Supporting families of children with cancer and other life threatening illnesses.
Years in service: 22 years
Their story: Jacob’s Heart Children’s Cancer Support Services exists to improve the quality of life for children with cancer and support their families in the challenges they face. They provide family-centered care that addresses the emotional, practical and financial struggles for families of children and teens during treatment, families experiencing anticipatory grief and those who are bereaved. They envision a community where every child with a serious or life-threatening condition has a strong, supported and informed family empowered to fully participate in their care. They strive to inspire compassionate action within local communities to create a safety net of support for the unique needs of each child and family.
Fundraising focus: Jacob’s Heart has acted nimbly in the wake of COVID-19; implementing a four-pronged approach to directly support families of children with cancer throughout the crisis, committing to the following fundraising pillars:
- Direct Financial Assistance and Rent Relief - Jacob’s Heart aims to keep children safely in their homes throughout the COVID-19 and beyond. So far this year, Jacob’s Heart has distributed $177,147 in rent and utilities for families of children undergoing intensive treatment.
- Groceries - Even before the pandemic, trips to the grocery store were already rife with fear for families facing the unimaginable. Jacob’s Heart has doubled our grocery deliveries to meet the increasing needs of families during COVID-19.
- Transportation to Medical Appointments - Jacob’s Heart has provided 475 rides to treatment this year; the needs are increasing as restrictions to medical appointments are gradually being lifted.
- Counseling and Grief Support - Our counseling team has hired an additional crisis counselor to address the fear and isolation of families of children undergoing treatment and to provide comfort to families of the six children who have died during COVID.
Lori started Jacob’s Heart in 1998 at her kitchen table when her friends’ son Jacob was diagnosed with leukemia, and has since built the organization from the ground up. Under Lori’s leadership, Jacob’s Heart has grown from serving one child with cancer 20+ years ago, to a nationally recognized model of community-based pediatric palliative care serving hundreds of children and thousands of family members each year.