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2011 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Circle of Care for Families With Cancer, Incorporated

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Cancer, Emergency Assistance, Health, Human Services, Pediatrics

Mission: Our mission is to provide immediate and ongoing peer support to families of children with cancer. Our programs are designed to provide families with everyday essentials to ease the burden of hospitalization, facilitate research and communication with family and friends, brighten a sick child's room, and generally support the family through the difficult days following a cancer diagnosis.

Programs: Bags of love: provides a care package to families in the hospital on the day their child is diagnosed with cancer. Bags include toiletries, meal & parking vouchers, journal, purple pages-a resource guide, toy for child, blanket. We gave out 107 bags which provided comfort and valuable resources.

lifeline emergency funds provide financial assistance to families by giving gas and grocery cards as well as paying creditors directly for outstanding bills, these are capped at 1,500 annually. The hospital staff recommends families. We helped 133 households and 532 individuals ease the financial burdens they were facing.

art from the heart gives a child a home bedroom makeover which includes paint, linens, curtains and some furniture. Most of the work is done by high school volunteers. 13 rooms were completed and we were able to provide a distraction and cheer up these children. Children are selected by lottery.

holiday program provides gifts to children who are in the hospital on halloween and valentines day. We also distributes gifts to mothers and fathers who are spending mother's day and father's day in the hospital with their children. Helped 112 families cost: 1,902 hospital volunteer program trains and provides crafts and games to volunteerswho work at smilow cancer center in new haven in either the clinical or in-patient units. We have 30 volunteers working cost: 112 newsletter informs families of our programs and how we can help. Cost: 4,464 website provides information about resources to families. Cost: 5,876

Community Stories

5 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As the Child Life Specialist for inpatient pediatric oncology, I have been able to see, first hand, the impact Circle of Care has on children and families. At the time of diagnosis, families receive a "Bag of Love" which includes fun items for kids, care items, snacks, and vital educational materials for caregivers. This bag serves as a "welcome" to the hospital as well as an introduction to the Circle of Care program which is a resource families typically rely on throughout their treatment process.

Circle of Care provides volunteers that come into the hospital several times a week. These volunteers are invaluable in that they are willing to help in any way they can! Volunteers are able to play with children while families are talking with medical staff, able to "pick up" lunch or snack items, provide play activities at bedside or in the playroom, or, to lend a listening ear.

The Connexions program by Circle of Care is a lifeline to helping families comminucate! This programs provides laptop computers that patients and families can use to update blogs, communicate via email with friends and family, research a diagnosis/procedure, play games, or, watch movies! These laptops are usually the first things families ask for upon admission!

Another special program that makes Circle of Care unique is Art from the Heart. This amazing program partners creative teams with patients to create room make-overs! Patients are chosen by a lottery system several times a year and, if chosen, patients are able participate in creating a new special space, just for them! This program makes all the difference for children undergoing treatment as many children are spending more time at home after a diagnosis. It also gives the children something to look forward during their difficult journey of illness.

I can't say enough about Circle of Care and all they have done for our families. Every time we email or speak on the phone, they are always willing to help proivde support- whether financial or emotional. This is a relationship that I hope will continue for many years!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I am a pediatric oncology socialworker and have worked closely with the Circle of Care on behalf of my patients and their families. The Circle of Care is a wonderful organization to work with, their response time is quick and without delay. The feed back I have received from my families has been very positive. The caring nature of the people involved with the Circle of Care speaks for itself. One of our teenage patients could not afford to attend her prom, Dawn from the Circle of Care ,went above and beyond, and made this patients dream become a reality . This organization far exceeds expectations.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

For years Circle of Care has been an inspirational, dedicated, and passionate organization that truly makes an impact. The Circle of Care volunteers bring joy and comfort to kids and families during extremely chaotic times. Child by child, they transform the world of kids being treated for cancer and their families. I am forever grateful for all of their support.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I cannot say enough wonderful things about Circle of Care. Their programs offer comfort, support and resource assistance to families who are facing one of life's biggest challenges. In big and small ways, they let families at our center know that someone understands what they are going through. The relief a family feels when I share that Circle of Care can help with a light or rent bill is beyond words. They are always responsive to a special request and available to go the extra mile.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Circle of Care always goes above and beyond in helping families in so many ways. All I need to do is call them and share a story and they have always been available to help our oncology families. For example, during the holidays they purchased entire meals (from turkeys to stuffing, to deserts) for families who could not afford a meal or who did not have the time to cook due to their child being hospitalized. I have known Dawn and Liz for many years. They are caring, compassionate, and dedicated women who understand what our families experience on a day to day basis. I applaud them and Circle of Care for their support of children with cancer at Yale.