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Our Mission

Air Transportation

Children’s Flight of Hope provides air transportation for children to access specialized medical care. Both commercial and private options are available, and through a partnership with American Airlines, CFOH is able to support international requests.  All children must be medically stable as CFOH is not an air ambulance service and no medical support is provided during the flight. Flights are provided in three ways:

Commercial Airlines

Once approved, CFOH purchases commercial airline tickets for the child and one companion (or two companions if the child is under 2 years old and considered a “lap child”). CFOH does not pay for checked luggage. Each airline maintains their own regulations and payment requirements for passenger luggage, so please contact your specific carrier prior to departure.

Private Charter/Corporate Flight Donation

If a child’s physician deems that a child requires a private flight to medical reasons, CFOH pays for the services of a private air charter company or utilizes aircraft and crew donated by corporate partners. Medical equipment restrictions apply.

Miles for Kids in Need

In April 2016, Children’s Flight of Hope began administering a portion of American Airlines “Miles for Our Well-Being” program. This partnership has extended CFOH’s ability to provide support to children internationally and domestically. Children must be referred to CFOH directly from American Airlines or through an approved partner organization. To learn more about Miles for Our Well-Being, visit its website or contact the program by email.

Commitment to Our Families – More Than an Air Taxi

Though our budget is not unlimited, we try very hard to live by the motto “Once a CFOH family, always a CFOH family.” We know that one appointment is not always enough to treat an illness or injury, and we’re okay with that. We strive to commit fully to each child and family we fly for as long as the child’s treatment dictates, becoming a true part of the treatment plan.

Our goal is to provide air transportation assistance in a way that brings comfort to families during their child’s medical journey. We’re a source of support that clients can rely on during life’s mot difficult times.

CFOH provides each child with a backpack care package upon their first flight with us that includes travel essentials, soft blanket, aviation teddy bear, coloring books and details about what to expect when traveling. On commercial flights, CFOH staff contacts the airlines and airport security to ensure the day of travel is as logistically seamless as possible. On private flights, a CFOH Family Flight Liaison accompanies the family on the flight to provide non-medical support to the family and pilots as needed.

While CFOH does not pay for ground transportation to and from the airport, or accommodations while receiving treatment, we are happy to connect our families with resources that will help ease other aspects of traveling. View our list of resources here to learn about other community support services that may be able to help.

Guiding Principles

Children’s Flight of Hope maintains a child-centric approach in our daily activities. In all that we do, we consider what is best for our clients, the seriously ill and injured children we serve with free air transportation. Board leadership, staff, and volunteers all strive to make the best decisions possible in accordance with our guiding principles.


CFOH provides services quickly and in a way that brings comfort to families in turmoil. We become a dependable resource that our clients can rely on during difficult time. Even when a family does not meet our criteria, we strive to connect them with other resources that can help.


CFOH works to the best of our abilities to provide prompt and courteous service to those who request our services, those who support our organization, and those with whom we interact.


CFOH recognizes the safety of our clients as paramount during all aspects of air travel provided by CFOH. Every effort is made prior to and during flights to ensure client and volunteer safety.

Financial Responsibility

CFOH recognizes the importance of properly managing funds while achieving our objectives. Efforts are made in all aspects of our work to maintain cost effectiveness and responsible spending, ensuring all donor funds are used properly and efficiently.


CFOH maintains the highest level of integrity and transparency. This includes being open and honest in how donations are used, avoiding conflicts of interest, and providing organizational information publicly.


CFOH is appreciative of the many donors, volunteers, and supporters who make our mission possible. We strive to show this thankfulness in each every interaction.

Our History

The idea for Children’s Flight of Hope was conceived in 1990 in Durham, NC by pilot and businessman Al Wethington. After becoming aware of several local children who had medical problems that could be treated at distant hospitals, but who lacked safe and affordable transportation to these facilities, Al knew he had the knowledge to help solve the problem. He put his talents to use, inviting pilots, medical personnel and community volunteers to join him. Within months, Children’s Flight of Hope was off the ground.

Incorporated as a 501(c)(3) entity in 1991, CFOH has continued to carry forth the mission initially defined by Al, flying hundreds of children and their families to and from medical treatments.

Al Wethington devoted many years of service to Children’s Flight of Hope and today we consistently strive to uphold the same standards of care put in place by our founder, first president, and first pilot.

See what all we accomplished in 2018 in our official annual report, here.

Our Ground Crew and Board of Directors


Haley Transou Terry
Chief Executive Officer
Amy Kretzer
Operations Coordinator

Cheyeanne Harter
Communications Coordinator

Lori Smith
Development Director

Stephanie Williamson
Program Manager

Advisory Board

Rob Gooding
Vice President: Accentuate Staffing
Abel Zalcberg
Owner: ABCZ Properties, LLC

Board of Directors

Rick Gardner, RFC, Chair
Registered Investment Advisor | President: RGA Investments

Deborah Nunn, Immediate Past Chair
Owner: D & H Support Solutions, Inc.

Daren Baughman
Senior Procurement Analyst: SAS Institute, Inc.

David Byerley
Senior Vice President: BB&T Bank

Matt Callahan
President & CEO: Callahan Construction & Development Company

Jeff Causey
Chief Operating Officer: Causey Aviation

Gill Cooper
Senior Vice President : BBVA Compass

Joe Dillon
Director : SharpVue Capital, LLC

Joe Elphick
Owner: 3C! Packaging

Herbert Fuchs, MD
Head of Pediatric Neurosurgical Services: Duke University Medical Center

Robert H. Sasser, III
Managing Partner: Barringer Sasser, LLP

Michael Stewart, MBA, MFP
President: Charles Shadwell Group, LLC

Cindy Vogler
Senior Vice President : Pinnacle Financial Partners

Jennifer Wade
Owner: Moe’s Southwest Grill

Stories of Hope

The greatest reward for CFOH is hearing the stories of the families weve helped.

They are stories of courage, of compassion, of love, and - most certainly - of hope.

Nathan L.