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2020 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Bounce Children's Foundation

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Health, Patient & Family Support

Mission: Bounce Children's Foundation transforms the lives of chronically ill children, and their families, shifting all from surviving to thriving.

Target demographics: We serve chronically ill children and their families, because when a child is diagnosed, the whole family is diagnosed. No other organization encompasses and uplifts the whole family in the same way that Bounce does.

Direct beneficiaries per year: Over 300 families find joyful experiences, practical support, education and resources, 24x7x365. Through a unique portfolio of custom-designed programs proven highly effective, Bounce allows kids to be kids and gives families a chance to feel safe and accepted.

Geographic areas served: Chicagoland metropolitan area (including SE Wisconsin & NW Indiana)

Programs: Bounce Bash - Family adventures specially designed to include kids with complex medical needs, yield fun and friendship, and create a safe place to belong. Bounce It Forward - Unexpected fun for Bounce families as donated tickets allow them to attend sporting and other high demand events. Bounce Back Kits - ‘Inspiration-in-a-box’ care packages that act as fun and distracting boredom busters for families locked-in due to medical necessity at home. Bounce Academy - Education for parents which enhances their ability to cope emotionally, financially, intellectually and psychologically. Bounce Net - A private, online community of 24/7 support that creates a virtual safety net, allowing parents to compare notes, ask questions, bond and even vent.

Community Stories

57 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

2 Dan Angie B.

Client Served

Rating: 5

For the past several years, Bounce has generously provided group activities and care packages for our daughter. With these activities we have had the opportunity to participate in outings we would not otherwise have the easy access to due to our daughter's needs. Participating in group outings and meeting other families is also a huge bonus. Having a child with medically complex needs can be very isolating, and this group helps bridge us together.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Wow! Bounce is a wonderful organization that welcomes children with disabilities AND their families! There is no other like them. Bounce provides fun and modified activities. No one stands out. Bounce kit activities sent home are always a treat for both the children and the parents. We love those last minute Bounce Forward opportunities to enjoy concerts, games, and plays. Bounce understands families with special needs. They make us feel special in such a positive way!! One of my favorite experiences with Bounce is the time they offered last minutes tickets to an event. They said, “if the kids can’t go, go on a date”. Although we did not take advantage of it, I was grateful, as I felt supported and was encouraged to take some time away from the daily challenges with a guilt free feeling. WE LOVE BOUNCE!!!

Previous Stories
2

Client Served

Rating: 5

Bounce Foundation is a great organization supporting families with children with special needs. They sponsor events that educate us and allow us to interact with other families that face similar challenges. Our children are provided with fun entertainment in a safe and caring environment. We love the Bounce Kits which provide us with hands on activities that engage the whole family.

Elizabeth Leswing M.

Client Served

Rating: 5

We have been a part of bounce for almost a year now. It has been such a happy experience for our family. Due to our 3 year old having gastroparesis we are frequently in the hospital and at doctors. Bounce has provided the opportunity for all the kids to have fun and enjoy themselves without stress and worry of medical issues. We also get to meet families who understand what our life is like. It has been such a blessing to find this organization.

purduela

Client Served

Rating: 5

With a family with a medically complex 10 year old and a 15 year old sibling with special education needs, Bounce has been there for us during our difficult challenges. They have provided opportunities to spend time with other families with medical difficulties, events for our family to reconnect and for awhile to forget about our problems, packages generously provided & packaged by others to help us get keep smiling. Bounce events are one of the only places my son can let go and not worry about what other people think about having feeding tubes, medical problems, etc. Many events and packages have occurred around another surgery, most recently this month. It was something fun and positive to look forward to. We felt so alone before Bounce, and now we have a HUGE extended family of friends to talk with and share our struggles.

Bridgette T.

Client Served

Rating: 5

We have been apart of Bounce for 4 years, close to 5 and they are an amazing support system!! Even through a pandemic Bounce has been present in lives in so many ways. They have truly thought outside the box to provide opportunities to connect not only with each other in Bounce but also with community members virtually. They have provided unique virtual experiences for the kids to enjoy, which my kiddos talked about for days. Bounce gives them something to look forward to and feel like they belong no matter what!! We cannot be more thankful for all Bounce does!!

Previous Stories

Client Served

Rating: 5

Our Bounce kid is hospitalized frequently. Big brother often worries, and struggles with going to school. After going to a bounce bash he was super excited and couldn’t wait to show this picture of him helping the light guy. Bounce not only helps the bounce kid but also the siblings. They always go above and beyond to know the bounce kid and their siblings. We are forever grateful for everything Bouce does for our family, but especially for all the smiles and laughter all kids should have.

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Rebecca S.8

Client Served

Rating: 5

Bounce Children’s Foundation has been a welcoming beacon in our family’s life. Our son was born with Norrie, a rare genetic disease that left him blind since birth. Bounce has provided us with a support system of families that understand some of the challenges we face. And most importantly, they know that our kids are regular kids who just want to have fun too! Bounce has given us access to some pretty awesome opportunities and events, and we will always be grateful to them!

Client Served

Rating: 5

We are a Bounce family, and feel so lucky to be part of a wonderful organization committed to children with special needs. Family activities are not always easy financially, physically or socially for our families for so many reasons, but Bounce takes over and makes normal family activities possible and flawless for us! We get to do all the things families do with help and assistance, and we get to be surrounded by families and people that "get it" and embrace us for our unique and amazing kids! We are very blessed to be a part of a wonderful organization like Bounce!

Client Served

Rating: 5

We are new to Bounce but love it already.
We received a welcome kit & both my kids enjoyed it 4yr & 15yr.
So thankful during these uncertain times.
Being home has been tough especially when our outings are doctor appointments.
Missing the outside world.

Kelly Rathbun H.

Client Served

Rating: 5

We heard about Bounce from the child life specialist at the hospital where our youngest daughter Kathryn was being treated for cancer. While Kathryn spent months in the hospital we were also trying to help our other 3 kids grow and feel safe at home. During treatment the last thing on our minds was planning fun activities and yet that is definitely what the kids needed. Kathryn was in the hospital for the first few activities so she wasn’t able to go, but Bounce welcomed our other kids to come anyway. Over time we were all able to do the activities together. We have so many fun memories together at Bounce events like the pumpkin patch and boat cruise. Bounce allowed us time together having fun and feeling like a normal family. We are so grateful to Bounce for all they’ve done for us.

Stephanie 8A

Client Served

Rating: 5

Bounce is AMAZING!!! And will always hold a special place on my families hearts. Bounce goes above and beyond for the kids, and families. As the mom of a medically complexed 8 year old little boy, we don’t get to do much as family between appointments, treatments, hospital stays and that all changed when we learned about Bounce Children’s Foundation. When we attend Bounce bashes, I’ve seen my son make friends, be himself, and just be a kid. I will always cherish the memories, both past and in the future, that Bounce made possible for us. Everyone at Bounce are wonderful.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Bounce is doing wonderful things for families of children with special needs. We have the opportunity to participate in great events (that we don’t have to plan!) that we know will work for our family. At these events we get a break from the stress of our daily lives and can have some fun! We also can interact with others with similar circumstances which builds a sense of community that we all need. Our family is so thankful for Bounce!

Previous Stories

Client Served

Rating: 5

Being a Bounce Family has made an incredible impact on our lives. It can be difficult to plan and participate in activities that are appropriate for my son who has significant physical and health issues. Bounce takes care of all of the challenging aspects. We can simply show up and enjoy! The staff is warm and caring, and it has been a pleasure meeting other families who have similar stories. We are so thankful to everyone who makes this organization possible!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Hello! My name is Amy and I am an intern for Bounce. The CEO, Joan Steltmann, reassured that even with COVID-19 altering the world as we know it, Bounce Children's Foundation would still continue to serve Bounce Families even if it means shifting the way that programs and outreach is done. Through all of these uncertain times, working for Bounce has given a purpose to my days and affirmed why I applied to be an intern in the first place. Joan has so much love and support for everyone that she interacts with and I cannot wait to continue my summer work with Bounce.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Bounce is a unique organization that does something no other organization out there does. They truly make a lasting impression on the families they serve. Everyone involved in this organization is invested in the mission and it shows through their work. Whether it be a staff member, Board of Director or a volunteer, they all play a key role in the impact Bounce has on the children and families it serves.

I have had the amazing opportunity to work closely with Bounce families. It is a touching to see the joy Bounce brings to these families. Whether it be an everyday activity or a once in a lifetime opportunity, Bounce does it all. Providing families with a little normalcy in their everyday life helps them build the resilience they need to overcome yet another setback.

Dominika B.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My name is Dominika and I've been blessed to be a part of this organization for the past few months. I'm an intern here but also I volunteer at their events. Words can describe how dedicated and carrying they are at Bounce. They take care of everyone in the family that is a part of their program. They go above and beyond to help those in need. I'm proud to say that I work every day on helping them on every day program operation and management. They do so much more than what their mission is. They connect families making life long friendships. I'm lucky to learn from every team member so many new things every day.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Hello! My name is Nicole and I've been volunteering for Bounce Children's Foundation. It has been such an honor to volunteer for such a moving and unique nonprofit. For years I have dedicated my life to children from being a Preschool Teacher, to dressing up as a princess at birthday parties but this foundation genuinely warms my heart. Not only does it succeed at assisting families whose children are chronically ill, but Joan (the CEO) and employees that I am surrounded with make every day THAT much better. Here, I am treated as family and although there are days that may be hectic and full of work to do, every day is satisfying and everything gets accomplished as a team. I could not speak more highly of such a dedicated team of people. I can't wait to continue volunteering and watch this company grow and help more families around the country.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Hello we are the Ollie family we have been members of bounce for about 4 years now. My son who is 15 now is in a wheelchair and has cerebral palsy. They have given us the most memorable times we could ever imagine. I never thought we could go out and do so much by him being in a wheelchair. This is one of the greatest organizations I have ever been apart of. I recommend all families that I think can benefit from becoming a bounce member. Thanks so much for all you do love the Ollie Family!

Previous Stories

Client Served

Rating: 5

My name is Shante I have a 14 year old with cerebral palsy. He is in a wheelchair and has never walked. I thought that he wouldn’t be able to enjoy life like normal kids his age; but becoming a member of Bounce House has gave me a new point of view. My son has done more with this organization then I thought he would. This Memorial Day we attended a boat cruise with bounce house and it was amazing. My son enjoyed everything we did that day. He did arts and crafts, did amazing dance moves with the other parents and children, he is still talking about this cruise. Bounce house is the best organization me and my family has ever been apart of. This was the best thing I did when I signed up for the program, and not to mention the awesome bounce kits that they send to families for holidays, they have enough arts and crafts for the whole family. We would like to thank bounce house and all of there volunteers for the awesome job they are doing. Hugs and kisses the Ollie Family

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Thank you for this invaluable help I am very grateful to share events with families similar to mine and so expensive that I could not cover, but above all thank you because I have a respite and I know that there are more eyes helping me with Jeny Thank you for making this possible this is Many thanks invaluable thanks

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Bounce Children's Foundation has a unique mission to support sick or disabled children as well as their parents and siblings through enrichment, fun activities. We contribute financially, but more importantly volunteer at their many events.
The organization is run out of the amazing CEO's , (Joan Steltman) home to conserve resources. It is truly a unique mission

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a marketing/communications intern for Bounce, I have been able to experience the inner workings of this great organization. The small staff is dedicated and passionate about helping families impacted by chronic illness, pushing themselves in order to create the most impact with the time and resources they have. Joan, CEO of Bounce, has a strong forward-thinking focus that elevates the foundation. I have also had the opportunity of attending a Bounce Bash and the feelings of joy and relief from the families in attendance was almost tangible. Everyone was smiling and happy to be apart of such a relatable and safe community. Incredible events, incredible mission, incredible people.

Danielle S.3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I'm an intern at Bounce and I've loved working here so far! They truly run the business with integrity, always putting the families first. They are very organized in going about projects and they really show their appreciation for us interns! I love being invited into the whole process, team meetings and all, and being given the space to share my ideas and propose new projects. My favorite part about working at Bounce is getting to meet the families at Bounce Bashes. When we work, we know that we're doing everything for them and it's so fulfilling knowing that we are creating a fun and stress free atmosphere for Bounce kids and their families! If you are looking to support or get involved with a great non-profit, I definitely recommend Bounce Children's Foundation.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As an intern at Bounce I have come to find that the team really does go above and beyond to improve these families lives. It can be extremely tough when one of your children is dealing with a chronic illness, as it greatly affects the whole family. However, through Bounce's many programs they are able to make dealing with this much easier, as well as change their situation from surviving to thriving. Being an intern at the organization I saw this first-hand. I also got to see all the hard-work, planning, and care that goes into each event, care package, and fundraiser that makes the organization work for the families. I could not be more proud to have spent my time helping an organization like this improve.

Stephanie M.12

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Bounce is an amazing foundation that is very well-run and inspirational!
I've loved interacting with its members and the people the foundation serves.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As an employee, my favorite part about Bounce is it takes into account what you are interested in learning, not just where your experience lies. They give you opportunities to broaden your horizons and introduce you to new skills. I have learned more from my one semester of interning than I could have sitting in class all year long. And looking at Bounce from a family's perspective; it is unique, it is considerate, and it is generous. I am constantly overwhelmed by the generosity of donors and sponsors who are so invested in this cause that they are willing to come back year after year with more donations. It is always a pleasure joining the families for events to see all those days of hard work pay off in smiles and new memories. Bounce is an incredible organization. I am proud to have been a member and I am eagerly looking forward to their expansion.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Bounce's incredible staff dedicates themselves to creating thoughtful fun, excitement, and adventure for the children and the whole family, and their specific needs. Everyone is so nice to work with, and genuinely care about what they do and what Bounce represents. Once you join Bounce, you're really joining a great community full of love and support.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

This is an incredible opportunity for their interns. I am very thankful for what this organization has done for me. I have grown in my skills, knowledge, and experience in Non- Profits. The nonprofit has and will continue to do great things within the community.

Sarah D.4

Client Served

Rating: 5

After spending literally years inside the hospital with my daughter, who has been in treatment for pediatric cancer, it has been so wonderful to be able to spend time together as a family at awesome events that we would never have been able to go to on our own. We just went on a lunchtime cruise on the Spirit of Chicago at Navy Pier over Memorial Day weekend, and it was fabulous! Thank you so much to Bounce Children's Foundation for giving my daughter and my two sons the opportunity to be able to enjoy life to its fullest!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a volunteer here at Bounce, I have seen the impact it has had not only on the children it serves but the families too. This foundation creates a safe space for the families to bond with one another, and for the children to be children again. No child should have to deal with any of the disorders, diseases, or complications that many of them experience. I love volunteering with them and consider it one of my favorite things I have ever done. To see the smiles on the children's faces alongside all of the giggles and laughs, this would brighten anyone's day.

Jacob B.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Since joining Bounce, it has been life-changing for me to witness the importance of bringing some sense of normalcy into the lives of chronically ill children and their families. It hit me at my first Bounce Event this past weekend: I saw the smiles on the faces of the children and their families, and how happy they were to live life normally for a few hours. Their minds shifted away from their illness, and instead to the joy they had on that Sunday afternoon, running around and having fun like every child deserves.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

The organization has been wonderful on our recent journey with a child with a terminal illness and her two shattered siblings. We have enjoyed the activity boxes they sent and 2 of us had a wonderful day in the City attending a Cubs game courtesy of them. We are looking forward to the camraderie of meeting other families in a similar struggle.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Bounce constantly makes a difference in our daily struggle with chronically ill kids. We love seeing a smile on our son everytime he received a special package from Bounce.
Love going to the special events that Bounce especially organizes.
We are so grateful to be part of this incredible no profit organization.
Thank you Bounce! And thanks to all the beautiful volunteer.

Client Served

Rating: 5

They are great and help out our family

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

They are doing great and are awesome people thank you for all you do for the families

Client Served

Rating: 5

Bounce has been awesome providing fun events for our kids and sending the bounce kits

Client Served

Rating: 5

They communicate so clearly. Their events are super fun and easy to be a part of. Their hearts are in the right place. My children and I would never have been able to do the things we\u2019ve done without Bounce.

Client Served

Rating: 5

We had a great time at the roller skating event! We were well serviced, the people were extremely kind and ready to offer their help. My sister (she has cerebral palsy) had a great time, the smile on her face is indescribable. Thank you Bounce!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

From the perspective of a Bounce sibling, it’s been amazing to see my little brother attend such incredible events and make new friends through Bounce. The staff and volunteers have been extremely supportive and they make family time special for us! In fact, my positive interactions with Bounce led me to seek out a larger role and now I’m volunteering with the organization. My appreciation for Bounce continues to grow every day because I see how much joy it brings to chronically-ill children and their families! I am very grateful to be a part of the Bounce family and I’m excited to see Bounce continue to impact so many lives!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

What i see is an organization that gets people together to show people do care

Client Served

Rating: 5

Our family loves BOUNCE!! Bounce helps our family go to events that we would never be able to go to. We have met some great families that we have become friends with. These events help us be able to enjoy family time with our boys and forget all our worries for a day. The staff is amazing and very supportive!!!

Board Member

Rating: 5

I'm a newer board member but I'm thrilled to be part of such a special organization. The impact that Bounce has for the children and their families is truly incredible.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Bounce is great!!! Bounce plans lots of fun activities.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Bounce is a wonderful organization!! It helps us to get together with other families that we can relate to and to meet up with friends that don't live nearby. Bounce also gives us the opportunity to expose our children to places and activities that we can not afford to visit on our own. It is a great learning and cultural experience for the children to be able to visit a museum or dance company. We are so appreciative of the opportunities provided by Bounce!

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Bounce is an incredible resource for sick children and their families. We have been thanked profusely by parents we have referred to Bounce and were thrilled with the services they provide. We are so grateful to have them to partner with in meeting the many needs of chronically ill children.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Bounce has been an Amazing life saver for our family. It is never easy having a child with an illness or disability. When therapies, doctors appointments and procedures are a weekly task it can put a strain on the entire family. Bounce has been the "pick me up" we have needed to make the tough daily tasks manageable.
They have given us the opportunity to make many wonderful memories that would not have been possible otherwise. It is wonderful to look forward to a Cubs game or trip to the museums or a show at the theatre to keep your mind off the crazy health issues we face daily.
Bounce has been a 2nd family to us. It is always great being able to speak with other famileies who are going through some of the same hard times to make your life feel normal.
We are extremely greatful for all the smiles, laughs and amazing memories we will forever have because of Bounce.

1 Georgean H.

Client Served

Rating: 5

We love Bounce! We have met several great families and made friends we will always be grateful for. Bounce helps our family go to events that we would never be able to go to. These events help us forget our worries for a day. The staff is amazing and very supportive.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Bounce brings our family together and we get to spend time other families.

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

Bounce is a one-of-a-kind organization that helps bring community and joy back into the lives of chronically ill children and their families. And as a volunteer, I can assure you that the kids and families bring joy to the volunteers, too!

2

Donor

Rating: 5

Bounce is amazing because it focuses on what makes a child feel like a normal kid. For a few hours, a kid isn't just their illness. On top of that, it provides this feeling for the entire family. Such an important thing that is too often overlooked

1 Victoria E.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have had the opportunity to get to know some of the amazingly strong families that Bounce works with. Not only is Bounce unique in their service compared to any other organization, but Bounce truly makes a memorable and lasting impact on all parties involved.

2 Joan S.

Board Member

Rating: 5

It is truly an honor to serve Bounce Children's Foundation. There is nothing that can prepare one to be, to grow up alongside, or to raise, a chronically ill child. That's why Bounce exists - to help all who are impacted find a new normal, re-balance their lives, and connect with a group to feel that special sense of belonging.

Bounce builds community for chronically ill children and their families - until cures can be found. And it is unique, only Bounce offers this life-changing support and builds the resilience skills needed to move from simply surviving to truly thriving!

With 15%-18% of U.S. children battling chronic illness daily, we have much more work to do.
Each and every day we focus on growing Bounce while delivering the best quality programs possible. Thankfully we have dozens of talented and dedicated volunteers supporting our efforts and countless donors who make our work possible. Their contributions and Bounce’s impact is highlighted throughout our internet and social media presence at www.BounceChildrensFoundation.org and www.Facebook.com/BounceChildrensFoundation.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My experience with Bounce has been an incredible one. As a volunteer, I have been able to see the impact it has on the kids and the families. The programs it provides are truly invaluable.

1 Aimee A.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I truly cannot say enough wonderful things about Bounce! As a volunteer there are endless opportunities to get involved with this organization. Depending on your interests, availability, and skill set there are a variety of tasks you may partake in to help serve Bounce kids and families. Regardless, each task and contribution is meaningful, appreciated, and respected. It's also fun! It is inspiring to see how every member of the team from the Board of Directors to Volunteers are equally invested to the mission. Within my first couple of days interacting with the Bounce Team, I realized that these individuals are so engaged and passionate about serving kids with chronic illnesses and their families that there is only talk proceeded by action (and a lot of it). It is nothing short of amazing. From a volunteer standpoint, I am in awe. From a volunteer's standpoint who struggled with a chronic illness growing up, I am grateful. When I was a kid there was no such thing as Bounce. I am so happy that Bounce is there to support kids and families. It's so deeply needed. I can't wait to see all the great things Bounce continues to do in the next few years!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Bounce is a wonderful organization which genuinely aims to aid children with chronic illnesses.