This program has developed throughout the years, and the word assistance no longer does it justice. Each child is given more than just assistance; they are awarded the realization of a dream. The annual gift of $250-$300 to each child for every year they are in treatment might as well be one million dollars. Imagine what you would have done as a kid with that much money all at once, given solely to spend on something you want. Many more things seem...possible.
Early on, Friends used to buy items within that price range for the child. Our volunteers and staff visited litters of puppies, bike shops, technology stores and everything in between to get the kids what they wanted. Recently, we have realized that part of the fun of getting a gift is going out to buy it. Now, we give the gift of gift cards to the child, and not only have we given that dream but we have given a lasting memory for the family. We have received many pictures detailing shopping sprees filled with perplexed faces from a buying decision to grins and laughter when something that was out of reach is put in a bag to take home.