DRAPER, Utah (ABC4 News) A local organization is working diligently to bring Christmas to nearly 100 working families whose children spend every minute of the day fighting severe illnesses and conditions.
Jodi Frkovich, a board member and volunteer organizer for Children and the Earth, said they are hoping to provide a Christmas to nearly 350 children this year after placing 15 giving trees around the valley to help gather gifts and other items for each family.
"These families work but they have substantial medical burdens. We want them to be able to have Christmas and be able to pay their cost of living too," Frkovich said.
"These families do not qualify for traditional help because they are employed, but their medical costs are just so high, they often do not have money for anything else, a lot of them just asked for things such as gas cards and food."
Frkovich said the children they help suffer many illnesses including cancer, brain tumors and life threatening heart conditions, some even requiring transplants.
"We currently have seven children with terminal illnesses and are also helping many children who suffer from diabetes, epilepsy, brittle bone disease and autism.
"We even have a few families whose children we help because their parents have cancer, two moms with breast cancer and one single dad with colon cancer," Frkovich said. "All of the families we help have a medical condition that requires a lot of treatment and high medical expenses associated with their care."
Frkovich said the beginning of the year is often very scary for these families as they often have high deductibles that start over at the beginning of the year and many have experimental treatments that insurance will not pay for.
Families travel from all over the state to Salt Lake just to get treatment for their children and some of the families have to travel outside of the state, including as far away as New York, to get the treatments not yet available here.
Children and the Earth, a nonprofit organization which was founded in 1999 by Lana Hall. Hall, who has always been a charitable person, retired in 1997 and decided to follow her dream of helping underprivileged children.
She created Children and the Earth to help disadvantaged children within the community. Her daughter Amber Brosig has carried on her legacy to help others.
As they still need more items and help for these families, you can get involved or contact Children and the Earth by visiting their website for more information.
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