Non-profit organization A Kid Again offers children with life-threatening conditions a chance to experience a day without doctors’ appointments, procedures or blood draws. Originally based in Ohio, A Kid Again has recently expanded to Indiana, and is now providing support and adventures for Hoosier children and their families.
Indy’s Child spoke to Katie Pappas, the executive director of the Indiana chapter of A Kid Again, about the organization’s mission to connect with as many families as possible in the state of Indiana.
What types of adventures do the kids experience?
We do some really cool things across the state. We’ve done events with the Colts, Pacers and Microsoft. A lot of the kids are into gaming, so we’ve done some e-sports and gaming adventures, learned how to code an arcade game and made music videos. We’ve also done bowling, swimming and lots of parties. Every December, we have a holiday party, and our annual Kings Island trip is probably the largest adventure because we collaborate with other chapters, bringing more than 4,000 people to the park. Everything is free for the families, siblings and parents included. You can come to one adventure or every single one of them. We want the whole family to have the opportunity to make a memory together.
Why is it important for kids to have an event exclusive to others like them?
For cancer kiddos that might have lost their hair, they often feel stared at, or kids that look a little different can feel judged. Being in a space where it’s just families that look like you and understand what you’re going through … there’s a level of comfort that goes with that. You’re among those that get it and they don’t bat an eye. We’re on a lifelong medical journey together and this is a safe space at the end of the day. We want to be the bright spot on the calendar every month. Having something to look forward to is important.
How can people help A Kid Again help more kids and families?
We’re always looking for volunteers to join the board or lead a committee, help plan adventures or fundraising events, or help check in families and serve food at our adventures. We have a super cool event on July 30, 2021, called Nashville Comes to Noblesville. Two singer/songwriters will play songs and talk about their experiences throughout their career. It’s casual and outdoors, with a live auction and a lot of fun. We’re bringing in a southern style chicken and waffles meal. Tickets are $100 and include everything. We’re also looking for corporate partners and others interested in getting involved.
For more information, visit akidagain.org/chapter/indiana-chapter.