PHYSIOLOGICAL NEEDS — Practical Support
When a child is diagnosed with a life-threatening condition, they need a strong and supported family empowered to fully participate in their care. Jacob’s Heart helps with some of the practical and financial challenges so that parents can focus on their children by first addressing a family’s basic physiological needs.
Our goal is to help families stay strong for their children…because what a child with a serious illness needs more than anything is a strong and supportive family able to fully participate in their care.
Assistance with Rent, Utilities, Phone and Other Expenses
The Financial Assistance program addresses the financial stresses associated with pediatric cancer, offering direct financial and practical assistance to families experiencing hardships due to the child’s illness.
Direct financial assistance supports families by dealing with:
- Long Hospital Stays
- Getting to and from Distant Hospitals
Emergency financial assistance is available upon request for children undergoing treatment and for up to six months post treatment to assist with:
- Household Bills
- Medical Prescriptions
- Funerals and Memorials
- Caregiver Support (provided by trained volunteers)
Groceries, Meal Deliveries and Grocery Gift Cards
Jacob’s Heart delivers nutritious, delicious groceries and meals every other week to the homes or hospital rooms of families during treatment and for up to six months after treatment ends. This volunteer-driven program helps siblings left at home while a brother or sister is in the hospital and moms and dads are busy dealing with doctors appointments, treatment schedules and exhaustion.
Our Full Hearts grocery program provides families with biweekly food deliveries, including fresh produce, nutritious food staples, grocery gift cards, cookbooks, and bicultural nutrition education.
Resources, Referrals and Information
The Case Management Program provides a complete assessment of family needs and assistance in locating resources to meet those needs. Taking special care to work with other community agencies to connect them with additional services, such as in-home medical care and transportation services.Working with each family member to address his or her individual needs, the Jacob’s Heart team is present to celebrate successful treatment, as well as to celebrate, honor, and mourn the children whose lives are lost to cancer or other circumstances. Jacob’s Heart is there at diagnosis, during treatment, and beyond, with the goal of continuing to maintain quality of life, no matter what a family’s circumstances. All services are provided at no cost and are available in Spanish and English.
Transportation to and from Treatment
Jacob’s Heart’s staff and trained volunteers not only provide pre-paid gas cards and rides to treatment, we provide comfort and experience as we accompany families on the journey from hospital to home.
When a child is diagnosed with cancer, very often one parent needs to quit a job in order to manage care. Children from our area in Santa Cruz, Monterey, San Benito and South Santa Clara Counties must travel great distances for their specialty care – there are no pediatric oncology facilities in our local community.
Jacob’s Heart’s transportation program is part of our family-centered care philosophy. Our drivers know our families well, some are volunteers which include a registered nurse, retired teacher, family counselor and other bilingual volunteers who accompany children to treatment, provide translation when needed, and visit other families while waiting to drive a family home after a procedure.
Pre-Paid Gas Cards
We also provide pre-paid gas cards to help families who own their own vehicles and have exhausted all other gas card resources. Because driving back and forth to treatment gets expensive, Jacob’s Heart is here to help with the journey either through referral to another ride program, providing a ride and ensuring that families have enough gas to get to treatment safely and on time.
This service is limited to low-income families of children with cancer living in the Jacob’s Heart service area. We work with the Partnership for Children and Care-a-Van for Kids to refer families of children with medical needs other than cancer.
We provide more than just a ride — we provide counseling, support, interpretation and a shared experience on the journey.
Please contact Anabel or 831-724-9100 if you are a low-income family and have a child with cancer and need help with transportation. We’ll make every effort to find a ride for you or provide one ourselves so that your child never misses an appointment.