Compass to Care, The Mike & Sandy Ernsdorff Childhood Cancer Foundation

Rating: 5 stars   17 reviews

Issues: Health, Human Services

Location: 120 West Madison Street Suite 702 Chicago IL 60602 USA

Mission: Compass to Care is dedicated to ensuring that under-served families can access life-saving cancer treatment for their children. We carry out this mission by scheduling and paying for cancer-related travel necessities so families can get their children from their homes to the medical center where they are being treated.
Results: Compass to Care alleviates the financial burden of childhood cancer-related travel costs so that families can focus on what’s most important: the health of their child. 2010 through 2012 served as the foundational years for Compass to Care. Over the past two years, we have strengthened our organization by: • Establishing strategic partnerships • Diversifying our revenue stream • Improving our cash flow • Enhancing our processes and procedures • Creating an internship program • Aligning a team committed to our future As a result, we are facing tremendous growth. In 2010, our inaugural year, we supported 5 children on 27 journeys. WE WERE ECSTATIC!! In 2011, we grew to support 17 children on 114 trips. This year, we have already supported 40 children on 318 trips to the hospital for treatment. And we keep growing!
Target demographics: Children under the age of 18 who have been diagnosed with cancer, are currently in an active treatment regimen, must travel at least 60 miles to get to the medical center for care and whose families demonstrate a financial need for assistance.
Direct beneficiaries per year: 50
Programs: We have one program, to be a cancer travel navigator for children who have cancer and their families so they can get to the hospital for treatment that can save their lives.
2012 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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EIN 27-0885690
773-340-CURE
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

I have been on the Board of Directors for Compass to Care as the Treasurer since inception. When I first was told of the idea of Compass To Care, I had no idea the magnitude of the financial problems these families face trying to cure their child of cancer. The founder, Michelle, had a dream to give back to families that are going through the same devastation her family went through when she had cancer as a very young child. Although I was around as our family was traveling back and foth to Mayo Clinic, I was too young to really understand the magnitude of how it affected us financially. Michelle took her idea of Compass to Care and ran with it. Within months she had received her 501(c)3 and left Corporate America. Michelle has done such a tremendous job of forming a connection with each and every family. Not only does she make sure the family is paid in time for their next trip, she has taken a direct interest in each and every child. I have never seen someone take on a project like Compass To Care with such determination and passion. Sometimes it seems not only is the foundation a means to making travel plans met for these struggling families, but also an individual cheering squad for each child. I am proud to be a part of Compass To Care.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

I met founder and CEO, Michelle in first grade and our friendship continues today. While I can tell you all of the great things about my friend, I am enthused to speak about Compass to Care and all of the great things they are doing to help children and their families who are battling cancer. When you hear the stories of the families who need money to travel to save their child's life, when their focus should be on curing their child; it is heartbreaking. I find that Compass to Care is able to ease the financial burden of travel expenses, so the parent's main priority can be their child and not how they are going to afford the next trip to the hospital. I have found my time volunteering with Compass to Care very rewarding personally and it is definitely on my top-rated nonprofit list!

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

I met Compass to Care recently through a professional connection and have been thoroughly impressed. I have been working with nonprofits professionally since 1999 and can say without hesitation that Compass to Care should be on the Top-Rated Nonprofits List. With a lean staff and many volunteers, Compass to Care is able to provide a desperately needed service (funding for transportation to children's cancer treatment) to those who most need it. As someone who understands the inner workings of organizations, I can say without hesitation that Compass to Care is a well-run, well organized, efficient, and mission focused organization through and through.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of advisors?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

I discovered Compass to Care about 2 years ago when I met the founder, Michelle Ernsdorff, at a community event. I heard her story and the story of the children and families C2C serves. I was moved by the impact Michelle and C2C are having on the lives of these families. I have attended several Compass to Care events and I've met the children and families that Michelle and her team are serving. The families are truly inspirational. I haven't been able to give nearly as much as I wish I could. But even the amounts I do give have an impact. It makes me feel great knowing that even a hundred dollars can make a huge impact on the journey of a single family. My hundred dollars can help pay for several tanks of gas or a couple nights in a hotel room or a few meals along the way. Over the past two years of being a part of C2C - and I do very much feel like I AM a part of C2C - I have felt like I have been able to help Michelle and her team make an important difference in the lives of these amazing families. There are lots of great reasons to give to a charity. I give to C2C because of the mission, because of the incredible challenges that these families face, because of C2C's commitment, and because Michelle makes me feel like my role, modest though it is, has an impact on these families. We all want to make a difference in the world. In supporting C2C I KNOW I'm making a difference.

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

I truly believe without this organization, our family would be suffering from financial hardship. Since our grandson was diagnosed with spitzoid melanoma, the Balentyne family has traveled to MD Anderson, 1000 miles, several times since March 2012 and will still be traveling every 3 mos. until May 2013. Without Compass to Care support, it would be financially stressful for all of us. As a family, we would do anything for our children and grandchildren, no matter what, but Compass to Care has helped with the burden of traveling. Their help took some of the stress away from this whole experience. It was comforting to talk to a person whenever there was a concern with traveling and issues were immediately resolved. We could not have done it without this wonderful organization. Thank you very, very much. The Balentyne family

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

Michelle at compass to care made it possible to take my son to MD Anderson in Texas so he could get the best care possible for his rare cancer. We couldn't have done it without them! They are a true blessing!!!!

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

I recently attended a fundraiser for Compass to Care and decided to become a volunteer. I was overwhelmed by the much needed work being done by this organization. I had never heard of an organization addressing the needs of families who need help getting treatment for their child who has been diagnosed with cancer. We don't realize the challenges this might present. Often the best treatment needed, is away from the home area. If a family does not have enough money...how will they afford the transportation, lodging and food to save their child? This is where "Compass" comes to the rescue.They access financial need, then go to work providing everything needed to help that child and family. The founder, Michelle Ernsdorff, was such a child whose family needed the help to save her life. They had quite a struggle helping their daughter. Michelle and her family now want to make sure that no other family has to go through what they endured. This is a cause that we should all embrace!

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful?