THERE ARE SEVERAL WAYS TO HELP
LEVEL 1 – PARKING
Your $25 gift will help pay for parking expenses when visiting hospitals that don’t validate parking tickets. Many families have expressed to us just how expensive parking can become. This gift helps tremendously.
LEVEL 2 – FUEL EXPENSES
The average gift for fuel expenses is $50. This provides gas money for families traveling to and from hospitals and doctor’s appointments. This gift is sometimes overlooked and may not seem very impactful, but it certainly is.
We began offering this service while helping a family that was driving almost three hours each way for every hospital visit. They made the trip to the hospital for testing and returned home. The next day they were asked to come back for additional testing, as the results from the first tests were bad. They made the grueling trip again, and returned home that night on an empty tank.
Their joy of finally arriving home disappeared when they realized they didn’t have enough gas to make their welfare appointment the next day. They couldn’t reschedule, as they had already rescheduled the appointment several times due to their son’s hospital visits and doctor’s appointments. Their benefits would be cancelled if they couldn’t make it to the appointment.
Thanks to gifts like this one, were able to send them $50 via PayPal, diverting a major crisis.
LEVEL 3 – FOOD AT THE HOSPITALS
Your gift of $100 will buy parents food for about a week at the hospital. Hospital food can be very expensive, and access to outside restaurants and groceries can be limited or impossible to access when a parent is afraid to leave their child’s side.
This concept of giving was inspired by Jeni Stepanek’s book, The Messenger. She described how she waited for her son, Mattie, to finish his meals then discretely eat what was left because she had no money to buy food during their extended stays at the hospital. Gordon Lightfoot sings, “You won’t read that book again because the ending’s just too hard to take,” in his song If You Could Read My Mind. I couldn’t help but think of how fitting this verse was to the book The Messenger.
LEVEL 4 – HOUSEHOLD BILLS
Your gift of $800-1,200 per month will help pay for a family’s electricity, gas and other household bills. When children are experiencing a health crisis, a family’s financial priorities shift to sparing no expense for the care of the child. Utilities and other bills become the least pressing financial matter, and sometimes face disconnection. This can cause psychological problems for the sick child. While you can hide a late car or house payment, you cannot hide disconnected utilities. It’s hard for the parents as well.
LEVEL 5 – MORTGAGE PAYMENTS
The thought of being evicted or facing foreclosure is one of the most terrifying things a parent can experience. This is second only to having a dying child. Parents have to face unthinkable scenarios, like whether they will lose the house before the child dies, or lose the child before the house.
Your gift of $600-1,400 can help families stay in their home and focused on their child, not the risk of losing their home.
LEVEL 6 – HELPING SIBLINGS
One of the most overlooked needs of a sick child is their siblings. These children suffer greatly due to losing much of the attention from their parents they were accustomed to, as well as lack of money for clothing, personal items and things they want or need. ByYourSide has sent separate gifts to siblings, providing them with funds that are specifically for that child. This helps siblings to feel just as important as the sick child. This also gives them a ray of sunshine during a very difficult time.
LEVEL 7 – PLANE TICKETS FOR SIBLINGS
There are times when a child is in a hospital that’s out of town or even out of state and going to pass away. Parents are almost always there, but due to the high cost of travel and limited funds, siblings may not be able to join them. Your gift can provide plane tickets to siblings, ensuring they will be with their sick brother or sister and parents when that fatal time comes.
LEVEL 8 – INCOME REPLACEMENT
This is the heart of what we do and what we’re about. All of the services we offer are to ensure that no sick child will ever have to be without their parents or siblings when they die. All parents of a sick child will be at the child’s side, without the added torment and fear of losing their home, or the other children not having their basic needs met.
Oftentimes, one parent cuts back or stops working altogether to become fully dedicated to their sick child. The other parent may miss a great deal of work as well. This gift level helps families replace their lost income during the most difficult time of their lives.
LEVEL 9 – TOMBSTONES
The last and saddest thing we provide is the tombstone for the child’s grave site. This service was conceived when a friend suddenly lost a daughter. Friends and family donated to fund the burial, but a tombstone was not purchased. Months later, money was finally provided for a tombstone.
A child that’s passed away will never be forgotten. They live on forever in the hearts of their loved ones. A tombstone is a type of permanent symbol of the child’s time on earth. Until time and forces of nature weather it away, a tombstone stands as a voice for the child that whispers to all who will hear, “I was here.” Your gift can help a family purchase a tombstone when they otherwise cannot.