By V.S. Santoni
A scenario most of us hope to never experience; child, critically ill, and the inability to find
resources when we need them the most. There With Care hopes to fill in when families are at their most vulnerable. Founded by Paula DuPré Pesmen 18 years ago, she hoped that the organization would “provide essential support to families with a child facing critical illness. To ease their burdens, we provide food security, housing stability, transportation to treatments, and family essentials.”
Pesmen and There With Care partner with area hospitals to identify families in the Nashville area. Pesmen notes that each day they have a caseload of 100 families. According to Pesmen “A significant highlight for me is that we’ve been able to provide community for families during an isolating time in their life. We are helping so many more families than originally projected during the entire length of their medical crisis, which is what makes There With Care unique. Our services aren’t a one- time transaction, but rather a long-term support for families until they’re on the other side of their crisis, which on average is three months.
The organization is also useful in that they provide bilingual services. As our communities grow more diverse, it is essential that non-profits begin to recognize the unique needs of each individual, and that one size does not fit all. Pesmen notes this and say, “To meet the array of diverse needs, we have bilingual coordinators who can have more in-depth conversations with families, making them feel heard and supported fully.”
While the organization has grown since its inception, its main goal now is focused on growing the community’s awareness of the organization. The organization thrives on volunteers and needs more volunteers to be able to help more families. Pesmen notes that the organization currently needs in-kind donations and financial support as well.
Pesmen states “There With Care has serviced 10,000 families since its inception. In reality,
that’s 40,000 family members because There With Care looks to help the whole family that’s impacted by critical illness. There With Care looks to be there for the ENTIRE family through the duration of the crisis.”
If you are interested in learning more or volunteering with There for Care you can visit their
website at https://therewithcare.org.