Guest Blog – Jenna Powell

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HI all, the next few blogs will be from amazing people who have founded charities that are close to my own heart. I am excited to share them and their incredible work with you! 

Today’s blog is from Jenna Powell, who is the founder of the Giving to Fly Foundation. Please take some time to read her story and what amazing work she is doing! Our family has been blessed to not only be associated with this foundation, but to also have been a recipient of their grants. – Shannon

When I was asked to share about Giving to Fly I was excited yet nervous. What do I say about something I feel so passionate about?

10 years ago I had my first child, who was born with a condition where his leg didn’t form completely. My little boy had his leg amputated just before his first birthday. As my son grew older we realized the importance of getting him to events and camps where there were others with similar conditions. Almost immediately after going to our first camp we saw a huge increase in his confidence, and our sons smile was a little brighter. He didn’t feel alone and meet others who knew just how it was, the daily struggles, and the social struggles. I found friends who knew the struggles I faced as a parent-helping verses enabling, letting go a bit, and facing the ongoing challenges of advocating.

Over the next few years we started doing more and more events. Very few events are held in our home state so we began travelling.

2 years ago it was the last day of a camp in Florida. We had the time of our lives. I sat there wondering why every child wasn’t there, this specific camp there are no camp fees, or hotel costs or food-Everything is covered you just have to get there.

This is when Giving to Fly became an idea. What if the cost of airfare was removed from the situation? Families could do more if they could get flight assistance.

3 Weeks after getting home from this camp Giving to Fly became a 501c3 public charity. Our goal for our first year was to do 10 flights. We finished the year providing 26 flights.

Giving to Fly provides airfare for amputees and their families to get to camps, clinics or trainings nationwide that enrich their lives physically, socially or emotionally. I personally know what a financial burden airfare can be and our goal is to make Flight not a factor. We want to make it easy for families to do more.

Part of our mission also is to support the communities we are already a part of. We believe strongly in working with others, uplifting and supporting other organizations with similar values and intentions.

Giving to Fly has been needed for so many families for so long. We are so thankful for all of our communities who support us and make donations. Without community support all of these flights wouldn’t be available for many. We have some amazing mentors guiding us on the process of running a nonprofit, and I have an amazing board of directors all diverse in backgrounds and life experiences. Each member brings something unique to table which is helpful as we grow so quickly.

I think in life things happen to set you up for something else. I really believe Giving to Fly is my purpose and I’m excited to see what all these families are able to accomplish on their trips.

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  1. Amy

    This is a beautiful thing you are doing for these families. May the blessing keep flowing for your cause.

  2. jade

    It is pretty amazing how quickly you noticed a need, and created a non profit to address it. Plus, making double your goal the first year is awesome. Does your work extend to kids whose disabilities are not physical (such as mental retardation, autism, etc.)? How did you decide on mentors? This is all very exciting to learn about. Thanks for guest blogging.

    1. Jenna Powell

      Sadly because the need is so great I had to focus on one disability which is amputees and their families.
      As far as mentors I found folks who run successful non profits, saw my heart and have similar morals, values and intentions.
      I’m so thankful for the guidance

  3. Jana Kaye Kuhnert

    Jenna, Your work directly impacted the lives of many this past weekend at the 5th Annual NubAbility All Sport Summer Camp. I wish you were able to see the change come over the kids Giving to Fly flew to camp. Dawson Batts was pushed harder than he ever was before and he has already pitched in a little league world series. He discovered some hidden skill and he discovered comfort with himself. We are so proud of your heart and your works. xoxo NubABility!

    1. Jenna

      Jana I will be at all events I send Kiddos to from now on. I’m learning as I go.

  4. Shannon Waites (Post author)

    Thank you Jenna for sharing your story and your passions with us! You have touched so many families and athletes lives, making moments possible, that may not have been! On a personal note, thank you for helping my daughter and my family! Because of your foundation we were able to attend an International Swim Competition, which was an amazing experience for us all!

    1. Jenna Powell

      we are happy to help
      you’ve got an amazing child and are an incredible mom. Cant wait to see what your baby(now an adult does!)

  5. Bobby

    You are an AMAZING person! You saw a problem and found a solution to help those that otherwise would not be able to attend. These events offer so much more than anyone can imagine. They can build self-esteem, confidence,freindships. They are educational and fun for all including the staff and volunteers. I salute you and may you keep up the good work!

    1. Jenna Powell

      Thank you Bobby for the kind words!


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