What We Do
Jack’s Helping Hand assists children with illnesses and disabilities, providing special treatments, services, equipment and transportation that are not provided by other sources; or which exceed family financial capability.
To qualify for assistance, individuals must complete an application (in Spanish), including a professional’s referral (i.e. medical doctor; physical, occupational or speech therapist; social worker). Jack’s Helping Hand’s Board of Directors review these applications and award benefits in accordance with the corporation’s available resources. Jack’s Helping Hand never directly distributes funds to individuals. Here are some examples:
Many local families with children suffering from heart disease, cancer or other serious illnesses have received assistance with paying for gas, lodging and food for repeated visits to UCLA’s Tiverton House and the Ronald McDonald House at Stanford. Many special needs children are forced to go out of the area to receive the treatments necessary to help them fight their medical, physical or mental conditions. Jack’s Helping Hand helps them be able to afford these costly trips
A disabled child’s family health insurance refused to cover the cost of a specialized wheel chair that they initially had approved. Jack’s Helping Hand paid for the wheel chair so the child could be independently mobile.
A young boy fighting bone cancer received a computer for his home schooling. The chemotherapy treatment he receives keeps him from going to school and causes his fingers to go numb making it very difficult to hold a pencil. The computer and home schooling keep him from falling behind in school. Jack’s Helping Hand also helped to pay medical bills for this boy.
A five-year-old with life-threatening allergies needed a specially-trained service dog to alert him to danger and to make his medication available at the first sign of an allergic response. Jack’s Helping Hand assisted with the expenses of renting a van, gas, lodging, and food while the family made their trip to meet the dog, receive training and return home.
For the Community
On October 28, 2005, the Jack Ready Therapy Room opened at the San Luis Obispo Medical Therapy Unit on Grand Avenue. The facility, outfitted with specially-designed rehabilitation equipment, provides unique and targeted physical and occupational therapy.
Jack Ready Imagination Park
The Jack Ready Imagination Park, will be a universally accessible park where all children, regardless of physical limitation, will be able to play side by side. Things are moving forward in the planning stage.
Features will include themed play structures, a sand play area, sports fields and a therapeutic riding center. The entire park will be accessible by foot, bike, stroller, wheelchair and walker. Thanks to a generous donation of 30 acres of land in San Luis Obispo County, Jack’s Helping Hand is moving forward to make this dream a reality.
Jack’s Helping Hand helps families understand how to access the public and private resources available to children with disabilities.
Jack’s Helping Hand endeavors to create a network of help for families in need of advice or a friendly ear. We also strive to raise community awareness about the unique needs of children with illnesses and disabilities.
Pediatric Cancer Services
San Luis Obispo County families facing a pediatric cancer diagnosis will soon be spared the travel burdens of cancer treatment. Jack's Helping Hand is pleased to announce that Coastal Integrative Cancer Care has expanded its services to include pediatric oncology, the first and much-needed local medical resource of its kind. Pediatric Oncology Nurse Practitioner Mary Mott Okimoto recently joined practitioners Tom Spillane, Jim Malone, Deborah Villa and Tim Souchek in their San Luis Obispo office. For more information contact Mary Mott Okimoto.