It’s that time of year again. What makes the holiday time extremely difficult is when a mom, sister, niece, cousin or friend is suffering with breast cancer and trying to make ends meet financially.
Fortunately, our country now has Erica A. Harvey, the executive director of the nonprofit Breast Cancer Charities of America (BCCA) and creator of the Help Now Fund, dedicated to helping women diagnosed with breast cancer—paying their rent and utilities due to the high cost of medical bills and financial drain.
Harvey recalled the phone call from one single mother with two kids, struggling with bills while fighting breast cancer.
“I'll never forget," Harvey said. "In the first year we launched the Help Now Fund, it was the day before Christmas, and I answered the phone to hear a woman sobbing on the line, telling me that her landlord just received our check, and she was crying tears of joy as she was able to stay in her apartment, because she was facing eviction on Christmas Eve."
The Breast Cancer Charities of America focuses on the actual patient and their immediate needs, such as keeping the electricity on or paying rent. Patients apply directly through their social worker or nurse at their local treatment hospital.
Harvey and her staff go through every single application personally. The program is available to women throughout the United States, she said.
“Women in need can send in a $17 bill or a $300 bill, and of course we help women with the most immediate need when facing eviction, lights being turned off or needing heat," she said. "We have only been able to fund 23 percent of the applicants, and we really want to raise awareness to inspire people to donate to this worthwhile mission."
The fourth quarter application period is open from Nov. 28 through Dec. 9, 2011. Applications are now available on the website at TheBreastCancerCharities.org