CLARK, NJ - The Emmanuel Cancer Foundation, an agency which supports children with cancer, has recently moved to Clark from nearby Scotch Plains. According to Regional Director Barbara Kopel, there are many people in the community who don’t know the foundation exists, and she’s hoping to change that.
“Now that [the foundation has] moved to Clark, we are hoping to gain more exposure in the community,” Kopel said.
Since ECF does not receive any government grants, it relies entirely on donations and heavily on volunteers. Kopel said the foundation is planning on organizing fundraising events with local businesses and other local organizations.
“Our long term goal is to increase the number of families we service and create partnerships within the community, with schools and churches,” Kopel said.
The foundation, which was started 33 years ago, provides free services to families that have a child with cancer. The services range from counseling, to food donations, to assistance with paying utility bills.
“Services begin where hospitals leave off, at home, where families find themselves isolated and missing the supportive network found in a medical setting,” Kopel said.
Currently, the foundation assists 200 families. Each family that is a part of ECF is assigned a professional caseworker who assesses the family’s situation and tends to their needs.
“[ECF] is a very necessary organization, and it’s one of the few foundations that provides these types of services. We want to have more visibility so that more families that need our help can find out about us,” said Kopel.
ECF was started in 1983 by Joseph and Susan Vizzoni, in memory of their son Emmanuel Vizzoni, who passed away at seven years old from Burketts Lymphoma. The Vizzonis wanted to address the gaps in emotional, spiritual, and financial support for families that have a child with cancer. Since it began, the foundation has helped over 2000 families in New Jersey.
To learn more about opportunities to help ECF, visit their website at www.emmanuelcancer.org, or call (908) 322-4323.
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