Sometimes the only thing standing between a couple and having a child is a few zeroes on a check, says Russelle Holsinger, vice president of Angels of Hope in Morris. For the one in six couples who are experiencing fertility issues, paying for treatment can sometimes break the bank.
That’s why Angels of Hope has started a Creating Miracles Grant program to help families close the funding gap in fertility treatments. "Sometimes they’re only a thousand dollars from what they have saved (and what the treatment costs) and we can help with that," Holsinger says.
Angels of Hope awards fertility grants each April and September and, depending on applicants’ financial needs, can help four-10 families. The grant program started last year and already four babies have been born as a result of the financial aid from the group, according to Holsinger.
"It is amazing how successful it has been," she says. "One of the very first couples, who had the first grant, had the very first baby. They had lost twins at about six months, so the fact that they were able to get pregnant with this baby meant a lot to them."
The grant program is paid for entirely by the group’s fundraising efforts and the amount of grant money available is dependent on the availability of funds. To apply for a grant, couples must demonstrate financial need, have little to no insurance coverage (for fertility treatment), be legally married and have a detailed letter from their doctor showing they have a medical necessity for treatment and that the treatment has a likelihood of success.
"Fertility issues are becoming such a widespread problem … and we’re one of only a few that has this type of grant program," Holsinger says. "The response from people has really been phenomenal."
For more information on the grant program, visit www.angelsofhopeinc.org.