Good Neighbor Fund
The Good Neighbor Fund provides financial assistance to individuals and their families in need due to illness or injury, acting as a “bridge” toward financial and physical recovery, often serving as a catalyst for other organizations and individuals to assist as well.
GNF accepts applicant referrals from a wide variety of religious and non-sectarian community agencies and healthcare organizations, and we support our mission through donations, annual appeals plus live and virtual fundraising events.
This financial assistance is provided to qualifying applicants in the form of direct payments for third-party expenses, such as rent or mortgage payments, utility bills, insurance, transportation and other costs incurred but unable to be paid otherwise due to the applicant being incapacitated. GNF assistance typically ranges between $200 to $1,500 per approved case.
How many times have we read about a single parent who has to care for a terminally ill child, or a cancer patient in need of a bone marrow treatment that’s not covered by insurance? Our conscience and compassion implore us help, but often we don’t know how we can.
The Good Neighbor Fund (GNF) was formed in 2009 by a handful of parishioners of St. Paraskevi Greek Orthodox Church in Greenlawn, NY. To the individuals served, even as little as a few hundred dollars provides a lifeline, and its impact can be enormous. Here are a few typical stories of those that the Good Neighbor Fund has assisted.
- A 62-year-old man with Stage 4 bladder cancer was recently placed on COBRA. GNF was able to pay one month’s premium for COBRA to help bridge the gap until he was eligible for Medicare.
- A 38-year-old man was temporarily unable to work because of abdominal surgery and had fallen behind on his rent, his family of five facing eviction. GNF paid their rent until he returned to work. GNF had previously assisted when the family’s Mom was seriously injured in a car accident.
- A Greek family was struggling to pay for the flights to New York City necessary for the treatment of their toddler’s brain tumor. Ronald McDonald House referred the family to GNF and the Fund was able to provide immediate assistance by covering their flights for one month.
- A 9/11 survivor that was in a coma for 2 months subsequently developed thyroid cancer, suffered a heart attack, and was laid off just two weeks after signing her lease. Social services, Catholic Charities and others had no funds available for immediate assistance. GNF was able to pay one month’s rent while her application for Medicaid was being processed.
- GNF was able to pay the LIPA bill for an unemployed man diagnosed with Burkett’s lymphoma while he was waiting for Social Security Disability coverage.
- A lung cancer sufferer is receiving chemotherapy and radiation but is provided only $16/month in food stamps. GNF assisted with pre-paid food cards to provide groceries for four months.
- The primary caregiver to her 88-year-old father suffering from lymphoma herself has had multiple occurrences of breast cancer. With fixed income of just $900 from Social Security Disability and only $16 a month in food stamps, GNF paid their LIPA bill and provided gift cards for groceries.
- Andreas, the disabled young man seen in church most Sundays with his parents, suffered a serious accident more than 10 years ago. Paying rent and covering basic living expenses has been an ongoing struggle for this family. Following a few years where a handful of parishioners contributed help directly, the Good Neighbor Fund was founded to see that the family’s needs and those of many others could be met in an organized, consistent way. Today, GNF also pays for speech and swallowing therapy in addition to half of the family’s monthly rent. GNF has been able to maintain this commitment with help from individuals like you and through outreach to other churches.
These are just a few stories of those in need, and there are countless others like them. We hope that you will join The Good Neighbor Fund in being there for them, helping those less fortunate in their time of need.
Below are a few of the charitable organizations that the Good Neighbor Fund has partnered with to help these people and many others:
- Memorial Sloan Kettering
- Northwell Health
- Stony Brook Medicine
- Ronald McDonald House
- Family Service League
- Visiting Nurse Service
- The Greek Orthodox Ladies Philoptochos Society- National and Local