How We Help Patients

Your healthcare professional can submit your application and supporting documents via the online portal.  These include: hospital social workers, nurses, physicians, child life specialists, etc. Please note that we can NO longer accept applications directly from patients.  Below is a breakdown of our programs, as well as links to their web pages for more details.  With these you can determine which program may help most depending on the patient’s situation. If you are a patient and have any questions, please have your referring healthcare professional check our online portal for information (see below). They will need to apply on your behalf through our online portal at https://shinethroughtherain.ca/rainydayfund/. The Rainy Day Fund (up to $1,500 per patient/year) pays overdue rent, past due utility bills, reimburses medical transportation/parking costs accumulated during treatments, as well as providing grocery gift cards to ensure nutritional requirements are still being met. Camp Scholarships (up to $500 per child/year): allows families with a diagnosed family member to send their children to a camp, program or tutor of their choice when they would otherwise struggle to afford such activities.

All applications are to be submitted by a healthcare professional (i.e., hospital social worker, nurse, physician, child life specialist) through our online portal found here: https://shinethroughtherain.ca/rainydayfund/. We unfortunately can NO longer accept applications directly from patients. We also cannot accept applications via fax, email, or mail. Referring healthcare professionals need to email program.services@shinethroughtherain.ca to request a login and password before they submit patient applications. All instructions are found on this website and all applications are due by the 15th of each month (or the Friday if the 15th falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or holiday).

Application Due Date

We have moved away from paper applications to an online portal system: https://shinethroughtherain.ca/rainydayfund/ where any healthcare professional (i.e., hospital social worker, nurse, physician, child life specialist) submits patient applications and supporting documents. The online portal informs of the following:

  • Applications are due the 15th of the month. If the 15th falls on a weekend or holiday, then applications are due the Friday before;
  • We encourage applying well before the 15th of the month if possible;
  • Referring healthcare professionals will need to go back into the online portal system after the 15th to check the status of patient applications. The status of each application will change from “Reviewing” to “Approved” or “Declined”. Kindly refer to the “Outcome” tab for details regarding the items that have been approved or declined, as well as the reasons behind these decisions.
If applications are submitted by the 15th, there is a better chance we will have funding available to help (but there is no guarantee). For applications submitted after the 15th, there is a greater chance funds will be depleted; however, there might be a chance we may still have funds available and may be able to assist. If an application is submitted after the 15th and funds have been spent, then such application would be considered the following month. Please note that if application is submitted by the 15th and such application is not approved, then the social worker needs to reapply next month as we do not roll over declined applications.

Application / Criteria / How To Apply

The Rainy Day Fund program is still here. We just launched an online portal for social workers or other healthcare professionals (i.e. hospital social workers, nurse, child life specialist, physician, caseworker) to submit applications to us, on behalf of patients. At the very bottom of the online page a sample application can be found at https://shinethroughtherain.ca/rainydayfund/. Please note that applications must be submitted by a social worker (or other healthcare professional) and he/she needs to email us at program.services@shinethroughtherain.ca to receive their login information. Every application still needs to be submitted by the 15th of every month (or the Friday before, if the 15th falls on the weekend or holiday). The Rainy Day Fund program pays overdue rent and utilities, reimburses medical parking and transportation costs, and provides grocery gift cards. Individual net annual income must not exceed $32,500, and household net annual income must be under $60,000 per year. Patients must be diagnosed with a life-threatening illness anywhere in the country and be a Canadian citizen. Please remember that copies of overdue bills, receipts and letters of eviction or disconnection notices must be provided.

After the 15th of the month, go back into our online portal to discover if your patient applications have been approved or declined (if declined the reason will be provided). Kindly refer to the “Outcome” tab for details regarding the items that have been approved or declined, as well as the reasons behind these decisions. Then you can notify your patients of the decisions. When patient applications are approved, we will mail them the funding through Canada Post. Any payments for overdue rent and utilities will be written out in the names of the landlord and utility provider(s). The patient will then need to make sure they forward the checks to the correct person or organization.

You will need to have your hospital social worker or other healthcare professional request a grocery gift card on your behalf. To qualify, you need to be diagnosed with a life-threatening illness with a household income under $60,000, or individual income under $32,500. Social workers can submit your Rainy Day Fund application through our online portal here https://shinethroughtherain.ca/rainydayfund/).

Unfortunately, no, we are not able to help patients who are not currently Canadian citizens. We never have enough funding to help everyone, so our eligibility guidelines restrict us to assisting Canadian citizens only. Permanent residents do not fall under the category of Canadian citizens. We realize this may be disappointing news to some patients and their families however we do have a resource to check out here:  https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/new-immigrants/pr-card/understand-pr-status.html.

Yes, your referring healthcare professional needs to reapply on your behalf each and every month, even if you are asking for the same request such as a grocery gift card. Circumstances can change for patients from month to month, so this is important to realize. Be sure to update any new medical information, provide any new overdue bills or disconnection/eviction notices, letters from your landlord/utility provider and narrative letter.

Maximum Funding Provided & Number of Times Patients Can Apply

Not at all! As mentioned, we do have a maximum amount available to patients per calendar year, $1,500. But this means exactly that, per calendar year. If full amount accessible is used during the year, we cannot provide more assistance again in that calendar year. The following year we can absolutely consider your applications! Please understand though, previous approval does not guarantee continued approval. Each application must be considered individually as often things can change between submissions. Make sure that all forms are up to date and are accurate. Beyond that, your social worker can apply on your behalf as often as you need, up to the maximum amount of $1,500!

 A maximum funding award of $1,500 is available per patient, per calendar year whether you receive this amount all at once, or over the course of the year. If your first application requests less than $1,500 then you may apply as often as needed, until you reach the maximum amount. Please remember that even if you meet eligibility requirements, we unfortunately cannot guarantee your applications will be approved.

Reasons for Declined Applications

We would love to be able to reimburse every receipt sent to us. Unfortunately, with minimal office staff and a limited budget, we need to be very careful how staff use their time and spend money. It is time consuming to review and process each request, and the cost of writing cheques and purchasing stamps adds up quickly. When we are careful, we can help many more people, so we operate on a shoestring budget. Please save your receipts until they add up to $100 or more. This should improve your chances of being helped.

We unfortunately cannot approve everyone for funding and there are a few reasons why. First, we have strict selection criteria to follow. Patients need to meet the following criteria: be diagnosed with life-threatening illness, maximum individual income of $32,500, household income under $60,000, be a Canadian citizen, be referred by their healthcare professional (i.e., social worker, caseworker, nurse, child life specialist, physician), diagnosis must have caused severe financial challenges (as per testimonial from referring healthcare professional), rent and/or utility bills must be overdue by 30 days or more, they cannot afford to purchase groceries and/or medical parking/transportation. Second, copies of overdue rent and utilities, parking receipts and dates of appointments must be included with the patient application. Third, if we do not have enough funding to approve all applicants, we prioritize those with notices of eviction and utility disconnections. We also may prioritize households with children. Finally, at times we are required to align certain funders with patients living in specific geographic regions or provinces. Our goal is to help alleviate some of the resulting social, emotional, and financial challenges arising from a health crisis, so patients can remain in their own homes and focus on recovery.

The Foundation receives 100s of applications from across Canada every month and we wish we could fund all of them, but the reality is we just don’t have the funding to approve all requests.  It appears you received some assistance in January, February, and March. We needed to help other families just like you that are in dire need. We have to spread the funding among many different families who have eviction notices and utility disconnection notices.  We hope you appreciate the difficult choices we must make and understand the unfortunate reality of having to work within a limited budget. Please keep in mind that your social worker may continue to apply on your behalf every month, until to reach the maximum allowance of $1,500 per calendar year.

You can have applications submitted on your behalf by your healthcare worker as many times in a year as you need help! We have some patients who only need our help once or twice to get back on track, and others who apply monthly to maintain some normalcy in assistance. It really depends on individual situations and requests. The biggest thing to keep in mind is that our guidelines specify up to $1,500 available to patients per calendar year. This means that there is a max of $1,500 that can be requested for assistance (this is not a guarantee of this amount being received of course). This can be broken up into various requests in a year (i.e. $100 grocery card in February, $657 towards utility bill in April, remaining amount towards parking receipts in August), it can be provided in one amount to help someone avoid eviction (i.e. $1,500 towards rent in March), or in many cases the patient never maxes out since their requests are small and scattered ($157 towards only phone in January, $100 grocery card in May, $128 towards power bill in August, remainder towards rent in December). If ever in doubt, reach out to your healthcare worker and they should have the answers! If not, they can find out information through our online portal and they know how to contact us for additional clarification.

How To Know If Patient Application Was Approved Or Declined

To find out if patients are approved, please login to the online portal on the 16th of the month or later, to learn which patients are approved or declined. Kindly refer to the “Outcome” tab for details regarding the items that have been approved or declined, as well as the reasons behind these decisions.

There are a few possibilities here. To start, let us explain our application process. Applications must be submitted by the 15th of every month. It is recommended to apply earlier in the month if possible. If the 15th falls on a weekend, the deadline is the Friday before the 15th. On the 16th of the month or later, the social workers, nurses or case managers can login to our online portal to see if your request was approved. If your application was declined, a reason will be provided. If you have not heard if your application was approved or declined it could be for one of the following reasons:

  1. Consider the date before reaching out to your social worker. Has the 16th of the month passed? If not, we have not yet made our decision and there would be no reason for your social worker to contact you unless they need more information from you.
  2. If it’s the 16th of the month or later, the social worker may not have checked the online portal yet for the status of your application.
  3. If it’s the 16th of the month or later, your social worker may not have reached out to you yet about the status of your application.
  4. Your application may not have been received through our online portal at all.

In any case, Shine Through the Rain does not have staff available to contact patients or social workers, so we suggest that you reach out to the person who applied on your behalf, so they can check the online portal.


To find out if patients are approved, please login to the online portal on the 16th of the month or later, to learn which patients are approved or declined. Kindly refer to the “Outcome” tab for details regarding the items that have been approved or declined, as well as the reasons behind these decisions.


Geographic Locations Served

Although we just have one office in Keswick, Ontario, we help patients and their families in all provinces and territories across Canada. Please feel free to have your social worker or any healthcare professional apply on your behalf. Our online portal is here: https://shinethroughtherain.ca/rainydayfund/.

Illnesses Covered

We are here to help any Canadian citizen with household income under $60,000, or maximum individual income of $32,500 who is diagnosed with a life-threatening illness, whether that is cancer, Covid-19 or another diagnosis. Please have your healthcare professional (social worker, nurse, child life specialist, physician) visit our website https://www.shinethroughtherain.ca/rainydayfund/ to apply through our online portal on your behalf. You are not in this alone.

Camp Scholarships

We want to help children experience some of the best parts of growing up! The location of the camp does not restrict their eligibility at all, if the camp is in Canada, we can consider the application!  Please have your healthcare professional apply on your children’s behalf through our online portal here: https://shinethroughtherain.ca/camp-scholarship/.

While most children attend a camp or program during the summer, we may still have funding available towards the end of the year (however there are no guarantees). Also, I’m happy to let you know that we try to do our best to provide Camp Scholarships for siblings and children with ill parents. Please feel free to have your social worker submit your applications to us through our online portal here: https://shinethroughtherain.ca/camp-scholarship/.

Copies Of Past Applications

Our application process has changed. We no longer accept paper applications, and all patients must have their healthcare professional submit their applications through our online portal found here: https://www.shinethroughtherain.ca/rainydayfund/. Also, due to privacy, we cannot share patient information. The best point of contact is your mother’s healthcare professionals such as a social worker, nurse, or physician.

Christmas Help

No matter the season, Shine Through the Rain is here to help patients and their families going through a tough time, but especially over the holiday season when money gets extra tight. Patient’s children are eligible for our Christmas Hamper Program. Whether the child is the patient, a sibling or has a diagnosed parent, all children can be impacted by family diagnosis. Please note that the patient’s healthcare professional must refer the children through our online portal for the Christmas Hamper Program here: https://shinethroughtherain.ca/christmas-hamper-program/. Children must be under 15 years of age. Also note that we currently provide gift cards for groceries and toys, so each child can select the toys or gifts they desire.

Supporting Documents Required For Help

It’s so important to make sure all required forms and information are included in the application your healthcare professional submits on your behalf through our online portal: https://shinethroughtherain.ca/rainydayfund/. If we do not have everything we need like the letter from your landlord, we cannot consider your request. Your landlord’s letter MUST include the following;

  • Overdue balance
  • Number of months overdue
  • Contact information should we have questions
  • Landlord’s full name (first and last name). If approved, the check is sent to you, but it is made payable in their name.

Make sure to indicate whether you have an eviction notice in your application (Section 3B). If yes, your social worker must include a copy of the eviction notice with your application.

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