Bear Essentials Fund

The Cortes Community Health Association is pleased to partner with the Children’s Foundation of Vancouver Island. Bear Essentials is a family support program that assists with the costs of health-related travel and equipment for Island kids and is intended to fill the gaps that exist in public funding. The program is designed for families that struggle to afford the associated costs or that have barriers limiting their ability to access the health care or equipment for their child.

Children/youth must meet the following:
1.  0 -19 years old (pre-natal up to 20th birthday)*
2.  Live on Vancouver Island or the surrounding islands
3.  Have a medical condition, health challenge or disability confirmed by a health care professional
4.  Require financial support to cover the cost of the item(s) in the application
5.  Have not exceeded the lifetime Bear Essentials maximum of $10,000

*Relocation off island for the birth of a baby is supported by subsidized stays at Qwalayu House. Some financial support for “home” births off island is also available.

Bear Essentials is a program accessed through referral only. To apply, please contact the Family Support Coordinator to set up a time to complete the application together. Your application must be submitted prior to any medical appointments. Reimbursements are not provided for expenses prior to approval of the application. Complete guidelines may be found at the link below, contact to get started.

Bear Essentials Guidelines April 2023

Recommended Accomodation Options

We are grateful to be living and offering these programs in the ancestral and unceded territories of the Klahoose, Tla'amin, and Homalco nations.