help for families of childhood cancer patients

Frequently Asked Questions

BIG Love Cancer Care
  1. What does BLCC do?
    X

    At present, we provide a weekly wish list program for all hematology and oncology inpatient kids and families at Texas Children's Hospital (Houston) and Dell children's Medical Center (Austin). We also maintain three large toy closets at the cancer clinics at TCH main campus and west campus and Dell Children's Medical Center. Each day, after procedures, pokes or radiation, cancer kids at the clinic get to take a trip to our B.I.G. Love toy closets. We currently provide toys for approximately 600 cancer kids each month. This has been a big hit and continues to bring much laughter and many smiles. Holidays are also a major undertaking for B.I.G. Love.

    Besides providing various catered holiday meals throughout the year, we also provide large gift baskets for each cancer family for Mother's Day, Father's Day and Valentine's Day ranging in price from $50-$100 each. It is also a priority of BIG Love to show our love and appreciation for the cancer unit's doctors, nurses and support staff by catering meals for them or providing small gifts of encouragement.  We also provide parking passes, weekly catered meals, dining dollars, and new patient care bags. Our Care Bags contain items such as: shampoo, soap, razors, shaving cream, socks, q-tips, etc.  Throughout the years, B.I.G. Love has also provided individual and group grief support services as well as opportunities for weekend retreats, conferences, and other resources and literature for bereaved families. Our two newest programs are the Angels for Aidan Comfort Cart  and Elephants Never Forget Scholarship Fund.  The comfort cart is provided to families whose child is inpatient with a terminal prognosis. This cart is filled with items that we hope would provide comfort to families during this very difficult and stressful time such as: snacks, sheet sets, a coffee maker and coffee, CD player, aromatherapy oils and other useful items.  The $2000 college scholarship is awarded to an applicant pursuing a degree in nursing who is a childhood cancer survivor or a sibling or parent of a childhood cancer patient.

  2. What are the opportunities for a BLCC volunteer?
    X If you are looking for a meaningful and life-changing volunteer experience, join BLCC as we serve thousands of cancer kids each year. For children diagnosed with cancer, BLCC means an opportunity to request special wish or comfort items each week, to receive a toy at clinic during traumatic moments, enjoy a catered meal every Sunday, and much more. The purpose of BLCC is to ease the childhood cancer journey…to make them smile…to bring them hope!

    Our volunteers serve in many different capacities from hospital visits to event support and help. Click here for more information

  3. How does someone become a BLCC volunteer?
    X Your first step is to complete our online application. (Click here). After submitting your application, a BLCC representative will contact you with details.
  4. How many volunteers are involved with BLCC?
    X We have between 65-80 volunteers that help BLCC in different capacities.
  5. Who does BLCC serve?
    X The children and teens served by B.I.G. Love Cancer Care include all inpatient kids and their families admitted on the hematology/oncology unit at Texas Children's Hospital (Houston) or Dell Children's Medical Center (Austin).
  6. How many cancer kids and families does BLCC serve each year?
    X We serve over 5300 cancer kids and their families each year with weekly groceries.
    Over 8000 cancer kids with toys through our toy chests and toy cart.
    Over 100 large Holiday Gift Baskets and over 100 Holiday Gift Cards.
    Over 300 new diagnosis bags, over 125 catered meals to cancer unit and over $5,000 in parking passes. We also provide free housing for cancer families, grief support and other special services.
  7. How long has BLCC existed?
    X We have existed since February of 2007.
  8. How many board members? How many staff?
    X We have 20 Board Members and two staff members.
  9. How is BLCC funded? Where does the money go?
    X We currently receive funding from our annual Childhood Cancer Fun Run, merchandise sales, individual, church and business contributions, grants, newsletter donations, memorial/honor donations, and in-kind donations. Also, in 2009, B.I.G. Love, received our first grant in the amount of $24,000 from St. Luke's United Methodist church – Houston Project to help fund our grocery program throughout 2010. And in September 2011, we received a $25,000 grant from Pepsi Cola Company. In 2011, we received a $20,000 grant from AT&T. In 2012, IPH Home Health and Hospice supported us with over $28,000 in contributions, and in 2012 and 2013, UPS supported us with gifts of $10,000 each year. The sustainability of B.I.G. Love Cancer Care is evident not only by the support of the medical and administrative staff in the medical center, but also by the commitment of our 75 plus volunteers, 24 Board Members and many cancer families. We will make every effort to keep our overhead and operating costs low in order to ensure the best possible care for the children and families we serve.
  10. How can I make an immediate difference to help cancer kids and their families?
    X Your financial or in-kind donations can make an immediate difference today. We shop for toys, groceries and other items requested by cancer kids and their families each and every week…all year long!
    • $10 purchases restaurant gift cards
    • $25 purchases a New Diagnosis Bag
    • $50 purchases a Mother's Day or Father's Day Gift Bag
    • $75 purchases a Valentine Gift Basket for a child
    • $100 purchases groceries for one cancer family for one month or a parking pass for a family in need.
    • $250 purchases toys for two toy chests at the Cancer Clinic
    • $500 purchases groceries for the entire cancer unit, 36 rooms, for one week.
    • Collect toys and other items and donate to the cancer unit/clinic.