Gift of Hope Program
Wings of Hope Breast Cancer Foundation (\"Wings of Hope\") would like to request funding consideration for our Gift of Hope program that touches the lives of qualified low-income individuals who are living with breast cancer.
Wings of Hope is a 100% volunteer run charitable, not-for-profit organization that provides financial assistance to low-income breast cancer patients receiving or who have received treatment at the Tom Baker Cancer Centre (\"TBCC\"), for basic day-to-day living expenses, such as groceries, utilities, child care, housing, transportation, medication and other basic living expenses. Many of these patients are unable to work during their treatment. Our funding programs allow patients to focus on recovery.
We have 3 flagship programs:
Patient Financial Assistance Program (PFAP) - in 1996 Wings of Hope endowed the Alberta Cancer Foundation (\"ACF\") with $680,000. The endowment generates investment income which is used by the ACF to provide financial support for low income breast cancer patients;
Augmented Financial Assistance Program (AFAP), which we initiated based on our assessment that the current PFAP funding was not meeting the significant financial needs of low income breast cancer patients. Under AFAP, we provide additional funding for low income breast cancer patients that have \"maxed out\" their PFAP entitlements; and
Our Gift of Hope Program provides up to 60 breast cancer patients with care packages that include: gift cards for essential items ranging from $750 to $1000, homemade knitted scarves and mitts by our volunteers, soft hats for hair loss, excellent hand creams for the extremely dry hands that breast cancer patients often experience, educational books, candles, lip balms, journals and holiday treats to help lift spirits.
Who Will it Benefit?
The Gift of Hope Program will benefit low-income individuals who are living with breast cancer and in need of financial support based on PFAP qualifications.
PFAP recipients must meet specific low-income financial criteria before they are eligible for funding. Their assets (excluding home and vehicle) cannot exceed $10,000 for a single person, $13,000 for two people and $16,000 for a family of 3 or more. These assets include RRSP contributions, allowing for a 33% penalty if RRSPs were to be cashed. In addition, the difference between their total monthly income and their total monthly expenses cannot exceed $500. They can have no other means of financial assistance from personal sources (including their RRSPs) or public sources. Total assistance for general living expenses cannot exceed $800.00.
The recipients are selected by the social workers at the TBCC. (The social workers are also responsible for identifying PFAP and AFAP candidates and assisting in making applications for both.)
Our Gift of Hope Program is an annual program that is on-going. It will continue so long as Wings of Hope is able to fund the program. The gifts are delivered to recipients in December of each year.
The social workers at the TBCC have indicated to us that the Gift of Hope Program is a very important source of financial support for families in need. As a result, we would like to enhance the value of our Gifts and to increase the number of recipients.