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2011 Top-Rated Nonprofit

The Heart Connection

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Cancer, Children & Youth, Children & Youth Services, Youth Development

Mission: We enhance the quality of life for families connected through childhood cancer, and create opportunities to learn, play, and share.

Geographic areas served: Iowa and surrounding states

Programs: To provide summer camps and one day special activities for children with cancer and their families. Programs in this area include family camps, oncology camp, sibling camp, mid-year mini camp, and family events.

to provide support services and information for children with cancer and their families. Programs in this area include club hope, the survivorship connection, lending library, online support program, and adopt a family.

to provide hospital based programs which provide support for children being treated for cancer. Programs included in this area are arts and crafts, end-of-treatment party, beads for bravery, poke box, and treatment binders.

Community Stories

54 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The environment CCC provides is amazing. I volunteered at sibling camp this past summer and the organization provides such a family like atmosphere for not only the children at camp but the staff as well. The siblings were able to spend a week in the spotlight! The camp also has so many traditions that I felt like it might be overwhelming for a new camper, but everyone there is so open to welcoming new members into this CCC "family".

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Volunteering with Children's Cancer Connection is an emotionally rewarding experience. The children and families taught me more about life than one can possibly hope to learn on their own. They teach perseverance, acceptance, honesty, compassion, and respect, among many other things. Working with the camp programs was the highlight of my years as a counselor. Watching the children grow throughout the week of camp was an incredibly experience that I will take with me throughout life. My time with Children's Cancer Programs has confirmed my future career goal of working in pediatric oncology nursing. Heartfelt thanks to the children, families, and staff of CCC for making everyone's lives a little better.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Children's Cancer Connection is an amazing organization run by some truly special people who go above and beyond the call of duty to work to improve the lives of children and families dealing with childhood cancer. When I lived in the Des Moines area, it was an honor to volunteer with them and I would encourage anyone capable of helping out this fantastic cause!

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering at Children's Cancer Connection for about 3 months now and I love every minute of it. I go to blank and do arts and crafts with the children while they wait to see the doctor. No matter what kind of day I am having, these kids can always put a smile on my face. I will hopefully be helping out at the week long summer camp this summer for children with cancer, put on by the Children's Cancer Connection. I am very excited for my future with this organization!

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered for Children's Cancer Connection for a little over five years now. I was introduced to them while going to DMACC. I imediately fell in love with what they stood for and what they do! I couldn't help but be sucked in by all the smiling little faces and awesome people that work for and volunteer forChildren's Cancer Connection. By volunteering I have made so many new friends and had so many great experiences that I wouldn't trade for the world! I am very happy to be a part of this awesome family!

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering with Children's Cancer Connection for 5 years now and I have loved every minute of it. This organization provides such wonderful support not only to children with a cancer diagnosis, but to their families as well. And they stick with them from start to finish... and beyond! I have seen firsthand the effect this organization has on kids and their families, and how dedicated these families are to the organization.

Laura

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This summer will mark my tenth year (week) volunteering at Camp Heart Connection. The kids and staff keep me coming back every year. What I like most about Children's Cancer Connection is their understanding that cancer affects the whole family. Children's Cancer Connection is there for the entire family through the entire journey. It's hard to explain the sense of community I feel every summer when I go to camp, even when words aren't spoken about the heartaches these kids must face there is an undersanding among them and a bond I cannot explain. The Children's Cancer Connection is there for familes when they need support the most. I feel privilaged to get to share a week with such an amazing group of people that are wise beyond their years and keep me grounded and focused on what's really important in life.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Children's Cancer Connection is a fabulous organization that helps kids who are dealing with cancer! Growing up is hard enough and I'm so glad there is an organization helping sick kids get through this.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Heart Connection is a wonderful organization for Cancer children and parents. The staff is dedicated to hard work to make this a wonderful experience for all.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Childrens Cancer Connection is a wonderful organization that I have worked closely with for several years. The staff is incredible and their number one concern is for the children and trying to give them some happiness during their difficult journey fighting cancer.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've worked with The Heart Connection for a few years now and LOVE how this organization's number one concern is the children. Outside of the hundreds of amazing things this organization does for children with cancer, they make children living with cancer feel like the most important, normal kids in the world for one week out of the year. It is the best week of the year for almost every kid at camp.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

We have been involved with the the Heart Connection since our son cancer was discoverd in 1992. We have 7 children and all of have enjoyed the friendships and experiences of attending summer camps. We moved 600 miles away from Iowa but still came back twice a year since 1997. Some of children have even volunteered as councilers.

My wife and I as well have had great times working in the kitchen for 18 years.

These kind of experiiences have given us great memories and only possible through the heart connection. They have provided programs that cancer patients and siblings look forward to every year. We have committed to help as long as they will have us.

Rudy Knight

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 4

As a volunteer and former employee of Children's Cancer Connection I can't say enough kind words about the staff who put in long hours and all their best efforts to create programs that actually do make life for children/adolescents with cancer a little bit better.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been involved in this awesome organization since 1994 when our son was diagnosed with Leukemia. We have been involved as a board member, a volunteer and our family has been the recipient of the wonderful benefits provided by the Children's Cancer Connection. Matt was a camper for many years and always intentely watched the mail each year, eagerly watching for the camp application.

This is just a phenomenal organization with wonderful caring people involved in the leadership, the organizational structure and as the volunteers that make the organization work.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Not only Have I volenteered for The Heart Conenction of the past several years. But I have also been a camper. They offer a camp and a safe haven like no other. It helps the campers afflicted with cancer and perhaps humilations in their everyday lives, a place to feel welcomed and part of a group of friends that they know they truley belong with. I know first hand this is true, in school I never had any friends, I was very shy and was picked on. But at camp I was able to open up and talk to people. I've made life long friends because of it. And because I volenteet I can give back not only what I recieved in friendship but in guidance from many of the volenteers I've met as a camper. I love this camp and look forward to seeing new faces and all of the campers I've grown to know and fromed bonds with. Childhood cancer is unquiqe in an almost decieving way/ Because the desease takes so much from us and leaves us batterned an worn. Many of us have life long side effects. I can speak first hand having a learning disability. But I feel I am lucky, some of my camper friends have difficulty walking. But we have that bond we are survivors of childhood cancer and it's a mutual understanding that no of us whould trade for the world . The Heart Connection has given us a wonderful and rare opportunity to conect with people like us. And to teach those who might not otherwise understand what it means to have or have had childhood cancer.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered at Camp Heart last summer and it was a great experience. It was my first experience working at a camp and I intend to return every year I can. It is wonderful to know that Iowa has such an amazing resource available to our young people.

Review from Guidestar

15

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was a sibling camper at the Heart Connection for 10 years. Throughout those years, I was able to share my experiences with other kids who went through the exact same thing. I made more friends through camp than I could have every imagined. Camp meant so much to my brother and I that we both now volunteer as counselors at camp. I am so please to know that by me donating just one week of time to those kids, they are able to cope with cancer a little easier. The Heart Connection has done so much for my family and for families like mine, and I want to thank them from the bottom of my heart. I would not be the person that I am today without them.

15

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I will be volunteering at Heart Connection camp for the second time this August and I cannot wait. The best part is seeing how easy it is for the children to bond knowing that they all share something in common. The Heart Connection does so many great things for children with cancer and their families. They also focus a lot of their efforts on siblings of children affected by cancer because most times they get left out. Because of Heart Connection there are countless friendships between families, cancer wariors, and siblings; these are the friendships that keep hope alive.

15

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been volunteering for The Heart Connection for a few years and I want to let everyone know how inspiration the organization is. To see the children at summer camp that can relate to one another because of their illness is powerful. This organzation brings together a number of different people who work to help make the lives of families and children that are affected with childhood cancer a little easier. This organization wouldn't be possile without the giving donors, helpful staff and supportive volunteers. Overall, It's a great organization to be associated with.

8

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Heart Connection has a wonderful and friendly staff that is unbeatable. The programs and services are top-quality and are truly making a difference in our community!