The Board of Directors for Kids' Chance of Florida met telephonically last week and voted to award scholarships totaling $15,000 to four college bound students. Not bad, considering the organization didn't even exist 6 months ago. It just goes to show that, even in workers' comp, good things can happen when there is a strong common cause and dedicated people who support it.

Kids' Chance of Florida is a 501(c)3 not for profit corporation, and is a chapter of the national Kids' Chance of America organization. The goal of the 37+ Kids' Chance groups around the nation is to provide scholarships and educational opportunities for children whose parent has been seriously injured or killed on the job.

I won't name the kids here, as they have yet to be officially notified by KCFL. However, I would take a moment to thank another like-minded group, the Friends of 440, for their assistance in helping us reach this point. Our group was blessed early on with some very generous financial donations. This helped us get out of the gate very quickly. However, finding applicants when you are only several months old is a challenge, and Friends of 440, another organization with a similar mission, helped us immensely by inviting us into their annual process and identifying kids in the state that were in need. The KCFL board is extremely grateful for that early help. Friends of 440 has a slightly broader mission than Kids' Chance, but it is nice to know that the two organizations working together will be able to provide more help to more kids here in the Sunshine State.

I also want to thank the Workers' Compensation Institute (WCI) for their support, as they are allowing us to present one of these scholarships during the opening sessions of their mammoth conference in Orlando this August. It is a great opportunity for us to spread the word that these scholarships are available for children in need.

I personally find my involvement with the Kids' Chance organization (I have served on the National Advisory Board for several years) somewhat cathartic. I think other KC volunteers would agree with and understand that statement. Workers' comp is filled with so much friction and so many competing interests that it is a relief to occasionally step into a world where everyone from all sides can just agree on something. A very important something. And that is what happens at Kids' Chance.

Our KCFL Board is comprised of insurance professionals, attorneys, medical and claims professionals, employers, CEO's and more. We even have a judge who is ruthlessly efficient at keeping us on task and moving through our stated objectives. In a world where change and conflict seem ever present, stepping into the world of Kids' Chance is a welcome relief; simply because we know we are working on a collective goal that is far bigger than the sum of its parts. We are working on the future for kids' who need a helpful boost, but who are more than willing to do the hard lifting on their own.

It is a great feeling. And less than 6 months in, well, that is just icing on the educational cake. 

You can learn more about Kids' Chance of Florida here (still fleshing out areas of that site). For those outside Florida, you can find a state chapter on the Kids' Chance of America website

Don't worry if your state does not have one. KCOA will be more than happy to help you start one.

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