Frequently Asked Questions

How does HACS define a family with respect to event tickets and Give Kids the World Village?
Does HACS have sufficient funds to continue to offer the year-round event tickets and trips to Florida for all families going through childhood cancer?
How does HACS conduct fundraising?
Does HACS send families to Give Kids the World Village in Florida?
What else does HACS provide for families whose child has cancer?
Does HACS grant wishes?
What are the limitations of membership, if any, for families to be supported by HACS?
Where do our families live?
How does HACS define a family with respect to event tickets and Give Kids the World Village?

We understand that there are single, blended, and other types of families.

For the purposes of the distribution of tickets to HACS-sponsored activities, including the trips to GKTW Village, "family" consists of the parents/caregivers (maximum 2 adults) of the child with cancer as well as the minor siblings of the child. The Board of Directors may, at its discretion, consider entitlement on a case-by-case basis.

Any complimentary event tickets can be shared among extended family members, or additional tickets can be purchased in advance for many events.

If you have been granted additional travellers to the Give Kids the World Village in Florida, our HACS Trip Planner will assist with making arrangements. HACS, however, will not be responsible for the additional associated costs.

Does HACS have sufficient funds to continue to offer the year-round event tickets and trips to Florida for all families going through childhood cancer?

Unfortunately, children are being diagnosed with cancer at an increasing rate, and it is challenging to keep up with the needs of our families.  We rely solely on fundraisers and donations to fund our programs. As you can imagine, this can result in fairly wide swings in our revenues.

To date, we have not experienced shortages severe enough to result in the cancellation of any of our family events.  However, there have been times when we have had to reduce the number of trips we could fund in a year.

How does HACS conduct fundraising?

Various events are held throughout our geographical region. Please see the event calendar for a fundraiser near you, or please contact us if you are interested in hosting a fundraiser event!

Does HACS send families to Give Kids the World Village in Florida?

Yes, we try to send as many families as we can to Florida. The trip includes: a limousine ride to and from the airport, rental car, 7 days at Give Kids the World Village, comprehensive travel insurance, spending money, and tickets to all of the Disney parks as well as all of the other major attractions Central Florida has to offer.

What else does HACS provide for families whose child has cancer?

We understand how a cancer diagnosis can stop a family's routine in its tracks. Families of newly-diagnosed children can sometimes spend a month or more in hospital, often without having had the chance to bring with them even the most basic daily necessities. To help, we provide newly-diagnosed families with a HACSpack filled with useful items like deodorant, comb, toothbrush and toothpaste, shampoo, notepad, snacks and more. We also provide parking passes, gas cards and food vouchers.

We subsidize transportation costs for families whose child must also travel to Toronto’s Sick Kids Hospital for treatments that are not available at McMaster.

We also sponsor monthly parent support groups, teen group outings and bereavement counseling.

We provide the oncology ward and clinic with books, craft supplies, literature, games, toys, and more to help them support our families every day.

Does HACS grant wishes?

No, HACS is not a wish-granting organization. As this horrible disease affects not only the child but the entire family unit, HACS provides the whole family with complimentary tickets to events year round so that there is always something for our families to look forward to. Our events include:

Disney on Ice

HACS Family Fishing Derby

Canada’s Wonderland

Monster Jam

African Lion Safari

Sporting events such as: Toronto Blue Jays, Hamilton Tiger-Cats, Toronto Raptors

Emerald Lake

Bingeman's Park

Annual Family Picnic

Christmas Party

What are the limitations of membership, if any, for families to be supported by HACS?

Children under the age of 18 who were diagnosed and/or are being treated for cancer at McMaster Children’s Hospital, are welcome to become members of Help A Child Smile.

Where do our families live?

Help A Child Smile's families come from a broad geographical area: the counties of Brant, Haldimand, Norfolk, Waterloo, Wellington, and Grey, as well as from Hamilton, Burlington, Oakville, and around the lakes in Niagara.