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Foundation story

Support for Caregivers in times of acute, unexpected need

Published on Tuesday November 1, 2022
Helping Hands

Since 2016, the Helping Hands Program has supported more than 500 Caregivers facing an acute, unexpected need. This support allows Caregivers to attend to important personal matters.

The program, administered by Spiritual Care and Education, is supported by community donors, Caregivers and Centra.

Ten percent of employee gifts to the Centra Foundation's Greatest Need Fund support the Helping Hands Program. Caregivers can also designate their gift to the Helping Hands Fund.

“Creating the space and ability for Caregivers to be fully available to their families at significant, time-sensitive times in life is valuable,” said Darren Miller, BCC, director of pastoral care. “This availability prevents Caregivers from the distress of emotionally wanting to be there but being unable to due to needing to continue to provide for the household. It reduces an already stressful situation by allowing an individual to focus on the most important thing.”

In recent years, the Helping Hands Program has supported:

  • A Caregiver who was out of work for an extensive period so she could take care of and be present with her spouse at the end of his life after a long battle with cancer.
  • A Caregiver diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer who was out of work for a long period.
  • A Caregiver who needed to take care of her parents after a stroke and cancer diagnosis.
  • A Caregiver who experienced complications with her pregnancy.
  • A Caregiver and her husband after they contracted COVID-19 and were out of work for an extended period.

Some sentiments Caregivers shared after they received support from the program:

  • That the gift is an answer to prayer.
  • The significance of the timing of the money for their situation.
  • How meaningful the unexpected gift is for them and their family.
  • A new appreciation and awareness of their colleagues and employee donations.

Darren says he designates gifts to the fund for two reasons.

“First, I know exactly what the money will be used for: to support people I work with every day in times of unexpected need,” he said. “Second, I know that the money I give is meeting real needs and that 100% is going to the need with zero percent going to administrative costs.”

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