Every mother and father, no matter where in the world, no matter what culture, no matter what background, has at least one thing in common. All parents want things to be better for their kids than things were for them. They want their kids to be smarter, to live in a better house, to have a better job, to be healthier, to live longer, and to be better educated. Every generation dreams of better things for the next. We dream of a better life for them. But tragedy can strike.
There are approximately 4,000,000 workplace injuries each year in the U.S., resulting in approximately 1,000,000 disabling injuries and 5,000 deaths. Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics Web Site, 2007 data
Sadly, our modern, media-saturated world takes little notice of work-related injuries, illnesses and deaths. Workers' Memorial Day is an opportunity to highlight the preventable nature of workplace accidents and illnesses and to promote campaigns and organizations in the fight to improve workplace safety and the quality of life for workers. The slogan for the day is Remember the Dead - Fight for the Living.
When a family is robbed of an income because mom or dad was killed or disabled on the job, the quality of their lives inevitably declines in a hundred different ways. They often lose a car, or have to move to a smaller house or apartment. Perhaps the cruelest, most insidious loss after a work place accident is the loss of the dream. With death or disability comes the depressing realization that maybe the children won’t finish their education. And without education maybe their children’s lives won’t exceed their parents’. The dream of a better life for their children can die.
Kids’ Chance Scholarships
Robert Clyatt, a workers’ compensation attorney from Valdosta, Georgia, founded the first Kids’ Chance organization in 1988. Through his work he had witnessed the life-shattering impact that a serious workplace injury had on the children of seriously or fatally injured workers, who were now faced with the difficulty of having to fund their own education. With the assistance of the Workers’ Compensation Section of the Georgia Bar, Bob Clyatt incorporated Kids’ Chance of Georgia and began raising money to fund educational scholarships for the children of injured Georgia workers so that they could finish their education. Kids’ Chance of Georgia assisted other states to create their own Kids’ Chance organizations. In 2001 a national organization, Kids’ Chance of America, was formed to create, assist and support organizations throughout the United States with this simple purpose: raise money to provide scholarships for the children of workers seriously injured or killed on the job.
Thanks to the efforts of Kids’ Chance of America and Kids’ Chance of Georgia twenty-five states have organized Kids’ Chance programs that provide scholarships to the families of seriously injured workers, and new Kids’ Chance organizations are being formed each year.
The work of Kids’ Chance makes a significant difference in the lives of children affected by workplace injuries by helping them finish their education.
But the effect of their work goes beyond sending scholarship checks each fall and spring. With the help of an army of contributors and volunteers Kids’ Chance helps protect the dream. For hundreds of parents Kids’ Chance preserves the dream of better lives for their children.
Every Kids’ Chance organization wants to give out as many scholarships as possible. They want to find all the children they can help. If you know of any child whose parent was killed or seriously disabled in a work injury please visit our website at www.kidschance.org.
Peggy HasslerExecutive DirectorKids’ Chance of Americaexecdir@kidschance.org1-877-933-0222