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2012 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Chai-Life Line dba Chai Lifeline Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Cancer, Children & Youth, Children & Youth Services, Health, Judaism, Patient & Family Support, Religion

Mission:

 

Chai Lifeline’s guiding principles are

  • That seriously ill children need and deserve as happy and normal a childhood as possible;
  • That illness affects each member of the family;
  • That the well-being of an ill child is impacted by the well-being of his or her family;
  • That pediatric illness can have a devastating financial effect on families.

With this in mind, Chai Lifeline strives to

  • Find ways to bring joy to the lives of our young patients and their families through creative, innovative, and effective family-focused programs, activities, and services;
  • Engender hope and optimism in children, families, and communities;
  • Educate and involve communities in caring for ill children and their families;
  • Provide unparalleled support throughout the child’s illness, recovery and beyond;
  • Build communities among children and families living with illness or loss that allow them to engage, strengthen, and encourage one another;
  • Offer all services free of charge to ensure that every family has access to the programs it needs.

Results: In 2010: 1. We built a new, state-of-the-art medical center at the Camp Simcha/Camp Simcha Special campus, the first step in doubling the capacity of the camps. 2. Hundreds of children received a "booster shot" of confidence, friendship, and support at Friends 'n Fun weekends across North America. 3. We opened after-school programs for children living with illness or loss in their homes in three additional cities. 4. Over 18,100 hospital visits helped children laugh through their pain and gave crucial emotional support to parents.

Target demographics: Children, teens, and young adults with cancer and other life-threatening illnesses, disabilities, and chronic disease.

Direct beneficiaries per year: 4,300 children and their families

Geographic areas served: North America, Europe, Israel

Programs: Chai Lifeline understands that a child’s illness creates a tear in the fabric that holds families together. Our network of 24 programs and services strengthen the family unit, giving children and parents the tools to remain cohesive and hopeful from the moment of diagnosis. Programs are divided into four major categories: camping’ concrete living services; counseling and support; recreation and the arts. All programs are free of charge. Chai Lifeline’s flagship programs are its two camps for seriously ill children and teens, Camp Simcha and Camp Simcha Special. These camps are place where pain and illness vanish, and where children are reminded every day that anything is possible. The personalized attention and genuine regard of compassionate, trained staff are potent medicine for campers who are often socially isolated as a result of illness. Deep friendships and camaraderie developed through bunk living and everyday triumphs enhance resilience, raise confidence, and give 450 children and teens the will to keep fighting the devastating social and emotional impact of living with illness. Concrete living services enable families to maintain important routines and provide unparalleled support during medical crises. Professional case managers/patient navigators provide immediate emotional support, medical referrals, information and advocacy. Hot meals and hospital visits from volunteers lift spirits as they nourish bodies. Insurance advocacy guides parents through the maze of regulations and reimbursements. Educational support, including tutoring, loans of laptop computers, and webcam connections between child and classroom, enables children who can’t be in school to remain current in the classwork. Chai Lifeline offers free counseling to ill children and their immediate families. Parents have found information and friendship through ChaiLine therapist-facilitated telephone support groups and interactive telephone sessions with medical and mental health experts. Every year, hundreds of families attend retreats for families coping with life-threatening illness, chronic disease and disability, or bereavement. Recreational activities during the year facilitate friendships and peer support. Regional outings give families a chance to reconnect, exchange information, and absorb new ideas for coping with the unique challenges of pediatric illness. Children’s activities enable ill children and their siblings to befriend the only people whom they feel truly understand them: others in their situation. Creative arts offer an avenue for expression and friendship.

Community Stories

7 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

3 Robyn5

Client Served

Rating: 5

Just starting to have to deal with this organization and they have been so wonderful. When your life gets turned upside down by your child being diagnosed with cancer - Chai Lifeline comes in and turns it right back around. Nothing is too much to ask for.

1 Tova W.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My son was diagnosed with ALL in 2009. Our lives were turned upside down. Immediately, Chai Lifeline sent us our case manager, and thats our relationship began. Chai Lifeline sent us countless meals while we were in the hospital, sent volunteers to hep care for other child, arranged second opinion visits to the best doctord, etc. And i can't even describe My son's experience at camp Simcha! He came home a different child. we will forever be greatfull for everything this wonderful organization did for us.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

When my daughter lay dying with cancer, the amazing volunteers from Chai Lifeline came regularly to visit her and brighten her days. In addition their visits provided respite for me. When my daughter was in treatment these amazing people sent her to camp where she says she found peace, love and acceptance. The amazing volunteers came all the time to visit when we were in patient, providing food and conversation and a distraction from what our daughter was going through. I could go on and on. parties, trips, camp, reunion, companionship....

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Chai Lifeline has been a part of my life ever since my little brother was diagnosed with cancer fifteen years ago. From their hospital support services to their wonderful summer camp and everything in between (there's nothing they won't do to ease the burden of illness), Chai Lifeline IS the meaning of family.

1 Laryssa S.

Client Served

Rating: 5

There isn't enough space in the world to list everything that Chai Lifeline has done for our family and how much they mean to us. My son was diagnosed with JPA at the age of five. Chai Lifeline was there with food for the family, hospice care volunteers, activities for the siblings, a shoulder to cry on, camp for my son, parties and outings for him and the whole family to help us feel a little bit normal. Everything is taken into account when working with these children with life threatening illness, so that the treatments and tubes don't stop them from having the times of there lives. As a parent I have bonded with other parents and found comfort in the groups and retreats. The speakers and experts that I have at my disposal through Chai Lifeline, have given me priceless help.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

My son was born with a condtion that doesn't allow him to bend his arms or legs. He is now 10 years old. Since he was 3 every summer was one of the hardest seasons to get by. He couldn't ride a bike, couldnt run in the park, shoot basketballs, play baseballs, etc. Then Chai Lifeline/Camp Simcha Special came around and saved our lives. WIth activites throughout the years to make my son feel so very special. But the best part of all is Camp Simcha Special. He looks forward to these incredible days all year. Besides the regular swimming,very special entertainment, they have candle making, mosaics, woodshop, ceramics and other very special arts and crafts. All activites that my son is able to do. The counsellors are full time entertainers!! They don't stop giving these childeren FUN!! and when camp is over they keep in touch with the campers - even from distant places such as Israel!!

There is no organization I can think of who has helped us in so many ways than Camp Simcha/Chai LIfeline.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I cant say enough about how wonderful this organization is. My nephew has been going to Camp Simcha for the past 4 years. Each year when he comes back he is a happy, smiling, proud boy. his spirits are so fantastic and the doctors are always so happy with his progress over the summers. He waits from the time he comes home each summer until he can go back. He loves the fact that they cater to his every need. He feels loved, cherished and they give him confidence to be secure with his disability..