As if raising a child with cancer isn’t tough enough, thousands of families over the past year have found it’s even tougher when the economy starts to crumble. It’s an issue that also falls into the national debate over universal health care, but for now, one private organization in the Tri-Counties has decided to take matters into its own hands.
The Teddy Bear Care Foundation, a Santa Barbara-based nonprofit, was founded in 2003 to help struggling families cope with not just the emotional needs they face during that time, but the financial ones, too. Despite its name, the foundation isn’t really about giving children teddy bears in the hospital. It does that too, but the organization is a financial support system for struggling families, paying up to $5,000 of their bills — including rent or mortgage payments, car payments, utility bills and costs of basic necessities — and providing gas cards, grocery cards and other support as needed.