Ministry fueling up for families

By Jessi Stone Assistant editor | Oct 09, 2013

Money is the last thing families should have to worry about when they are caring for a seriously ill child.

But it is unavoidable — doctor visits, hospital bills, time away from work and frequent fuel fill ups. Knowing how difficult this can be, a couple from Maggie Valley has stepped in to help.

Through their Living with Victory radio ministry, Tony and Laureen Giorgio are working to help families in western North Carolina with seriously ill children.

Tony and Laureen Giorgio are the president and secretary, respectively, of Compassion Children’s Foundation, Inc. Compassion Children’s Foundation is a nonprofit charity based in Maggie Valley that has advocated for seriously ill children in the U.S. for 30 years so they receive the treatment they need.

“Our mission was to make sure they had a chance at life,” Tony said. “We were then and, still are, a grass roots organization.”

Tony said he and Laureen felt the financial burden of fueling up when he had to drove Laureen to Asheville every day for her breast cancer treatments. They learned from social workers and other hospital staff that they weren’t alone.

Parents were finding it difficult to get their sick children, who are treated as outpatients, to their frequently needed treatments due to the high cost of gas. Because some families don’t have enough gas money, children are missing their treatments, which can become a life of death situation.

When this issue came to the Giorgios’ attention, they started a “Fuel for Life” campaign to make sure those families had the resources they needed. The Christian broadcasters are using their syndicated “Living with Victory” broadcast to spread the word about their cause.

“We purchase gas cards and send them to the hospitals and they determine who should receive the card,” Tony said. The gas cards donated to the cause will be sent to Mission Health in Asheville as well as children’s hospitals in Orlando, Florida and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

They raised about $1,000 in the first three months of the campaign and distributed the money in $25 gas cards. But the Giorgios want to keep the effort going. If you would like to make a tax-deductible donation, send it to Compassion For Kids, P.O. Box 1982, Maggie Valley, NC 28751.

For more information, call 926-4600, email livingwithvictory@gmail.com or visit www.livingwithvictory.org. Living with Victory airs at 9:30 a.m. Sundays on WPTL9 20AM.

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