ABOUT THE AUTHOR
OhioKAN proudly serves kinship and adoption families throughout the state. Our OhioKAN Region 6 team specifically serves families in Champaign, Clark, Darke, Greene, Miami, Montgomery, Preble, and Shelby counties.
An aunt and uncle have legal custody of their 4-year-old niece, who had been the victim of shaken baby syndrome at 4 months of age. As a result, she has severe medical needs that require 24-hour care. After getting custody, they were told most likely the little girl would have ended up in a nursing home because her needs were so extensive.
The aunt left her job to provide her niece the constant care and supervision she needs. The family purchased a new home that provided more space for their now family of five. The family worked hard to clean the new house thoroughly, but the previous owner was a smoker and had pets and they were unable to rid the house of the smell. The little girl has asthma and the home was not yet fit for her to live in safely, as she is unable to even cough without the help of medical equipment. Her pulmonologist suggested the family remove the carpeting and replace it with hard flooring and have the ducts professionally cleaned.
The aunt had heard about OhioKAN from a Community Health Worker at Dayton Children’s Hospital and called the hotline number. The OhioKAN Navigator and aunt discussed the family’s needs and this one was rated most urgent. The Navigator suggested the family get an estimate for the flooring as a first step.
The estimate was $9513.08 for the materials alone! They needed durable, waterproof flooring that could hold up to wheelchair use. The family is living paycheck to paycheck and they used a large portion of their savings to purchase a wheelchair accessible van to transport their niece to appointments and therapies.
The Navigator submitted a request on CarePortal in hopes to offset some of the cost. The CarePortal request went out to three churches, as it is a rural area. In the meantime, the Navigator sent the family additional resources and the aunt was actively applying for local grants and they were both reaching out to every possible resource they could find. Soon after the CarePortal request was posted, Riversong Church offered to contribute $1000 towards the flooring!
CarePortal’s point of contact, Aaron Earlywine, reached out separately to the Navigator and connected her to Tom Walter, the CarePortal Ambassador in Champaign County and pastor of Myrtle Tree Church. After talking to Tom, the Navigator connected him with the family. Members of Myrtle Tree Church helped tear out all the carpeting and purchased an ozone generator to help with the smoke smell. Tom also found and paid for a HVAC service to come clean out the ductwork!
The carpet was out and the family was able to finally move in, but they were walking on sub-flooring. With the family’s permission, the Navigator called a contact she was given at Lowes to ask if they might be able to assist a family in need. The department manager did not hesitate to rework the numbers and provided a new estimate of $2676.76, which was a HUGE discount from the original estimate the family had received!
Riversong Church and OhioKAN covered the cost of the flooring materials and Myrtle Tree Baptist plans to help with the installation! The family is beyond grateful for the financial help they received and even more grateful for the community collaboration and support that was provided to them. Knowing their sweet little girl can safely live in their new home is the best gift of all!