Most people know someone who has been impacted by cancer. Those who have personally experienced it know the financial burden it can have. Recognizing these challenges, Nebraska Cancer Specialists (NCS) created the NCS HOPE Foundation in 2018, a non-profit dedicated to improving the lives of individuals and families in the community and surrounding areas who are impacted by cancer treatment.
The Foundation emerged from NCS’s patient assistance program. Over the years, patients and families, as well as other members of the community, wanted a way to give back, so NCS formed the NCS HOPE Foundation. Today the foundation provides financial support towards rent and utilities, prescription co-pays, groceries and comfort items, transportation and gas cards, disease education, fitness programs, bereavement, respite and child care, caregiver support, scholarships, and a volunteer program.
This month kicks off the Foundation’s HOPE for the Holidays campaign, which consists of three parts. The first is participating in Share Omaha’s Giving Tuesday, which was held Nov. 30th. This marks the second year of participation.
The second part to the campaign is the Foundation’s corporate giving program. Last year, a financial gift of $1,000 was given to 5 local non-profits that share in a similar mission. In 2020, the non-profits included For the Girls, A Time to Heal, Project Pink’d, Angels Among Us, and My Sister’s Keeper. This year, the foundation will be adopting a number of local families and delivering holiday gifts to them. The foundation will be working with area non-profits for a list of families in need.
The third part of the campaign is giving $100 Visa gift cards to those in need. Physicians, nurses and employees give out the cards as they see fit on behalf of the HOPE Foundation. The foundation anticipates giving out approximately 100 gift cards this year. “The gift card can help patients with their holiday shopping or even buying a holiday meal,” said Kelly Horn, Board Member for the NCS HOPE Foundation. “The extra gift goes a long way for patients who are sick and possibly unable to do the running around they are used to doing during the hustle and bustle of the holiday season.”
In addition to the Foundation’s HOPE for the Holidays campaign, NCS has an annual employee giving campaign for the foundation. Last year 92% of NCS employees contributed to the campaign with a dollar for dollar NCS company match. The foundation also hosted its first annual fundraising event at Top Golf and plans to hold another one in 2022. “One of my favorite stories includes partnering with Athleta Omaha and Hy-Vee,” Horn said. “It was Christmas time and three young girls had just lost their mom to breast cancer. We were able to give the girls new outfits, teddy bears, and give their dad a Hy-Vee card to use toward gas to see their extended family and groceries for a Christmas dinner. We also helped a woman in Nebraska get her transmission replaced in her vehicle so she had safe and reliable transportation to her clinic visits. It’s all about providing hope for these families in any way we can.”
The HOPE Foundation’s goals for 2022 include getting the word out and looking for new ways to partner with the community and other health systems to provide assistance. “Right now, what we offer is a hidden gem. We want to spread the word, share our stories, and help more families in need,” Horn said. To donate or learn more about the foundation, visit ncshopefoundation.org.