Nonprofit Partner Feature: The CARE Project, Inc.

We are proud to highlight our partnership with The CARE Project, Inc. LympheDIVAs and The CARE Project, Inc. formed a relationship around the common goal of providing compression garments at no cost to those that may not be able to afford them. At this time, LympheDIVAs has sent over 4000 garments to The CARE Project, Inc. to distribute to those in need.

The CARE Project, Inc.

Carrie Madrid, Founder/President

Website: www.thecareprojectinc.org (New and improved, check it out!)

Facebook: facebook.com/thecareprojectinc

Instagram: @thecareprojectinc

How was The CARE Project, Inc. founded?

After being diagnosed with Stage III infiltrating ductal carcinoma of the left breast in 2012, I met many fellow breast cancer patients who were choosing between copays for treatment or groceries for their kids. No one should have to make that choice. I started doing research in my area of So Cal, and there wasn't any organization providing financial assistance. I also realized support groups were held Tuesday at 10am and I work full time, so that is not feasible. I enlisted my friend Christina Gonzalez to be my co-founder (though we had no clue what we were doing), and we created The CARE Project. Inc.

What is your mission?

The CARE Project, Inc., is a non-profit organization created by a breast cancer survivor to emotionally and financially support male and female breast cancer patients.

Our motto is "Never stop caring" because we realize that even after all treatment ends, survivorship is often the hardest part.

We realize that everyday necessities become luxuries when you're not working full time when undergoing treatment. I aim to fill those needs so the patient can focus on healing.

Who do you serve?

Our financial assistance is for breast cancer patients within the Inland Empire of So Cal who are undergoing or recovering from treatment. Our Social Club is for male and female breast cancer patients in our area. We do, however, send LympheDIVAs sleeves worldwide as our supply and budget allow us.

What services do you provide?

Limited financial assistance for things like, but not limited to copays, rent, utilities, and groceries. Uber cards or fuel cards to assist with transportation. We also have some products that have been donated to us for distribution to local patients such as mastectomy bras/prosthesis, mastectomy pillows, chemo jackets. We also have a partnership with LympheDIVAs, which allows us to send compression sleeves, gloves, and gauntlets across the country and even worldwide. Emotional support includes one on one mentorship, our monthly Survivor Social Club meetings for survivors, and we are also involved with a caregivers support group which was just formed by another breast cancer survivor in our area. We also are part of the Male Breast Cancer Coalition family, and through this, have male survivors able and willing to mentor male patients across the world!

What are your goals for the future?

We are determined to drum up our monthly donors so that our financial support can be increased significantly for patients. We are funded by private donation and fundraising events. We work hard to raise funds which goes right back into the community. Our board members all contribute monthly, and no one receives any compensation for being an officer or a director on the board. We have rent, utilities, and insurance to pay so that we have a space for patients to gather, but otherwise everything we raise goes to patient services and patients needs. We also hope to build a reliable and passionate team of volunteers that can help us with all of the day-to-day tasks as well as special events so we can do more for our community. Because we work full time (we being the board), we are stretched as far as we possibly can be!

Why do you choose to work with LympheDIVAs?

As a survivor myself, I know the value of a great quality sleeve. I also know the way I feel wearing a sleeve that isn't just boring beige. I'm going to have to manage lymphedema for the rest of my life.I might as well do it in style and not look like I'm wearing a medical device. LympheDIVAs was also a small company that believed in our mission and supported our belief in including male patients, who are often not thought of. LympheDIVAs has many patterned sleeves that are unisex in appearance and masculine as well. It is an honor to be partnered with this company who believed in our little organization.

Do you have any upcoming fundraisers or events?

We host one annual fundraising gala every year. This year's event is being held 10/5/19 and is going to serve as our 5th Anniversary Celebration. This is a huge milestone for us, and we can't wait to celebrate with those in attendance. Our attendees will get to meet and see some of the patients we serve. It is very important to put a face and name to a disease. We are currently seeking sponsors for this event so we can maximize the proceeds. We've also partnered with Thrive Causemetics who have donated a large supply of vegan cosmetics. We are hosting our 2nd Thrive Beauty Bash in late July where we will pamper breast cancer survivors with mini makeovers and send them home with a swag bag full of Thrive products. We are all about introducing our clients to healthier options in nutrition, makeup, personal hygiene products, and the like.