These days, a few weeks in the hospital can rack up hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills. If you are lucky enough to have great insurance and job flexibility, you may be able to walk away owing a few thousand out of pocket and with a few less vacation days for the year. Unfortunately, for most Americans, that is not the norm.
This is where Spare Key’s Help Me Bounce platform becomes essential in helping families that are going through a medical crisis “Bounce and Not Break!”.
One of the most rewarding tasks on my “to-do” list each week is processing payments for families on our Help Me Bounce platform. I know that each and every one of these families is going through a difficult time and I love knowing that every time I send a check to a family’s lender, I am taking one more thing off that family’s plate and allowing them to focus on what’s important, their loved one’s recovery.
When Spare Key was founded in 1997, we made an important decision that become a core value of our nonprofit. Rather than paying funds directly to families, we instead pay funds directly to lenders. We kept this process even when expanding our footprint with the launch of Help Me Bounce. Doing so not only allows for transparency for donors in knowing where their donations are going, it also means the families have one less bill to worry about paying - we do that for them!
The whole process is simple: once a family is ready to use the funds they have raised, they access their account on www.HelpMeBounce.org and submit a withdrawal request. The withdrawal request includes a copy of their most recent bill from their servicer. I then package that bill, a check for the payment, and a letter from Spare Key detailing who and what the payment is for. That package is then mailed directly to the servicer.
Simple and straightforward!
What types of bills does Spare Key help with? We started out raising funds for a family’s largest monthly expense: their mortgage payment. But, once again, the launch of Help Me Bounce allowed us to expand what bills we could assist families with!
Today Help Me Bounce allows families to create funding goals for 13 different common expenses!
Those expenses include mortgage/rent, medical bills, automobile loans, student loans, funeral costs, insurance, utilities, and even veterinary expenses! We believe that even the beloved family pet shouldn’t have to go without due to a family member experiencing a medical crisis.
When I first started with Spare Key, I was processing payments for families in Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota, and South Dakota. Now that Spare Key is registered in all 50 states and Washington D.C., each week I mail payments out for families across the county – from Washington to Florida and everywhere in between!
At Spare Key, we believe that no one should have to choose between paying their bills and taking care of their loved one. Which is why it is so rewarding to know that we are helping families raise funds for multiple expenses while also giving more families across the United States one less thing to worry about so they can focus on what is really important: each other.
Chief Administrative Officer