Thank you to all those who have, and continue to, support Finley. Your generosity has made a huge impact. While there have been some key breakthroughs, and overall the Sweetman’s are in a better place emotionally, Finley’s Quadriplegia Spastic Cerebral Palsy is sadly not getting easier. In fact, as time has gone on, it has become more difficult in specific ways. As a result, the Sweetman’s caregiving needs have grown. Find out more here about Finley’s full diagnosis
Please consider a gift to help Matt and Heather cover Finley’s caregiver expenses for the next twelve months. Unfortunately, caregiving programs in Illinois are either not adequately funded, or the Sweetman’s do not qualify. Finley is registered with PUNS, but is not eligible until she is much older.
As Finley’s friends, it’s our hope to fully fund specialized caregivers for upwards of eighteen hours a week. We can all help in two ways by *contributing* AND *sharing* this fundraiser to support their family and give Finley the help she needs. (Please be sure to review the sharing section below for specific ideas).
Providing constant care for Finley is beyond any one person or one family. Burnout, exhaustion, and isolation are major concerns when taking care of a severely disabled child, especially as Finley is growing. Without having family close by, and dealing with an understandable knowledge gap with regular childcare, the Sweetman’s have a continued need for frequent and specialized help.
Finley’s family can find the ongoing help they need — but only with our financial support. Plus, anything over the goal can go towards important home modifications.
$25 will cover one hour of caregiver help.
$75 will cover three hours of caregiver help.
$150 will cover one day of caregiver help (six hours).
$300 will cover two days of caregiver help.
$600 will cover four days of caregiver help.
$1,000 will cover roughly two weeks of caregiver help.
$2,000 will cover roughly one month of caregiver help.
$6,000 will cover roughly three months of caregiver help.
$12,000 will cover roughly six months of caregiver help.
The Sweetman’s overall financial needs can be broken down into two levels...
LEVEL ONE: Caregiver costs for the next twelve months calculated at $23,750. That’s an estimated 950 hours over twelve months at $25/hour.
LEVEL TWO: Home modifications for an internal elevator, accessible bedroom, and accessible bathroom.
Gifts which surpass level one can be applied to level two.
If international contributors have trouble sending gifts, please send through PayPal.com account: [email redacted]
If you are unable to give right now, or you want to give more later on, there is information at the bottom of the page to contribute directly to Finley’s ABLE account.
: Please follow on social media channels so you can comment, like, and share when you see updates: Instagram
, and Facebook
Share on Social Media: Sharing the video will be the simplest and most impacting way to spread the word. At the very least make sure to use a photo of Finley from this campaign page. Try a post like this: “Help a sweet seven year old with Cerebral Palsy. Donate & share: finleyshouse.com” Light up your feed! Consider 3-4 posts to keep this in front of people. Repetition is powerful.
Biz/Org Funds: Whether you are a business owner, an employee, or a customer/client, if a business or organization you are familiar with sometimes designates funds for special causes, why not request a percentage of the funds to go towards Finley? Even if it’s not typical, why not ask if they would consider it? For example: retail orgs could ask customers to donate a dollar to Finley upon checkout. What other ideas have you seen?
Personal Email: Don’t be shy about personally casting a wide net on the Sweetman’s behalf and reaching out to your family and friends over email. Suggest you include photos and the video if possible. BCC might be best. Suggested subject line: What’s your most recent cause? Consider Finley...
Text Message: If you have two or three friends or family who aren’t on social media, but care about this type of need, why not send them a personalized text message and ask them to help? Let them know what this campaign means to you.
Announcement/Message Board: If you have an appropriate opportunity through work, an organization, or public space, please shine some light on Finley and ask people to participate.
Thanks for taking the time to read through Finley’s fundraiser. Please contact me (Mike) if you have any questions or difficulties contributing.
Many thanks from Finley’s friends, Mike and McKenzie!
P.S. Beyond this fundraiser... Finley has a special ABLE account that holds funds for needs related to her disability. Contributions grow tax free and should not affect other benefits she receives, unless the account balance exceeds $100,000 (unlikely!). This is the best way to give to Finley in the future beyond this caregiver campaign. If you ever want to make a contribution simply go to UgiftABLE.com and give directly from a US bank account using the code: X08-E1G (Note: that second character is a zero, not the letter O). Finley’s name should appear to confirm that you have entered the correct code. International contributions without a US bank account can give to PayPal.com account: [email redacted]. Big blessings to any and all who may participate!
Some Extra Details about Mike and McKenzie Sandusky and this GoFundMe:
My wife and I (McKenzie and Mike Sandusky) have been friends with Matt and Heather Sweetman for nearly 15 years. We love this family so much! We are from St. Joseph, MO and I have been the Pastor of Living Hope Church here in St. Joseph since 2011. My wife actually grew up attending this church, and serves in a ton of ways in the church while also homeschooling our 3 children. We have been alongside the Sweetman family since they moved to Chicago back in 2009 to plant the church that became Trinity Church. We love their family so much - and we started this campaign in an effort to help raise extra support and help for Finley Sweetman. All of the money raised here will go to an account with Living Hope Church, and then 100% of the funds from this campaign will go directly to the Sweetman family via their accounts for Finley’s special needs. We love and appreciate everyone who gives to this campaign, and we are excited to be helpful to Finley and the whole Sweetman clan.
For more info about us - check out our profile on our Church's website: https://lhcsj.org/people/mike-sandusky/