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2020 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Jacobs Heart Childrens Cancer Support Services

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Cancer, Counseling, Health, Mental Health, Patient & Family Support

Mission: Mission and Purpose: Jacob’s Heart exists to improve the quality of life for children with cancer by supporting their families in the challenges they face. Since 1998, Jacob’s Heart has provided emotional, practical, financial and peer support to hundreds of children with cancer and thousands of their family members. We 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. We strive to inspire compassionate action within local communities, to create a safety net of support for the unique needs of each child and family.

Results: Last year alone, Jacob’s Heart provided the following services to 327 local children with cancer or other life-threatening illnesses and 1,579 of their family members: • $192,705 Financial and Practical Assistance for phone bills, rent, utilities, food, meals, fuel and funeral expenses; • 2,872 bags of nutritious groceries delivered to homes and hospital rooms by our compassionate volunteers; • 536 door-to-door rides so that children are able to get to treatment with comfort, companionship and safety; • 700 home and hospital visits to help parents make informed decisions for their children; • 7,309 hours of direct emotional support for families, including group, family and individual counseling for children, teens and parents enduring treatment or bereaved; • 3,781 cards, gifts and remembrances to honor milestones, birthdays and anniversaries; • Personalized gifts and celebrations valued at $83,874, which alleviated stress and delivered joy to 414 family members through Holiday Hearts Adopt-a-Family; • 107 campers attended Camp Heart + Hands, a free weekend camp for families experiencing childhood cancer; • 50 family members bereaved by the loss of a child attended Forever Loved Retreat.

Target demographics: families of children with cancer and children and parents experiencing the grief of losing a precious child to cancer.

Direct beneficiaries per year: 325 childre with cancer and their families - 1,100 people

Geographic areas served: Santa Cruz, Monterey, San Benito and South Santa Clara Counties of California

Programs: Family-centered care including: Counseling & Support Groups: For parents, teens, siblings, couples, & bereaved families In Home & Hospital Visits: Providing care where and when it is needed most Resource Library & Referrals: Providing materials for parents on how to contribute to the care of their child and connection to additional community resources Community Education: Raising cancer awareness and inspiring support for our programs through venues such as health fairs, classroom visits, and community Art from the Heart: Giving families a creative outlet for self-expression through art therapy and access to enriching activities in our community Celebrations & Milestones: Honoring the important days in the lives of special children such as birthdays and completion of treatment Financial Assistance: Assistance with household bills, memorial/funerals, prepaid phone, gas and grocery cards

Community Stories

51 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Thursday's have become my favorite day because that's the day that I volunteer for Jacob's Heart. The staff is beyond friendly, caring, compassionate, and fun.
I help with the packing and delivering of groceries for their families. The groceries consist of impressive, fresh fruits and vegetables along with nutritious food staples. When I hit the road to deliver, the families warm my heart with their gratitude and love for Jacob's Heart. I feel proud to be a volunteer for Jacob's Heart!!

Advisor

Rating: 5

An excellent organization aimed at taking care of children with cancer and their families. Everyone in the organization has the mission statement engraved within them. So no matter who you talk to, you will get the same understanding, compassion, and drive to help.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Jacob's Heart embodies their mission. Leadership, staff, and volunteers maintain the utmost integrity and desire to assist children living with cancer and their families. I've known this organization for years, and they amount of good it has done for this community, and as a model of constructive support for other communities, is immeasurable. You can count every dollar you give as an investment in alleviating the suffering of a child, or their family members.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

This is the most amazing organization I've ever come across. Each and every person at Jacob's Heart cares deeply about each and every child with cancer and every family! It is run with top-notch integrity and compassion combined.

1 Tanner T.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Jacobs Heart is AMAZING! They offer a full range of services for families who truly deserve and need the services Jacobs Heart has to offer. Their location is going through an amazing transformation and I can't wait to see what the final result is!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've recently become a volunteer for Jacobs Heart and I couldn't love it more. It's quickly become a crucial part of my week and brings me so much joy. I help with packing groceries for families who have children with cancer. Jacobs Heart provides stellar services for families and being able to help them with their mission has really been very fulfilling. The staff are incredibly warm and open, so you are immediately embraced upon getting involved. For anyone looking to serve their community and feel good while doing it, I would highly recommend this organization.

2 Honey M.1

Board Member

Rating: 5

Jacob’s Heart provides exceptional support for our county’s most at-risk children and their families. Their team stretches each dollar they raise to leverage resources beyond my expectations. I am proud to support their mission each year.

2 Nancy Y.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I just started volunteering for Jacobs Heart this year. What an amazing organization! I was given a tour on the first day and learned of all the services and support they provide to the children and their families. Wow, I was impressed! I now go every week and help pack up the food that comes in and deliver it to families in Watsonville, Salinas and Santa Cruz. It makes me feel good knowing that during this crazy time these families are still able to to get fresh food and know that people are still there for them and support them. I can't even imagine what these families are going through but I know that the staff and volunteers at Jacobs Heart are there for them.

2 Nanci D.1

Board Member

Rating: 5

Jacob’s Heart is an organization that every community should have. We are so blessed to have this amazing service available to support families of children with cancer in our community. The staff’s love and dedication to the families suffering something so painful, so frightening and so isolating could only be the work of angels.

2 Walmer M.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Selfless would be the only way to describe the team at Jacobs Heart. Knowing there's an organization that brings smiles to children and families battling pediatric cancer is just a small piece of what they bring to their communities. I have witnessed the staff at Jacobs Heart go above and beyond their call of duty, simply because what drives them is purpose. I am grateful for all the amazing work the leadership and team are able to do. Keep up the life-changing work!

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been on the board of Jacob's Heart for 3 years. During this time I have come to understand the amazing work they do to provide emotional and financial support to families struggling with the many challenges that come with a pediatric cancer diagnosis. The love and support which they provide to the entire family is so genuinely appreciated. I shudder to think of what life would be like for these families without the support of Jacob's Heart. They are truly a blessing to the communities they serve!

Previous Stories

Board Member

Rating: 5

Jacob's Heart is celebrating 20 years of service to the communities within the Santa Cruz, Monterey and San Benito Counties of California. The services they provide to families who are struggling through the heartbreak of a pediatric cancer diagnosis are invaluable to the families that they serve. Through both tangible and emotional support, they play an integral role in assisting these families. From bags of food delivered to their homes, to summer camp for the entire family, to support groups and celebratory parties for the patients, Jacobs Heart is the bright light that shines in the darkness. Our communities are so blessed to have such a powerful support network in our midst.

mannysolano

Board Member

Rating: 5

Jacob's Heart and their staff are committed to the families they serve and go above and beyond. For 20 years this vital service has earned its stellar reputation as a reliable non-profit, that can be counted on to provide emotional and practical support to families dealing with the challenges of cancer.

The frontline staff especially believes in delivering service with the same level of compassion and care they would provide to their own family. In a service that at its core is dependent on personal connections more than any other, that sense of dedication and accountability to each individual is what will continue to distinguish Jacob's Heart for years to come.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

All I have to say is that I love Jacob's Heart. I came into Jacob's Heart as an intern from CSUMB, and was blown away after learning of all the amazing and beautiful work they do. Jacob's Heart dedicates themselves onto becoming people that support families during the toughest times of their lives. It is beautiful to see families gather, and anyone who speaks to a Jacob's Heart family will soon learn how truly helpful and unique Jacob's Heart really is.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Jacob's Heart not only provides practical needs to families facing the challenges of having a child with cancer, they also provide emotional support and life long connections to others who are enduring the same challenges or those who have had a similar journey.
I have never worked in an environment with such caring and committed staff. It is a joy to come to work everyday and witness such level of compassion and dedication to the families that we serve.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Jacob's Heart has been a lifeline for children, families, communities and individuals who are challenged with the effects of childhood cancer, experiencing grief, or simply furthering community support. Without them our local kids would not receive hospice, would miss Dr. appointments, go without food and event miss rent or house payments. They are crucial for our communities members who need it most.

Board Member

Rating: 5

My son Cole was diagnosed with a rare brain tumor at age 6. As you can imagine this was a life changing experience for us and we were in a state of fear and shock. Jacob's Heart Children's Cancer Support Services started as a grass roots effort 20 years ago to help improve the quality of life for children with cancer and support their families in the challenges they face. They do this in several ways from helping with rent assistance so families can take a leave from work to stay by their child's bedside, they supply gas cards to offset the expense of trips to our closest children's hospital, they deliver groceries to families, support siblings, provide transport to doctor's appointments, provide counseling to the entire family when needed and plan many fun events to bring families together so that connections can be made as well as provide bereavement services. My son survived and has been off treatment for over 13 years and still relies on Jacob's Heart for social connections. The volunteer opportunities have provided him with an important purpose in life and the support and love he still receives there helps his confidence. I am so grateful and encouraged that the support they provide makes a difference for families like mine, that I now serve on the Board.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

From grocery deliveries to transportation to the hospital, this organization always puts their families first. Thank you Jacob's Heart for all of the amazing work you do!

Board Member

Rating: 5

An amazing organization that does so much for children and families going through one of the most difficult things to go through in life - childhood cancer. They do an incredible amount with every dollar raised, and are very well respected and admired in the community.

Previous Stories

Board Member

Rating: 5

Jacob's Heart provides invaluable services to children and their families who are dealing with cancer and other life threatening illnesses. They provide financial assistance, transportation to treatments, counseling and a variety of other services to hundreds of families in their time of need. They do this with amazing compassion and grace. We are fortunate to have them in our community.

Megan M.3

Board Member

Rating: 5

With an amazing, compassionate staff and fleet of volunteers, this grassroots organization provides emotional, financial and practical support to both children fighting cancer and their families. Their scope of support goes out to families in a four-county area. Regardless of socio-ecomonmic status, children fighting cancer along with their families need a support system for the myriad of needs that arise when faced with a life-threatening illness. Jacob's Heart is there to serve them!

Board Member

Rating: 5

Great mission driven organization. Superb stewardship of resources

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have witnessed the dedication and amazing work that all of the staff of Jacob's Heart do on a daily basis. Our community is beyond fortunate to have such a compassion based organization to provide services to families of children with cancer.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

We are so fortunate to have Jacob's Heart in our area. They provide practical assistance to the families they serve - bill assistance, transportation coordination, grocery delivery, resource referrals, etc - to alleviate some of the stress the families are facing. But what the Jacob's Heart team does goes beyond those things... they provide emotional support, hospital and home visits, family events, expressive arts, parent mentors, support groups, and a whole lot of heart! The staff cares deeply about helping the families and I think you can feel that the moment you walk in the door.

Gay W.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I am connected with pediatric hospice . WHENEVER WE HAVE A NEED FOR CHILDREN WITH LIFE THREATENING ILLNESS in the service area of Jacob Heart it is only a phone call away. They work tirelessly, and with such grace as they meet the daunting needs of these families. Their leaders are willing to push the boundaries and meet ever greater needs in their community. Children who may have been forgotten and their families get loving care above and beyond at a time when they need it the most!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Jacob’s Heart as an organization has really helped to form my professional career. I started as a volunteer, which quickly turned into my first real job. I was inspired to go on and study psychology. Now almost 20 years later I have come full circle and am back working at Jacob’s Heart as the director of the counseling program. It’s wonderful to see how this organization has been able to grow and continue to provide so much love and support to the communities it serves.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Jacob's Heart is a local organization with a really big heart! They do amazing work supporting children with cancer and their families. They help financially, with transportation to appointments, have an organic grocery program, as well as treatment and bereavement counseling programs. We are huge supporters of Jacob's Heart and are so very thankful for the work they do in our community!

Monica D.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

When I first heard about Jacob's Heart, I thought it was a great organization that helped a few children and their families. Little did I know how many children are affected by cancer. It really hit me when I went to their headquarters and walked down a long hallway filled with photos of all the children they have helped. You can see in the attached photo that the pictures fill every space of the wall, are overlapping from the floor to the ceiling. Although it's heart breaking to see how many children have/are fighting cancer, it's also inspirational to see how many children have been / are being helped by Jacob's Heart. They do everything from providing counseling, transportation, groceries, and so much more. If you are considering volunteering for Jacob's Heart, I highly encourage you to do so.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Great people. Great programs. Unbelievable passion from all at this organization.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

An outstanding community-based organization that does a tremendous amount of good for the families they serve.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Jacobs Heart is a truly unique and astonishing organization which provides optimal care and compassion to families undergoing transitions into cancer treatment, and long after. I love being surrounded by passionate, dedicated individuals who will go above and beyond to ensure that the families we serve have their basic needs met during this difficult time in their life.

2 Michelle275

Client Served

Rating: 5

When my daughter was diagnosed with cancer Jacob's Heart was there to help with everything from grocery delivery to assist with my other children when they were left alone because I was at the hospital. They provided counseling services and fun events. We couldn't have made it through our journey without them!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Jacobs Heart is the most awesome non profit in the Bay Area. They serve a major part of our community with smiles on all the staffs faces. We need more of Jacobs Heart love spread around! Way to go Jacobs Heart!

Donor

Rating: 5

I have witnessed the impact Jacob's Heart has on our community. Lori Butterworth and her staff work tirelessly to bring services to families in need, delivering compassionate care and support that helps ease some of the burdens faced when illness strikes. I can't say enough good things about this organization. You can know, that without a doubt, your donations will go far and directly benefit the families they serve.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Jacob's Heart is so dedicated to helping the entire family as they battle cancer with their children. JH is not just interested in helping provide monetary support, but also mental, and emotional support making JH a holistic helping hand for the families they serve here in Santa Cruz County.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

Incredibly, passionate staff than offer a breadth of family services and support. JH never turns away a family or child. No matter the need, the time - they are there for familes 24/7. They do the the work of angels!!

Cindimf

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Love all things that Jacobs Heart does for the community.

Heather155

Volunteer

Rating: 5

When my friend's daughter was diagnosed with leukemia at 2 years of age, it made me realize how blessed I truly am with my healthy daughter. Watching and hearing my friend's daily trials, made easier with the help of a group named Jacob's Heart blew me away. I am so impressed with the organization and the outpouring of support and love they offer to local children with cancer, their parents and siblings.
Life is made so much easier for those families struggling with all the day to day activities for their families as well as having a sick child. They are truly there for any family going through that ugly C word.
Jacob's Heart truly is a "Great" nonprofit!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

When my little sister Cecilia was diagnosed with cancer Jacob's Heart was side by side with us through out the time my little sister was alive. Lori the founder of Jacob's Heart would visit the children at stanford hospital and donate her time to check in with the families. My family recieved infinant support from rides to the hospital to financial assistance. Our family was bless to be part of the Jacobs Heart family. My sister passed away in the year 1999 at age 10 and my family is still actively involved volunteering at Jacobs Heart giving back for all the support we recieved. Thank you to all the donors, community members, and all individual who help and continue to help Jacobs Heart financially and with their time. Without Jacobs Heart passion in serving families with children with cancer our families will dramatically struggle and there is no need for all this if we all join forces and help sustain Jacobs Heart. God bless you all.

Maggie32

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Jacob's Heart truly has an amazing staff. I am blessed to be amongst them, and have learned so much regarding pediatric cancer advocacy and family needs. The needs of the family really do matter and come first in each and every decision made here at Jacob's Heart Children' s Cancer Support Services.

1 Trinity M.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've heard nothing but the most amazing, positive and compassionate stories about Jacob's Heart over the years. Any parent/child face with such a horrific life experience is beyond blessed to have Jacobs Heart there for support and help the child with their quality of life before, during & after treatment. The staff is so full of compassion and love for everyone that walks through the door. I do not have a child with cancer but I walked in there to volunteer because I want to be a part of this non profit more than having a job. The staff has every family in their absolute best interest making this chapter in their life the best it could possibly be during this time .
I'm so honored to be able to be a part of the staff of Jacobs Heart and proud to say I'm able to direct events to raise money and community awareness for them. I hope to be involved for many years ahead

Melissa173

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered with Jacob's Heart for over 15 years. I got involved after I was diagnosed the first time with cancer. I thought I needed to do something to help children battling the disease that I was fighting so hard. I knew how important my family and friends have been in my survival of cancer 3 times.

I know without them I would not be here today to tell you how important Jacob's Heart is to the children and their families. With all my heart believe and I have been told by many of the families, that they could not take on the challenges of having a child with cancer without the help of Jacob's Heart. No one should have to navigate the hardship if this terrible disease especially children, we all must help to support this important organization to continue it's mission.

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

Fully understanding the experience of having a family member with cancer means having a passion to assist those in a similar situation. It's been an honor to provide donations and work with Jacob's Heart knowing that their mission is being lived out each day by each of their staff members and board members. Every family that has been touched by Jacob's Heart would agree that this organizations heart is in the right place.

1 Charlotte27

Client Served

Rating: 5

My son has been a Jacob's Heart kid almost from the beginning. They have been such a wonderful support system. I've been able to be around others goo g through my journey. My son has been able to be with other kids just like him. The staff at Jacob's Heart are so caring and supportive.

Review from Guidestar

Board Member

Rating: 5

Jacobs Heart does an excellent job supporting families struggling with a child diagnosed with cancer. I started working with the organization over ten years ago as a donor and volunteer. I was so impressed with their efforts that I asked to be on the board.

Jacobs Heart operates in a professional, compassionate manner and has an excellent reputation in the communities served.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Jacob's Heart is an incredible organization! With the dedicated work of its founder, staff, and volunteers, Jacob's Heart provides wholistic help for children with cancer and their families, as well as forever impacting the life of its volunteers.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I am very proud of the work Jacob's Heart Children's Cancer Support Services achieves in supporting the families of children with cancer. Through financial, emotional and social support, Jacob's Heart provides the basic services that families need during the challenging times that their children are in treatment, as well as following treatment. Art for the Heart, one of our many programs, provides therapy and support through the medium of art. All of the funds raised by Jacob's Heart goes directly back to the families we support. Jacob's Heart has remained committed to its mission of supporting families for over fifteen years and has assisted over 500 families!

Review from Guidestar

Board Member

Rating: 5

This amazing organization addresses the essential, all consuming, emotional needs so often overlooked for children with cancer and their families. Lori Butterworth, founder of Jacob’s Heart 15 years ago, and that of her staff’s dedication, drive and heartfelt care and concern is an inspiration to us all.

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

Jacobs Heart is an organization I am proud to be associated with; as a donor, former board member and advisor. Fifteen years ago this organization was formed through the love and passion of its Founder, Lori Butterworth, and many friends and experts who saw the need to make a difference and support not only the children who are effected by cancer, but also to provide support services for the entire family. The organization was established after our good friend Brian found out his young son Jacob was diagnosed with cancer. Jacob is a young adult now, cancer free. I have witnessed the love, support and care this organization showed Brian, Jacob and their family as they struggled and persevered through their battle with cancer. It all started with a concert at the Oakland Zoo, a successful fundraiser to kick- off Jacob's Heart. I love how JH balances out their fundraising through supportive family activities, such as their major fundraiser, Kidrageous. Kidrageous is a fun filled annual fundraising event that includes a carnival in the Santa Cruz/ Watsonville area for those being served by Jacob's Heart and the public is invited to participate and partake in the many activities, all centered on kids! JH also sponsors wonderful art events in which the kids are the artists. They provide support counseling services, healthy food advice, gas cards for families driving to Doctor and hospital visits. The passion and dedication of the staff, the board members and the founder is incredible. This is such a worthy organization, one that aligns their mission with the events they sponsor and the many support services they provide. I am so humbled and proud to give back through such a heart filled organization.

Review from Guidestar

1 MJSOLANO

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Jacob's Heart administration and staff live out what they believe. They responsibly use their funding to serve the needs of children and families in crisis and do it with compassion and love.

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

We have been donating to Jacob's Heart for several years and appreciate that our support helps families of children with cancer.

Review from Guidestar