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January 2017 Winner

Keeping Families Close to their Sick Children

Sonia Guzman
Camden · NJ
What is your cause and how will it make the world kinder?

We believe we can make the world kinder by keeping families close to each other when they have a sick child in the hospital. Over 70% of the families at RMHSNJ do not have access to a vehicle, as they are arriving from other states and countries to stay for an average of three months. We want to help families of children who are admitted for weeks at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia or receiving chemotherapy at Wills Eye Hospital, by providing transportation, free-of-charge. Families who are facing life-changing medical decisions should not have to worry about how to get to the hospital. By helping the smallest amongst us to have a chance to heal with their families, we believe the world will be a brighter, more hopeful place.

How will you use the $10k?

The grant will allow us to provide transportation, free-of-charge, to families who have traveled from across the U.S. and around the world to see specialists at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and Will’s Eye Hospital. We estimate that we will spend $7,800 on vouchers ($24 each) for transportation and $2,400 on tolls ($5) to transport families in our van, and $1,536 to fuel the van in a six-month period of time. In six months, we hope to provide 325 vouchers to parents who want to stay at bedside, overnight, with their NICU babies and 480 rides to hospital visits.

What impact do you hope to make?

We believe that babies and children heal better when they are surrounded by the love of family. Moms, dads, sisters and brothers depend on us to keep them close to their sick child, and to the hope, comfort and healing that comes with their presence. By providing transportation, we will help to alleviate a financial burden and stress from a family that is already facing an unbelievable amount of heartache and worry. With every ride, we will be saving families $489 weekly so they can focus on caring for their sick child.

Other Details
Keeping Families Close to their Sick Children
Keeping Families Close to their Sick Children
Keeping Families Close to their Sick Children
Keeping Families Close to their Sick Children

As soon as we get the grant, we will be able to provide our families with vouchers that will allow them to spend unlimited time with their sick child. We will be able to serve even more families with transportation in our van by adding trips to our daily schedule. Every day, families will have access to vouchers and van transportation to meet their needs, which change on a daily basis and according to their child's medical treatment plan.

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