Help for families in crisis

New Cranbrook branch of Friends of Children gives financial and emotional support to families with sick children

Families of sick children in the East Kootenays will now have financial and emotional support by their side.

Friends of Children has been providing service to East Kootenay families from its office in Prince George since 2009. But in October, the organization opened an office in Cranbrook and is now offering in-person assistance to East Kootenay families struggling with the burdens of childhood illness.

Located in the Kootenay Child Development Centre, Friends of Children has a family support coordinator, Pat Chisholm, who began work in October assisting families from this region.

“I am very excited to take on this role,” said Chisholm.

Already this year, Friends of Children has assisted families 76 times to pay for accommodation, travel and equipment costs.

“It is an amazing opportunity to support families during a very stressful time with tangible and concrete resources, information and linkages that will reduce the burden for families coping with an ill or injured child,” said Chisholm.

It’s important that families in the area know the service is available, and that they are not afraid to ask for help early on in the process.

“Please don’t be shy.  If you have a sick child, ASK EARLY if Friends of Children may be able to help. We are just a phone call or email away and can only cover costs for expenditures we are notified about prior to them being paid for. Families can reach us quickly at our toll-free number 1- 866-564-2217,” said Chisholm.

To learn more about Friends of Children, visit an open house at the new Cranbrook office in the Kootenay Child Development Centre, 16 – 12th Avenue South, Cranbrook, on Monday, November 26 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

The open house is for the public, service providers and families to learn about the organization’s services and how families have used this resource in the past, while sharing some tasty food.

What’s more, Gail Brown, the East Kootenay representative on the Friends of Children board of directors, will accept a donation at the event.

Friends of Children is a non-profit society that raises funds and secures grants to directly assist families and their children.

“Donations such as this one are essential in order for Friends of Children to continue our work,” said Brown.

Guests at the open house will also hear about opportunities, like this donation, for becoming involved in the work of the society.

For more information about Friends of Children, contact Pat Chisholm at 250 420-1759, ekoffice@friendsofchildren.ca or check out the website www.friendsofchildren.ca.