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2021 Top-Rated Nonprofit

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

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Cancer, Health, Human Services, Patient & Family Support, Transportation Assistance

Mission: The mission of Compass to Care is to provide a free Non Emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT) solution to access life-saving cancer treatment and clinical trials for children fighting cancer and facing poverty or cancer-related financial toxicity (CRFT). By supporting families in financial distress and removing the transportation barrier to access cancer treatment, Compass to Care is focused on preventing missed medical appointments and improving outcome for children living in poverty or whose families are facing CRFT.

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. During that time, we were able to help 22 children get to the hospital for cancer treatment. As support for our mission has grown, so has the number of children we've been able to support. To date (2021), we have supported over 900 children as they have made more than 16,000 trips to treatment! Those 16,000+ trips mean that our children have traveled almost 2.7 MILLION miles - just to get to cancer treatment and back home again!

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: 170 children with cancer

Geographic areas served: We currently support children across the United States, with a particular focus on children in the Midwest.

Programs: Our sole purpose is 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.

Community Stories

77 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Client Served

Rating: 5

Our daughter was diagnosed at six years old with stage IV liver cancer. Compass to Care has helped our family so much. We live over 30 minutes from our closest hospital and they have helped us with gas to make the commute for all her appointments and emergency travels to the hospital. Our daughter required a liver transplant in another states. Compass to Care also helped pay for travel and parking in the airport. We are so grateful for this charity. At a time when gas prices are so high this company stepped up and helped our family out in making it a little easier to survive this difficult time. Thank you Compass to Care!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Thank you Compass to Care for the amazing help & support you are granting with us families in this tough times of our lives.
I wish to once again express my gratitude for supporting us with transportation for treatment. We definitely know we are safe when there is the Compass Care team with us!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Hi I am a Mom of 2 kids that were both born at 25 weeks. We have spent months in the hospital with both children. My Daughter was diagnosed with Stage 4 Neuroblastoma at the height of the pandemic. There was little to no way of transporting her to hospital and clinic for appointments. I don't know how to drive so only means was public transportation. My 1st fear was exposing her to Covid or some other communicable disease on the bus or train. My 2nd fear was being on the bus or train after chemo and she was not feeling well. Compass to Care was suggested by the Social Worker at Lurie's. Compass to Care was the answer to both of my fears and more. We have been apart of the Compass to Care family for about 2 years now. We are forever grateful for all that they have done and continue to do for our family.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My name is Luke Becker. I'm a cook with 5 children and a beautiful girlfriend at home.. About 7 months ago my son Kaleb was diagnosed with large b cell lymphoma. It required extensive chemotherapy to get rid of the tumor that had grown in his head. We live in waterloo and the treatment center was in Iowa city. So as u can imagine I had countless trips back and fourth trying to be in two places at once. Being there for Kaleb going through horrible agonizing side effects of the chemo. While also trying to be there for my 4 daughters back at home. Making sure everything stayed okay on both ends.
Compass to care gave me a card that has paid for virtually every single trip. During these hard times dealing with all the struggles one faces in this type of situation to have sumone step in and pay for sumthing so critical but also so very expensive like fuel. To take the financial stress of getting back and fourth out of the equation has been a gift like I've never received. The people who run this organization are truly angels . I have no idea how I would have made all this work without them. Thank you so much. We owe you more then words can describe.

Eternally great-full
Luke Becker and family

Client Served

Rating: 5

Anthony was diagnosed at 3yo w BCell ALL. Compass to Care has been supporting us through travel costs since his diagnosis. They have been a pillar of support & hope for our family through it all.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My son was diagnosed with cancer at 9 yrs old. He is currently in remission at 11. He still has another year of maintenance treatment. I am a single mom on a single income. Compass to Care has been a huge help with transportation and occasional hotel stays when my son has early morning/long day procedures/treatments. I have always received such excellent correspondence from Celeste who has always been there when I’ve had questions or needed anything. They have truly helped my little family with our financial struggles due to this medical diagnosis. I am truly grateful for all they have done and for all those who pledge donations to help families like ours.

jms1217an

Client Served

Rating: 5

Compass to care has eased the burden of having to travel to get my son cancer care. They have paid an astronomical amount of money for me to park in NYC for up to 10 days at a time, paid for gas to treatment and have been so easy to contact and get a response. Please consider donating to this cause. Some pediatric cancers are hard to treat and us parents have to travel far to get experimental treatment and there are not many organizations that will help especially with parking garage fees which are unbelievable! They have really been a god send in making it easier to get my child the care he needs and took the burden off my chest of logistical financial issues. Thank you so much Compass to care! We appreciate you so much!

Client Served

Rating: 5

When my son got sick I didn’t know how or what to do I had to resign from my job because I’m a single parent and I had to be his caretaker this program allowed me not to worry about transportation issue and for that I am truly thankful I don’t know how I would have done it without a job right now so thank you compass care because without you I don’t know what we would have done ❤️

Client Served

Rating: 5

This charity has been so helpful to our family. My daughter was diagnosed with stage 4 neuroblastoma in 2015 and relapsed again in 2018. We are making our 30th trip to NYC this week for scans and we could not have done it without their travel help. Thank You!!

Brittany K.5

Board Member

Rating: 5

Compass to Care is an outstanding organization! I have been part of the Associate Board for almost 3 years and it has given me the opportunity to help those in need and build friendships that will last a lifetime! Michelle is incredible and I’m so lucky to be part of her journey to help those in need of cancer treatments.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a volunteer with Compass to Care I love volunteering for this organization because I know that all of the effort I put in helps to raise funds for children who really need it. Compass to Care is a great organization that fills a huge void in the delivery of care spectrum for families whose children are undergoing cancer treatment. I am still amazed by the stories from the families who were helped by Compass to Care. This organization truly makes a positive impact on children undergoing cancer treatment and fills a huge 'financial' gap that is not covered by health insurance or any other method.

Donor

Rating: 5

As a donor to Compass to Care I love knowing that my support makes a direct impact on children with cancer and their families. This is such a trying time for families and I know that my support makes it a little easier.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Simply put, Compass to Care truly helps save lives by providing children with cancer the ability to travel to life-saving treatment. From covering travel, lodging and other logistical expenses, this terrific organization allows families in financial distress to still access the life-saving cancer treatment for their beloved child.

If you need a great cause to support and be inspired by, look no further.

2 AJ43906

Client Served

Rating: 5

We have been fighting cancer for 15 years. We could not continue this fight without the support of Compass to Care. Cancer is financially draining. Compass to care helps lift that burden by helping families get the treatment they need and we are truly blessed to have the help from them. We honestly couldn’t do it without them.

Previous Stories
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Client Served

Rating: 5

Top notice organization. Always there to help families in need. We appreciate you more than you’ll ever know. Thank you for always stepping up to the plate to help us with travel to treatments. You take so much weight off my shoulders.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Great mission and amazing people to volunteer for. I would highly recommend this charity for individuals that are trying to find ways to make a difference.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Compass to Care is an incredible organization that efficiently utilizes its resources to support hundreds of children and their families. I have been involved with this organization for about a year, and have been truly astonished with how caring, thoughtful, and driven this Foundation is. I am proud to support this Foundation and am always encouraging others to do the same!

Donor

Rating: 5

So many people forget about the cost of transportation that families have to cover just to get their children back and forth to necessary and life saving appointments and treatments. This organization is amazing and has taken this burden off of so many families. I am so proud to support them.

Donor

Rating: 5

We are happy to support Compass to Care and their mission. Compass to Care is very transparent about how our donations make an impact for families and that our donations are used for children getting to and from cancer treatment.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Compass to Care is a fantastic organization committed to helping children be able to access the life saving treatment they need! If you are looking for an organization to support Compass to Care is a great choice.

Jonny Imerman     CLOZTALK    ImermanAngels

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Compass to Care has such an important mission by paying for traveling costs for families fighting cancer!

Founder Michelle Ernsdorff is an outstanding and caring human!!

GREAT org, GREAT team— the CLOZTALK team is honored to call C2C our partner!!

CLOZTALK team
>> Jonny Imerman, co-founder

Anita Tambourine D.

Donor

Rating: 5

I have known the founding members of this organization, for a few years now, and I can speak of the immense dedication and passion they have for this cause and for helping these families. I have witnessed the hours of preparation for fundraising events and the daily work providing aid to the families. The selfless efforts are evident in the extremely low administration costs versus the high amount of funds actually going to help those in need; no other charity has this level of fiscal integrity, I believe. It is a pleasure of mine to be a donor to this organization and to attend their heartfelt annual gala where we can witness the impact this organization has on the families and children themselves.

Donor

Rating: 5

Compass to Care has become the official charity for the Lifetoughkids Boxing Club, Chicago, IL
We support this charity because they do very important work in the world of childhood cancer. We will always support them. Thank you for helping keep the children going to their much needed appointments and care. keep up the great work CTC.

Lifetoughkids Boxing Club Loves you guys!!!!

Donor

Rating: 5

Compass to Care is one of the most meaningful cancer charities out there. We love what they do for the children. I lost my sister to cancer and it makes me so proud to support this wonderful charity Compass to Care. Michelle does an amazing job for her charity.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Compass to Care and its members continue to strive to make a difference for children and their families across the country. Not only has the organization helped those in need by covering the cost and logistics of travel, but also those of us passionate about the cause grow professionally. With other members of the associate board, we have been able to bring diverse backgrounds together for a common cause that has resulted in year-over-year growth for the organization and our fundraising efforts. We are proud of the work we have done and look forward to expanding and being able to help more and more families across the country.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Compass to Care provides support for families across the country. When families don’t have to worry about the extra expense of travel and how they are going to get their child to treatment, they can truly focus on the well-being of their child.

Advisor

Rating: 5

I've worked with Compass To Care for several years assisting with various technical needs. Michelle always has the children and families top of mind for everything we do. I'm glad that I can support this cause even in a small way.

Margaret H.4

Donor

Rating: 5

C2C does very important work for families in extremely difficult situations.

Celeste H.2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Compass to Care fills a vital need for vulnerable families from all over the country!

Previous Stories
1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Compass to Care is a wonderful organization that helps kids in need in a caring, compassionate way! By supporting travel expenses of childhood cancer patients, they fill a role often overlooked by other cancer-based nonprofits.

Donor

Rating: 5

Compass to Care has such a clear mission in helping kids with cancer.  We know, as donors, that our funding is going to directly impact these children and help them get to cancer treatment.

1 Shiree J.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am so very blessed to have the opportunity to volunteer with Compass to Care. The impact that this organization is making is astonishing.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

We wanted to pass on our warm thoughts concerning our firm’s participation in the virtual 5k/walk hosted by Compass to Care this past August. We and our staff members learned so much and appreciate the financial need your charity provides in defraying the travel costs for families already burdened with a child’s cancer diagnosis. Keep up the great work

1 Rafer B.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Michelle Ernsdorff has done an amazing job creating a charity that helps families with a very specific cost when it comes to battling cancer. I remember when she first started it and she's helped hundreds of families in the fight of their lives. Words cannot express how valuable this charity is.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

I learned about Compass to Care and their mission this past year. Like the dedication of our health care workers during these troubling times, Compass to Care’s continued efforts to assure that the families of cancer patients can afford to get to their treatment facilities is deserving of our utmost respect and appreciation. Your organization is vital to the families of children fighting cancer. The two virtual events I have attended this year have been impressive and informative. I will continue to support your fund raising activities and mission.

Sarah B.24

Client Served

Rating: 5

Compass to Care was incredibly helpful during my daughter’s cancer treatment! They provided us with financial help so that we could travel to and from the hospital without having to worry about paying for gas and parking fees. It was a relief knowing that we had one less thing to worry about.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Compass to care is a wonderful organization that has helped take away part of our financial burdens by helping us pay for our gas and parking when we have appointments for our daughter's treatment. Without them and their support we would have had that extra worry. Thank you for all you have done for our family. Alyssa and our family will forever be grateful.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Compass to Care is a fantastic organization. I have been a board member for just over 6 months and have seen the amazing work they do. This is something near and dear to my heart, and am grateful to be a part of this cause. I think what sets this organization apart from many others, is they focus on costs that are often times forgotten but add up very quickly when you have a sick child.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

Our company has supported Compass to Care for several years, because we really love what they do and believe in their mission. As a former healthcare worker (and a mom), I can truly appreciate the work this team does to help families with sick children. For a family being faced with such a difficult time, it is so important for them to know that an organization exists that can help them along the way, both financially and emotionally. For a parent, it is unimaginable having to watch your child go through such an illness, and having the comfort of knowing you can be there, and not have to be stressed about how you are going to be there due to financial restraints, is such a huge burden lifted off of these families. Since the founder, Michelle, and her family experienced the same circumstances and hardships during Michelle's childhood, they are uniquely equipped to assist these families that are facing the same now. Not only is the Compass to Care a truly worthy organization to support, but their founder & leadership team are wonderful examples of beautiful souls giving back to the community. We will continue to support Michelle and her team to do the work they need to for these amazing children and their families.

Thank you,

Susan Sparks (& Stacey Sparks)
owners, Sport Motoring

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been a member of the Associate Board and am honored to have the opportunity to work for such an important cause. These children and families need the support Compass to Care offers. By collaborating with young professionals for various events throughout the year, including our Gold Ribbon Gala, we make it possible to help even more children travel to cancer treatment.

1 Nicolle W.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Compass to care has been wonderful in paying for our Gas and parking every time our son has an appointment which his appointments are 2 hours from home.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Our little one makes it to every leukemia appointment with the help of compass to care!!!!! Miss Jaylynn is 10 yrs old an full of smiles, we love you all at compas to care thanks for helping our family!!! The Mozingo family

Board Member

Rating: 5

I been involved with Compass to Care for 10 years. Throughout the growth of the organization, one thing has always remained contact – our focus on caring for the child and family.  We realize that having a child with cancer comes with many challenges.  Our team removes the travel barrier, which is a vital part of the child’s journey toward a cure.  But we are so much more to these families.  We are a constant source of care and compassion offering relief during a time of need. It is an honor to be on the Board of an organization that makes an immediate impact for families each and every day.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Five years ago I started volunteering for Compass to Care and it has continued to be a wonderful and rewarding experience year over year. Michelle does a fantastic job ensuring the events are well run, and that there is a role for those that want to take part. The Annual Fashion Show has become my favorite Fall event, and the amount of growth the Bubble Run 5K has seen speaks to the focus and reach this extremely worthwhile non profit has. It is truly inspiring to hear and see the stories of the lives Compass to Care has helped .

Client Served

Rating: 5

When my daughter was diagnosed our world turned upside down. I had to stop working, which cause a huge financial strain. Compass to Care has taken much of that stress off by helping us pay for parking, gas, & lodging when we had to travel out of state. Without this organization we wouldn’t have been able go out of state or park at the hospital during the long hospital stays. Their team has shown us compassion along with financial assistance. Words cannot express our gratitude.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Our baby boy Johnny Morris from Boston Massachusetts was diagnosed with stage 4 high risk nmyc Neuroblastoma at 6 months old. He is now 4 1/2 and has fought extremely hard the entire time. After 40 plus rounds of chemo and radiation, 2 relapses, a brain and adrenal gland tumor removed, Johnny is now being treated in Manhattan New York, our 5th state. Without compass to care we would not be able to afford the constant travel back and forth. Fighting cancer for almost 5 years has taken a brutal toll on our entire family! Without this charity we would be in a very difficult situation. We hold Compass to Care very close to our hearts for helping us, stay #Johnnystrong !!!!

1 Casey S.1

Client Served

Rating: 5

They are all saints! My son was diagnosed with retinoblastoma and the nearest specialist was in LA and we are in northern Utah. They help with plane tickets, hotels, Uber to and from the hospital and gas when we see oncology in Utah. They truly care about every family they help and no words could ever thank them enough.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Compass to Care has made the load of caring for a sick child, much lighter. My two and a half hour, weekly, commute has been covered for the last five months by Compass to Care. I am so grateful that this foundation was suggested by our hospital’s social worker within the first 24 hours of my son’s diagnosis. The staff has been more than friendly and definitely do their best to help during this season of our lives. We are so grateful to the workers and the donors whom have made this possible for my family.

3

Donor

Rating: 5

It’s nice to know the money I donate goes directly to the families that need it. I know first hand how expensive it is to go back and forth to the hospital to get treatment.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

It has been a real pleasure working with Compass to Care! All of the volunteers I've worked with are genuinely excited to be able to help kids with cancer. Everyone really puts their heart into every event and mailing that I've helped out with.

2 Sarah D.4

Client Served

Rating: 5

When my daughter was diagnosed at 4 years old with Lymphoblastic Lymphoma, I left my job to be her side during chemotherapy. Our family’s finances were extremely tight, and Compass to Care made a huge difference in our lives by paying for the travel-related expenses (gas and parking) of getting her to treatment, which were significant. We are forever thankful to Compass to Care.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Great charity that helps families at the most difficult times!

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

Our daughter, Ellie, was diagnosed with bilateral retinoblastoma, a rare eye cancer found mostly in children. We live over 350 miles away and Compass to Care has helped our family out in many ways. Being able to care for our daughter without worrying about the financial struggles of traveling and room and board has made this process in our lives a little bit easier. They have been very easy to work with and are very understandable with last minute trips. We are so blessed to have this foundation in our lives.

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

Great organization. Really cares about its cause and community. All the proceeds from the events are carefully managed and go to families without the financial means to get cancer treatment for their children

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Compass to Care has been an amazing non-profit to work with. Christine and Michelle have went above and beyond for our family. We are beyond blessed for everything they do for us!

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

The people that work for this organization are all driven and passionate about the cause. It has been a fantastic opportunity to work for such an organization that truly makes a difference.

2 Juana L.

Client Served

Rating: 5

This non profit Compass to Care was an amazing help and allowed my family to not be stressed about getting to my daughter on the daily. One less bill to worry about at such a trying time

2 Jen_56

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Compass To Care has become very near my heart in the affect it has made on families struggling to keep their child alive through an awful time. I love involving my daughter in the reason we help this organization as she has had a classmate fight through leukemia and is winning that fight.

3

Donor

Rating: 5

Compass to Care is one of my most favorite places to contribute my giving dollars. First of all, they are a lean, well run organization. So I know that a huge percentage of my money is going straight to the kids and families who need it. I also LOVE the fact that I can give money throughout the year if fairly small chunks and know the exact difference I can make. If I give a hundred dollars, I know exactly how many tanks of gas that's going to buy. It feels good to know that whatever I give starts making a difference in that very moment.

2 AgathaK

Board Member

Rating: 5

I became involved with Compass to Care almost two years ago and have been on its Associate Board ever since. Since the first time I attended a Compass to Care event, I've been so moved by the passionate work this organization carries out.

I'm most impressed by the organization's focused mission to help kids with cancer travel for treatment. It's such a practical and necessary need, and this organization's funding fills an important gap in support for cancer patients and their families.

Furthermore, I've had the chance to work closely with founder Michelle Ernsdorff, and I don't think I've met a more dedicated and passionate person in my life. She's so committed to this organization and speaks so genuinely about the families Compass to Care works with. I truly admire her unwavering focus on telling these children's stories and raising awareness for the need to help families traveling for treatment.

I consider myself lucky to have the opportunity to work with such an outstanding nonprofit organization!

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

As a mother of a childhood cancer survivor I know first hand the hardships families are faced with in traveling to get care for their child. I am proud to be on the Board of Directors of Compass to Care to help other families like ours who need help with traveling expenses. The families are so thankful for our help as it is one thing they do not have to worry about and can focus on a cure for their child.

1 Daiyun Z.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

During the last 6 months, I was an accounting intern in a Non-profit organization named Compass to Care, The Mike & Sandy Ernsdorff Childhood Cancer Foundation. It is a charitable organization that is dedicated to ensuring under-served families can access life-saving cancer treatment for their children. I helped to summarize current financial data by collecting and documenting information and prepare financial report. The most creative part of the internship was to analyze the operating activities. Based on the donation income and expense, I gave some advises on the charity events and future operation goals. Moreover, I helped to arrange some charity events of the organization. Every time we achieve the donation goal, I feel like helping more and more families. All my efforts would pay off.

2 Paul111

Board Member

Rating: 5

I write this review on the day I am celebrating my 26th year as a cancer survivor. Through the great work of Compass to Care, I am able to give back - give children the same opportunity I had as a kid with cancer to have a chance at life.

As a child I was lucky to live close enough to a hospital that was capable of treating my rare form of cancer. Most children aren't as lucky, but they deserve the same opportunity and chance to beat the disease as I did. Compass to Care provides that opportunity. They help children and their families with the means to get to the hospital deemed necessary to save their life. I am honored to be part of this amazing organization. I am honored to do my part to support children with their family on the life-saving journey.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

We feel so fortunate to have gotten in contact with Michelle Ernsdorff and Compass to Care! Our son, Van was diagnosed last October with Brain Cancer; Van underwent a 13 1/2 hour craniotomy to resect his tumor. Following recovery from surgery Van's treatment plan would consist of 6 weeks Proton Therapy and 14 months Chemotherapy. We were extremely overwhelmed with our son's diagnosis and had no idea how we were ever going to be able to afford the travel costs and care! Chemotherapy was an hour drive each visit and Radiation was 2 hours away. We were able to find Lodging near the Proton Treatment Center that was for patients and would cut our travel time in half, however it still would cost money. Compass to Care enabled us to stay near the treatment center, with their help we were able to primarily focus on the care of our son with that financial burden lifted. We are forever grateful !!

2 Lisa304

Donor

Rating: 5

I am the Principal of Neil Armstrong Elementary School. The students at my school love to participate in charitable giving and activities and I suggested Compass to Care. The students held a car wash last year and again this year to help other children fighting cancer. It was amazing to see how Michelle took the time to personally visit our school, meet the students, explain about the work of Compass to Care, and give the students information and materials to promote the work of the organization. It was one of the few times that I think the students actually understood first-hand how their actions and giving were going to make a difference in someone else's life. The students understand how it cost money for gas, for restaurant food, for parking, etc. and they knew their donations would make a difference. We plan to help Michelle's organization every year!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Michelle and Compass to Care were such a great help to our family with the expense of transportation for my daughter to receive treatment for childhood cancer over 2 hours away. Without their help we would have been burdened with such a financial hardship under already difficult circumstances. Michelle was always in touch with us through out treatment and I cannot express how thankful and grateful I am for the help of Compass to Care.