Help A Child Smile is a grassroots organization that provides supports, activities, events and wish trips for children who are being or have been treated for cancer at McMaster Children’s Hospital in Hamilton.
For more than three decades we have provided opportunities for these young cancer patients and their families to leave behind hospitals, treatments and procedures to create lasting memories. Our regular events include day trips and outings for the entire family. Our mission from the beginning has been to put smiles on children’s faces.
In additions to regular events, we also provide wish trips to Disney's Give the Kids the World Village in Orlando, Florida for a week, all expenses paid. Currently, our trips are on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Our organization not only provides fun activities and events for families, but also much needed supports like paid hospital parking for the duration of a child’s treatment, gas cards for commuting to the hospital and funding for procedures not covered by OHIP, such as stem cell therapy and fertility banking. The financial supports that we provide relieve a bit of the burden for these families. Many caregivers and parents are not able to work their regular hours as one parent usually stays with the child in treatment reducing their family's income.
A cancer diagnosis affects the whole family. Help A Child Smile understands and acknowledges this fact. We therefore focus on including the entire family in our events and activities. Each year, we host a variety of outings including hockey games, Disney on Ice, fishing derbies, Canada’s Wonderland, Bingemans FunWorx, Go-Karting and Mini-Putt and much more.
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected our ability to gather together as a group, so our Board shifted to provide tickets to events that families could participate in safely, such as Bingemans Dinosaur Drive-Thru’s, drive-In movies, outdoor venues and virtual events.
You can hear more about Help A Child Smile by visiting our video gallery where our families, volunteers and supporters have shared their stories of our impact https://helpachildsmile.com/photo-galleries/videos/