Wings4Kidz CEO Brendan Crane says this year has provided the not-for-profit organisation with challenges like no other.
But, despite the challenges throughout COVID-19 they have still been able to offer its services to several children from the Dubbo area over the course of the last few months.
"We're a free flight service for kids who need on-going treatment, so, we actually have seven kids from the Dubbo area alone," Mr Crane said.
"We're turning what would normally be a five and a half-hour drive down from Dubbo to Sydney into an hour-long flight, while also eliminating added headaches caused by Sydney traffic and lights and having to stop for petrol as well as expenses.
"Even for just two days, families would have to pay for accommodation, fuel and take time off from their jobs, so it just eliminates those added burdens and stress on what already is a tough time for them with having a sick child."
Given the added worries of COVID-19, the flight service was also able to ensure families had safe transportation via sterile planes.
Wings4Kidz also provide flights to Orange for the children in Dubbo and nearby who need treatments there.
"We pick them up from the airport and drive them to the hospital."
Mr Crane said the service turns what would have otherwise been long trips into one-day trips which allow parents to get back to work without having to take more time off, as well as allowing the children to get back to school.
"This year has definitely been the most challenging for us. We haven't been able to hold any of our usual fundraising events," he said.
"We weren't even sure at first if we would be able to keep the planes in the air, but we were able to hold one event which was our annual Late Mail Postie Bike Ride fundraiser, which we had 65 bike riders, and that secured us with enough funding to be able to keep operating during the pandemic.
"That event raised $232,000. That basically put us ease because before that we weren't really sure how we were going to continue funding the flights.
"We were worried, because of COVID-19 we weren't even sure if we would be able to get the bikes started, but at the last minute the state declared that it was safe."
Mr Crane said community support and donations were crucial in allowing the service to continue operating as it was a volunteer-run service which was not funded by the government.
"During these times and while we are in the middle of a pandemic it is great to see that the Australian spirit to help still lives on."
Community members can continue to support the service individually by making a donation online via the Wings4Kidz website page.
For more information visit wings4kidz.org.au or follow the Wings4Kidz Facebook page to stay updated.
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