Kids Shouldn't Have To Choose Between Cancer and School

Organization Name
Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Foundation of Western Washington
Mission Statement

Our mission is to provide information, support and awareness for children and adolescents with cancer and their families, and to support research so every child survives and leads a long and healthy life

City & State
Question 1
The Before: What was the challenge, issue or problem your organization was facing? Or, what was the opportunity you were not able to take advantage of before you put a technology solution in place?

Answer: Candlelighters serves all children diagnosed with cancer in western Washington, and offers additional services for low-income families going through treatment. Through a social worker, families can request emergency funds, grocery cards, gas cards and other basics. This year, we’ve been receive more and more requests for access to laptops so that a kid in treatment won’t fall behind in school. Cancer can take a lot from childhood, an education shouldn’t be one of its casualties. We needed to find a way to provide low-income kids with access to technology that would allow them to stay current with their classes.

Question 2
What Microsoft software have you used/are you using in your organization to more effectively engage your beneficiaries, donors and/or volunteers and/or to make a difference in your community?

Answer: Microsoft Office 2007 or 2010 (Includes any of the following: Access, Excel, PowerPoint, Publisher, OneNote, Outlook, and Word)

Question 3
The After: How have these Microsoft products allowed you to engage your stakeholders more efficiently or effectively to make a difference in your community?

Answer: Through the donation of a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner, Metia, we were able to secure laptops that would otherwise be recycled. They also donated software, such as instances of the Windows Operatizing System and Microsoft Office 2007. The fact that we were able to connect several kids with these resources could make a vast difference in their lives after cancer. The program is in its infancy, but we are optimistic that access to Microsoft technology while either in the hospital or at home will help adolescent patients keep up with their education while simultaneously fighting for their lives.

Question 4
What about these products (the features or the way you used them) made them particularly helpful in enabling your organization to expand and improve upon its community impact?

Answer: Microsoft Office is the standard in education, so we never thought of procuring anything else. That way, each kid would have a familiar interface in school, at the hospital and at home.

Question 5
Please provide any examples, stories or data that illustrate the difference the use of Microsoft software has enabled you to make (i.e., # of new clients reached, new program added, increased dollars raised, increased volunteers, etc.

Answer: As noted above, this program is in its infancy, and we are very excited to measure its outcomes as the years go on. Now that we have met the immediate needs of some of our clients, we’ll be able to focus on strategically enhancing this program so it benefits many more patients who lack adequate access to the technology they need.

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Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Foundation of Western Washington