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2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Here to Serve Inc.

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Nonprofit Overview

Mission: Families caring for a critically ill child should not have to choose between their child, job, home, financial well being, or their own health to be available to their child during a medical crisis. Here to Serve mobilizes people and resources to meet daily living needs of families who make $1 or more than government assistance would allow.

Target demographics: families with a child in a life-and-death health crisis

Direct beneficiaries per year: patients referred to us by Children's Hospital Los Angeles and also serve patients at UCLA and Rady's Children's Hospital

Geographic areas served: Greater Los Angeles market

Programs: Coordinated physical, financial and emotional support to help families navigate their home life during the medical crisis of a child. We bring people and organizations together through social media, flyers and in person when family members hand out custom business cards provided by Here to Serve to register friends, neighbors and loved ones on the family’s online care community. This online community provides: an interactive calendar of daily household needs such as meals, child and pet care, shopping, transportation; medical updates; a blog; fundraising, and numerous ways to support the family. Here to Serve’s research coordinators demystify and provide assisted access to other charities, businesses and organizations.

Community Stories

18 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

5

Client Served

Rating: 5

Here to Serve does not count success by providing a lot of people with band aid solutions. Here to Serve comes through during the deepest, darkest, most stressful time that a parent can face. When a child is gravely ill, Here to Serve is there to help families bridge the gap from heart ache and catastrophe to a new life which sadly doesn't always include their child. When my lively, happy, athletic 11 year old daughter was brought down by two strokes, Here to Serve found me on my knees. Here to Serve mobilized my community and helped develop a support system far grander than I would have created on my own. I got help with meals, dog walking, fundraising, rides for my son, cleaning and much more. During the first year I had 10 case managers and 12 social workers handing me lists of organizations to call for help. Here to Serve was the only organization on those lists that made a difference in my life. Here to Serve held my hand so that I could keep going, create a new life and get back on my feet. I can honestly say that I don't know what I would have done without them.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Here to Serve and Katie Quintas were a blessing for me and my son Joshua. Since 2012, Katie was always helpful and giving throughout my sons treatments. I can’t express enough my gratitude for all Katie and Here to Serve has done for me and my family. Forever grateful!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was very nervous about receiving help, especially from people I didn't even know. My friend had talked me into allowing Here To Serve to help me because I was overwhelmed at the time with people wanting to help and me not knowing how to organize it. She said they can offer help for things I may not even know I would need help for because they have been down this path before. And the best thing was that I didn't need to do anything extra. Everything would be handled for me. I could even have my best friend a middle man between me and my representative to save time. My nerves were set at ease after meeting with my representative. She really knows the road I'm on and was very compassionate and I felt that she was a friend right away. She cares about my son and truly wants to help. She is available any time and is always thinking of creative ways to get the help I need. She is very patient with all my family and friends who may not be tech savvy and need a little help logging on to the website. I am truly grateful for everything she has done for me and my family. It is nice to have an amazing support system and help organizing all the wonderful people who want to help!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

When I started my journey with cancer 3 years ago we were introduced to Katie. She welcomed us into her home and told us of the benefits that Here to Serve was able to provide for us and the children.
Katie was able to organize our support groups to provide meals, transportation and help around the house. To set up time schedules for the different activities that house with young children need.
These things were such s blessing for us because it freed up the family to work through the emotions that come with this sickness, and to know that the family was covered while I was undergoing different treatments.
It also provided a way to inform all of those interested in my healing progress with one simple update each week.
Katie was extremely supportive throughout this fight. Her heart is to help out and she has done it so well. Thank you Katie
Gary Patton

2 AlexT

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My first encounter with Here To Serve was through my daughter’s former teacher, whose son was battling leukemia when they were introduced to Katie Quintas, the founder. Our entire family got involved in their care community and was so impressed with what Here To Serve had to offer that we recommended them to good family friends when their son was diagnosed with cancer years later. We are all now full-fledged Here To Serve volunteers, providing services to local families in need whenever possible and participating in the annual Casino Night fundraising committee. Having seen firsthand the tangible and invaluable benefits families receive through the care communities set up by Here To Serve, it became a mission to ensure these services are available to anyone and everyone who needs them. Katie’s passion, fueled by her own trials and tribulations endured through the diagnosis of both her son and late husband, is contagious and promoting this charity has become a calling. I truly believe this grass-roots non-profit organization Katie started is being guided by the hand of God.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

My grand daughter Harper was diagnosed with AML M7 Leukemia in December 2015. A month into treatment, I was referred by a friend to Katie at Here To Serve. At first I didn't feel I needed any help. I was doing my daughter's laundry, and bringing meals to the hospital. I had a lot of support from friends, and church family as well. Katie patiently explained to me that all the help we were receiving would eventually fade away. She was very persuasive, and insistent that we allow Here to Serve to help us. Now looking back, I am so grateful that I finally agreed.. The meals blessed us so much, as well as the laundry being done on a weekly basis. It freed me up so I was able to give all of my attention to one purpose, healing our baby girl. I truly do not know how we could have gone through our grand daughters cancer battle without Here to Service beside us every step of the way. Here to Serve made a dramatic difference in our ability to cope during an extremely traumatic time of our lives.

Review from Guidestar

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

This charity went above and beyond to help my sister and her children this Christmas season with relocating then to a new apartment by raising over $1,500, and making this the best Christmas they have ever had! There were tons of presents for all of their children and themselves and this made this the most memorable Christmas for them ever! Thank you so much from the bottom of our hearts!!!!

Review from Guidestar

2 Julia61

Client Served

Rating: 5

My daughter Bailey was diagnosed with stage 4 neuroblastoma in August of 2014. I met Katie from Here to Serve in December of 2014. Katie helped me set up a care calendar for our family. My husband and I not only have a daughter but a son who is 19 months older than Bailey. The care calendar helped us have meals delivered both to the hospital, and home and also gave us the opportunity to schedule house cleaning. This became very helpful to us when we were in and out of the hospital. With our care calendar it gave us the opportunity to enjoy our family when were all home together and took the pressure off of us as a family. We are so grateful to Here to Serve! Thank you for all that you have done for our family!

Review from Guidestar

3 Lauren87

Client Served

Rating: 5

In April of 2013, my daughter Hazel was diagnosed with Stage 3 Neuroblastoma, with a very bleak prognosis. Hazel, at the time was one of four children, one of which was 5 months old (now we have 5!), so we knew that this journey was going to be very tough on our very young and growing family. Here to Serve, and especially Katie Quintas came along side our family in it's darkest times and helped us keep our heads above water. This organization became so invaluable to us by coordinating all the support we needed throughout our daughter's treatment, being a sounding board for any and all concerns we had and even for emotional support. Katie, who has seen two family members through cancer treatment, could relate to what we were going through on a level that very few could. And on top of helping provide for our families' basic needs such as laundry, meals and even scooping dog poop(!), Here To Serve went above and beyond to take care of us in ways we never expected (i.e. Katie organized a group of people to decorate our home for Christmas). Needless to say, we could not have navigated our journey as smoothly as we did without the help of Here to Serve and hope that we can give back to them any way we can!

Review from Guidestar

3

Board Member

Rating: 5

I got involved with "Here to Serve" first as a volunteer & then as a board member as my wife & I were close friends with the Katie, her husband Silvio and son Bryan. Having witnessed first hand the struggles a family experiences when a loved one is diagnosed with a life threatening illness, I was honored & humbled to become part of this amazing organization. Here to Serve provides complete "wrap around" support to those families embarking on a journey they neither asked for nor could have imagined. There is generally a flood of concern from family, friends co-workers & neighbors all asking "what can we do to help"? While the parents spend most of their time at the hospital with a sick child, Here to Serve steps in to assist & coordinate with the cooking, cleaning, laundry, yard work, shopping and even dog walking. They also have "care coordinators" to assist the parents with the stacks of legal, medical & insurance paperwork that each family has to deal with as well. Here To Serve comes along side each family to help them navigate this unimaginable journey in a very caring and compassionate way.

2 Heidi48

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Two years ago I began a new position at another school in my district. In getting to know staff, one staffer introduced HERE TO SERVE to me. I was blown away. The services are provided to families in the most honorable, non invasive, and selfless manner. HERE TO SERVE allows families the help they need without having to beg, and give friends and neighbors a way to feel helpful without intruding. Thanks for sharing Silvo Quintas

Review from Guidestar

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My friend's life was shattered when her exceedingly intelligent, athletic and happy daughter had 2 massive strokes almost 2 years ago. The only entity that was able to help was Here To Serve (HTS). I honestly felt so powerless and sad to see the family in such utter destitute before HTS responded to the request for help. This family needed major help, like of the miracle kind. HTS swooped in and literally took over management of this family's life. Meals had to made, clothes washed, dogs walked, the 3rd grade son needed transportation to and from sports as well as child care/supervision...house keeping, home adaptations to accommodate her daughter upon coming home...the list was endless. My friend and the child's father were taking 12 hours shifts at the hospital where their child was for almost 3 months. They were exhausted and money was pouring out with all of the medical bills. HTS came in and created a support system that eased the turmoil, and it WAS turmoil. My friend put in almost 8 hours a day dealing with health insurance issues and barely slept. She found a dear friend in her Care Coordinator at HTS. She was able to call this amazing woman at any hour, often at midnight, almost daily for guidance and even just to cry. HTS got this family news coverage and newspaper articles which resulted in donations that drastically improved life, even though it still didn't make up for the hurt of her daughter being severely debilitated. HTS rallied the town around a family that was really unknown at the time. They were quiet and not very social. This is why HTS is invaluable. I could not alone have accomplished much to help my friend, but HTS is the most aggressive organization when it comes to addressing the personal needs of each family and attacking the problem. The Care Coordinator on this case basically had the approach of "I will not let this family drown. I will do EVERYTHING in my power to vastly improve as many aspects of their lives as I can. I WILL NOT GIVE UP" Thank you God for Here To Serve!!!!!!

4 Cindy140

Client Served

Rating: 5

I'm a single mom with two grown daughters. We literally don't have any family in and around us. Just our local pastor and small church. My eldest daughter, Ria, took ill suddenly without warning with Neuromyelitis Optica, a rare neuro-autoimmune disease that damaged her brain and spinal chord. Left paralyzed and with cognitive difficulties. We met Katie right after the first attack in early Aug of 2012. Shortly, thereafter Ria had another NMO attack much worse and was admitted to UCLA Ronald Reagan in mid Aug 2012. We finally were able to come home in November of 2012. I was overwhelmed trying to hold down a full time job, care for my sick daughter and no one to help other than her younger sister who was also working. Katie and Lisa came to our home and offered Here to Serve services to us which was a godsend. Even though we took a different route for adult home care so we could keep working, Katie's resourches and outreach to us was so welcomed and greatly appreciated. I've been in touch with other non-profits since and I don't get the same warm genuine disposition that they truly care about my daughter's plight like Katie and Here to Serve does.

Here to Serve, is Katie O'Brien-Quintas' calling and passion. She is deserving of every #1 Non-Profit award available because she is #1 in our book!

4 Irma G.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I became involved with Here to Serve as volunteer in 2011 and later joined the Board. From the moment I heard of Katie Quintas' vision for delivering support to persons in medial crisis I was very impressed. Clearly, Katie's own personal experience in dealing with the life-threatening illnesses of both her son, Bryan, and husband, Sil shaped her vision to help others facing the same type of challenge. Underpinning her vision is Katie's compassion and understanding of the challenges any family faces when dealing with the life-threatening illness of a loved one. There is no other organization out there that is doing what Here to Serve does - helping to rally resources around a family during a time of crisis. Our organization provides our families with one place to go to identify a myriad of resources they can use that will help them throughout the crisis - be it galvanizing friends and family to help with daily chores, helping them to identify additional resources to help pay for services not covered by their medical plan, resources for services needed, and more. Let those who have experienced the support provided by Here to Serve speak for themselves. Several of our families have placed comments here and their testimony speaks to the way that Here to Serve has met needs that have helped to sustain them during their family's crisis where no other organization has been able to do the same.

4 Cheryl104

Client Served

Rating: 5

Here To Serve has literally been a lifesaver for our family. Last year, our beautiful, precocious, and vivacious 4 year old daughter was diagnosed with neuroblastoma. I was six months pregnant at the time. I knew we needed lots of help from family and friends, especially with a new baby coming soon, but didn't have the wherewithal to organize everyone or even express what our needs were. During one of our first conversations, Katie spent over an hour with me, reviewing what our needs were, and even thinking of things that I would never have thought of. On one website, I am able to post pictures and updates of our daughter and family, and set up calendars for people who want to help with meals, housecleaning, and other tasks. We've been able to connect with our friends and community and receive their help for months. I only wish that every family with a child with serious medical needs could have the help of Here to Serve.

4

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been involved with Here to Serve since its inception. Katie Quintas exudes vision and compassion shaped by her experience of the serious illness of her son and her husband. She understands that being committed to people walking through serious and life threatening illness, in a way that is truly helpful, means getting involved in the practical, complicated, messy issues and details of every day life, the things which feel impossible to manage when in crisis. And Here to Serve does just that. I have been amazed and blessed by the help that has been given and stories of life-changing support that are emerging. Writing as a doctor, there is a huge gap between what medicine can do and the real needs of individuals and families in medical crisis and Here to Serve stands in that gap.

4

Client Served

Rating: 5

I first met Katie Quintas the founder in the PICU unit! I was visiting another fellow Neuroblastoma family who were being treated for horrible side effects at that time in the PICU. Katie was there holding my friend's hands and going through a list of what needs to be done. When she knew I was a cancer mom and my kid was in treatment as well she instantly gave me a folder of her publications and information.

With the busy life of a cancer family it was hard to talk to her right after, but she stayed in touch and made sure she was patient until I cleared an hour for her and she talked over the phone and explained to me exactly what her foundation does. Here to Serve is like the most brilliant idea that you instantly think: how did no one think of that before?!!. Because she KNOWS what is it like to be a care giver for cancer she can relate to the needs of the family and the crazy schedule! I am very very blessed to start our online community with Here to Serve and meet Katie and her wonderful family. Because of our online community, our friends and family now know how to delegate efforts and help us, little things like running errands, making dinner when needed , house cleaning and such are taken care of while we focus our efforts on our son and his care. She is very resourceful too and will totally go out of her way to help others. Again a pure blessing for sure:) I tell every cancer family they NEED here to serve in their crazy life!

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

Here to Serve is a wonderful nonprofit organization that helps families when they are faced with a life threatening illness. Here to Serve focuses on providing help to the caregivers. When our 17 year old son was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, our world turned upside down. All of our attention went on doing whatever we could to help him. We were constantly at the hospital, yet we still had jobs, two younger children, pets, and a household to manage. This is where Here to Serve came in. They connected our community with us, so that we could get the help and support that we needed. This gave us the ability to let go of our day to day worries. Even though our son lost his battle a year later, Here to Serve stayed by our side, helping with support and keeping us connected with our community. We are still involved two years later. Although this was the most difficult and painful time of our lives, we are grateful for the love, support, and help provided by Here to Serve. Anthony & Annie