SESLOC Spotlight highlights local organizations that make the Central Coast the best place to live.
Jack’s Helping Hand is an essential service that provides community programs that meet the unique challenges faced by children with cancer or special needs and their families throughout San Luis Obispo County. Bonnie Burt, Volunteer & Event Coordinator, explains how the nonprofit supports our community:
Jack’s Helping Hand
Serving the Central Coast since: 2006
How many employees? 5
How many volunteers? 2-3 in office weekly & 75+ for ongoing programs and events
What’s your mission? The Mission of Jack’s Helping Hand is to establish and provide community programs that enable and empower families, professionals, and the broader community to meet the unique unmet physical, mental, and special medical needs of children and young adults under age 21 who reside within SLO County.
What’s unique about JHH? The organization was formed in memory of baby Jack who passed away at age three from a rare form of brain cancer. Since that time, JHH has helped thousands of other children with medical and special needs whose family resources have been exhausted. Our support offers a wide range of services, therapies, medical products, transportation and lodging costs to children here in our county. We have provided prosthetic limbs, specialized treatments, robotic equipment, sophisticated eyeglasses, state-of-the-art hearing devices, and much more. Last year we were able to assist nearly 2,500 families in total, and over the last ten years, we have provided more than $2,500,000 in assistance to children and their families here in San Luis Obispo County. We are also building the Jack Ready Imagination Park in Nipomo which will be a 30+ acre dedicated space for people of all abilities to come play and be together.
What do you attribute to your success? The organization’s founders, Bridget and Paul Ready, took personal tragedy and transformed it into a dream to assist other families with the struggles of medically challenged children. They attribute the long standing success of Jack’s Helping Hand to the wonderful supporters over the years as well as our community’s consistent generosity.
What advice would you give someone interested in supporting your mission? There are many different ways that individuals and companies can support our programs and fundraising efforts. We can also direct financial contributions to an area of specific interest such as our water or equine therapy, cancer support or for medical travel assistance. We also offer numerous ways to participate in our annual fundraisers — Auction & BBQ (June) or Imagination Park Golf Tournament (usually in September). More information to support us can be found at www.jackshelpinghand.org or by calling our office: 805-547-1914.