A Very Special Invitation from
Chris & Andrea Hartwell

Holiday Hearts

We would like to ask you to consider making a donation to a local charity that is near and dear to our hearts before our Party in December.

The Barkann Foundation’s Holiday Hearts Program works with Social Workers who refer families who are in great need this holiday season.

You can read each family story below and make a donation which will directly impact these very special families who need our love and support.

We can’t wait to see you on December 17th.

Holiday Hearts

Holiday Hearts Families

Click on a family below to read their story.

Family #1

ST (Mom) has Stage IV breast cancer and has been battling courageously for more than four years. Mom and family are currently homeless. The family can occasionally can stay in a hotel.

Her children are in high school, and needless to say, not having a stable home has caused a major hardship for the family.

ET (Male) 14, RT (Male) 17

This very special family did not have a Christmas last year due to being evicted

Mom will have a very difficult time providing gifts for her children this holiday season let alone paying for her hotel stays and daily living necessities for her family.

Mom would like to thank everyone who supports her family through The Barkann Foundation’s Holiday Hearts Program and was moved to tears when we let her know that she was one of the families that The Foundation would be supporting.

Family #1

ST (Mom) has Stage IV breast cancer and has been battling courageously for more than four years. Mom and family are currently homeless. The family can occasionally can stay in a hotel.

Her children are in high school, and needless to say, not having a stable home has caused a major hardship for the family.

ET (Male) 14, RT (Male) 17

This very special family did not have a Christmas last year due to being evicted

Mom will have a very difficult time providing gifts for her children this holiday season let alone paying for her hotel stays and daily living necessities for her family.

Mom would like to thank everyone who supports her family through The Barkann Foundation’s Holiday Hearts Program and was moved to tears when we let her know that she was one of the families that The Foundation would be supporting.

Family #2

In the summer of 2019, T, was diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer. T battled this awful disease while raising her two beautiful children as a single mother, J (16) and S (11).

Over the three years the cancer quickly progressed with a new breast tumor this past year. T passed away on September 5th 2022 leaving the guardianship of her children to her sister R.

R along with her husband B are now a family of seven.

The new family of 7 are grieving together the loss of their beautiful sister, mother, and aunt all while learning their new normal. Living together as a new family was at the start of a new school year for all the children and a new school for S. A few weeks after T’s passing, her son J fell during gym class and broke his clavicle in multiple places.

R and her husband are strong, amazing parents and caregivers who have been challenged emotionally and financially with the loss of T.

Financial assistance would greatly assist the K family by helping with their day to day financial costs for food, clothing, and gas.

The first Holiday with out T will be an emotional time for the entire family. Financial assistance could allow some much needed holiday joy back into their lives.

Family #3

A was diagnosed with a serious and life limiting disease, epidermolysis bullosa (EB). Children with this disease are not diagnosed until after birth and require specialized care- both daily and ongoing with multiple medical specialists. Her type is severe and has long term implications for health and care.

A was admitted to CHOP NICU on day 1 of life from the birth hospital when EB was suspected at birth.

She was hospitalized for nearly 2 months. The medical team would recommend against placing her in daycare given increased risks to her health and safety. Mom quit work in order to care for A.

Mom did initiate the process to apply for SSI but that can take months before a determination is made. At present, mother’s only source of income is TANF $270/month, SNAP benefits. They are in a subsidized housing unit but while the rent is low, it is more than half of her TANF stipend.

She receives no formal child support. MGM is source of emotional and (some) financial support in that she pays the insurance for mom’s car.

Mom also has a very high electric bill. This has been accumulating for some time but mom has been unable to pay towards the bill since the baby was born.

Additionally, A was prescribed an ointment for one of her wounds that is not covered by insurance. OOP cost is $85. Mom does not have the cash to pay for this item, which will (hopefully) only be needed for a short time and not on an ongoing basis.

Mom was so incredibly happy and relieved for the grant of $500 from The Barkann Foundation for her immediate bills that were due. She intends to use the money to pay towards her electric bill and to cover the cost of the medication. She hopes that the grant will be enough to enter into a payment agreement with the utility.

Additionally, the gift cards and check for the holidays will relieve a burden for Mom and will allow her to use her limited income to go towards basic needs.

Thank you for supporting this very special family during the holiday season.

Family #4

M is a child with complex medical needs, who requires follow-up with several specialists and numerous outpatient appts. He is diagnosed with autism and needs a feeding tube for nutrition. M requires round the clock medical care throughout the day and night.

M has 3 siblings who are triplets. The triplets are in in the care and custody of their grandmother Adrienne Patterson, because their biological parents were unable to manage their care.

Grandmother is on disability, and manages the best she can, taking excellent care of the children, but the family’s finances are very tight.

The assistance from Holiday Hearts would greatly help the family, with the purchase of both needed items (clothes) and holiday treats which the family couldn’t otherwise afford.

Grandmother tries to offer the children as many enrichment opportunities as possible on her disability income, but they are difficult to afford.

This grandmother accepted care of the triplets in order to keep them out of foster care, and has given them all she can despite the challenges.

M’s care, in particular, is very demanding, but grandmother has never waivered.

Thank you for sharing your support and generosity to this very worthy family this holiday season.

Family #5

S had an unexpected medical event which caused her to be admitted to the hospital for 10 months. Due to the medical issue, she suffered brain injury, and is no longer ambulatory. She is only recently discharged home, and is struggling with adjustment to her new reality and limitations.

Mother initially took FMLA time from her job, and eventually had to leave the job due to serious medical issues that she developed this year, requiring extensive treatment for herself. Father also has a chronic health condition, which impacts his ability to work.

Both parents have applied for disability, but this hasn’t yet been approved for either parent.

S’s SSI is approved, but payments haven’t yet arrived.

The family’s sole source of income at present is funding mother receives as MGM’s part-time home care aide. The family has many financial, personal and medical challenges at this time.

This has been an extraordinarily difficult year for the entire family. The assistance from Holiday Hearts would greatly help to stabilize their situation. Mother adds that this will take a lot of burden off of them at this time.

Thank you for supporting this very special family so they can experience some happiness and joy this holiday season. 

Family #6

HS passed away this past month from Stage 4 pancreatic cancer. She is no longer in pain and was a fighter to the very last minute.

She was an amazing mother, sister, friend, wife, teacher  and all around wonderful human being. She leaves behind her husband, her 15 year old daughter and 6 year old son.

This family could use some joy in their loves, after such a debasing situation.

Her presence was overwhelming in life, she had the best sense of humor, always looked her best and just always brought happiness wherever she was!! Her smile was contagious. She will be missed by so many, whose lives she touched.

Any financial assistance from Holiday Hearts will be greatly appreciated, help with bills, everyday life, meals and will provide this family some much needed happiness.

THANK YOU for supporting HS and her beautiful family this holiday season.

Family #7

MFB has juvenile arthritis, and has been steadily worsening to the point where she now has difficulty with ambulation and must use a walker or wheelchair. She struggles with pain. She has had one hip surgery and has another one pending.

Mother is not able to work due to MFB’s severe needs and very demanding treatment schedule.

The family recently had to move to a home that is more accessible for MFB with no outside steps which created financial stress because the family was previously living with a relative which was less expensive.

Mother is working to stabilize her finances, and access necessities for the home, etc.

Mother is very grateful for any assistance she can get, because her finances have been very stretched due to her recent move and MFB’s accelerating needs.

Also, MFB is sad regarding her situation, she’s been in pain and out of school, and this would help to brighten the holidays for her family.

Family #8

SW is a 12 year old boy with chronic static encephalopathy secondary to congenital infection with extensive brain atrophy, quadriplegic CP and mixed epilepsy with multiple daily non-debilitating seizures. He is wheelchair bound, legally blind and non-verbal.

SW underwent major spinal surgery in August. Due to SW’s medical conditions, he requires multiple doctor’s appointments and therapies.

E is a single parent and has always provided excellent care for all of her children. She is employed full time, but has difficulty making ends meet. With the rising costs of rent, food, etc – Mom has found it increasingly difficult to provide for all 3 children alone.

Sa helps with her brother’s care, as well as her 4 year old sister’s care. She is a lovely 17 year old who does not ask for much as she is now old enough to understand the hardship of her mom trying to support the family.

Financial assistance from The Holiday Hearts Program will allow the family to celebrate the holidays with some gifts and quality family time together.

Without financial assistance, Mom could not afford much in the way of gifts or celebrations. This is a very hard working mother who rarely asks for assistance.

The medical team is always impressed with E’s commitment to her children, and level of care she provides to SW.

Thank you for supporting this beautiful family through the Holiday Hearts Program. 

Family #9
I and P’s mother died of leukemia in November 2020. Mom had been sick with leukemia about five years ago and had been in remission, then suddenly got sick again in October 2020 and died within about two weeks.
 
Before she died, the children’s mother asked their aunt to promise to help their father take care of I and P. Since their mother’s death, the children have lived with their father in the home of their aunt and uncle and their two younger children.
 
I and P have struggled with understanding and coping with their mother’s death at such a young age. The children’s father works very hard to take care of them, but money is very tight for this family.
The Barkann Foundation will bring so much joy to this family, who have gone through so much in the last few years.
Family #10

SM is a single mom to 3 young boys. Six years ago her mom, who was her best friend and a great source of support, passed away unexpectedly.

Two days later, as they planned the funeral, she found out that the lump she had biopsied was breast cancer. She underwent treatment and a mastectomy. Sadly, her cancer has since metastasized and is now in a few other locations. She receives regular, ongoing treatment to help fight this awful disease.

These past several years have been hard for the family not only emotionally and physically, but also financially. Financial assistance will not only help out the family during the holiday season but in the months to follow.

Allowing the M family to have a little bit of joy during the holiday season, while relieving the stresses that come with the financial burden of the holidays, brings a sense of relief to an already stressful situation.

Any and all help is greatly appreciated in supporting this mom who is truly in the fight of her life.

These 3 little boys deserve nothing more than to have a joyous holiday season with their mom, and for her to be able to be fully in the moment.

Family #11

P was recently diagnosed with an ultra-rare genetic disorder, which is associated with severe physical and developmental regression. Little is known about this disorder as it was only recently discovered.

The diagnosis has been difficult for the family and Mom had to take unpaid leave from her job to cope with this life change. Mom has to take care of P s she has complex medical needs.

Money has been tight for the past few months, so this would help lighten some of that burden.

This family will not be able to have any gifts or be able to celebrate the holidays without the love and generosity they will receive from the team at The Barkann Foundation and their wonderful supporters.

Family #12

N is 10 years old and has complex medical issues. N has Complex febrile seizure, Autism spectrum disorder, Mixed receptive-expressive language disorder, & Developmental delay. N is Non-Verbal. 

Mom is only able to work part-time due to the care that N needs throughout the day, evening, and overnight. This very special family needs help with their monthly bills and rent.

Without the support of The Barkann Foundation, Mom would not be able to provide gifts for the holidays. 

We’re so grateful that the supporters of The Barkann Foundation are opening their hearts to this wonderful family in their time of need through the Holiday Hearts Program.

Family #13

Mother NR and Son W both have been both diagnosed with cancer. Mother of 3 fighting stage IV Cervical Cancer has now been at CHOP fighting along side her 4 year old.

W was flown in a helicopter to Children’s Hospital and has undergone a few surgeries to remove tumors and a kidney. He was said to need 6 chemo and radiation treatments.

Since then he has needed a feeding tube and cancer has been found in his lymph nodes.

Both NR and her Husband are self-employed.

Dad is now staying at the hospital full time with W while NR gets back to her own treatments.

Mom is home with their 7 year old and 8 month old all while doing in home hospice with her mother who was diagnosed with early Alzheimers.

This family needs a break in life!

We’re so grateful that The Barkann Foundation and their supporters have chosen this very special local family to be supported through their Holiday Hearts Program this holiday season.

Thank you for sharing your love and generosity to NR and her family.

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