Updated June 1, 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 and some sectors start to reopen, we will continue to monitor, adjust and respond as necessary.
Our office remains closed, with all staff working from home.
Fundraising events have always been a significant contributor to our revenues. With event postponements and cancellations, we are making the best decisions we can about program delivery to ensure we continue to meet the most crucial needs for the families we support. Our focus is on maintaining our financial support and emotional support programs primarily and as much as possible. Some of our social support programs, such as our in-hospital holiday meals and trip to Canada’s Wonderland, have necessarily been cancelled as we adhere to physical distancing recommendations. 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 – at Windsor Regional Hospital, we continue to provide two hospital meal vouchers, per day, to all of our inpatient families; these are available from hospital staff for appropriate distribution. At London Health Sciences Centre, we have moved to meal delivery to the floor, rather than a meal voucher system which required families to visit the increasingly limited cafeteria options. We are working with the hospital’s catering service to make this happen.
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 previous less than one week turnaround time due to our office closure, but will be aiming to get cheques processed as quickly as possible. Please anticipate a 2-3 week turnaround for cheques, and potential mailing delays.
Assistance with Treatment Related Travel Expenses – we continue to help with gas cards and mileage coverage. With accommodations close to the hospital limited, we continue to work with several local organizations to find and support hotel accommodations and other alternatives to help our families who have to travel from out of town.
Post-Secondary Education Bursaries – the application process for our 2020 Bursaries is open. If you are eligible and wish to apply, please download the application form, complete and return it to Childcan by no later than June 26.
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 – although in-person group support has currently been suspended, we have videoconferencing software and are hosting twice weekly virtual support groups. Available sessions will be announced by email to our Childcan families, with instructions on how those who are interested can register.
Family Events – unfortunately due to the current crisis and necessary restrictions, we have had to make the difficult decision to cancel this year’s Canada’s Wonderland trip. This is still some ways away, but we’re anticipating that a group gathering such as this may not be possible or desirable.
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 – in-person tutoring has been suspended, but we have asked our volunteer educators to provide support in a virtual manner through teleconferencing or videoconferencing software and apps. We are also streaming live Story Times with various guest readers each Thursday evening; these are then posted to our YouTube channel.
To our donors,
We cannot express how much we appreciate your support during this crisis. The need is even greater as closures, layoffs and restrictions impact our Childcan families. If you are able, please consider donating as your generosity truly makes a difference. Until June 21, because of the incredible support of a wonderful group of businesses, your donation will be matched, up to $14,500!
Our heartfelt thanks go out to Preferred Insurance, BELFOR Property Restoration, Gore Mutual Insurance, Shell Canada, Byron Roofing, Intact Insurance, Strathroy CARSTAR, St. Thomas CARSTAR, Safety Express, Ambrose Plumbing & Heating, Davis Martindale Accounting Firm, Hagerty Insurance, Heartland Mutual Insurance, Wawanesa Insurance, Westminster Mutual Insurance, TC Insurance Adjusters, Frank Cowan Company, Aviva Insurance, Pembridge Insurance, Progressive Countertops, SelectPath – Ken McKinley, Rinkboards Inc., Q-Contracting, Classic Rock 98.1, and Delaware Speedway.
Donation receipts will be processed as quickly as possible as we truly appreciate your commitment to our families and to Childcan. Thank you for your continued support!