Thank you so much for providing the Spread Your Wings program for foster children in our area. Thanks to your program, our three foster daughters were able to take gymnastics lessons for the first time. They have really enjoyed learning how to balance, tumble, and perform their moves. It has been a valuable experience in terms of self-esteem, friendships, and also for gross motor movements and balance. Activities like gymnastics and other programs that the Spread Your Wings program sponsors can really help foster children have a fun activity that helps them to feel special. Thanks Families Helping Families of Iowa!
Families Helping Families launched the Spread Your Wings program in 2010 to help provide scholarship funding for children in foster care, relative, or other approved placement by providing support to participate in extracurricular activities.
Studies have shown that extracurricular activities for children help increase awareness in the classroom and provide a sense of belonging, which positively impacts self-esteem and self-discipline.
Many families encounter financial challenges – often the “extras” that are bypassed to make way for necessities. Because of this, the Spread Your Wings program through Families Helping Families helps deserving children with an opportunity to participate in positive activities and to develop positive relationships with adults.
Funded Activities & Fees
The Spread Your Wings scholarships fund a range of activities for school-aged children including, but not limited to:
- Arts and art lessons
- Music programs and lessons
- Special Olympics
- Sports – including gymnastics and martial arts
- Summer camps
- Other children’s interests
The Spread Your Wings scholarships also help cover various program and activity fees, including but not limited to:
- Membership fees
- Uniform and/or specialty footwear
Any school-aged child in foster care, relative or other approved placement by the Department of Human Services are eligible to apply. Children must be between the ages of 1 and 18. If a child is over the age of 18, he or she must have been re-entered into foster care or a special needs basis.
How Does it Work?
Each child may only receive funding once per 12-month calendar year, based on the date of the last approved application. Foster families and guardians may apply for one-time or recurring activities. Recurring activities are typically approved for 3 month periods only. After those 3 months expire, you may re-apply to request an extension on funding, if funds are available.
Please Read: Funding Information
For all requests, families must first request financial assistance through the desired program before applying for funding with Families Helping Families. Applications must include an invoice for the cost of the activity.
Funding will not cover items for which the State of Iowa will reimburse. All requests to Families Helping Families is subject to board approval before funds are granted. Families Helping Families reserves the right to reject funding for any reason.
Checks are printed with the name of the business or activity.for the activity. No checks will be printed directly to foster parents. We are unable to reimburse foster parents for activities which are already paid.
To apply for the Spread Your Wings activity scholarships, apply online with the link below. For more information or questions about the program, please feel free to contact us.
I am in gymnastics at Twisters. It is one of my favorite things to do every week. I have been working on the balance beam lately and learning to do a round-off dismount. We do stretching and warm-ups at the beginning of class and stretching again at the end of class. I am also practicing on the horizontal bar, holding myself up to build strength and doing backwards spin (I can’t remember what to call it). When I swing my legs in front of me and then go all the way over and around.
Foster ChildCedar Rapids, Iowa
Thank you for giving me an opportunity to give back to Families Helping Families. I am pleased to say that after 5 long years, we finally get to adopt our foster kids! Your support and programs have been so helpful to us. Because of the Spread Your Wings program, one of our children has discovered a love for hockey and this program made it possible for him to participate.
Dulcia, Linn CountyActivity: Hockey
[Our child] just received his blue belt. He is now more than half way to receiving his black belt in Tae Kwon Do. As you know he is also in the leadership program with the Academy. We are very proud of him and he takes a great deal of pride in himself. He continues to attend every day and receives valuable instruction that he will remember his entire life. Please relay our thanks to Families Helping Families.
Foster Parent, Linn CountyActivity: Tae Kwon Do
Thank you Families Helping Families for buying my ball, shoes and bag. The ball is swirly pink and purple with a breast cancer awareness symbol on it. It also smells like cake. The shoes are black and white and look kind of casual. The bag is blue and black. I got Washington colors. Thank you again for everything.
Foster Child, Linn CountyActivity: Bowling
The activity scholarships have benefited her in taking swimming lessons. She is an extremely active little girl — always moving, on the go, and touching things. She loves the physical experience of the world! We quickly found that she LOVES water — and finds great joy in the pool. Again, this is an activity she’s proud of learning. She loves to show us what she can do — what a confidence builder for her! Not only is it a good skill for right now, but this will be a skill she will have the rest of her life.Thank you, thank you for your support!
Foster MomCedar Rapids, IA
I want to let you know the girls LOVE GYMNASTICS! They can’t wait for Saturdays so they can go. [Child] is constantly practicing at home so she can move onto the next class! [Child] loves the trampoline!
Foster Parent, Linn CountyActivity: Gymnastics
[Our child] is now a recommended black belt. He also has completed his midterm testing for black belt. He is very motivated and will do whatever it takes! Thank you so much for all that you do.
Foster ParentCedar Rapids, IA
Thank you for sponsoring me so I can go to Bible Camp! I am grateful that you would pay for me to go to camp, even when we haven’t met. Thank you very much for this glorious opportunity.