There are many non-profits that help amputees by providing full-ride summer camps or learning programs that help educate and support amputees and their families. However, some organizations cannot afford the ‘full-ride’ portion for the entire family due to cost-prohibitive flights.
That’s where the newly-created Bothell non-profit Giving to Fly comes to the rescue.
Created by Jenna Powell, a mother of a 9-year-old boy who lost his leg at the age of 11 months, Giving to Fly helps amputees and their families go to all the camps and training opportunities offered to them, without the worry about cost-prohibitive airfare.
“When you have a child with [prosthetics] its thousands of dollars a year in legs or arms,” Powell said. “It’s just expensive to have a child with a prosthetic, it really is, you can get a grant for camps, you can get grants for legs, you can get grants for arms, you can’t get grants for airfare, anywhere.”
The idea came about when she wasn’t able to attend a summer camp with her son because of the opportunity didn’t include the costs of airfare for the whole family, instead only her husband was able to attend with the kids.
According to Powell, while many of the camps are primarily a place for the children to be supported, it’s also a place for the parents to feel supported among the other parents of amputees.
“Some of the challenges to getting families to camp are not only the costs of camp but also the travel for many of the families to get to the camp whether they have miles to drive or plan to drive,” said Mary Leighton, founder and executive director for the summer camp Camp No Limits. “We now have camp in 10 locations nationwide however some families still have a long distance to travel so whether they need to drive or fly there is the expense of travel as well.”
That’s where Powell hopes to be of service for not only the children’s benefit but also for the parent’s who struggle alongside their kids and who also crave the kinds of support that these opportunities afford.
“My goal is just to make it easy on families and hopefully be able to raise money to be able to help people this fall,” Powell said.
And others have been taking notice of the waves Powell and Giving to Fly have been making, before the fun of summer camps has started.
“It is a great feeling to know that our CNL families want to continue to help each other and the community,” Leighton said. “It is great to know that they feel it is important not only to them but to help others in a similar situation and want to help them get to camp and have the opportunities that they have had!”
For Powell, Giving to Fly is not just by making costs of flight a non-issue, it’s also about supporting a community from within.
“We’ll just start fundraising in the new year and see where it goes,” Powell said.
The next local fundraising event will be held at Lucia Italian Kitchen Restaurant and Bar in Kirkland, located at 222 Parkplace Center, on Jan. 25. A percentage of their entire day’s proceeds will be going to Giving to Fly.
On Feb. 16, another fundraiser will be held at JJ Mahoney’s Irish Pub in Redmond, from noon to 4 p.m., called Boarding for Bucks where everyone can watch Powell stand up paddle board down the frigid Sammamish Slough.
Interested donors can help raise funds whenever they feel charitable by heading to the Giving To Fly GoFundMe page, http://www.gofundme.com/givingtofly.