Havertown Woman with Two Kids Fighting Cancer Helps Other Struggling Families

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Rachel McGonigle, who has two children fighting cancer, was inspired to help struggling families through the Compassion United Havertown Facebook group. Image of the McGonigle family via Michael Bryant, Philadelphia Inquirer.

Rachel McGonigle, who has two kids fighting cancer, was inspired to help other struggling families in Delaware County by the Compassion United Havertown Facebook group, writes Erin McCarthy for the Philadelphia Inquirer.

McGonigle benefited from the town’s compassion firsthand when she had nothing prepared for Easter after spending a week with her children at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. She sent out a note on the Havertown Community Network asking for help, and the town came through.

“I spent half the day crying,” she remembered, “because there was a knock at the door every 10 minutes with something.”


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That’s when her idea was born. Each month, she finds families that have fallen on hard times, creates a list of their needs, and has members sigh up to help.

The group quickly grew from just family and friends and is expanding every day. And while she is a Catholic herself, McGonigle has made it clear that the group is nonreligious and everyone is welcome.

McGonigle now wants to turn the page into a nonprofit. However, to achieve that, she needs more administrators and more families publicly saying that they need help.

Read more about Compassion United Havertown in the Philadelphia Inquirer by clicking here.

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