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SAINT JOHN, N.B. -- This month marks the fifth anniversary of Irving Oil's Fuel the Care program, which helps families pay for fuel when they drive between their home and the hospital for their children's medical care. To celebrate this milestone, Irving Oil announced that it will donate $200,000 to the program this month.
Since 2002, Irving's Fuel the Care has provided more than $1 million in gift certificates, assisting more than 12,000 children and their families in Atlantic Canada and New England. Irving employees also continue to participate in a weekly Fuel the Care Casual Day program, raising an additional $9,000 to support the program in 2006 alone.
"When a child has to visit or stay in a hospital for medical care, the last thing a parent should have to worry about is travel costs," Lisa Savidant, community relations coordinator for Irving Oil, said in a statement. "Through Fuel the Care, we hope to lessen that stress and keep families together during what is often a difficult time."
She added: "The IWK Health Centre in Halifax, the Janeway Children's Health and Rehabilitation Centre in St. John's and the Saint John Regional Hospital all do fantastic work in helping sick children. We are proud to continue our partnership with these hospitals."
The hospitals treat children with cancer, heart disease, diabetes, cystic fibrosis, asthma and other childhood diseases. Often, the children and their families live outside the immediate hospital area, according to Irving Oil.
"Fuel the Care eased the financial strain of going between our home and the hospital in the months after our babies were born," said Keri Tyner of Saint John, whose twins arrived two months premature in December, weighing just 3 pounds each.
"Braydon and Shelby spent months at the Saint John Regional Hospital, and Shelby also had to travel to the IWK for heart surgery. If we had not had access to Fuel the Care, I'm not sure how we could have been there each and every day," Tyner said in a statement. "My hope now is that anyone who could benefit from this program is aware of it."
Irving Oil operates a network of Bluecanoe and Mainway c-stores across Eastern Canada and New England, offering customers a wide variety of products and services, including grocery and snack items, bakery and convenience items, in addition to fuel.