In a small, building housing psychiatrists and therapists in downtown Reno, next to the Renown Regional Medical Center, the non-profit charity For Kids Foundation works out of a small office to in its own words “catch the kids that fall through the cracks.”
Applications for Help Not Covered Elsewhere
Our Town Reno contributor Laura Gattis recently sat down with Earl S. Nielsen, a board member and founder, and Paula Nielsen, the executive director of this local charity which began in 2003.
“I was actually on an executive board for a for-profit hospital corporation,” Earl Nielsen said. “The owner suggested that...we start a non-profit basically to catch the kids that fall through the cracks, and so I agreed to write the 501(c)(3) and I started it.”
The charity accepts applications for anything not being covered by other charities and agencies, including additional healthcare, schooling, and sometimes even dresses for school dances or travel fees to sports competitions or to attend senior prom.
A Case by Case Basis
For Kids say they currently help under 21s in Northern Nevada, and occasionally California areas which border Nevada. When they receive applications for help, they first try to find organizations which already cover the request for a referral. But if no other organization can help, Paula Nielsen said, the board discusses each remaining application and decides on an appropriate level of aid. If a case is extremely time sensitive, or expensive, the charity sometimes partners with other groups to answer the need.
Many of the stories are simultaneously heartbreaking and uplifting, such as that of one local girl who was abused by a sibling, and placed in foster care. While she recovered from broken bones and bruises, her foster family asked for financial help to send her to swimming lessons to help her heal. For Kids approved and paid for two months of swimming lessons worth $335.
Funded entirely through private donors, For Kids Foundation hosts two events a year, a wine and cheese tasting, and a golf tournament. The wine and cheese will be this Friday June 2, 2017, and details can be found on its website here. The golf event will be September 30th, 2017.