connect / 2016
Connecting communities of support with families who have a critically ill young child or parent.
Please describe your project proposal.
Because caregivers face a 63% increase in illness and death, represent 62% of all bankruptcies, and lose 25% productivity at work, Here to Serve CONNECTS and organizes people, businesses and other charities with families in crisis to provide non-medical assistance. Here to Serve stands in the gap to provide communication and assistance with critical needs: meals, child, pet home care, respite, housekeeping, fundraising, and medical updates to avoid physical collapse of family and caregiver.
Which of the connect metrics will your proposal impact?
- Social & emotional support
- Rates of volunteerism
- Total number of local social media friends and connections Angelenos have
In what areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?
- Central LA
- East LA
- San Gabriel Valley
- San Fernando Valley
- South LA
- South Bay
- Gateway Cities
- Antelope Valley
- County of Los Angeles
- City of Los Angeles
Describe in greater detail how your proposal will make LA the best place to connect?
Here to Serve believes that young families who face the life-threatening health crisis of a child or spouse should not be left to collapse under the strain of a health care system that treats physical wounds, but inflicts fiscal and emotional ones because caregivers/parents are unable or lack the physical and emotional resources to CONNECT with a community of support around them to help manage a life in crisis. Coordinated support from family, friends and the community is needed to avoid the high rates of illness, death, bankruptcies, and lost productivity at work for parents with a critically-ill child or young parent who does not qualify for government support. Here to Serve stands in the gap to identify, mobilize and organize a community of support to avoid physical, emotional and financial collapse of the family and caregiver.
Here to Serve believes we need to care about the well-being of lower and middle-class families who DO NOT qualify for government assistance, who’s health care requires premiums and often large co-pays and no support from hospital social workers who are focused on patients on government assistance. This invisibly under-served sector of society are contributors in their family, community, and the economy. Here to Serve CONNECTS physical, financial and emotional resources to help families navigate their home life during the medical crisis of a child or young parent. We CONNECT people and organizations with them through social media and as family members hand out custom business cards provided by Here to Serve to register friends and loved ones on the family’s custom online care community. These online communities provide: an interactive calendar of daily household needs such as meals, child and pet care, house cleaning, shopping, transportation; medical updates; a blog; fundraising, and numerous ways to support the family. Here to Serve’s research coordinator demystifies and CONNECTS caregiver/families to other charities, businesses and organizations through our database of 3000+ organizations.
LA offers large and diverse communities of people, charities and businesses who can help. Los Angeles is by far one of the top 5 cities to offer the most resources to people, but that also makes it the most confusing and difficult to navigate. Most people in LA are not connected with their communities. When a life crisis hits, they flounder trying to seek small solutions to large issues like a meal list at church when they are in for an 18-month journey with a child who has cancer. These are not solutions, they are band-aids. Here to Serve offers real solutions by leveraging social media to CONNECT communities of support not just weeks but for the time needed to get the family through a medical crisis, usually 6 to 18 mos.
LA is the BEST place to CONNECT and Here to Serve offers the only program and platform to do that when you have a young child or parent in medical crisis and you do not qualify for government assistance!
Please explain how you will define and measure success for your project.
We define success in two ways: 1) The number of families we are able to serve and meet all their needs and 2) Each family’s review of how Here to Serve met their needs via survey at the end of treatment. As one family we served put it: “Here to Serve does not count success by providing a lot of people with band aid solutions. Here to Serve comes through during the deepest, darkest, most stressful time that a parent can face. When a child is gravely ill, Here to Serve is there to help families bridge the gap from heart ache and catastrophe to a new life which sadly doesn’t always include their child.” Leilani O’Dell
We survey our families asking about the services we provided, and the tangible support we were able to give. Here to Serve has been named by Great Nonprofits (www.greatnonprofits.org) as a 2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit as it appears on Guidestar and we have received no less than 5 stars on EVERY review submitted. What demonstrates our success most is how many of our families come out of these difficult journeys emotionally, physically and financially healthy, keeping their jobs and 75% give back, often volunteering at Here to Serve and other nonprofits!
If we are able to continue our 5-star rating by our clients, keep caregivers (parents) healthy, physically, emotionally and financially, employed and able to give back (to Here to Serve or other nonprofits) after their journey with their critically ill child or parent is over, we count that a measurable success!
How can the LA2050 community and other stakeholders help your proposal succeed?
- Advisors/board members
- Technical infrastructure (computers etc.)
- Network/relationship support