A fierce commitment to helping families facing the long-term challenges of caring for a seriously ill child drives the growing reach of a volunteer-based organization in Mid-Michigan.
In late summer, The Davies Project—or TDP—saw the virtual odometer click when it surpassed the milestone of providing 1,000 rides to medical appointments for sick children. Those rides, says Executive Director Pam Miklavic, came through the kindness of 28 volunteer drivers who ensured that 110 children made it to their appointments.
The goal of The Davies Project is to get children to every medical appointment they need for their care, health and wellness. That appointment could be for medical, dental or therapy-related care. Just as important as getting the child from point A to point B, Miklavic says, is the sense of hope and compassion the service provides.
"The families who come to us are sometimes nervous and isolated," she says. "Our goal is to break through that isolation parents can experience when they are caring for a sick child, and to create healthier children and families."
Miklavic founded TDP in December 2014 and has steadily expanded her scope and services. About 70 percent of the families served by the project are on Medicaid, reside in Mid-Michigan, and need assistance getting to and from appointments at specialty clinics in Greater Lansing.
The Davies project recently extended its services to include rides to prenatal appointments for expecting moms and trips for parents with children in the neonatal intensive care unit. The nonprofit also received a $5,000 grant from Jackson National Life, brought two interns on board from MSU and LCC, and hired a part-time office manager and family services coordinator.
"The need is there. We just need more resources," says Miklavic. "I would love to see this service go across the country. Everyone needs a hand, and my goal is to have the service accessible to every family when their child is sick."
Source: Pam Miklavic, Executive Director, The Davies Project
Writer: Ann Kammerer, News Editor
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