Nonprofit organization based in Southern California, providing critically-needed support services to families with children battling life-threatening illnesses.
Since its founding in 2002, Miracles for Kids’ mission has been to make a difference in the lives of children who are fighting a life-threatening illness, and to provide support for the families and other primary caregivers who provide for these children. Often times, as a result of the time and dedication it requires to treat and care for a critically-ill child, many families experience job loss, shortened work hours and reduced wages, compounded with a significant increase in bills and expenses. Miracles for Kids seeks to create stability through financial and emotional support at a time when families are crumbling from the impact of battling for their child’s life.
In order to achieve its mission, Miracles for Kids’ programming focuses on three main goals: (1) to operate core financial aid and other support programs needed to remain stable and face daily emotional and economic struggles; (2) to operate health and wellness programs aimed at keeping children and families physically, mentally and emotionally strong; and (3) to serve as an advocate and resource in the community for critically-ill children and their families.
(1) The Grant Program – provides monthly financial aid to low-income families who, as a result of their critically-ill child, struggle to fulfill basic financial obligations such as shelter, healthy food, transportation, utilities and medical insurance payments;
(2) Basket of Miracles – provides healthy food, household supplies and basic necessities to The Grant Program families four times a year;
(3) Fund-a- Family – matches a donor directly with a family in need;
(4) Familycare – provides healthcare to uninsured members of a patient’s family;
(5) Closet of Miracles – a no-cost resource of gently-used clothing, shoes and household supplies for families in need; and
(6) Cozies – brings warmth and comfort to families in need by providing handmade fleece blankets, lovingly created each week by groups of dedicated volunteers, are packaged and delivered to patients at hospitals, care centers and private homes.
Miracle Manor, the organization’s first multi-unit housing solution, provides families identified through the Grant Program as being at risk for homelessness with access to affordable housing within close proximity to the region’s leading children’s hospital, CHOC Children’s, located within a mile of the hospital and serving families throughout Southern California and the Southwest. Following a 1.5 yearlong renovation process, which included the donation of materials and labor from over 70 companies, Miracle Manor was completed, and became the home to families in extreme crisis and in need of shelter and support.
The core of the Miracles for Kids programming is the Grant Program, the main financial aid program that provides monthly aid to families in need. The process begins when a Social Services Representative recommends that a patient’s family apply for assistance based on their financial status including household count, income and expenses. Eligible applicants have a child, 21 years or younger, undergoing treatment for a life-threatening illness, and have a household income no more than 69 percent above the federal poverty level, as established annually by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Approved Program recipients are provided monthly grant checks for one year, and assigned a caseworker who works with the family for the entirety of The Program, helping them to complete quarterly status calls, semi-annual financial updates on the family’s status showing any improvements or changes resulting from the first six months of Program support, annual surveys and a year-end reapplication process. Consistent communication with hospital Social Services Representatives and Program families enables Miracles for Kids to ensure the family still meets The Program criteria regarding disease and financial eligibility.
However, there is always a waiting list of eligible, low-income families that cannot enter The Program because the organization has reached the maximum number of families The Program’s current budget can sustain.
In 2015, Miracles for Kids served 1,089 individuals throughout Southern California.
As it takes avillage to support a critically-ill child, the organization takes a holistic approach to family support, working hard to care for all individuals who support the ill child, therefore this number includes all patients, siblings, parents, grandparents, caregivers and extended family members. Program families used their grant funds to assist with the most basic needs, such as rent/mortgage (26%), utilities (23%), groceries (18%), car payments (16%) phone bills (10%), medical bills (2%), gas/travel/transportation (2%), and other (3%).
The Program serves patients and their families of all races, ethnicities and religious backgrounds. In 2015, the families served live within close proximity to, or below, the national poverty level and vary in race cancer (64%), other (29%) and blood-based diseases (7%), with 50% of the total group being rare, or orphan, diseases, classified as rare and affect fewer than 200,000 Americans. Specifically in reference to the orphan disease population, Miracles for Kids is successful in meeting the financial needs of a critically underserved population of children in Southern California that is affected by orphan diseases. There is a lack of community support for this demographic and Miracles for Kids has made a tangible impact by providing critically needed financial and emotional support to this population.
In addition to running programs that operate effectively, targeting those in our communities in great need, Miracles for Kids operates efficiently, with 85% of every dollar going to programs within the organization. Miramontes Capital is a proud corporate partner of Miracles for Kids, working together to effect change for critically-ill children and families in great need in our communities and beyond.
To learn more, give or get involved, please contact:
AUTUMN STRİER, CO-FOUNDER & CEO
Orange County, CA (April 2017); Miramontes Capital volunteers at Miracles for Kids’ Spring Basket of Miracles program.
Miramontes Capital was honored to aid in the 2017 Spring Basket of Miracles program on April 8 th, assisting Miracles for Kids in creating over 200 spring baskets for families in need. On April 12th, Miramontes Capital had the privilege to participate in dropping off baskets to participant families in the program.
The Basket of Miracles Program supports Miracles for Kids Grant Program recipients and their families by delivering fresh produce, fruits, vegetables, canned goods, and seasonal gifts to their homes throughout the year. The intent of the program is to alleviate some of the financial stress that the holiday season produces for families with little resources.
Miracles for Kids seeks to create stability through financial and emotional support at a time when families are crumbling from the impact of battling for their child’s life. Miramontes Capital looks forward to spreading awareness throughout the community alongside Miracles for Kids in years to come.