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Casey Cares Foundation delivers care packages to sick children who can't leave home

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Posted at 1:24 PM, Mar 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-19 18:17:34-04

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — A national organization is delivering cheer to sick children in Palm Beach County and the Treasure Coast who can't leave their homes because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Casey Cares Foundation serves around 1,500 families in eight states each year.

Volunteers collect movies, snacks, clothes, and other gifts and deliver those care packages to critically-ill children in their homes. They also provide tickets to sporting events and other events like Disney On Ice.

"So many of these children have compromised immune systems and cannot risk leaving their homes during this pandemic," said Jennifer Martinez, a spokesperson for the organization. "Casey Cares knows the struggle they deal with on a regular basis and is trying to shine a little light in to this dark time."

Many of the children have been quarantined for nearly two months to stay healthy during the coronavirus outbreak.

Inside the Ritter household in Palm Beach County, you’ll find two children hard at work making cards. They’re helping their mother who is on a mission.

"We are here to help families who are going through just a really tough time," said Erin Ritter, Deputy Associate Director of Casey Cares.

But the spread of COVID-19 has caused the non-profit to adjust its plans.

"One of our parents said it was like a hug in a box," said Ritter.

"For me it’s amazing, because it keeps her entertained," said Nancy McDuffie, whose daughter was diagnosed with cancer. "She has something to do since she’s not so worried. She’s older now so she knows how COVID-19 could effect her."

At just 6 years old, Kylie McDuffie was diagnosed with stage four neuroblastoma.

After several surgeries over the last three months, she’s now cancer-free. However, COVID-19 kept her from celebrating. But that’s about to change.

"I’m excited!" said Kylie as she received her care package on Thursday.

Martinez said around 50 families from the Treasure Coast to Boca Raton will receive care packages from the organization as a healthy, positive outlet during this tough and uncertain time.

Casey Cares, which was founded 20 years ago and has a regional office in Coral Springs, serves families in Florida, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Ohio, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey.

To learn more about the Casey Cares Foundation and to donate, click here.