Now that the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has mostly receded, Contractors for Kids, or CFK, is energized to once again assist families impacted financially by the illness, injury or death of a child.
CFK was founded in 2005 by two contractors, Kevin Harney and Alan Nahmias. At that time, they had learned a worker had a child with seizures, and the care that was required placed the family in financial peril. Harney and Nahmias stepped in to help pay for the care, and CFK was born. The child has since recovered, and is doing well.
Steve DeLuca, who has been the president of CFK for the past eight years, explained that CFK can help families with medical bills, mortgage payments, experimental care, transportation, and even lodging to allow families to remain close during difficult times. DeLuca emphasized that to receive assistance from CFK, “the financial need must be related to the child’s sickness or injury.” He also pointed out that CFK is a not-for-profit organization entirely run by volunteers. They strive strives to maintain a high percentage of funding that goes directly to the financial needs of the family, per DeLuca.
Discussing COVID-19 “it impacted us for sure,” said DeLuca, in that “we couldn’t hold the three major annual fundraisers we typically run, starting in 2020.” Annual CFK fundraisers include a golf outing and a gala held at the Long Island Aquarium.
The pandemic also curtailed CFK’s ability to connect with the population needing assistance. This was because the hospitals closed their doors to visitors, and the social workers, whom CFK typically works with to connect with families, were overwhelmed with more pressing demands. Fundraising events are being scheduled again, and CFK is poised once more to distribute funds for families who quality for assistance, according to DeLuca.
In a common scenario, a family may lose one income so a parent can support the care of a sick child. Then, there are one-parent families who are impacted immediately due to the overwhelming costs of medical care and related expenses from a catastrophic illness. CFK will resume offering assistance to these families. Experimental care is considered for reimbursement as well.
CFK provides assistance to kids and their families in both Nassau and Suffolk Counties, up to 18 years of age. To quality for assistance, the family, or someone familiar with the family’s situation, must first contact CFK and begin the initial intake process. In 2019, prior to the height of the pandemic, CFK distributed close to $325,000 to families in need of financial assistance.
CFK also participates in smile.amazon.com, where 0.5 percent of eligible purchases can be directed to the organization while shopping at no extra cost to the purchaser.
Visit Contractors for Kids’ website, https://contractorsforkids.org/, to can further explore the organization. Included: a a list of upcoming fundraising events, a portal for donating, a photo gallery, and of course, how to contact them if you would like to apply for assistance.