My nephew was born with Congenital Junctional Ectopic Tachycardia, a rare form of arrhythmia. He was in and out of the hospital frequently, for the first year of his life. Thereafter, there were numerous visits to doctors and therapists for continued treatments. It was a very difficult time for my nephew’s parents and extended family because we didn’t know whether he would survive.

My sister and brother-in-law’s pain and distress was heartbreaking. My nephew’s serious illness also created huge financial consequences. My sister and her family lost their home through foreclosure, the baby’s medical bills piled up, and creditors and bill collectors called regularly.

My nephew is now 5 years old. He’s a fantastic, rambunctious, adorable little guy. You would never know that he has a heart condition and wears a pacemaker in his tummy.

Thanks to Children’s Hospital in Dallas, my sister and her family were able to experience the joy of Christmas during harsh times. The hospital has a special program where truly needy families are chosen by the hospital’s social workers to submit holiday wish lists. The hospital also has a program which permits families to “adopt” a family in need. The adopted family provides a Holiday wish list and information about the sick child and family.  Because of this special program, my sister and her family were able to have a brighter holiday. They were given basic necessities that they could not afford at the time.

As a result of the love and generosity of others, my sister and her family were able to move forward. Although my sister has not been able to return to work and has to closely watch expenses, she and her husband adopt a family each Christmas. They are determined to give all that they can to help others who are in their shoes. After witnessing my sister’s experience and the kindness and generosity of persons who remain anonymous, my husband and I annually contribute to the holiday adoption program.

This past holiday, my husband and I “adopted” a grandma with two young granddaughters. The parents of the children simply were not involved.  One child has a brain tumor and requires regular chemotherapy. The grandmother, who lives in a garage apartment, makes a meager living. Yet, the only items that the grandma had on her wish list were laundry detergent, queen size bed sheets, and a purse for herself. Her granddaughters, likewise, only had short wish lists. They could have asked for so much more but did not want anyone to feel that they were a bother.

Although we wished to help our adopted family throughout the year, the hospital’s program was anonymous and only occurred during the Christmas holiday season. However, we could not get the family out of our minds. Consequently, we determined to create an organization to assist families with seriously ill children year ‘round because their emotional and financial needs continue far beyond the Holiday season. Why should there be seasonal limitations to helping families who are in dire need? With the help and contributions of our supporters, MyPocketChange will provide basic necessities throughout the year to families in economic distress and help alleviate some of their burdens.