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Start a Division or Group


Local divisions across the country provide direct support to the children, adolescents and their families through hospital and community based programs.


The people behind these organizations have a strong commitment to ensure families do not have to navigate the childhood cancer journey alone. Most of our groups are led by parents or relatives of children who have had cancer. We like to think of these parents as the “alumni” who have stayed around to help the next generation of families through the childhood cancer ordeal. They are knowledgeable not only in treatment issues, but in what families need, often before they know they need it. The types of services that these organizations provide may include:

  • Family Comfort Kits for newly diagnosed families (required and provided free of charge from national)
  • Support groups and/or events, a time for families to get together.
  • A patient library of childhood cancer reference books.
  • Organize the distribution of Hero Beads.
  • Emergency financial assistance for rent or mortgage payments, car repairs, transportation, pre-paid gas cards, groceries, parking, and more.
  • Work with the hospital staff to provide extra conveniences for parents.
  • Day and sleepover childhood cancer camps.
  • Social events for the children and young adults, for instance, one division has a Dream Prom.

Click Here to Find a Local Division or Group

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Becoming an American Childhood Cancer Organization Division requires a commitment to ensuring that kids can’t fight cancer alone. By starting a Division in your area, you will be joining forces with 50,000 families and 40 groups (some affiliates formed under our old structure and some Divisions under our current structure) across the country who share your commitment.

To get started, you will need a team of dedicated individuals who understand the unique challenges faced by a childhood or adolescent cancer diagnosis. Your team can be parents or siblings of children with cancer, survivors of childhood cancer, medical professionals, friends and extended family members, and individuals from your community at large who want to make a difference in the lives of children with cancer. These individuals (we recommend at least 5) will form your initial Steering Committee. We require that some individuals on your committee will be parents/survivors/family members to ensure that ACCO remains true to its founding principles. You will also need to know what geographical area you wish to serve since we do not allow Divisions to overlap service areas.

You would have a great deal of flexibility in running your organization, but we do require some basic structure and core services. Because of the critical nature of our mission, we also require a high degree of integrity and commitment to serving children and adolescents with cancer and their families. We offer years of experience from ACCO and their groups across the country, and they are available to you should your Division application be accepted.

ACCO Divisions operate under ACCO’s 501c3 and policies and protocol.  A Division is the hands of the National Organization at the local level.

If you are interested in creating a local ACCO Division under our tax exempt status, please contact our Division Director, Mary Anne Ruddis, through the ACCO office or by emailing her at: We look forward to hearing from you.