Pillows for Kids Foundation funds opportunities for kids to participate in brain and body training activities that will develop their physical, mental, and emotional well-being. We target children who may be currently in the "gaps" between other support systems, and we endeavor to keep them connected and doing good things, guided by an accomplished mentor. The more they learn and experience, the more clearly they can focus the lens through which they view the world and their participation in it.
How Pick.Click.Give. makes a difference
We fund activities such as gymnastics, swimming, skiing, snowboarding, skating, horsemanship, leadership, robotics, art, music, dance, and martial arts, to name a few. All of the management expenses and utilities are donated, and we work with mentors and other nonprofits for very good value. In most cases, the parents or guardians provide transportation, and some have gratefully vowed to “pay it forward” when they are able.
During the last seven years, we have granted 401 mini-scholarships, ranging from $50-300 each, to kids ages 4-18. A typical skiing or snowboarding scholarship provides for a full day, 7am-7pm, and includes equipment rental, required lesson, full day lift ticket, round trip transportation as well as adult supervision and mentoring. Some were for a single day of joining their peers. Some were for the remaining balance for a season's pass of eight days. Other scholarships have provided for two months of gymnastics lessons. Skaters have experienced private lessons and practices; two have advanced to competition. The horsemanship lessons include haltering, tacking, grooming and general care of the horse, much more than a mere ride. Interaction with a horse, often considered therapeutic, requires self-discipline and responsiveness. Providing the balance of class trip fees for seven students meant they were not left behind, they were not singled out, and they were able to accompany their classmates and teachers on a science and math trip to the Sea Life Center and fish hatcheries. A middle school student, who did not have sufficient funds for the whole season, was exposed to lessons and loved the experience so much that she has been motivated to do more work so that she can save for the next season. A highly motivated student was able to continue to participate in the leadership class activities.
We prefer to support more than a one-time experience in an activity because it takes repeated contact to build trust and relationships with mentors. Because of the multiple lessons and experiences, the mentors have noted significant growth in self-discipline and teamwork as well as an improvement in listening skills, confidence, and concern for others.
As retired teachers and grandparents, we donate our time and resources in the pursuit of providing opportunities for kids to grow. We make and sell pillows for funding, and we also donate pillows for children and families in need of support. An investment in our youth is an investment for all.