Andre Sobel River of Life Campaign

When a child is diagnosed with a life-threatening or terminal illness, life turns upside down for any family. For a single parent family struggling from paycheck to paycheck, the situation can be particlarly dire.   

A single parent might ask, 

- Who will stay with my child in the hospital when my child when I have other children at home? 

- How can I work and be with my sick child at the same time? 

- If I don't work, how can I possibly afford to keep a roof over my family's head and pay for travel to the hospital and child care for the other children? 

- What can I do? Who can help?   

We can, and we will. 

Our mission is to provide urgent finanical assistance to single parent families of catastrohpically ill children so that the parent can stay at the child's bedside...when compasison can't wait. 

The Andre Sobel River of Life Foundation has provided over $4 million in assistance to over 12,000 family members since 2,000, each payment given in a 24 hour turnaround time. Our highest intention is to help single parents of catastrophically ill children quickly, effectively and without humiliation or red tape.

When no other resources are available, social workers at children’s hospitals across the country send us urgent requests on behalf of single parent families in financial crisis. We have helped families in 50 different pediatric hospitals in 24 states. We respond immediately and without additional paperwork because social workers have already verified the need.

We just helped Baby A.s' family.  

Baby A is 18 months old and was born with genetic non-curable disease that attacks his neuromuscular system and degenerates his muscles.

Tragically, Baby A's expected lifespan is now measured in mere months. Since time with Baby A is so precious, his single mother is determined to spend every possible moment with him, even as she works full time to support her family — including her parents.

Mom is not only emotionally devastated, she is financially drained. When the family's social worker reached out to ASRL to assist so that Mom can focus on her child, ASRL responded quickly with payments totaling $900 to cover the car payment, phone bill and urgent household needs.

There are so many families with urgent needs, and many that face unthinkable medical situations like Baby A's. While we cannot cure the child, we can help "when compassion can't wait," allowing Baby A's family the precious gift of time with him.

Won't you help with a family like Baby A's?

The variety of requests we receive range from essentials, such as food, transportation, utilities, and medications not covered by insurance. Over 57% of ASRL funds have been used to prevent foreclosure and eviction of parents in need.

Our River enhances and sustains lives in many other ways.

We will advocate for airline tickets for a grandparent coming to help, or buy a wig for a
self-conscious teenager returning to school after chemotherapy, or pay for ballet lessons for a neglected sibling. Instead of restriction, we give as freely as our River will allow.

You can help sustain our river with your donation today. 

Founder and President of ASRL, Valerie Von Sobel, irreversibly changed the day her teenage son Andre was diagnosed with a malignant and inoperable brain tumor. A year after, in 1995, the family suffered his devastating loss. Shortly thereafter, Valerie’s mother died, and a year later to the day, her husband Erwin, 54, took his own life. Through the subsequent months of crushing grief, Valerie sought to redirect her life. What has continued to haunt her was the witnessing of children who were alone in hospitals: having to face their fears, their pain, treatments, and, at times, even their death alone. In most cases, these children were from single parent/single caregiver homes. Upon reflecting on her own experiences with her child, she found it hard to imagine how brutal it must be for those in a similar situation, without financial means or the emotional support of a caring partner.

But Valerie and ASRL need your help this holiday season. In conjunction with “Giving Tuesday,” we are asking for contributions to our campaign to keep up the good we do.

ASRL has an endowment, which covers our administrative costs and overhead, allowing your funds to go directly to families. There is no guesswork as to where your contribution lands. It goes to single parent families who desperately need help.

Thank you for your generous support. It will be used to assist a family urgently needing assistance today. 


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  • Anne Swire 
    • $5 
    • 33 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $150 
    • 33 mos
  • Diane MEYER Simon 
    • $2,000 
    • 33 mos
  • Mayer Rus 
    • $250 
    • 33 mos
  • Titi Belle 
    • $25 
    • 45 mos
See all


Valerie Von Sobel 
Los Angeles, CA
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