Christopher’s Haven

Challenge

Christopher’s Haven is a non-profit organization that provides housing for families of children who are being treated for cancer at Massachusetts General Hospital – one of the few treatment centers in the world to utilize proton therapy for brain and facial cancers. This therapy is a unique form of targeted radiation that is less damaging to normal organs and tissue than traditional radiation, making it especially useful for treating brain tumors in small children.

Christopher’s Haven is located adjacent to the hospital, housing seven large furnished apartments and a community space where families who travel from out-of-state or abroad for daily outpatient treatments may stay for around $30 per night. Christopher’s Haven came to O’Neill and Associates because they were struggling with finances to cover the apartment costs, and wanted to raise media awareness for their cause.

Solution

Taking on Christopher’s Haven pro bono, O’Neill and Associates launched a multifaceted public relations campaign to increase Christopher’s Haven’s public profile. The team facilitated interviews of cancer patients and their families with Boston’s Fox25, the Boston Globe, the Cape Cod Times, and other regional media outlets. Each profile piece focused on multiple stories of children and their families traveling from across the country to receive proton therapy at MassGeneral Hospital for Children. The interviews helped to increase awareness of the cause, as well as garner support and fundraising for the children and families staying in the apartments.

Results

Due to O’Neill and Associates’ extensive media outreach campaign, Christopher’s Haven saw measurable increases and a jump in donations after each segment aired or was published. Due to the team’s breadth of media connections, Christopher’s Haven was able to surpass their fundraising goal and cover the apartment costs for young cancer patients and their families. Program director Martha Bernard Welsh is available as a reference.

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