Created: December 04, 2020 06:56 PM
The Northern Lights Foundation is all about kids and easing financial strain on families with sick kids.
For nearly 15 years, grants have gone out.
"In 2006, after we had experienced the loss of a child in the early '90s, I thought you know, I'd like to do something and raise money for families," Ken Larson said.
Larson was working as a dentist and started to immerse himself in the world of nonprofits. He launched his own 501c3, the Northern Lights Foundation, in 2006.
"It's focused on any family with a child with a life-threatening illness," he said.
The concept is simple. Grants, typically about $2,500, go directly to families taking care of kids who are really sick. The funds have no strings attached.
"Many of the families that I've seen over the years, some will spend it for groceries, some will spend it for rent, some will spend it for travel if they do need to go for medical care out of the Cities," Larson said. "There's so many expenses that we don't even think of."
And those parents really don't need any more stress.
"They're not only emotionally wiped out, they can be financially just devastated at the time too," he said.
They often get connected to the foundation through social workers at the hospital.
"And being a small charity like we are, it's kind of nice because we've turned grants around in a matter of hours," Larson said.
And the board is especially proud that all the money stays local.
"I think the thing too that we all really appreciate being able to work with these families, they appreciate that it's people in their community," Larson said.
You can donate to the Northern Lights Foundation through WDIO's Trees of Hope campaign online or by calling into the phone bank on Tuesday during Good Morning Northland and on WDIO News at Five, Six, Nine and Ten. The number is 1-877-949-0383.
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