Parents with critically ill children face an enormous dilemma: Stay with and support their hospitalized child or go to work and earn income required to pay the bills. Most working parents have two weeks of vacation leave and one week of sick leave available to them. When paid time off is used up, parents must take unpaid leave to remain with their children in the hospital; an option not financially viable to many working families.

Spare Key’s program is unique because we:

We do not have income guidelines.

As a result many of the families we serve would be considered working class, middle-income families. Because of this reality, Spare Key is often the only source of financial support for these families in crisis given that most of them are declined assistance from other organizations because of their income.

We do not make a distinction between type of illness or injury.

Social workers and families have come to depend on Spare Key to be simple and easy to access. They also know that our focus is not the type of injury or illness but on the length of the hospital stay.

Ease of Application.

The Spare Key application takes less than 10 minutes to complete. It can be submitted via website, fax or by mail. There are not complicated questions related to income, debt or other financial matters – only a mortgage statement and a release authorizing Spare Key access to mortgage loan information to verify ownership and if approved for payment to submit payment for processing. Because of its ease, it is not necessary for families to go through a hospital social worker to submit the application.

Frequency of Eligibility.

Spare Key has served many families with multiple mortgage grants over the years. Because many of the families we serve have children facing chronic conditions, we allow for families to reapply within 12 months of receiving a grant.


Spare Key Services


“You don’t think that this could happen to you but it does and there are people there with you the whole entire way and Spare Key makes it possible for you to live your normal life.”

—Evans Family

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