CareGifters raises money to help family caregivers.
I’ve been working with family caregivers for 20 years. In that 20 years, little has changed—the experience remains stressful and overwhelming Even worse: Access to help hasn’t gotten any better.
One of my beefs is that we (here in the U.S.) spend a lot of money on research. (You can read one of my rants about research on Caregiving.com.) I believe research is critical. I also believe we’ve researched the family caregiver experience enough to know that family caregivers need help. And, given the state of our economy and our states (I live in Illinois and it’s a mess), programs and services that could help are as much at risk as family caregivers.
Last July, The New York Times reported:
Since the start of the recession, at least 25 states and the District of Columbia have curtailed programs that include meal deliveries, housekeeping aid and assistance for family caregivers, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a research organization. That threatens to reverse a long-term trend of enabling people to stay in their homes longer.
I had an idea to help family caregivers about four years ago: Giving them gifts of money through my non-profit organization, The Center for Family Caregivers. I finally have all the pieces in place to launch this initiative, called CareGifters.
Here’s how it works: Family caregivers complete an application process. A selection committee chooses one family caregiver each month to receive money that we raise. Our goal is to raise $500 each month to help a family caregiver. If 110 persons donate $5, then we can give $500 to a family caregiver to help him or her resolve a pressing problem. If 110 individuals donate $5 each month, then each will have spent $60 in order to raise $6,000 to help 12 family caregivers. (Note: We’ll use PayPal to collect your donations; PayPal takes a cut of what we raise. So, the family caregiver will receive what we raise minus the PayPal cut.)
In addition, I’ll donate 50% of the profit made on SharingStore.com, a classifieds site for caregiving supplies and equipment. I’ll also look for other ways to raise money.
While our initial goal is to help a family caregiver each month, my hope is that we’ll get so good at this that we’ll be able to raise money for 365 family caregivers every year.
We’ll begin in May. So, if you’d like to submit an application to be considered to receive our gifts, go here. And, if you’d like to volunteer to be on the selection committee, go here.
Thanks to all who help!