What is your definition of a tragedy? The leaders of the Brandon Foundation Angel Program ask themselves that question with every new request for assistance. Whether it is from receiving the news that a loved one was seriously injured or killed in a traffic accident or being given a diagnosis of a terminal disease, these are examples that families in our community deal with everyday. The Brandon Foundation Angel Program has been able to walk alongside families during their most difficult times by lending a helping hand and providing hope.

Since 2006, the Foundation Angel Program has helped over 500 families in a variety of ways. Upon receipt of a new request, an email is sent out to the Angel Teams. The Angel Team members are trained on how to support the families by assessing their short and long term needs. “When you are in the midst of a crisis, you don’t care that the lawn isn’t mowed, but it still has to be done. Knowing there is someone there to help support you through that difficult time can truly be the difference between having hope or no hope,” says Executive Director, Liz Brewer.

The Angel Teams determine what needs exist and then reach out to their network of Foundation “Angel Providers” who can offer a free or discounted service to the families. In most cases, the services are needed for a very short time, but in other cases, it can continue for several months until the crisis is over. In some situations, a family is in need of financial assistance. As long as they meet the criteria of a life-threatening disease or catastrophic event, a request for financial assistance can be approved.

The Angel Program has been successful because it gives everyone in the community the opportunity to help their fellow neighbor. While the Foundation wants to share the stories of how they have helped families, they will never sensationalize someone else’s tragedy, so that makes it difficult to get the word out.

How can you help? “When you see someone faced with a life-threatening disease or catastrophic event” shares Program Co-Chair, Janet Noah. Jill Lansky, Program Co-Chair adds, “Just go to our Website and enter in the request under Angel Assistance Request, and we will reach out to the family.” For information, visit www.BrandonFoundation.com or call 689-6889.

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