The concept of the For Kids Foundation developed in 2001 at a Board meeting of the Kids Behavioral Health (KBH), LLC, a healthcare corporation. It was realized that there were kids who were “falling through the cracks” and ineligible to receive urgently needed services for a variety of reasons. The original For Kids Foundation Board consisted of three members of the KBH Corporate Board. Dr. Nielsen volunteered to chair the effort and wrote the 501(c)(3). The intent was to form a nonprofit vehicle for funding those children who were in need but without resources.
For the first few years, For Kids Foundation was funded by KBH and some local philanthropists while we established ourselves. All Board members were volunteers and every effort was made to spend all funding on children. Supplies, printing, and secretarial services were all donated back then. We hired our first Executive Director, Mrs. Paula Nielsen, in 2003. She, more than anyone, developed For Kids Foundation into what it is today!
Our first funding event was held outside our office on the grass with white tablecloths, fresh strawberries, chocolates, wine and cheese (and came to be known as the Annual Wine & Cheese Event); we netted $1500.
Expansion of the Foundation’s Board, fundraising efforts, and lives of children affected continued to grow. Paula retired in 2017, new Board members have joined the Board, and we have experienced exponential growth and increased community awareness.
Dr. Nielsen has four grown children. His pride in them is immense and he is thankful for each of them. The For Kids Foundation logo is actually a caricature of those four children. Dr. Nielsen has often stated that For Kids Foundation feels much like his “fifth child.”
In January 2019, Dr. Nielsen stepped down as Board Chair, moving to a less-demanding role as a For Kids Foundation Board member.
In January 2020 Dr. Nielsen will retire from the Board of For Kids Foundation after many, many years of faithful service. We would not be where we are today nor in a position to help so many children in Northern Nevada were it not for Dr. Nielsen’s vision, dedication, and love of our community.
All the best, Dr. Nielsen!