Committed to assisting families of children suffering from various forms of cancer.
OUR MISSION: The Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation is committed to assisting families of children suffering from various forms of cancer. We provide financial assistance, support groups, financial management and planning and activities for children and their families. We also do endurance training for the body and mind during and after treatment.
Get involved by becoming a volunteer, helping with fundraisers, events, programs, operations. Make a financial donation or sponsor a family.
THE KOALA KLUB
Since the creation of the Koala Klub in 2009, children and young adults have been reaching out to their local communities by creating awareness and raising funds and supplies for kids their own age with cancer. This young philanthropist program has proven more than successful, as the members of the Koala Klub head up their own special projects from start to finish.
Joining the Koala Klub is easy! All you need to do is think of ways to help, then make it happen! Whether it is at your school, in your sorority, at your church, or just among friends, you have the power to make a difference in the lives of children with cancer.
CREATIVE WAYS TO HELP:
- Host a coin drive or bake sale at your school
- Host a car wash with your friends
- Do a garage sale or rummage sale with friends and neighbors
- Put together activity kits for the kids in the hospital
- Host a canned-food drive with your friends
- Host a toy drive for the kids in the hospital
- Gather movies and art supplies for the kids in the hospital
- Help with a mailing at the TBCF office after school
- Collect diapers and wipes for the families who have small children
- If you’re in a band, have a benefit concert to raise money and awareness for the TBCF families
BECOME A VOLUNTEER
The Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation is always looking for new volunteers… We are excited to educate you on the many ways you can get involved as a volunteer whether you are 10 – 100!
Your volunteering has a significant impact on our families and we want to ensure it is a positive experience for you, so please take note of each opportunity and either mail or email us back with your individual interests. Thank you for your willingness to give of your time. We greatly appreciate it, as do our families. We are looking forward to working with you in the near future!
- Remember, if you are a high school student – or have children and friends who are, this is a great way to get community service hours! For any questions, feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (805) 563-4785.
WHAT WE DO
- The Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation (TBCF) provides financial aid assistance to low- to moderate-income families in the amount of $2,000-5,000.
TBCF receives the families’ bills and pays them directly. Families are assisted with rent or mortgage payment; auto loan payment, registration, insurance, repairs, and vouchers for fuel; payment of utility bills; medications, treatments, and home care services that are not covered by insurance; funeral expenses; and other costs such as health insurance premiums, counseling, childcare, groceries/meals, overnight hotel accommodations for emergency or extended hospital stays and other day to day financial necessities.
- Parent Support Groups and Support Groups for Children with Cancer and Their Siblings
These groups offer a unique and beneficial form of support, offering parents both an educational presentation and a place to meet others enduring a similar situation. Only another parent with a child suffering from cancer can fully understand the pain these parents are going through, and the realization that they are not alone in their battle provides a unique sense of comfort. Our groups consist of a family style dinner followed by an open forum discussion facilitated by a licensed social worker and translator for the adults, and an art therapy group with a licensed therapist for the children with cancer and their siblings. For children who do not wish to participate childcare is provided.
- Care Packages
Care packages are given to families whose child is in the hospital. They consist of gift certificates from various local markets and restaurants, toys for the child and his or her siblings, and a “Parent Pax.” Each Parent Pax contains toiletries (including toothpaste, a toothbrush, a hairbrush, deodorant, soap, shampoo, conditioner, and a towel) and other helpful items, such as a phone card, a disposable camera, and a voucher for food that can be delivered to the hospital.
- Hotel Accommodations
Occasionally, the child must undergo treatment far from the family home, making visits difficult and costly. Hospitals generally have limited accommodations, and treatments can often last days, several weeks or even months. TBCF helps to ease this financial burden by offering free hotel accommodations at the Santa Barbara Encina Lodge to immediate family during an emergency or an unusually extended hospital stay.
- Funeral Fund
The saddest reality of cancer is that sometimes kids pass away. During these tragic times, TBCF assists families with funeral arrangements, helping to pay for such things as funeral home costs, cemetery plots, headstones and other expenses that arise.
- Kids’ Days and Family Fun Events
TBCF hosts fun events for children and their families throughout the year. These “fun days” provide an opportunity for kids to meet other kids like them, helping them to feel less alone, and giving them a break from constantly thinking about their treatment. “Fun days” have included trips to Universal Studios, Mother’s Day Spa Day, Fishing for Fathers, Family Fun Day, professional sporting events (basketball, hockey or baseball), Project X-Mas, Project Turkey & the annual Holiday Party.
- TBCF Storytellers
Three times a week, a TBCF volunteer visits Cottage Hospital to read stories to the children in the pediatrics unit. The TBCF volunteer is provided with books, puzzles, activities, and stuffed animals to give to the children in the hospital.
Some families may have difficulty in transporting their child to and from treatment, which can be as much as five times per week. When transportation is needed, TBCF arranges rides for our families to safely and comfortably make their child’s treatments.
- Food Share
The cost of hospital stays can include as much as $100 per visit for food alone, particularly for those families who do not have relatives or friends nearby to assist with bringing food during such stays. TBCF provides food vouchers to markets and the hospital cafeteria for such stays. TBCF also provides food vouchers to local markets to help alleviate some of the day to day grocery costs once home.
- Loss of Child to Cancer Support Group
In collaboration with Visiting Nurse & Hospice Care of Santa Barbara, TBCF provides an Educational Supportive group geared for parents who have lost a child to cancer. Participation encourages openness to the group no matter where parents are in their grief journey. Parents have the opportunity to bring their diverse stages/dynamics of grief and share their experiences and learn from one another. Through utilization of readings, meditation, art and writing/poetry/short stories, participants are given an opportunity to further reflect on their own grief journey, deepen their wisdom and take continued steps toward healing.
- Moments in Time
Thanks to our wonderful sponsors, we’re occasionally able to brighten the lives of some very deserving people by meeting a family’s or child’s special request. With the generosity of our donors and volunteers, TBCF has created these moments in time, such as building a wheelchair ramp, providing much-needed tutoring, providing a teenage girl with a salon day and a Betsey Johnson dress in preparation for her first school dance, or arranging for Owen Wilson (the voice of “Lightning McQueen” from the movie Cars) to call and wish an eight year old boy Happy Birthday. The moments are endless.