Grant will help families in need

Wilton-based Circle of Care, a nonprofit foundation for families of children with cancer, was recently awarded a $15,000 grant from the American Savings Foundation, an independent charitable foundation dedicated to strengthening the community by supporting education, human services and the arts, with special emphasis on the needs of children, youth and families through grants. 

For the third year in a row Circle of Care has benefited from these grants, this year is the largest gift received. This grant supports the Lifeline Emergency Fund that functions as an immediate responder, offering an umbrella of financial support to the family when a child is diagnosed with cancer. Social workers estimate that 75% of pediatric cancer patient families will experience financial difficulties during their child’s cancer treatment. These families struggle to pay for their basic necessities such as groceries, rent, utilities and medical expenses. The goal of the Lifeline Emergency Fund is to alleviate some of the financial stress these families experience and create opportunities for positive, life-lasting memories to be made.

Those families served by on-going Lifeline Emergency Funds are referred to Circle of Care by the hospital social workers and live throughout Connecticut. When social workers at Yale New Haven Hospital’s Smilow Cancer Center and Connecticut Children’s Medical Center determine a family is in dire need of immediate financial assistance, they fill out an application with the family that verifies the need. These completed applications are sent to Circle of Care for approval and the funds distributed are carefully tracked.

“Because of the generous support of American Savings Foundation and other community leaders, we have provided over $450,000 in financial support to Connecticut families struggling to pay their basic bills while caring for their child with cancer,” Circle of Care co-founder Liz Salguero said. “On behalf of those families, we are so very grateful.”