The city bus was the only option for one mother, who carried her infant, his oxygen tank and his diaper bag – and had her two other children in tow – as she headed to doctor appointments.
The baby was a patient of Providence TrinityKids Care, the only hospice program in Los Angeles and Orange counties that serves dying children and their families with a dedicated pediatric hospice team. Like many TrinityKids Care patients, this baby spent his very short life living in poverty.
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TrinityKids Care is among 500 worthy nonprofit organizations across the nation vying for 100 new vehicles being donated by Toyota’s 100 Cars for Good program, which will award cars, trucks and vans based on Facebook votes.
To help TrinityKids Care, copy and paste this into your computer browser: http://apps.facebook.com/carsforgood/?d=2011-08-02 
The automaker will count the social network site votes for the TrinityKids Care application on Aug. 2, and Providence Health & Services is urging “friends” across the Southland to cast votes to bring the children’s hospice program much needed transportation.
“We would love a van that could accommodate a wheelchair,” said Barbara Roberts, executive director of Providence TrinityCare Hospice Foundation. “Some of our patients are teenagers and disabled, and it’s difficult to get them in a cab or on a bus comfortably. A van with a lift would be a godsend.”
If TrinityKids Care receives a new van, the organization would train and insure volunteers to provide transportation to these young hospice patients, Roberts said.
Established a decade ago, TrinityKids Care served 150 pediatric patients last year. Most suffer terminal cancer or neurologic diseases and many have rare congenital illnesses. TrinityKids Care offers compassionate and loving care in the home for children in their final months, and helps guide parents through this heart wrenching process. The emotional support is crucial but the help with day-to-day challenges – including transportation – also is offered by the hospice staff.
“It’s complex to hire a cab,” Roberts said. “They don’t accommodate wheelchairs and drivers don’t have the expertise to help our patients in and out of the car. And there’s the issue of how do you pay. We serve a very widespread area covered by several different cab companies. Often times we have to use a personal credit card over the phone.”
TrinityKids Care has purchased car seats for young patients to travel in the family car. These patients are sick, but have good days and it’s important for them to get out on family excursions, Roberts said.
“We know there are so many wonderful groups across the country that offer important services, but we’re asking our friends and families to take time to vote for TrinityKids Care,” she said.