San Diego breast cancer charity announces new gift card program
Shades of Pink Foundation California (SOPFCA) recently announced the rollout of the Gift Card Program, adding a new element to its financial support for women in active breast cancer treatment.
The new program provides gift cards of up to $300 for single women and $500 to married women or women with dependent children. The gift cards apply to well-known grocery stores, gas stations, or big-box retailers. In order to qualify for a gift card, a woman must submit a shorter application than she would for the Basic Living Expense for Support and Survival (BLESS) grant of up to $2,000.
“Breast cancer doesn’t go away just because we are facing a pandemic and an uptick in economic uncertainty,” said Vembra Holnagel, the Grant Committee chairperson for SOPFCA. “In fact, the need for financial relief is greater now than ever for women fighting breast cancer. Our gift card program is meant to be a fast, easy, and efficient way of getting money into the hands of women who need it the most.”
For seven years, SOPFCA has provided BLESS grants to women in active breast cancer treatment, but the nonprofit organization decided to develop the gift card pilot program after several referral partners, the medical professionals who work with breast cancer patients, mentioned that not every woman could qualify for a BLESS grant.
According to Holnagel, the initial gift card pilot program was a big success, with SOPFCA giving out 28 gift card grants and using all of the program’s designated funds. That result was sufficient for SOPFCA to adopt the program permanently, which was officially launched in early September of 2020. Holnagel stated that she would love to be able to increase the program to cover two consecutive months to provide even more support for women in the most need of financial help, but that future growth of the Gift Card Program will depend on meeting fundraising goals and receiving donations.
SOPFCA was forced to cancel its largest fundraising event, Purse Bingo, in March due to pandemic-related concerns.
The organization is actively seeking funds for gift cards so they can assist as many local breast cancer patients as possible.
To learn more about SOPFCA, read profiles of women who have received support from the organization, or to donate, visit www.shadesofpinkfoundationca.org
Sign up for the Encinitas Advocate newsletter
Top stories from Encinitas every Friday.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Encinitas Advocate.