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Building on Love was founded in 2009 as an all-volunteer charity. Our original mission focused on providing emergency grants to families staying at several Ronald McDonald House chapters around the northeastern United States, including Albany, NY.
In May 2019, Jeff Yule, former Executive Director for Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Capital Region, and a Building on Love founding board member, was hired as Executive Director to lead our new Family Grant Program. This program is focused on providing financial stability to local families caring for a loved one with a recent life-altering medical diagnosis like cancer, premature birth, or trauma.
We currently work with four referral partners; The Bernard and Millie Duker Children’s Hospital at Albany Medical Center, Capital District Physicians Health Plan, New York Oncology Hematology, and the Capital Cup for Kids.
Doctors, social workers, nurses, patient care representatives/advocates, child life specialists, and community leaders collaborate with our Executive Director to identify qualified families and help us craft a grant to meet a family’s specific needs.
We provide a temporary financial bridge to local families supporting a loved one facing a recent life-altering medical diagnosis. We focus our efforts on assisting with mortgage/rent payments, as ensuring families retain their housing is a priority. Additionally, we will assist with auto payments and insurance, household utilities and insurance, and other essential non-medical living expenses such as cell phones and access to the internet. Each grant is customized to the individual applicant’s needs in adherence to our grant-making policies and procedures.
We budget $5,000 in support over the course of three to four months for each family. We do not pay families directly; instead, our families provide us with the information we need to process payments to their banks, landlords, vendors, etc.
To assist some of our local families with their longer-term food security issues, we established a small pantry program which provides a concierge-type service to our local families. We provide diapers, formula, some food items, personal care, and sundry items, as well as supplies to keep their home clean. By helping with these items, we allow more of their income to be used to purchase groceries. In harvest season, we share fresh produce provided by our friends at Pitney Meadows Community Farm in Saratoga Springs. For families who live outside of the immediate Capital Region, we research local food pantries programs for them to access once their child is discharged. In some cases, we provide gift cards to purchase fresh food or specialty items.
Staff and/or volunteers work with each interested family to connect them to resources in their respective communities with a focus on helping them develop strategies to maintain their financial health. We maintain a referral list of interested financial counselors/service providers (i.e., tax prep), social workers, and those interested in supporting our families.
Learn more about Building on Love and lend a hand at buildingonlove.org
Building on Love, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit with a mission of helping families in our community who are facing a life-altering medical condition. We do this by providing financial support to serve as a bridge and assist with essential living expenses. Building on Love also partners with local organizations and several Ronald McDonald House Charities chapters to further our mission.