About Children’s Flight of Hope
Children’s Flight of Hope (CFOH) offers hope and healing to families by providing air transportation to children in need of specialized medical care. For most families, this means we reserve tickets on commercial airlines for the child and one adult companion to travel for treatment. Some families travel once a year, some every three weeks and many have changing needs as a child’s treatment evolves. On limited occasions, our resources allow us to provide private flights for a child who is medically unable to travel on a commercial airline.
Corporate and individual donors make all the difference in this mission to save and enhance lives– we couldn’t do it without them. Through their generous support, we purchase hundreds of commercial plane tickets each year. In addition, we are proud partners with American Airlines and administer their Miles for Our Well-Being program. Through this program, we provide flights for kids internationally and within the United States to receive critical care at charitable medical institutions, such as Shriners Hospitals for Children. Our mission has reached new heights with the support of American Airlines.
We are also grateful partners with Southwest Airlines, who makes significant contributions to our travel resources. We often refer private flight requests to our friends at AeroAngel and appreciate working in tandem with them for the most medically-fragile children to access treatment nationwide.
We are committed to helping families through the duration of their child’s treatment. Once a family has been accepted our flight assistance program, we make every effort to see them through their medical journey.
We are motivated by the children we serve and maintain our mission focus with the guiding principles of compassion, responsiveness, safety and gratitude.
In 1990, pilot and businessman Al Wethington became aware of some local North Carolina children with serious medical needs. They could be treated at distant hospitals but lacked safe and affordable transportation to access this specialty care. Al used his skills and resources to rally local pilots, medical personnel and community volunteers to address this need. Within months, Children’s Flight of Hope was off the ground.
CFOH was incorporated as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in 1991 and for the first several years, operated a private plane to get children to their treatment. CFOH started booking commercial flights to increase our impact in 2012 and passed the milestone of 100 flights in a year in 2013. Our services gained altitude as support from dedicated donors grew and new partnerships were established with American Airlines in 2016 and Southwest Airlines in 2018. We achieved our best year ever in 2019 with 1,336 completed flights and we are committed to climbing even higher in the future. Our founder’s vision has evolved into our current mission with a consistent focus on the children we serve– we fly for their lives.
2020: Home is Where We Hope for a Healthier Tomorrow
While 2020’s possibilities took a sudden and sharp turn, we still have much to celebrate. We celebrate that in a year like no other, we flew at least one mission each day. We celebrate that we were able to honor requests from children such as Jonas, Amelia, and Zeke, whose stories are highlighted in the report below. We celebrate that when families facing sudden financial hardship needed us, we welcomed them to CFOH. And while some children could not fly due to COVID-19 circumstances such as border closings, hot spots, and increased risk, we celebrate that every family knows we are standing by, eager to bring hope and healing to their medical journey.
2019: Best Year Ever
Thanks to the many generous partners, sponsors and donors, 2019 was our best year ever. We flew more missions for more children and brought hope and healing to these special young children and their families. We invite you to learn more about how our mission was brought to life in our 2019 Annual Report. And we invite you to be part of the future of Children’s Flight of Hope.