In a matter of months, Marilyn Phillips saw what seemed like a sufficient fund balance dwindle.
As the president of the Somervell County Cancer Support Group (SCCSG), she was recently shocked to learn the organization had less than $1,000 in the bank.
"The need is so great," Phillips said.
In an effort to continue to extend support to cancer patients and their families, SCCSG is asking for community support. Collection containers will be placed at participating businesses across the county and flyers encouraging support will also be posted. Board members agree that every penny helps and collecting pocket change and other donations is just a temporary fix.
Darlene Chambers, SCCSG treasurer, said the group held a major fundraiser in 2011, when about $10,000 was raised.
"We have been working off of that since," Chambers said, adding she has 20 applications on file dating back to January 2012.
She also said while $10,000 sounds like a significant amount of money, that would only be enough to provide $500 in assistance to 20 patients although the amount delivered varies depending upon need.
"It really isn't a lot, we just hope we can help ease the burden by helping with the cost of gasoline to get patients to and from appointments and medication," Chambers said.
When the group met in November, they still had about $6,000 available.
"Prior to that time, we talked about holding an annual fundraiser," she said. "Since we were still sitting with funds, we decided we might instead consider holding a fundraiser every other year."
"The community helps so much, we were glad to learn we could hold off before asking for additional support," Phillips said.
SCCSG is celebrating the fact that it has disbursed more than $11,000 in financial assistance to county residents of all ages who have been diagnosed with cancer. The parents of one survivor said it was a blessing, and the extra help allowed them to focus on the needs of their child instead of worrying.
But that celebration is being overshadowed by a new reality.
Last week, the board held an emergency meeting where they learned an increase in need had left about $700 in the bank.
"We have had to turn away two people away within the last couple of weeks," Chambers said.
According to Mary Ruth Wirt, chairman of the Assessment Needs Committee, the organizations assists survivors in continuing treatments, follow-up with doctors, filling prescriptions and purchasing nutritional supplements.
"We try to keep the funds in the county," Chambers said, explaining that whenever possible, prescriptions are filled at local drug stores and gasoline is purchased in Glen Rose. "We have helped pay a few medical bills outside of the community, but for the most part, the money is raised here and stays here."
Individuals or organizations who would like to make a monetary donation are asked to mail checks to SCCSG at P.O. Box 152, Glen Rose, TX 76043.
The group hopes to raise enough funds to make ends meet until a fundraising can be held this summer.
For more information, contact Phillips at (254) 897-9252, Vice President Peggy Huffman at 897-9270, Secretary Sharon Lawler at 897-4905, Chambers at 396-1187 or Mary Ruth Wirt at 396-3171.