John McGivney Children’s Centre launches new fund for Mother’s Day
A new initiative has been launched to support families of children with special needs.
Heather’s Helping Hand Fund has been established to honour the memory of long time JMCC staff member, Heather McFadden who passed away suddenly. Heather worked at JMCC for over 20 years, most recently in the role of Finance Manager.
“Heather was family,” says Jessica Sartori, JMCC CEO. “She went above and beyond to help her fellow staff, and the children receiving services through JMCC. Heather had a very special place in her heart for our families, often helping with special events and activities.”
Heather’s family and friends were regular supporters of JMCC, raising funds through their involvement with the Knights of Columbus. To ensure JMCC families continue receiving the support that Heather was so committed to providing, Heather’s Helping Hand Fund will serve to help families struggling to make ends meet.
“In addition to driving their children to local therapy and medical appointments,” Sartori says, “many JMCC children need to go out of town for specialized treatments and medical appointments, and often for surgeries. Fuel costs, hotel stays, meals and support for other children back at home mean much less money to spend on day-to-day essentials.”
Families who have children with special needs are additionally burdened with out-of-pocket and unexpected expenses that are not covered by insurance.
Heather’s Helping Hand Fund will provide pre-paid gas, grocery and department store cards to struggling families.
“Heather was happy and proud to work at JMCC and was always ready to help,” says Eric Gajda, Heather’s husband. “This fund is such a beautiful way to help others. She would be so pleased and thankful that it will help the families and children at JMCC whom she so deeply cared about.”
“It’s hard to sum up how great a mother, and how amazing a person my mom was”, says Jackie Etches, Heather’s daughter. “She was always there for us growing up. She would be so happy to know that Heather’s Helping Hand Fund will help moms do the best they can for their children, like my mom did for us.”
To assist in ensuring that this initiative is well-funded, The Charles & Ethel Cohen Family Foundation is matching all donations received by May 31, 2022 up to $5,000.
The John McGivney Children’s Centre has been providing specialized rehabilitation and support services for almost 50 years to more than 3,000 children and youth each year with physical, neurological and developmental needs.