Illinois State Elks Association State Project

About the Program

Over 75 years ago, the Elks of Illinois recognized the special needs of physically challenged children. During the early years, much of the work consisted of helping children injured in accidents and suffering from the dreaded disease polio. As times progressed and medical treatments developed for many children's diseases, the focus of the program has evolved to meet new needs and challenges. One constant always remained the guiding question, "What can we do to help this child?"

While most charities devote a portion, if not all of their funds to research questions, the Illinois Elks Children's Care Corporation has steadfastly dedicated itself to helping children and parents cop with medical problems today. We strive to provide those services, treatments and equipment needed to ease a child's daily burden in coping with a physical problem.

Many cases are very complex and require custom designed braces, wheelchairs and treatment programs. Others may simply be the provision of corrective shoes or physical/occupational therapy services for three to six months. In all cases, the Illinois Elks Children's Care Corporation works to make certain that appropriate insurance and state benefits are applied before they provide assistance. In this manner, they stretch their available dollars to help as many children as possible.

Convesely, where no insurance or government benefits are available, they will provide assistance in the cost of treatment as needed. Many times they help parents pay the high deductible of their health insurance. They also help with continued treatments costs which can overwhelm a family's budget. On many occassions the IECCC has been told that they've helped when no one else seemed to care.

Mission Statement

To assist any child under the age of 21 who is a legal resident of the State of Illinois with medical assistance, as long as it falls within the IECCC scope and guidelines, regardless of race, creed, sex or national origin.

Facts About the IECCC

  • The Illinois Elks Children's Care Corporation generates direct assistance to physically challenged children and scholarship assistance to physical/occupational therapy students in Illinois.
  • The IECCC's trust account is professionally managed and produces income entirely free of federal or state tax. Their program is incorporated as a non-profit charity under Illinois law and is federally registered as tax exempt. They report anually to the IRS, the Illinois Secretary of State and the Illinois Attorney General on receipts and expenditures made.
  • Donation can be designated for scholarship, direct assistance to children or general purposes. You may direct your donations to the trust to generate interest forever to support the efforts while leaving the principle intact.
  • As a local Illinois charity, the IECCC pay no dues or fees to any other organization. All funds go to the children in Illinois.
  • The program is goverened by a Board of Directors representative of all areas of Illinois. The Board serves without any compensation or even expense reimbursement to attend meetings. The Board is comprised of a wide variety of professions and interests.
  • The IECCC's professional staff is very small and very accessible. They have a toll free number for use by any parent or person seeking help for a child. Their office facilities are totally paid for and adequate for many years. Their operating expenses are extremely low, especially when compared to many national charities.

Scholarship Program

In addition to direct assistance to the children of Illinois, the IECCC became aware of the growing need for physical therapists to help handicapped children. Since 1970, the program has provided financial aid to college students in the physical therapy field. In 1992, this scholarship program was expanded to include the field of occupational therapy. The intervening years have seen the program grow from 2 applicants in 1970 to over 250 applicants in recent years. The funding for the scholarships has been expanded when available and always on an equal basis with the direct help aspects of the overall program. Recent years have seen over 140 students receiving assistance each year. The development of continuing funding for this program is critical to its expansion.

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