Zach, Elizabeth and Rachael

Life can change in a blink of an eye. Just ask siblings Zach, Elizabeth, and Rachael. 

Before their father’s accident, “our life was really good, really easy,” Rachael remarked. “We had a good, solid family dynamic and everyone was super loving.” Every year, the family would take a trip to Dale Hallow in Tennessee and share a cabin with their uncle and grandparents. They’d spend the whole day on the water. “We’d go tubing and my dad would try to whip us off the boat. That was probably our favorite thing.” 

Such an idyllic childhood made the winter of 2015 uncharacteristically bittersweet for the trio. On the one hand, their father was excelling professionally. After years of working multiple sales jobs at a time, he had finally secured the job he’d always wanted as a manager at a natural gas piping company. On the other hand, the family was in mourning from the loss of their beloved grandfather a few months prior. 

Then, on December 23, the unthinkable happened. They received news that their father had suffered an accident on the job and passed away. 

“First of all, it was a holiday. That's never something you want to spend without your family,” Elizabeth shared. “And with the recent passing of our grandpa, it was all just heartbreaking.”

As the siblings grieved, they also struggled to come to terms with their family’s newfound financial insecurity. Without their father’s income, they wondered if they'd be able to go to college, how they would finance it, or if they'd have to sell the house they'd grown up in their entire lives.

Thankfully, a call from Kids’ Chance changed the trajectory of their lives. After learning about the accident, Kids’ Chance of Indiana (KCIN) contacted Zach — then a high school senior — to let him know about scholarships available for kids of parents who have been injured on the job. Having had little success with other scholarship opportunities, Zach immediately applied and received funding. 

Now, the siblings consider that initial outreach from Kids’ Chance a blessing. The scholarship support KCIN provided Zach, Elizabeth, and Rachael not only helped each graduate debt-free, but it also gave them peace of mind to explore their passions and study what they love without straining their families’ finances. 

For Zach, he realized that the Kids’ Chance support did so much more than finance his educational goals — it also helped his family heal and move forward after tragedy struck. Without Kids’ Chance, he said, “a lot of families wouldn't be able to go to college. Kids’ Chance enables families who go through hard times to be able to live a fulfilled life even after the accident.”