SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – Record high gas prices are making it harder for families to visit their critically-ill children in the hospital and get them to and from appointments.
A Bay Area non-profit is stepping in to help families get where they need to and so much more.
Helping families in need is nothing new for There With Care – Their warehouse is full of supplies for families and now with gas prices so high, they started a gas fund campaign, where they are handing out these fuel cards to families they support.
For Chilly her and her family, life has been anything but normal or easy these last few months, two-year-old Celene may be small but she’s battling a large heart issue.
She was diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy, which affects her heart muscle’s ability to contract.
The diagnosis means the Her family’s new routine consists of many trips to the doctor and appointments.
“We’ve been struggling, having to decide whether to do some traveling or to cut back on stuff to save money for traveling, especially dad he has to travel at least two hours away to go home and to come back and he has to go multiple trips and that’s a lot of gas,” Her said.
As we all feel the pinch at the pump, it’s been especially challenging for families like the Hers, who are already in financial distress with mounting medical bills.
They’re not alone, which is why Bay Area nonprofit, There With Care, has been stepping in to help families in need.
They partner with local children’s hospitals to provide support, supplies and more to families with critically ill children. They’re currently serving 130 families in the Bay Area.
“85% of our families are commuting in to receive top notch medical care in the Bay Area children’s hospitals so they’re driving long distances to get the best care for their child. Nearly all the families we are serving are in financial distress so being able to provide food, transportation assistance and even things like toiletries and hygiene products, it makes a big difference,” Sara Alexander said.
In addition to assisting with some of these high cost items, There With Care recently launched a gas money fund to help families pay for their visits to and from the hospital.
“Many of our families are traveling multiple times between their home and the hospital and where as we used to give $50 of gas money for a family, no we’re hearing from families that it takes two to three hundred dollars in gas to just make a roundtrip from their home to the hospital so we are definitely not able to keep up with the demand,” Alexander said.
Her says the high gas prices force choosing between making trips and eating certain foods but says there with care has helped alleviate some of the stress.
“It has helped us a lot, being that they supply the essentials we need. We can save those costs toward medical bills,” Her said.
All of this is possible through community support. If you’d like to donate, head to bayarea.therewithcare.org.