The Harold & Arlene Schnitzer CARE Foundation operates two programs that enhance the well-being of families: The Care to Share program serves low-income and medically fragile children and their families. The CommuniCare program was established to promote youth philanthropy within the community.
Care to Share
This anonymous program recognizes that many families need help while dealing with a child or family member that has been recently diagnosed with an acute or chronic medical condition. Care to Share was established in collaboration with OHSU in 1997 to assist low-income and non-insured families that do not have the resources available to provide basic care and medical needs for their family. Since 1997, approximately 2,000 families in need have been helped anonymously by the CARE Foundation with over $1.7 million in medical and dental care, special medical equipment and other family needs. It can be anything from a new set of snow tires so they can drive a mountain pass back and forth for cancer treatment, to helping with basic necessities like a gas card or utility bill relief. The families are never told who is providing the help, but knowing that someone cares and wants to ease the stress can mean the world when facing medical challenges with a child.
A local story about Chrissy Steltz is one such case of The Harold & Arlene Schnitzer CARE Foundation stepping in to help where it is needed. Chrissy’s face was destroyed by a random gunshot in 1999 and Oregon’s Medicaid Plan would not cover a facial prosthesis because it was viewed as primarily cosmetic. When this was brought to the Foundation’s knowledge, they immediately paid the difference so that Chrissy could “look like a regular person again” to her child.
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The Foundation does not exercise any control over the professional care and judgment of the doctors selected for medical care.
The Foundation believes that there should be an opportunity for young people to improve the quality of life in their communities. CommuniCare was established in 1998 as a program in collaboration with high schools and youth nonprofit organizations to provide an opportunity for teens to learn about the needs of their community through grant making, thus promoting a long-term understanding and ethic of philanthropy and volunteerism in giving back to your community. The goal is to help build a city that is known for its encouragement of teen participation as they become adult citizens in their community.
In the 20th year since inception these groups of high school students have awarded over $1 million in grants. These students have granted to over 230 nonprofit organizations serving their local community in areas of health and human services, environmental, educational and youth services.