As many people with Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) know all too well, few are prepared for the devastating financial impact of a traumatic injury. HelpHOPELive is a nonprofit organization that helps individuals and their communities raise money for uninsured expenses arising from or relating to catastrophic injury and illness, and transplants. In the context of SCI, insurance will likely pay for one’s hospitalization and buy a basic wheelchair, but not to modify a house so one can live with access and ease post injury. Insurance doesn’t usually pay for long-term care like home health aides, or to modify a vehicle to drive. Although insurance may pay for temporary medical treatments such as physical therapy (PT) and occupational therapy (OT), insurance usually does not pay for long term or experimental therapy treatments, such as the intensive physical therapy camps that can make a real difference in one’s recovery and long-term independence. HelpHOPELive helps communities raise funds for loved ones to meet those expenses. They are based in Radnor, PA and serve people all over the country.
HelpHOPELive has the same online fundraising tools as crowdsourcing sites like Kickstarter and Go Fund Me, with a couple of important differences. As a nonprofit organization, HelpHOPELive can ensure that all donations are tax deductible for donors, and offer the assurance that all funds will go to expenses relating to the beneficiary’s medical needs rather than other unrelated factors which sometimes can help raise more funds than other less structured campaigns. From another side, because the funds are going to a nonprofit, it does not count as income for the beneficiary or jeopardize Medicaid eligibility. They also have professionals on board to help guide the fundraising process, which people have found to be a real asset and has made a difference in how much they are able to raise.
For those newly injured, looking to raise funds for home modifications, therapies (both in the US and overseas), adapted sports equipment, FES bikes, modified vehicles, or other expensive SCI/D related needs, HelpHOPELive is a great resource to know about. Go to www.HelpHOPELive.org and learn more.