Taking Off

Founded in 2003, Kids in Flight is a non-profit organization that uses aviation-related activities and airplane rides to give children with serious illnesses or disabilities an opportunity to escape by soaring above their crises, complications, and struggles. Through a variety of exciting, fun-filled programs and the thrill of flight, children and their families share unique bonding experiences that will be remembered forever. Everyone knows that from the air, objects below appear smaller. For children fighting serious illnesses, the escape and excitement of flying can make their problems seem smaller as well, giving them a new perspective on their struggles. It is because of this that there is a sense of hope, determination, and perseverance that is the essence of Kids in Flight and all who are involved.

Click to Learn About Kids in Flight Founder, Maria Knausz

Mission Statement

The mission of Kids in Flight is to use aviation to empower children with serious illnesses and disabilities and their families through flight experiences and educational programs.

Vision Statement

The vision of Kids in Flight is to launch nationwide aviation-related events and flight experiences for seriously ill children and their families in order to instill a positive attitude towards their personal crises. Through the creation of an educational curriculum, the organization will provide sensitivity training to create public and government awareness of the problems facing seriously ill children. Kids in Flight will also become a resource for the children and their families both in terms of education and aviation-related topics.

Core Values Statement

The core values of Kids in Flight integrate the wonder of aviation as seen through the eyes of children with the positive attitude and perseverance necessary to cope with serious illness through integrity, trust, inspiration, determination and compassion.


Integrity We will hold ourselves to the highest standards in our words and actions. We will always behave ethically and require similar practices of all those associated with the organization.


Trust We will always operate with the safety and happiness of the children as our highest priority. We will present the organization and its associated individuals in a straightforward manner. We will be a reliable resource for the children and families experiencing serious illnesses and health-related issues.


Inspiration We will be role models for a positive attitude and optimistic outlook in all situations.


Determination We will provide positive, educational experiences to facilitate perseverance among participant’s families through our understanding, experience and knowledge.


Compassion We will always be sensitive to the nature and severity of the crises faced by each family.

What else does Kids in Flight do?

KIF is currently working on a children’s book to be published sometime in early 2020. KIF also is always on the lookout for opportunities to expand into other geographical areas and programs. There are various other activities throughout the year as well. These include group outings to local ballparks and an annual Holiday Party with entertainment, food, crafts and a Santa visit.

"They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." - Isaiah 40:31