History & Expansion
Over 27,000 children are diagnosed annually with a life threatening illness in America. Today, due to medical advances, most children will fight their illnesses for five to ten years! After spending more than a decade granting wishes to children with life threatening illnesses, a group of caring individuals from central Ohio saw one great need … ongoing hope. These compassionate volunteers believed that smiles, laughter and friendships are truly life's best medicine. They saw an opportunity to provide continuing support, with fun-filled group activities for these children and their families.
On July 5, 1995, Adventures For Wish Kids, Inc. was established as a Columbus based not-for-profit corporation in the state of Ohio. On November 7, 1995, Adventures was recognized by the IRS as a 501(c)(3) organization. Adventures For Wish Kids offers adventures and support programs to children with life threatening illnesses and their families to make certain that the much needed hope continues. Adventures are unique opportunities to spend quality family time in a fun-filled group activity or destination event outside the hospital. Two events were held the first year, serving 276 children, plus their immediate family members.
For the first two years, the organization was run entirely by volunteers. Then in June of 1997, the Board of Directors hired the first paid staff member. Adventures was reaching children being treated not only in Columbus, but also at Cincinnati and Dayton's Children’s Hospitals. Some of the children were traveling great distances to attend many of our outings. In 2000, the Board of Directors decided to establish chapters in Cincinnati and Dayton to serve children closer to their homes. By the end of the year, 580 children were participating in 10 Adventure outings annually. Because the entire family was included, over 2,400 people were being served.
In February of 2008, Adventures became a statewide organization when the board approved the establishment of the Greater Cleveland Chapter. In 2008, Adventures held 47 events which hosted 19,287 providing hope to thousands of hurting people from Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana and West Virginia.
In hopes of serving even more children, the Board of Directors decided to apply for a Federal Trademark on the organizational name of Adventures For Wish Kids. After finding it was impossible to obtain, leaders asked our families what Adventures does for them. Their answers were resounding … Adventures For Wish Kids helps every child with a life threatening illness be … a kid again! In January of 2009, Adventures For Wish Kids became A Kid Again.
In 2011, A Kid Again hosted 43 fun-filled events across the state of Ohio with an amazing 15,632 attendees. In 2012, we anticipate even more families to be enrolled and participating in our wonderful adventures!
Today, A Kid Again has over 1,690 children with life threatening illnesses enrolled in our programs. We are able to serve these families through a small paid staff of 10 full time employees, over 1,200 volunteers, a Board of Directors and Chapter Advisory Boards.
We look forward with great anticipation to the day that every child in America with a life threatening illness is able to be a kid again in their own community!