sure if all of you know the history of why the Thank You Run Started. It was because of a wonderful woman named Helen Mok, who was my mom.

Helen’s Closet is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing comfort equipment to ALS or more commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, patients. Our mission is “Helping to Care for People with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). The “Thank You Run” is annual event held each Thanksgiving Day where ALS supporters of all ages participate by walking or running a 5K or Kids Run.

Back in March of 2007, my mom, Helen was dancing as she always loved to do at parties and she fell on the dance floor. For months after that evening, her leg discomfort progressed; she was diagnosed later that year with ALS.  It is a progressive disease, which affects the nerves in your brain and spinal cord that control your muscles. We watched my mom progress from a walker to a motorized wheel chair in few short months. Fifteen months later my mom passed.

Helen was an extremely generous person and kept a closet full of gifts to give away to others for special occasions or just because she felt she needed to give a gift.  This was evident towards the end when my mom asked me to go into her closet and I discovered a lifetime of different items that were brand new, ready to give to family and friends. From that moment, it was obvious that naming a non-profit after my mother should be called Helen’s Closet.

Helen’s Closet.org was started to help the many ALS patients in need, to help them be as comfortable as they can while going through the stages of ALS.

The Thank You Run is the main fundraising event where the proceeds are used to not only support the 4S Ranch Del Sur Community, but to mainly purchase Comfort Equipment and Speech devices for patients suffering from ALS.  The ALS Association of Greater San Diego stores and delivers the equipment.  By participating in the Thank You Run you are truly running or walking for those suffering from ALS, for those who can’t.

My family truly Thanks You for being part of Helen’s Closet and the Thank You Run for the past 8 years.



Theresa Shay

CEO – Helen’s Closet.org

Helen’s Closet was named after Helen Mok. Her love of family and others was unyielding. Helen’s children Theresa, Diana, Bill, John and Dennis all saw on a daily basis that she enjoyed nothing more than making people smile. As an immigrant from China, she and her husband Jimmy knew how very blessed they were to live and raise their children in this great country.

Helen would frequently shop for bargains and then give people gifts from her closet. To keep her spirit alive and the noble concept of helping others in need, we are determined to keep Helen’s closet open. Your donations, support and the proceeds from the Thank You Run will help to provide wheel chairs, ramps, and other equipment free of charge to persons suffering from this terminal disease that robs people of their ability to walk, talk and ultimately breathe.

In 2007 when my mom Helen Mok was diagnosed with ALS/Lou Gherig’s disease, we as a family had no idea what ALS truly was. In a matter of 6 months from being diagnosed my mom went from a cane to a walker to a motorized wheelchair. 10 months later my mom passed from this dreadful disease. As our family watched her progress, her equipment needs increased. We were fortunate to have Medicare and a secondary insurance provider to cover the expensive equipment needs, but most patients are not so fortunate. Which is why we created Helen’s Closet: a non-profit that is dedicated to providing comfort equipment as needed to ALS patients.” – Helen’s Daughter, Theresa