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2009 Top-Rated Nonprofit

The Samfund

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Cancer

Mission: The SAMFund supports young adult cancer survivors in the United States as they recover from the financial impact of cancer treatment. Through direct financial assistance, in-person and online support, The SAMFund helps young adults move forward towards their personal, professional, and educational goals from a position of knowledge and strength.

Results: To date, we have awarded a total of $900,000 in grants and scholarships to hundreds of individuals across the country. We have delivered multiple free Webinars for young adult survivors through our "Moving Forward With Your Finanical Health," Webinar series archived and available on our website.

Target demographics: Young adult cancer survivors between the ages of 17 and 35 who are finished with active treatment and residents of the United States.

Direct beneficiaries per year: 100+

Geographic areas served: United States

Programs: We provide free Webinars on young adult survivor financial issues and grants for living expenses that cover a wide range of post-treatment financial needs, including (but not limited to): current and residual medical bills, car and health insurance premiums, rent, utilities, tuition and loans, family-building expenses, gym memberships and transportation costs.

Community Stories

29 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

cayci_3

Client Served

Rating: 5

This charity has stayed connected with me after helping with funds and even on FB has supported me through my personal life. They are helpful even with resources outside their areas of expertise and are happy to refer me to other options available to help me. I am absolutely positive that I would not be in such a good place that I am now, if it wasn't for the SamFund.

Previous Stories

Client Served

Rating: 5

This organization is honest and caring. There's always someone to answer questions and concerns. Comes highly recommended as a resource not only for young adults with cancer but for survivors and caregivers as well. Great networking site for cancer patients and survivors.

Kate43

Client Served

Rating: 5

The best day of my life was the day I became cancer-free. The second best day of my life was the day I received the call from The SAMFund telling me that I was going to be given a grant. As a survivor, it was traumatizing enough going through cancer treatment at such a young age. It was almost just as bad going through the financial trauma immediately following. It's like you survive the hardest thing you've ever gone through, and when you're done, you're not. You still have to learn to figure out a way to survive after the financial toll of cancer. My grant enabled me in ways that I can not even put into words. My grant helped with my balance I held at my oncology center where I was still going to regularly for post-treatment checkups. The balance was so high that I would nearly get turned away because I wasn't able to make the large payments. The SAMFund got me a laptop for school. I was just about to graduate when I was diagnosed, and it really took a toll on me. That laptop was a tool that I desperately needed to complete my portfolio and graduate in the degree that I am so passionate about. The SAMFund granted me a gym membership to help build my strength up following chemo and radiation. This is just a small glimpse as to how I have been helped by The SAMFund. They really gave me insight on survivorship, and enabled me to become the person I am today. I have been able to look back at my experience and see the silver lining within my diagnosis. The silver lining for me was The SAMFund. They will be forever remembered in my and my family's hearts, and I am so proud to call myself a survivor and SAMFund Alum.

Client Served

Rating: 2

Don't ask how you can help (rank things in order of need). Then decide to give something not on the list just to say you gave it. Very disappointed.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

The SAMFund is helping me achieve my goals, not only in the short-term but for many years to come. Their scholarship has enabled me to focus much more on my academics than worry about my health insurance and fertility bills. I can’t thank the SAMFund enough for all their help!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am a 6-year cancer survivor of Hodgkins Lymphoma and a recipient of a grant from the SamFund. Receiving a grant from the SamFund has enabled me to move forward in my life because it alleviated some unexpected and huge financial burdens I had come up in the past year. The SamFund has helped so many cancer survivors with similar issues and truly provides a unique and necessary service for us to be able to live our new, normal lives.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was a 2008 recipient of the SamFund. I will forever be grateful not only to them but the many donors that help make what SamFund does happen. I am a single mother of three and was struggling with supporting my family and fighting for my life and realizing that there is a fine line between the fight for life and the right to survive. With all the endless procedures, and surgeries which lead to co-pays and prescriptions and time off work your finances deplete and your stuck with decisions such as, “Do I take this treatment or do I pay the electricity or rent?”, “ Do I fill my prescription or do I buy groceries?”. It’s absolutely horrible to be faced with that and SamFund knows that this is what we struggle with on a daily basis even after the cancer is gone. I am applying again this year in hopes that with the financial help I can start up a business that will in turn allow me to be a donor and an even bigger supporter of an organization that was there for me when I needed them the most.

9

Client Served

Rating: 5

As a SAMFund recipient, I can attest to the great work they do! I was awarded funding to assist with prescription drug and medical bills, as well as transportation costs. As a student living in NYC, it was HUGE burden lifted off my shoulders to have this help. I am a survivor of Hodgkin's Disease and Acute Myelogenous Leukemia. My youngest sister was the donor for my Bone Marrow Transplant, and there are a lot of long-term side effects that have proven costly and sometimes restricting. I am a doctoral student studying the aftermath of childhood illness. THANK YOU, SAMFund for helping survivors move on!!!!

8 kim.hicks

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have received a grant from the SAMFund for 2 years. This organization was a financial resource to me when I couldn't find help anywhere else. I am a 3 time cancer survivor, and am applying to medical school. In addition to the rigorous course load and stressful application process, I found that there are many costs associated with this. The pre-requisite course fees, MCAT testing, application fees and more. Even more importantly, the SAMFund paid my Cobra health insurance fees, which allowed me to keep medical care for a year!

8

Client Served

Rating: 5

The SAMFund provides an amazing source of support for an underserved population- young adult survivors of cancer. In my case, I was too old for most grants and scholarships, but due to the nature of my field of work (independent contractor in the musical arts) I did not have the kind of safety net that most people my age had: insurance benefits and one steady source of income that I could count on to help me get back on my feet post-treatment. Most of the scholarships and/or grants I came across during my research had narrow targets and missions, which is great and necessary to serve the populations they serve. However, it raised serious questions for me- questions that I had not had to encounter before: as an artist, my life and career path were pretty divergent from most people's- was that a mistake? Was the career success I'd had prior to cancer useless to me now that I was fighting for my life? The SAMFund had a very large part in convincing me that was not the case. With their support, I recently traveled to Italy to begin my first exploratory return to opera singing. It was a test for me- did I still have what it takes to work in this field? Do I still have the passion after two years of treatment and healing? Is it worth it? Should I just go get an office job and give up what was my life's work? After 5 weeks of working with a dedicated teacher, and studying with coaches from the world's most prestigious opera companies, the answer was a resounding, "No!" This answer didn't only come from inside myself- I was continually pulled aside by various members of the faculty for conferences in which I was offered support and encouragement by people who had worked with the best singers in the business. To think- just a few months before this program I had given up singing for quite a while, not sure how I was going to get back on my feet with such huge financial obstacles standing in my way. At the present moment, I am preparing to move closer to the teacher I studied with at the program- his conservatory has recruited me to do a year of intense private study with him in preparation for a relaunching of my career. None of this would have been possible without the support of the SAMFund, and I will be eternally grateful to them that they understand that young adults have specific needs and challenges surrounding encounters with cancer- needs and challenges that are different from other populations.

9

Client Served

Rating: 5

In April of 2005, my life changed forever. I was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia. I was a healthy 26 year old - my family and I were very much in shock. After undergoing 7 rounds of aggressive chemotherapy, total body radiation, a bone marrow transplant and living in at the Mayo Clinic for about 10 months, I was finally cancer free. After you recover, people expect you to get back to "normal." Physical, emotional and financial tolls are just a few of the after-effects. The SAMFund UNDERSTOOD that I was a young adult cancer survivor who needed help! In 2006, I wrote an essay on my cancer experience and the SAMFund awarded me with some funding to help pay for schooling, car insurance and a car payment. Having those things taken care of was a HUGE RELIEF. I am now proudly a part of the SAMFund's Grant and Scholarship Committee. I know firsthand that the SAMFund truly cares about each applicant and wants to help make a young adult cancer survivor's life a bit easier by providing scholarships for things even as simple as a rent payment or a car payment. I think the SAMFund serves a purpose that has been priceless to me as well as so many others.

9

Client Served

Rating: 5

My partner is a long-term survivor of Osteosarcoma (bone cancer for anyone not already in the know.) After a particularly hellish surgery to replace her artificial knee and its companion Tibial component, she received support from the SAMFund in order to pay for a gym membership (therapy pool, whoo-hoo!) and a portion of her rather terrifying insurance premiums. Thanks to SAMF, we were able to take a pair of rare but very deep breaths. KUDOS TO THE MAX.

6

Client Served

Rating: 5

SAMFund is awesome and unique in the population it serves and how it does so. Started by someone who truly understands what difficulties young adult survivors encounter, I was so excited to find out that an organization like this existed. It is hard enough to be a young adult trying to make it in the world, and then throw in managing severe health complications from cancer treatment and all the bills that come with it, and I was feeling extremely overwhelmed and helpless. SAMFund helped alleviate some of that financial burden, improving my quality of life and allowing me to focus on important long-term goals in the process.

7

Client Served

Rating: 5

The SAMFund is such an amazing organization for young adult cancer survivors. Their focus on helping those who've battled cancer move forward in their lives is meeting a huge need. Cancer survivors need support after cancer too! I am a survivor of Hodgkins Lymphoma and received a grant with rent assistance in 2007. At that time, I was a full time student who was just trying to make ends meet as many people do. With my added expenses due to cancer such as doctor's visits, prescriptions and lab work there wasn't anything extra to go around. The ability to have my rent paid for a few months helped take away the stress! The SAMFund helps so many in so many ways. The organization and those who run it are AMAZING!!

10

Client Served

Rating: 5

The SAMFund is an amazing organization that gives grants to young cancer survivors in order to help them begin their lives again. The grant I received from The SAMFund helped to pay my rent while I paid off medical bills and began my Master's education. I love The SAMFund!

11

Client Served

Rating: 5

The SAMFund is an amazing organization, that focuses on young adults who have completed treatment and are trying to get on with their lives. One of the things we find out as survivors is that it isn't easy to go back into the "real world", especially since most of us are continuing to deal with the effects of our treatments. The SAMFund helps us to deal with our finances and be able to pursue our dreams. I wouldn't have been able to go back to school and work towards completing my degree without the help of the SAMFund and the people who donate. The staff is amazing and they truly care about each and every survivor they come into contact with.

8

Client Served

Rating: 5

The SAMFund is one of the most amazing organizations!! Through their generosity, many cancer survivors, myself included, have been able move past difficult times as a result of the financial support they have provided. Many people don't realize that the effects of cancer linger well beyond the completion of treatment and trying to explain that to others who don't know can be difficult. Sam and Michelle were so kind and understanding of my situation and never once showed anything but compassion. I can't imagine what would have happened to me had SAMFund not been there to help.

6

Client Served

Rating: 5

Being a cancer survivor at the age of 25 is not exactly an expected event on the path to adulthood and independence. The SAMFund is there to not only help with all the unexpected financial burdens that come with cancer, but they are also there to provide understanding and support in a sometimes very lonely journey. I can't fully express the importance of the SAMFund's work in such a short narrative, but I can say that they are an amazing organization and I can never thank them enough for everything they have done and continue to do for myself and other young adult survivors!

5

Client Served

Rating: 5

Samantha and the fund greatly helped me after my diagnosis. After a couple months of chemo and surgeries, it leaves mind, body, and bank well depleted. She and her team provide a great service to young survivors by allowing us to take our minds off some portions of the whole process and concentrate on mind and body. Thanks again Sam for everything!

5

Client Served

Rating: 5

The SAMFund helped me out in ways unimaginable. I received a grant from them in 2008 to assist with my medical bills, etc, from cancer treatment. Their support has changed my life, and helped me move on from my treatment. I am continuously spreading the word about the SAMFund because I hope to help someone out, like SAMFund helped me out. I am deeply touched for what the organization has done for me.

6

Client Served

Rating: 5

The SAMFund not only offers incredible living grants to young adult cancer survivors (of which no other cancer survivor's org. offers), the personnel (Sam and Michelle) are 2 amazing women who make traversing the precarious terrain of the medical establishment, contacting insurance companies, and making timely payments on behalf of us, their recipients, look easy! Had it not been for the last 2 years that I was chosen as a grant recipient, I don't know how I would have survived as a student with a limited income and high expenses associated with having been ill. However, with those grants, I have now graduated, Summa Cum Laude, having been able to concentrate on reestablishing myself after the scary and unexpected cancer diagnosis at 26. Furthermore, I have had the privilege of working with the SAMFund as a recipient who can reach out to donors, express my gratitude toward and importance of their generosity, while collaborating on future fundraising efforts. SAMFund is a unique and necessary org that advocates and understands the challenges and opportunities associated with a cancer diagnosis. I am eternally grateful to them!