We’ve found help for your sick child! If your child has been diagnosed with a serious illness, there are charities that can make your life a little easier. From free wheelchair makeovers to fun family events, the goal of these organizations is to make your child’s life brighter and more joyful.
In this article, we’ll introduce a number of charities that focus on providing support and assistance to families with seriously ill children. We’ll break down each program in easy-to-understand terms and explain who is eligible for help.
Adventures & Outings
The organizations in this section offer special companionship and fun experiences for your child. The goal is to expand your support network and give your child something to look forward to, even when life is hard.
A Kid Again
A Kid Again invites families with a sick child to free local events and activities. Their adventures are absolutely free for the families who participate.
In order to be eligible, your child must meet these requirements:
- Your child must be under 20 years old.
- Your child must have been diagnosed with a life-threatening condition.
- You must live in an area with a local A Kid Again chapter.
The website is a little unclear about what areas have AKA chapters. There are links for all 50 states but only some of them work. Most re-route you back to the National page.
However, the links did work for the chapters in California, Delaware, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, Washington DC and Wisconsin. You will need to contact your local chapter to apply.
Casey Cares Foundation
The Casey Cares Foundation provides an ongoing Family Festivities Program. This program hosts three events every year for children who have critical or terminal illnesses. These events may include trips to the zoo, a sports game, a live show, or even a trip to an amusement park.
The Casey Cares Foundation will organize all the details of the trip. They do their best to secure vouchers for parking and food. They also work out preferential parking accommodations for children who are weak or wheelchair-bound.
If your child is not well enough to go out, the organization can also help you orchestrate a Movie & Pizza Night. They’ll cover the cost of dinner and a movie so that you can have a fun family night at home.
In order to be eligible, your child must meet TWO of the following requirements:
- Your child is diagnosed with a critical, life-threatening illness; OR
- Your child is frequently hospitalized; OR
- Your child is receiving active treatment; OR
- Your child is on hospice care.
If you meet the requirements, your primary physician or social worker can complete the application on your behalf.
Do It For the Love
Do It For the Love focuses on connecting people with meaningful live music experiences. They can provide up to four event tickets to a live music wish in the United States or Canada. Certain events may be limited to two tickets. They try to coordinate meet-and-greet encounters but those aren’t guaranteed.
This organization serves children and adults who are living with a life-threatening illness. They also serve children who have severe developmental challenges, disabilities of any kind, or those who have survived intense family trauma.
You can apply online.
Merlin’s Magical Wand Foundation
As the official charity partner of Merlin Entertainments, this foundation can provide one-day passes to certain attractions.
Magical Days Out brings children to well-known attractions like Legoland, Madame Tussauds and Sea Life. This program provides a one-day to visit the attraction of their choice.
In order to be eligible, the child must be between 2-18 years old. Your child must have a serious or long-term illness, registered disability, or meet one of the other program requirements.
You can apply online.
Companionship & Comraderie
There are other organizations that offer opportunities for companionship and social support. These organizations pair your sick child with a team or animal that can provide comfort and friendship.
Team IMPACT connects children who are chronically ill or battling a life-threatening illness with a local college sports team. The goal is to expand the support network for the child while giving the team the chance to love, support and mentor your child.
You can learn more about the program or register on the Team IMPACT website.
Children who have been diagnosed with pediatric cancer can register for Warrior Horse. This program matches each child with a specific horse. Your child will have the opportunity to meet their horse, if they are physically able to do so. You can have multiple visits with the horse and your child can receive updates as the horse competes at horse shows. You can register online.
Gifts for Your Sick Child
There are other services that can help your sick child, as well. These organizations don’t quite fit into the categories above.
Eligible children can get a free custom wheelchair costume from Magic Wheelchair! This organization transforms wheelchairs into epic costumes for kids.
In order to be eligible, your child must be between 5 and 17 years old. They must use a wheelchair for mobility.
It takes an average of 8 weeks to build an epic costume. You can apply on the Magic Wheelchair website.
Two Angels Foundation (CO)
The Two Angels Foundation provides up to $2,000 toward the purchase of adaptive bikes for children under the age of 21 who live in Colorado. Their hope is that these bikes will help you sick child live the most active life possible.
In order to be eligible, you will need to submit a letter from a physical or occupational therapist. The letter needs to verify that your child needs a bike and describe how the bike will be used by that child.
This foundation only reviews applications three times per year, so it can take several months to get a reply. You can fill out the application form on their website.
Help with Education & Social Connection
Severe and chronic illnesses can be isolating. There are many organizations that seek to help children stay connected to their friends, family and school despite their health challenges.
This organization provides free technology to help children continue their education and stay connected to their friends. They can provide free iPads, laptops, internet access and even robots to help your child maintain those relationships.
In order to be eligible, your child will need to meet these requirements:
- Your child must be between the ages of 3 and 18.
- Your child must be diagnosed with cancer or another serious illness.
- Your child must be in active treatment.
Although this organization serves the United States, they prioritize children who live in the Northeast states of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont.
If you are eligible, you can apply online using the Device Application form on the Grahamtastic Connection website.
Like the Grahamtastic Connection, HopeCam helps children overcome isolation through technology.
This organization can provide free tablets, web cams and Internet connections. They can also provide IT support and will even work with the school to help ensure your child can participate. Their tools can also help you use telehealth services.
In order to be eligible, your child must be at least 3 years old and undergoing active treatment for cancer. You can apply online using the online application form.
There are many organizations that can provide supportive services for your sick child. The charities in this list can help your child make new friends, connect with their school, and even visit theme parks for free! In addition to these organizations, be sure to check out our list of childhood wish-granting organizations as well!