We provide assistance with out-of-pocket expenses not covered by insurance, such as
- utility and phone bills
- car payments
- transportation costs
- disability needs
- air conditioners for children with severe pulmonary, cardiac, dermatologic, liver, and kidney diseases
- medically necessary dietary supplements, special foods, and formulas
- child care
- funeral expenses
Assistance is paid directly to vendors or creditors to avoid misappropriation of funds, usually within 72 hours.
Burial lots located at George Washington Memorial Park, Plymouth Meeting, PA, and Whitemarsh Memorial Park, Ambler, PA, are also available. Please call our office for more information.
Nancy and David Ward Adaptive Assistance Program
This program focuses on the special needs of children with serious physical and mental disabilities. Financial assistance is provided for items like hearing aids, wheelchair adaptations, adaptive learning materials, computers, toys, and handicap-accessible renovations for homes. We also provide assistance for uninsured therapies like horseback riding and swim/water therapy classes, as well as special disease- or disability-related camps.
Respite Events: Family Fun Days
On the Spirit of Philadelphia cruise, made possible through the generosity of Entertainment Cruises, Inc., more than 400 parents, patients, and siblings interact and enjoy each others' company while the caring Spirit of Philadelphia crew members volunteer their time to assure a memorable experience for all. Clowns, DJs, Miss Philadelphia, and various entertainment groups add to the fun. On our Longwood Gardens fun day, sponsored by Longwood Gardens and the Rotary Club of Kennett at Longwood, families receive free admission to beautiful Longwood Gardens as well as luncheon and special family programs. At the Philadelphia Zoo, sponsored by several Philadelphia-area Rotary clubs, families enjoy a day at the zoo with free parking and admission and a box lunch. At the Delaware Natural History Museum, families tour the museum and are treated to snacks and Rita's Water Ice.
Holiday Adopt-a-Family Program
Families in crisis experience the true "spirit" of the holiday season through the generosity of our donors. Church groups, families, individuals, and businesses receive families' wish lists and provide gifts that may include clothes, toys, art supplies, bicycles, computer games, and gift certificates to supermarkets, department stores, and major drugstores.
We gratefully accept donations of a variety of items needed by families we serve:
- gift cards for grocery stores, department stores, and major drugstores
- baby supplies
These donations allow us to increase the amount of assistance we can give a family in crisis. Usually families who are unable to make these direct purchases are also having difficulty paying their bills. We can use non-cash donations to supply such items, and also offer our help in paying an overdue bill.
Education and Advocacy
The Fund advocates on behalf of families with seriously ill children, serving as a voice for change, understanding, and compassion to creditors, policymakers, insurance companies, and the media. We make direct presentations to businesses, community organizations, schools, and churches highlighting the Fund's mission and the needs of families who care for children with severe illnesses, injuries, or disabilities in order to educate and to initiate partnerships. This activity increases financial support, which ultimately serves the families referred to us for assistance.
To provide additional assistance not available through our organization, we inform parents and healthcare professionals about other local and national resources, networking and sharing contacts built over more than three decades.
Management During Crisis is a 24-minute empowerment tool that educates
parents about available hospital services and the importance of
understanding insurance benefits and claims. The video also provides
tips on personal family budgeting and medical record keeping. It
stresses the importance of good communication and negotiation skills
with creditors and addresses the "pride" issue in asking for help. The
video is also a valuable sensitivity and educational tool for those new
to the healthcare field, whether medical, nursing, or social work
students, because it highlights the "other side" of medicine—the effects of serious illness on the family. View the video here.