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 – National Capital Region 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 Fund helps 16 to 18 families per year with support for a dignified funeral or burial service. We are now averaging about 12 families a year and requests far surpass the capacity of the current fund. Increased requests have also necessitated a restructuring of eligibility requirements to ensure that no family falls through the cracks of the system.

We would like you to get to know The Unforgettables Fund National Capital 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 CHEO, parents who have lost children, bereavement care providers from both the funeral and cemetery industries, as well as numerous 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.