Nathaniel’s Hope #30DaysOfCaring Day 6

For Day 6 of #30DaysOfCaring, I am highlighting Nathaniel’s Hope because they are dedicated to sharing hope with kids with special needs (VIP kids) and their families.

Nathaniel’s Hope was founded in 2002 to meet the needs of kids with special needs (VIP Kids) and their families. VIP Kids are those with any physical, cognitive, medical or hidden disability, chronic or life-threatening illness, or those who are medically fragile. Through their personal experience with their son Nathaniel, co-founders Tim and Marie Kuck saw first-hand how demanding it can be to raise a child with special needs. Click here to read more about Nathaniel’s story.

Programs offered by Nathaniel’s Hope are designed to:

  • reduce stress for kids with special needs and their families;
  • share hope and encouragement;
  • provide education to empower individuals in the community to reach out to those families.

What is a Buddy? A buddy is a friend to VIP Kids and their families. Buddies are people who come forward to say “I care” and “I want to understand how to be an unconditional friend to VIP Kids. You can become a Buddy here.

Interested in helping out for Christmas, they still have openings (Caroling for Kids, Caroling Caravan and Nathaniel’s Toy Shop). YOU can be someone’s angel! Currently these programs are only located in Central Florida. Read more and register here.

  1. Caroling for Kids teams share hope and encouragement with patients, families and caregivers at children’s hospitals on Christmas day through caroling and bearing goodies and gifts! Join a caroling team, accompany with an instrument, or help provide goodies- candy canes, small stuffed animals, and prepackaged Christmas cookies!
  2. Caroling Caravateams visit prescreened, medically fragile VIP kids and their families who are home-bound for Christmas. They deliver Christmas cheer and toys from Nathaniel’s Toy Shop to a family’s home. Sign up and take a team of people with you! Or, if you have a medically fragile VIP and are home bound, apply to have a caroling team visit you!
  3. Nathaniel’s Toy Shop provides FREE toys to VIP families with a financial need at Christmas. Host a toy drive, donate a toy at Walgreens, or help at Nathaniel’s Toy Shop! Or, if you have a child with special needs and need assistance, this shop is for you! Open December 12 – 14, 2014.


Below is a break down on various events

  • Buddy Break: This FREE kids/respite program provides fun and socialization opportunities for VIP kids and their siblings while their caregivers get a break from their ongoing care-giving responsibilities. This program is held monthly in collaboration with churches across the nation. We are always looking for Buddies to play one-on-one with VIP kids and their siblings. Also, if your church would like to start a Buddy Break, we’ll equip you!
  • Make ‘m Smile: This annual community festival is held in Orlando, FL. It is an event dedicated to celebrating VIP kids and their families. It features a Friendship Stroll, free entertainment, food, family activities, and exhibitors that provide resources for the special needs community. Buddies are integral to the Friendship Stroll!
  • Caroling for Kids: We share hope and encouragement with patients, families, and caregivers at children’s hospitals and with homebound VIP families on Christmas day through caroling, prayer, and bearing goodies and gifts.
  • Keep ‘m Smiling: This is our partnership with other organizations to have community events that are VIP-friendly year-round. If your company would like to host a Keep ‘m Smile event for VIP kids, that would be great!
  • Bearing Hope: A loveable, plush beanie bear is given to VIP kids to communicate the hope that we share through Nathaniel’s Hope. You are always welcome to make a donation for a Bearing Hope bear to be given to a VIP child.

For additional information about this non-profit, you can follow them on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

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