(SHELBY, NC) - The HealthCare Foundation of Cleveland County has placed colorful "Butterfly Trees" in the main lobbies of Atrium Health Cleveland and the Levine Cancer Institute (Grover Building) on the Atrium Health Cleveland campus in Shelby to increase awareness and support for local cancer patients.
Each butterfly ornament contains a need for a local cancer patient dealing with financial hardship. Guests, visitors and hospital staff can select a butterfly and fulfill the requested need with a gift card to assist with items such as food, household, personal care items and gas. Gift card requests start at $10 and go up depending on the generosity of each donor. The most popular gift cards are those from Wal-Mart, Ingles, Food Lion, CVS and gas stations.
In 2008, the Because We Care Fund was established to provide assistance to area cancer patients in financial need and who are undergoing treatment at Levine Cancer Institute Cleveland. The fund provides emergency assistance with utility bills, rent, food, medications and transportation among other things.
"No one should have to choose between paying the power bill or paying for their cancer medications," said Dick Baker, Executive Director of The HealthCare Foundation of Cleveland County. "We are proud that since its inception, the Because We Care Fund has provided over $250,000 in assistance to more than 450 area cancer patients."
The Butterfly Tree program allows the foundation to keep a stock of gift cards on hand, in various denominations, ready and available to distribute to deserving patients as needed. Butterfly Tee donors can keep the butterfly ornament as a small "thank you" and as a reminder that their gift made a difference to someone in need.
"We think this is a great way for the community at large, youth or church groups to assist a neighbor in need. Providing a small, but needed kindness will make someone's day just a little bit better," said Baker.
The HealthCare Foundation of Cleveland County will continue outreach programs such as the Because We Care Fund along with awarding Community Health Grants to Cleveland County non-profits throughout the year that are having a direct impact on improving health and wellness. More information on this and other foundation initiatives can be found on the organization's website: www.healthcarefoundationcc.org
The HealthCare Foundation of Cleveland County is a 501-(C)(3) non-profit organization. All gifts are fully tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.
Submitted by Dick Baker, Executive Director HealthCare Foundation of Cleveland County