Like a Child strives to celebrate and preserve the joy, curiosity and innocence of childhood by supporting organizations which provide resources for children and families to achieve their highest potential.

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Kicks For Kids

Kicks for Kids is a fundraising and awareness campaign to highlight non-profit organizations close to Cody’s heart who are doing good work in the community.  With design assistance from children at the organizations and led by Charlotte artist Ryan Bare, each of Cody’s game shoes are customized.  After wearing the shoes in game, Cody donates each pair to the organization to use for fundraising purposes.  In addition, each group receives a $15,000 grant from Like A Child.

Mission: Create and support one-to-one mentoring relationships that ignite the power and promise of youth. | @bbbsamerica | @bbbs_centralcarolinas

How can you help: Volunteer, donate, become a mentor

Like A Child donation: $15,000

Memories: Did you have a mentor when you were a kid or even as an adult?

Guidance, love, and support can come from a parent, but mentors outside of your own household can be so valuable! While Kemba Walker was having legendary success on the court during his 8 years playing for the Charlotte Hornets, he was also mentoring kids through Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Carolinas. To thank Kemba and pay tribute to his great work in the community, Like A Child reached out to the 4 kids that he personally mentored. They designed these Kicks For Kids including words like thoughtful, generous, supportive, loving, and kind hearted to describe their NBA All-Star mentor! In addition, Like A Child donated $15,000 to help support Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Carolinas!

Mission: Provide peer-based emotional support to all those who are grieving the death of someone who died during, or as a result of, their military service to the United States. | @tapsorg

How can you help: Donate, volunteer, give a thank you or a hug

Like A Child donation: $15,000

Memories: When was the last time you thanked a military member for their service?

Too often we recognize, remember, and support only the brave men and women who serve our country, but we forget about their families and kids that are left to put the pieces back together after tragically losing a loved one. For this reason, Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) was established to help support the families and kids of our fallen soldiers. Each year, TAPS hosts a “Good Grief Camp” in Washington, DC, which provides community, counseling, and a fun weekend for these kids. They don’t want to cover up memories of their lost loved ones, instead Good Grief Camp allows them to put good memories on top of tough ones! Good Grief Camp is just one of their amazing programs that help support our military families!

Like A Child created custom Kicks For Kids in honor of U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Girard “Jerry” Gass Jr. who was a decorated service member that fought in Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Like A Child hosted his surviving family including his spouse, 6 year old son named Charlie, and 6 year old Stella. They were able to see these special shoes live in action on an NBA court! Like A Child’s $15,000 donation to TAPS helped provide support for kids like Charlie and Stella and similar families of our brave service members!

Mission: Ensure children have access to exceptional healthcare by funding pediatric research, education, and care. | @rileychildrens | @rileykids

How can you help: Visit, donate, encourage

Like A Child donation: $15,000

Memories: What brings back memories of your childhood?

It could be something simple like a Nerf hoop that you played on with your siblings, a guitar that you used to play in the summer, a type of candy that Grandma used to have at her house, or a movie that your family all watched on Christmas morning. If you were a kid growing up in Indiana your list would certainly include cornfields, the movie “Hoosiers”, and candy stripped pants at Indiana’s Assembly Hall!

Every kid should be able to experience a fun, positive, and healthy childhood. At Riley Hospital for Children, kids get the best support, treatment, and care so they can get back to dreaming big and enjoying their childhood! These custom Kicks for Kids were designed and decorated by Riley patients, Porter, Olivia, and Jack, with Indiana themed artwork. Like A Child also donated $15,000 to help other artists and patients at Riley Hospital for Children!

Mission: Erase the impact of homelessness on children and their education. | @thompsoncff

How can you help: Volunteer, donate, provide meals

Like A Child donation: $15,000

Memories: What’s your favorite Christmas movie?

A Christmas Story, National Lampoon’s Vacation, Grinch, Elf, Home Alone! Each year we buy gifts for our loved ones, write letters to Santa, travel to see family, eat big meals together, and dream of visiting Who-ville! Unfortunately, not everyone is this fortunate. During Covid, schools had to be shut down, we saw high rates of eviction and foreclosure, and many kids were left without food, shelter, education, or support. Like A Child was connected with A Child’s Place in Charlotte which works to erase the impact of homelessness on children and their education. Together, with a $15,000 donation from Like A Child, we were able to provide 3 meals per day for 150 families! With full bellies, kids can get back to watching the Grinch and trying to avoid the naughty list!

Mission: Offer comprehensive specialized, leading edge medical services for babies and kids delivered by some of the most skilled pediatric experts in the region in a child friendly environment. | @novanthealth

How can you help: Visit, donate, encourage

Like A Child donation: $15,000

Memories: Who do you look up to the most?

Professional athletes, musicians, and celebrities are often asked for their autograph by fans who admire their skills and abilities. Like A Child decided to visit Hemby Health Children’s Hospital to ask for the “autographs” of kids that we look up to the most. We’re always inspired by their joy, courage, and perseverance in the face of adversity and illness! How can we complain about our small worries in life when these kids are smiling, dancing, and making the most of their tough situation?! After collecting more than 20 autographs, these custom Kicks for Kids were worn live in an NBA game! Like A Child also donated $15,000 to help support the kids at Hemby Children’s Hospital! Do yourself a favor and visit Hemby! You will leave inspired with a whole new perspective on life!

Mission: Improve the reading, writing, and spelling skills of young, aspiring readers in under resourced communities by providing free, long term, one on one instruction from highly trained tutors. | @augustineliteracyproject.clt

How can you help: Support, donate, volunteer, become a tutor

Like A Child donation: $15,000

Memories: Who was your favorite teacher in school?

After a year of Covid and virtual learning, Like A Child wanted to partner with a nonprofit that’s helping to educate our youth. We were connected with Augustine Literacy Project in Charlotte which provides tutors to children who have fallen behind in reading, writing, and spelling. Augustine Literacy Project focuses on kids who are at least one year behind in reading and who come from a low income family with free and reduced lunches. We were shocked to hear that kids only have a 1 in 8 chance of catching up if they fall behind in reading by 1st grade. Like A Child donated $15,000 which allowed Augustine Literacy Project to expand and provide tutors to an entire new school in Charlotte. Rise and Read!

Mission: Strives to create a better world by fostering the acceptance and inclusion of all people.  Through the power of sports, people with intellectual disabilities discover new strengths and abilities, skills and success.  Our athletes find joy, confidence, and fulfillment on the playing field and in life. | @specialolympics | @specialolympics_nc

How can you help: Volunteer, donate, encourage

Like A Child donation: $15,000

Memories: If you could participate in an Olympic sport, which would it be?

Sports can be fun and enjoyable, but more important are the life lessons, friendships, work ethic, purpose, and memories that come with playing a sport. Like A Child donated $15,000 and these custom Kicks for Kids to help provide sports opportunities for kids in North Carolina through Special Olympics. In North Carolina alone, 40,000 athletes train to compete in 20 different Special Olympics programs. Like A Child’s donation assures that athletes will never have to pay for training, uniforms, awards, equipment, or transportation. As their mission statement reads, “Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt!”

Mission: Promote independence for both children and adults with physical disabilities and provide opportunities to pursue active, healthy lifestyles in adaptive sports. | @rollinhornets

How can you help: Donate, support, encourage

Like A Child donation: $15,000

Memories: Did you shoot a basketball in the driveway or at the park when you were a kid?

Ok, now imagine shooting a basketball while sitting in a wheelchair! The Rollin’ Hornets are a wheelchair basketball team that is known as one of the best in the entire country! In 2020, the prep team and the varsity team both earned an invite to Nationals in Wichita, Kansas. The team covered half of the costs for each player including hotel, entry fee, and travel costs. Like A Child stepped in with a $15,000 donation to cover the other half so these kids could compete at Nationals for free! Look them up on Youtube if you want to be amazed!!!

Mission: Offer comprehensive specialized, leading edge medical services for babies and kids delivered by some of the most skilled pediatric experts in the region in a child friendly environment. | @novanthealth

How can you help: Visit, donate, encourage

Like A Child donation: $25,000

Memories: What was your best Halloween costume?

We all went door to door as kids asking for candy while dressed up like our sports idol, a firefighter, or a superhero like Superman or Spiderman! Unfortunately, there are always kids at Hemby Health Children’s Hospital around Halloween who are missing out on this experience. Like A Child saw this as an opportunity to help! We designed a custom pair of Kicks For Kids with drawings of our favorite superheroes, donated $25,000 to help Hemby continue to provide the best care and support, and finally, we dressed up in our best costumes and visited! Nobody should miss out on the chance to dress up like Captain America or a Ninja Turtle, even as adults!!!

Mission: Together, we create life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses. | @makeawishamerica | @makeawish_cwnc

How can you help: Donate, grant a wish

Like A Child donation: $15,000

Memories: If you only had one wish, what would it be?

As an adult, you might wish for a raise at work, or good health, or a vacation. As kids, our wishes were probably simpler like a new bike, a new doll house, or a trip to Disney to meet Mickey and Goofy! Unfortunately, some kids with critical illness will never reach adulthood. In these cases, Make-A-Wish is able to step in right now and grant a wish that would be impossible otherwise! Especially during Covid, trips were canceled and everyone was forced to stay at home. Like A Child reached out to Make-A-Wish and asked for the contact information of kids that needed their wishes granted! With a $15,000 donation, we were able to provide a princess playhouse for 9 year old Bristol, a shopping spree for 14 year old Commorion, guitar equipment for Triston, and Shelby wished big for her own personalized golf cart! We were able to talk with each of the kids over zoom and hear about their wishes! Life on earth can be unfair, unexplainable, and heart wrenching, but you wouldn’t be able to tell from the joy and excitement of those zoom calls!