Samantha's Purpose partnered with Anthony's Coal Fire Pizza in Pinecrest, Florida
Zachary B. Garcia, Samantha's younger brother and the co-founder of the Student Ambassadors for Samantha's Purpose, organized a successful fundraising event at Anthony's Coal Fired Pizza on March 22nd, raising $340 for the Sami's Scholarship Fund. This event generated the largest amount of money raised by Samantha's Purpose at an event of this kind. The organization is grateful for the support of Anthony's Coal Fired Pizza, GroupRaise, the community's support and extends a special thank you to Father Alejandro J. Rodríguez Artola, Mrs. Lisa Figueredo, Mrs. Maggie Perez, the administration, teachers and families of St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic School for their enthusiastic participation.
The Student Ambassadors are establishing "Sami's Scholarship" with the funds raised. This scholarship will financially support individuals with disabilities or their siblings who require assistance paying for college. This scholarship initiative will be accessible for the class of 2023, and the application process is being finalized. Recipients will receive direct payments to their respective colleges.
The ultimate objective of Sami's Scholarship is to extend its support to include students attending private elementary, middle or high school in the Miami-Dade County, Florida, by providing their families with financial assistance to cover educational expenses. This is a long-term goal that the scholarship program aims to achieve in order to ensure that more students have access to quality education and can pursue their academic goals without worrying about the financial constraints that come along with having a child with special needs*.
Over the years, Samantha's Purpose has witnessed a continuous evolution in its mission. The co-founders and Board of Directors have constantly observed different ways that a child's diagnosis can emotionally, physically, and financially impact the entire family. As the disabled child grows, the needs of the family change, and Samantha's Purpose adapts accordingly. Despite not benefiting financially from the organization, Samantha and her brothers serve as the guiding light to the mission.
*What are the financial implications from Cerebral Palsy?
Cerebral Palsy is a serious and costly condition that affects individuals, their families, and the healthcare system. This significant financial burden not only puts a strain on the healthcare system, but it can also be an immense source of hardship for individuals and their families who are struggling to cover the medical expenses that may not be covered by their insurance.
A diagnosis of Cerebral Palsy often comes with the need for long-term medical care and support. In 2003, the Centers for Disease Control estimated that lifetime costs of caring for an individual with cerebral palsy are approximately $1 million, in addition to normal living costs. When adjusted for inflation, this amount equates to over $1.6 million as of 2023. This financial burden can be overwhelming for families, which is why many rely on government assistance like Medicaid and other social services to cover the cost of treatment not covered by insurance.