There With Care's mission is to provide a wide range of thoughtful and fundamental services to children and families during the critical phase of a medical crisis. We serve families referred by medical agencies by building a network of services and people who ease the burden of life's day-to-day obligations with compassion and care.
Since 2005, There With Care has served over 4,000 families with critically ill children by providing basic needs support that offsets financial, economic, and emotional stresses families experience during a medical crisis. We work with families referred by medical agencies by building a network of services and people who ease the burden of life's day-to-day obligations with compassion and care. In 2019, 74% of cases referred to There With Care involved children five years old and younger who had a diagnosis of cancer, blood disorders, and other life-threatening illnesses (including critical premature newborns in the neo-natal ICU).
There With Care was founded in Colorado in 2005. While in London working as the Associate Producer on the first three HARRY POTTER films (2001-2004), founder and Executive Director Paula DuPre' Pesmen met over 60 families of critically ill children through a program she and the movie director developed to welcome the children to the HARRY POTTER movie sets. Listening to these families, Paula heard about unmet needs, and the daily isolation the families endured: this was her catalyst for starting There With Care.
With the help of a 32-person staff (11 full-time and 21 part-time), over 900 multi-generational volunteers, and dozens of local business and foundation partners, There With Care works with 150-160 families daily, and we project to serve over 700 families this year, 87% of which live below the HUD median income level for Denver, equating to nearly 1,100 children living under emotional and financial duress.
A 2017 compassion grant supported a one-time investment to customize our database (salesforce.com) platform to integrate a real-time inventory system that tracks all purchased and in-kind program items. After the 2018 implementation of this system, we conducted an organizational audit, which opens up potential funding opportunities with new grantors. This inventory system investment is just one step There With Care is taking toward greater efficiency: the more efficient we are, the more time we can spend directly providing care to families.
While the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world we live in dramatically, There With Care operations have continued uninterrupted. During this challenging time, the families served by There With Care need the organization's community-based basic needs safety net more than ever.
"There with Care is always extremely helpful to our families, but has been especially crucial during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of our families are fearful to enter a grocery store that they will catch the virus and bring it back to their baby. They rely more heavily on the support of There With Care to meet their very basic needs, than they had pre-pandemic. Many of our families have also had financial impacts due to the exceedingly high numbers of job loss and the daily needs support has allowed them to feed their families and get to and from the hospital. The stress of a hospital admission is already so high on a family, there with care allows families focus their energy on their child and healing."
- Carla Lomuscio, LCSW, Clinical Social Work, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Children's Hospital Colorado
"Thank you for all you did for my family to help us through the darkest of days."
- Parent of a PICU patient
"There With Care provides a breath when it seems there's not a breath to be caught. Throughout the year and at our most difficult times, they brought groceries and diapers. They provided gas cards for our many trip to the ER with chemo fevers."
- Mother of a brain tumor patient
"When I see a There with Care green bag going up in the hospital elevator, I think, 'I wonder who is going to get to feel supported today?' For me it helps knowing that we're not alone in this and that there are people who genuinely care. I think it's usually harder on the family than they'll ever tell you. We're not alone and that's a nice feeling. "
- Mother of a brain tumor patient
"Having people who are there for you makes the world of difference and makes it so much easier. Just to know that people who don't know us cared and were willing to take the time means a lot. It truly makes the journey so much more bearable."
- Mother of an oncology patient
"I'm used to paying my own bills, paying my way and now I need help. I'm blessed that services were offered. I honestly don't know where I would be without There With Care. They are like family. They didn't even know us, but they stepped right up and helped. The volunteers brought us food, laundry detergent and cleaning supplies and our coordinator Julie sent me gas cards to get back and forth to the hospital. They are just there. It's welcomed, it's surprising, it's a blessing. I appreciate during this tragic part of our journey, they pick us up and guide us along, just a little bit, just enough so we don't fall off the map. You don't know how good that feels."
- Yazmyne's grandmother, Jacque.
"You kept food in our house and provided us with so many necessities during our hardest days and weeks. You helped us have a "normal" Thanksgiving and Christmas and took all of the holiday stress out of the equation so we could focus on getting our Aiden home."
- Parent of a PICU patient
"Each morning, I wake up and put a Crock-pot meal in the Crock-pot and then go to work. I work on my computer and on my phone and can smell our dinner cooking all day long. At 5pm, I close my computer and get out two plates and I make our dinner: one plate for me and one for my wife. I wrap them in foil, and then get in my car and drive an hour to the hospital. I go up to their room and give everyone hugs. My wife and I sit across the table from each other in the room and we talk about our day. What we did, how each other is feeling. Then, we talk about our daughter and any updates there might be. I usually stay until 10 p.m. or so, being with them and talking and playing if our daughter is feeling well enough. Then I give my wife and daughter kisses good night, drive an hour home, climb into our bed, and then wake up and do it all over again. The time we spend together is so precious and I look forward to it all day long."
- Father of a pediatric oncology patient.
"There With Care's ability to support families of critically ill children plays an integral role in ensuring that these individuals feel well cared for at our facility. There With Care's services are as diverse as the population served. There With Care provides toiletry bags with essentials that frantic parents often forgot when racing out the door to the hospital. Another example would be their incredible meal service network. After a long day of treatment, many of our oncology families take advantage of this opportunity because without the generosity of There With Care, a hot home cooked meal would be nearly impossible to manage. In short, for which my praise and admiration for this organization is not, I would simply be unable to effectively support all of our Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children families without the invaluable assistance of There With Care."
- Social Worker at Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children.
"When I started my career as the "Family Resource Specialist" in the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders at Children's Hospital, I quickly learned how extremely critical There With Care's involvement was for patients and families facing a life threatening illness. Due to the great need I have seen over the years, I can confidently and assuredly say that we could not achieve the things we do both medically and emotionally without the continual support and ongoing collaboration from There With Care. They play an integral role in mitigating social and financial barriers so that patients and their families can focus on their medical needs during this difficult time."
- Pediatric Neuro Oncology Social Worker, Children's Hospital Colorado.
"Championing There With Care is very humbling and easy to do when you continually see the enthusiasm and energy from all those involved. Nothing is taken for granted by them. Every time I visit one of their operations, I am taken aback by the energy and enthusiasm shown by all the volunteers. While what There With Care does is extraordinary, it is a very simple organization made up of people and volunteers wanting to, in the words of Paula DuPre' Pesmen, "Normalize the situation in whatever way we can" and they do just that."
- Employee at U.S. Engineering
"I recently received an inspiration award from you and your organization, yet it is I who should be inspired by you. Call it accident, or providence, our meeting has been more fortuitous for me than anyone else. You see, I have discovered that giving yields an unexpected result…the giver simply becomes a better person for that simple act. Inconsequential of any accolades, awards or fanfare, this tenet becomes merely a byproduct whose outcome exceeds the laws of physics in that unexpected yet certain reward to the giver…Thank you for doing all the work. I purely reap the benefits. I thank YOU for the gift you have given me."
- Jack, business owner