East End cancer patients requiring transport to New York City for treatment are again to be offered hundreds of free bus tickets thanks to a unique crowdfunding initiative.
Fighting Chance, a Sag Harbor–based nonprofit organization providing free support for cancer patients has joined with Hampton Jitney in a collaboration to offer 800 bus tickets free of charge.
United by goodcircle.org, an East Hampton-based crowdfunding platform that brings together not-for-profits and businesses to form customized fundraising partnerships, this latest venture follows the overwhelming success of last year’s collaboration, which secured 550 free tickets for cancer patients and their caregivers.
Last year’s tickets were used within a few months indicating the need for this service on the East End and prompting the increase in this year’s goal to 800 tickets.
Following the publicity generated from last year’s initiative, Fighting Chance, which has provided free counseling and services for 12 years, welcomed many more patients through its doors, according to founder Duncan Darrow.
““There are treatments and other needs that cannot be met within the East End healthcare system. Around 1/3 of our patients will need to get to New York City for specialized purposes,” Darrow said. “Our job is to help as many people as possible and this collaboration is increasing the number of patients we serve. Our patients are so grateful to Hampton Jitney. When you become a cancer patient you feel very isolated and your world starts to shrink. You start wondering—who really cares about my battle? When one of the largest company’s on the East End says they’ll fight by your side, that’s important.”
He explained that cancer patients on the East End seeking second opinions or more specialized treatment need to travel to New York City-based hospitals. Fighting Chance, which serves around 300 patients, has a dedicated group of volunteer drivers providing transport to East End hospitals and clinics but doesn’t have the resources to offer transportation further afield. Patients seeking treatment in the city need to make the arduous journey on their own.
Darrow said goodcircle.org had proved a worthy “match-maker” between Fighting Chance and Hampton Jitney. “They are very adept at matching the needs of the nonprofits and those they serve with the unique capabilities of East End businesses who want to be generous. That kind of match-making has never existed in our community before,” he said.
With just $2,300 still to raise to meet this year’s goal by December 31, those leading the $27,800 crowdfunding initiative are hoping the public will get behind the project for a final push. Hampton Jitney, contributing $16,000, will match individual donations with tickets—a $12 donation will buy a $32 one-way ticket.
“We believe in Fighting Chance and the unique way in which they support cancer patients on the East End,” Hampton Jitney CEO Geoff Lynch said. “We are pleased to partner with them for the second year in a row. Goodcircle has created an innovative model for businesses and nonprofits to work together in ways that make a real impact. Last year, with the help of our Jitney customers, we tripled our goal of funding 200 tickets. This year, we are hoping to increase that original goal 4-fold ++. We are on track to do that.”