~ Bro. Mark Twain
The HIKE Fund, Inc. (Hearing Impaired Kids Endowment Fund) collects funds to award to children who are in need of hearing aids or other assistive listening devices whose parents or guardians are unable to meet this specific need.
The HIKE Fund, Inc. was created in 1985 by Emma Tedrick and Charles Terrill, the international leaders for Job's Daughters International (JDI). The Fund was developed as the philanthropic project of the JDI, a Masonic youth organization for girls, to give the members of that organization a specific and unique charity to which they were able to devote their energies.
The first years of existence of The HIKE Fund, Inc. was focused on establishment and it’s stability. Articles of Incorporation were filed in the State of Nebraska in 1985, and HIKE was temporarily set up as a 501(c)(3) organization with the Internal Revenue Service of the United States. During the first year of operation, approximately $20,000 had been donated to the fund and awards were granted to seven children in the Philippines. Soon after, a $10,000 base endowment was placed in a certificate of deposit. In 1990, a review of the fund's records brought a final ruling from the IRS for The HIKE Fund, Inc. to be considered a tax-exempt charity.
With increased donations and awards has come increased community awareness. Each year the number of applicants increases dramatically. Fortunately, the revenue of The HIKE Fund has increased such that all worthy applicants are provided funding, although there is a waiting list of up to six months for many applicants.
The price of hearing devices continues to inflate. The HIKE Fund, Inc. awards funds to all children and adolescents from birth to the age of 20 years that have demonstrated both a medical and financial need. Recipients can reapply for an additional award after four years. There is no limit on the number of awards given per family.
As the work of The HIKE Fund, Inc. grew, the organizational structure was modified and the size of the board of directors was increased to better serve the purposes of HIKE. Additional board members have been added and responsibilities have been modified to increase the effectiveness of HIKE.
Many challenges, both structural and financial, continue to challenge the work of The HIKE Fund, Inc. Today though, the fund continues to prosper and has reached over $3,000,000.00 in awards to children with hearing loss in the United States and the Philippines.
The structure of The HIKE Fund, Inc. is such that it allows for the organization of 36 states from Alaska to Texas and from Hawaii to Delaware into a cohesive unit, working towards a common goal.
There is also, a H.I.K.E. Fund Canada, Ltd. which serves similar needs in that country In the near future; there may be the establishment of a HIKE Fund Brazil as the JDI organization in that country has been giving serious consideration in establishing their own branch.” (www.thehikefund.org)
This past weekend, I was able to witness a 12 year old young lady become a recipient of the H.I.K.E. Fund. She received an $1800 check for her communication needs.
On September 21, 2013, Illinois and Missouri had a joint event called the Lincoln/Truman H.I.K.E. The two states had a friendly competition as to which state raised the most money for H.I.K.E. They met at Cahokia Mounds; (IL) went on a hike, ate lunch (proceeds of lunch to H.I.K.E) and gave out awards to the top Job’s Daughter for the most funds collected. Donations raised that day were Missouri $2397.43/Illinois $2471.00/Lunch $455-total for the day $5323.43!!!
If you know of a child that is in need of a communication device, go take a H.I.K.E., you will be amazed at the results.