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.Giving a helping hand to parents when they need it the most.

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Program Mission

Katie's Helping Hand is a charitable fund which provides meals for families whose children are admitted to the hospital for prolonged periods of time. This charity was conceived and founded in October of 2005 by then 12-year-old Katie Vacanti-Mitchell, who was hospitalized for Leukemia treatment. Together, we can make a difference in people's lives when they need it most!!

Parents of children suffering life threatening illnesses are impacted not only emotionally, but financially. Gas for multiple trips to the hospital, phone calls, babysitters for children who at home without Mom or Dad, medicine co-pay costs, meals eaten out and many other necessities while a child is treated for long-term life threatening illnesses add up - to the already heavy burden for these families. Regardless of a family's finances, all these items are expenses not planned for, which can quickly mount up and overwhelm a family.

In many cases, the parent who is missing work is not covered by sick leave pay and, as such, their income is negatively impacted at the same time their expenses are increasing.


Program Provisions

Meals: While a child's meal is covered under their insurance (or by the hospital, if the child is receiving uncompensated medical care), meals for the parent who stay by their bedside are not covered. The average stay for a child receiving their first phase of chemo for Leukemia is 28 days. If the average cost of a meal is $5, this equates to $420 for meals for one parent for 28 days. With this program, parents can choose a meal from an in-room menu. The meal is delivered to the hospital room of the child. The fund is charged $5 per meal.

Phones: Another major cost for parents is communication. For parents who travel from outside the immediate area to bring their child to the best hospital for their illness, phone calls home are long distance. While many people have cell phones, the minutes these calls use can add up and be expensive. For parents without cell phones, the calls are long distance which can also be expensive. This program provides phones to allow parents to communicate with their friends and family during this time of need.


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