The Unforgettables Fund
The death of a child is the single greatest fear of any parent. Imagine for a moment that after a long, emotionally draining and financially exhausting illness, the worst does occur. And you are faced with the reality that you do not have the financial means to bury your child – he or she might be forgotten.
The Unforgettables Fund – Toronto Chapter was created to help families cope with this overwhelming burden. These families have often sacrificed their income, mortgaged their homes, depleted their savings, maxed out their credit cards and lines of credit and borrowed from relatives, in an effort to spend one more day, one last moment with their dying child. Following the death of the child they are emotionally spent and financially traumatized. Many of these families qualify as working poor: that are not entitled to government or other forms of traditional assistance.
The Unforgettables Foundation was established in 2001 by Tim Evans, a chaplain at Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital in southern California. As he helped families deal with grief after the death of their child, he learned that many could not afford a funeral and were worried their child would be forgotten.
In 2002, Dr. Glen Van Arsdell, long time acquaintance of Evans, realized the same need existed at The Hospital for Sick Children and he took the necessary steps to form The Toronto Chapter.
The number of families requiring assistance has increased steadily since then and we are now averaging 25 requests per year, surpassing the capacity of the current fund.
We would like you to get to know The Unforgettables Fund Toronto Chapter. It is truly a generous and inspirational community and while its infrastructure may be small, its impact is great. Members of this engaged community represent staff at The Hospital For Sick Children, bereavement care providers from both the funeral and cemetery industries, as well as community minded and compassionate people. Historically, it is the funeral home directors that have been quietly waiving funeral costs to support bereaved and financially traumatized families. But there are so many other financial stresses associated with a funeral. The Unforgettables Fund aims to reach families in need with whatever kind of financial support they require. The end goal remains the same: families are able to spend their last moments with their child without worrying about the impending cost of a dignified funeral.