Updated April 6, 2020
COVID-19 has changed life immeasurably and, in response and with a desire to keep our children and families as safe as possible, Childcan has changed the way we are delivering our programs and services. As the situation evolves, we will continue to monitor, adjust and respond as necessary.
Our office remains closed, with all staff working from home.
With fundraising severely impacted by COVID-19, we are making difficult decisions about program cuts and curtailment. Our focus will be on maintaining our financial support and emotional support programs primarily and as much as possible. Details about each of our programs and services and how they have been affected follow.
Hospital Parking Passes – all existing passes are still activated; passes for newly diagnosed or relapsed families are being left with hospital staff for appropriate distribution.
Hospital Meal Vouchers – we continue to provide two hospital meal vouchers, per day, to all of our inpatient families; these, too, are being left with hospital staff for appropriate distribution. We are monitoring the availability of services from hospital cafeterias to ensure our meal vouchers are still a viable way to assist our families.
Gas, Pharmacy and Other Gift Cards – newly diagnosed family packages, which include these gift cards, are being left with hospital staff for appropriate distribution. In addition, families who are having to travel more because of lack of accommodations close to the hospital are being provided with additional gas cards to help during this difficult time.
Individual Family Financial Support – we continue to provide financial support for household and medical bills, as needed by our Childcan families. Where possible, we are striving to make payments electronically. Where cheques are still required, we can’t currently meet our usual less than one week turnaround time due to our office closure, but will be aiming to get cheques processed as quickly as possible.
Assistance with Treatment Related Travel Expenses – we continue to help with gas cards and mileage coverage. With accommodations close to the hospital becoming more and more limited, we are working with several local organizations to try to find and support hotel accommodations and are exploring other alternatives to help our families who have to travel from out of town.
Post-Secondary Education Bursaries – applications for our bursaries are currently suspended as we are monitoring how post-secondary institutions are going to handle the September 2020 semester. As this situation evolves, we will continue to evaluate and provide an update as soon as possible.
Assistance with Funeral Costs – we continue to provide assistance with funeral costs for our bereaved families.
Social and Emotional Support:
Individual Support – while we have suspended all hospital visits, our family support staff is still available to our families by phone, videoconference and/or email.
Support Groups – while in-person support and all group support has currently been suspended, we have videoconferencing software and will be setting up support groups in the coming days. More details coming soon.
Family Events – unfortunately due to the current crisis and necessary restrictions, we will not be able to provide our in-hospital holiday meal which would normally take place for our in-patient families on Easter weekend. We have also had to make the difficult but responsible decision to cancel this year’s Canada’s Wonderland trip. While this is still some ways away, we’re anticipating that a group gathering such as this may not be possible or desirable. With our fundraising greatly impacted by COVID-19 and event cancellations, we have decided to devote our remaining funds primarily to financial and emotional support programs.
Sibling Support – we are working on the development of a program to provide support for the brave siblings of our warriors and survivors. More information will be coming over the next few months.
Volunteer Tutoring Program – initially suspended, we have asked our volunteer educators to look into ways to provide support in a virtual manner through teleconferencing or videoconferencing software and apps.
To our donors,
We cannot express how much we appreciate your support during this crisis. The need is even greater as closures and restrictions impact our Childcan families. Fundraising events have always been a critical source of funds to support our programs and services and the cancellations and postponements are affecting us greatly. If you are able, please consider continuing to donate as your generosity truly makes a difference. We are doing our best to process all receipts as quickly as possible as we truly appreciate your commitment to our families and to Childcan.