Any year where the number of people seeking grants rises is a year that leaves us with very mixed feelings. On the one hand, it means that there are more people out there needing a hand with their expenses. On the other, it also means that more people in need have heard about us and reached out to us for help and not only that, but we were able to help more than ever!

In 2009, we gave $423,000 in grants to 781 applicants, up from 708 applicants in 2008. That’s an extra 73 people who we could support over last year, and we also had the funds later in the year, to increase our maximum grant size to $1000, from $875. In these tough economic times, it’s hard even to make ends meet when you’re healthy, much less when you’re dealing with cancer at the same time. In fact, almost half of our grants went to people who had found themselves suddenly unable to work because of the physical and mental toll of their illness. The last few months have been especially hard for people; November, December, and January have turned out to be our busiest months since our program began in 2001. In a typical month, we disburse between $25,000 and $40,000, but this year we distributed more than $50,000 in November, $75,000 in December, and $50,000 again this January.

We’re incredibly grateful to all the private donors, corporations and foundations who have worked with us to make this possible. It’s our hope to be able to give $3 million a year by 2012, and the phenomenal growth in our grant-making ability from last year wouldn’t be possible without the generous support and energy of all the Angel Foundation community. Thank you all. If you have a story to share, a gift of time or money to give, or a suggestion to make, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us or join our communities on Facebook and Twitter.