Hope Chest for Breast Cancer Foundation

Here for Good

Since November 2001, Hope Chest for Breast Cancer Foundation has been a source of hope for local breast cancer patients and their families.

Getting cancer is scary. And expensive. Hope Chest fills an urgent, unmet need: Alleviating some of the financial burdens associated with breast cancer treatment. While patients focus on the fight of their lives, we focus on helping patients stay in their homes, keep the heat and lights on, and put nutritious food in the fridge. We help make sure that patients can get access to transportation and child care so they can attend treatments.

Our Story
Our Beginning

Hope Chest for Breast Cancer founder Barbara Hensley lost her two sisters to breast cancer. She witnessed firsthand the financial challenges that breast cancer patients and their families face.

After meeting more patients and hearing their stories, Barbara knew something had to be done to ease the burdens that insurance doesn’t cover. So, she turned heartbreak into action. In 2001, Barbara resigned from her corporate executive position and founded Hope Chest for Breast Cancer. The first Hope Chest for Breast Cancer Resale Shop opened in Orono, Minnesota in November, 2002.

Our Commitment

Today, Hope Chest has grown from Barbara Hensley’s dream into an impactful, multifaceted organization with passionate, skilled staff and a dedicated Board of Directors. We are as committed as ever to the cause, because we believe that no family should face financial ruin while they fight cancer.

How it Works

Hope Chest for Breast Cancer provides Emergency Assistance Grants to support local breast cancer patients and their families. Our business model combines the power of a foundation and revenue-generating Resale Shop. The Foundation combines donations, grants, event revenues and store proceeds to provide a solid revenue stream for its mission.

The Hope Chest Resale Shop is open six days per week and sells merchandise at a fraction of the cost because all of the items — from evening wear to end tables — are donated from individuals or corporations. Visit our flagship store in Orono. The mantra of our Resale Shop is: “Excellent quality, excellent buys…all for an excellent cause.”

Our Mission

Hope Chest for Breast Cancer provides financial access to support the most urgent daily needs of local breast cancer patients and their families, including housing, transportation, utilities, nutrition and childcare.

How We’ve Helped

Since 2001, Hope Chest has distributed over 5,500 grants and over $2.2 million to breast cancer patients and their families. Each grant represents hope and relief, two elements that are crucial in the fight against breast cancer. Hope Chest grants have paid rent and mortgages. They've put nutritious food on the table. They’ve covered day care costs, car payments, and utility bills.

Stay Connected

Get the latest news on store sales and events, meet our grant recipients, and enjoy Foundation news.