DIDSBURY - The Hope 4MVC Kids Society officials have updated town council on the organization’s recent activities and plans, including the upcoming 10-year gala.
Formed in November 2013, Hope 4 MVC Kids was founded by Lisa Nicholson, Suzanne Young and board of 11 volunteers.
Nicholson appeared as a delegation during the April 25 council meeting, held in person and on YouTube. She last updated council in 2019.
Based in Carstairs, the society provides support for families with children age up to 18 with a medical diagnosis from a certified medical practitioner.
“If it is long-term sickness your whole life can be turned upside down,” said Nicholson. “So we wanted families to not have to worry about the financial implications and be able to concentrate on the wellness of the child.”
Hope 4 MVC Kids is open to families across the county, including in Olds, Didsbury, Sundre, Carstairs and Cremona.
“We cover any family residing in the county boundary,” she said.
The society operates six specific programs. Nicholson outlined how the programs work.
Program 1 provides assistance is a local child is in hospital, with the assistance including covering costs such as parking, meals, fuel and sibling care, and if there is long-term admission there is the potential for additional support such as rent, mortgage and utility assistance.
Program 2 provides assistance is a local child needs adaptive equipment for home or school that cannot be covered by other sources.
Program 3 provides assistance to a local child that requires a home adaption due to illness or disability that is not covered by other sources.
Program 4 provides assistance to a local child who requires therapy such as counselling, mental health needs, alternative therapy not covered by health insurance or other sources.
Program 5 provides assistance to a local child that requires prescription supports not covered by heath insurance or other sources.
Program 6 provides local families with support, advocacy and information on additional resources available.
Funds raised by the society are distributed directly to providers, she explained. For example, medical bills are paid directly to the provider of the service, therapy is paid directly to the therapy provider, and utilities are paid to the utility provider.
To date the society has handled more than 85 applications totalling more than $200,000. By way of example, Didsbury applications have totalled more than $50,000.
“We are really proud that we have been able to support that many children and that many families,” she said.
Officials are projecting a 30 per cent average increase in applications over the next three years: Nov. 2022 - Oct. 2023 $108,000; Nov. 2023 - Oct. 2024 $140,000; and Nov. 2024 - Oct. 2025 $182,000.
“It’s a huge growth,” she said.
The 10-year gala event – A Decade of Hope – is scheduled to take place Nov. 25 at the Willow Lane Barn and will feature Martin Kerr.
“We would love to see town representation there,” she said. “Tickets go on sale next month. And we are always looking for volunteers.”
Council carried a motion thanking Nicholson for her presentation and accepting it as information.
Families interested in accessing Hope 4 MVC Kids support can call 403-507-2299.
Anyone interested in becoming a Hope 4 MVC Kids volunteer or in donating to the society can contact officials at hope4mvckids.org.