Following August's alarming news about the deep cutbacks in national Head Start programs resulting from the government sequestration, it’s heartening to see community service agencies rising up to help economically challenged children during the back-to-school season. Kids In Distressed Situations (K.I.D.S.) was fortunate to be one of several supporters that contributed to the second annual Watts Back to School Giveaway in California that distributed new backpacks, provided by K.I.D.S., filled with much-needed educational resources and support for children, pre-school age to 12th grade.
Organized by Philanthropic Society Los Angeles (PSLA), a support group of Children’s Institute, Inc. (CII), the August 3rd event enlisted support from companies and organizations, including Mattel and nearly 20 other sponsors, to distribute the educational materials to approximately 4,000 to 5,000 children and their families in the Watts community who receive services from CII, a nationally recognized organization that helps children and youth severely affected by community and family violence.
PSLA President Rochelle Gores Fredston (center) and members of her family greet three young students who are ready for school.
“Providing the resources that children need to start school better prepared is exactly what Philanthropic Society Los Angeles strives to achieve,” said PSLA president Rochelle Gores Fredston. “We’re reaching children who need this support the most.”
In addition to receiving filled backpacks, attendees learned about good nutrition and healthy cooking through demos and snacks from the Watts Healthy Farmers Market, and received useful community information from event partners.
This was our second collaboration with CII, and our first one with PSLA. Seeing the smiles of the children proudly carrying their brand-new backpacks makes us look forward to many fruitful partnerships to come. In these challenging times, the children need our teamwork more than ever.
Recently, K.I.D.S. connected with Kathleen Nguyn, Communications Associate at our partner agency in Fremont, California. She quickly forwarded to us a tragic letter from a teacher in Freemont, California, about a family who lost all of their belongings in a fire. They are temporarily staying with a friend, but the children are in desperate need of toys, blankets, school supplies, hygiene products - basically, anything and everything.
Upon hearing this, we immediately reached out to our generous corporate donor, Carter's. We connected them with a Carter's store in their neighborhood, which provided them with brand new clothing, at nos cost to them or our partner agency! Thank you Carter's and thank you GlobalGiving partner for making this a possibility!
As you can see in the pictures below, our partner received enough donations to help this family and many otherchildren as well.
K.I.D.S. is also asking that you Mark Your Calendars Now!
GlobalGiving's June Bonus Day is fast approaching. On Wednesday, June 12th, GlobalGiving will match donations made through GlobalGiving.org up to $1,000 per donor. There is $90,000 available in matching funds so please help us reach our project's goals. Matching begins that day at 9 am EDT and lasts until funds run out or 11:59 pm EDT.
Please visit this link http://www.globalgiving.org/projects/clothing-toys-books-for-kids-in-need/ on June 12th!
Since 1985, K.I.D.S. has touched the lives of over 70 million children in need by providing them with their most basic essentials: shoes, clothing, home goods, books, back-to-school supplies and baby products. In 2013, K.I.D.S. will continue to provide families with the aforementioned goods, but we will take our efforts even further by launching special initiatives focused on important crises/needs throughout the country.
The following was written by Chris Blake, K.I.D.S. Interim President.
K.I.D.S. AGAINST SIDS
A few years ago, I attended a birthday party unlike any that I have ever been to before. It was a bittersweet memorial for a boy, Raymond, who would have turned 3 years old. The mom and dad visited the cemetery and then invited close friends and family over for cake and ice cream. The boy’s grandmother said a prayer. The family lit candles around Raymond’s picture and lit the cake and sang ‘Happy Birthday.’
Of course Raymond wasn’t there. His very short life taught me, first hand, about a troubling statistic that most people only read about: African American babies are more than twice as likely as whites to die of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Years ago, I remember my mom talking about “crib death.” Now, known as “SIDS,” it is the sudden death of an apparently healthy baby, usually occurring during sleep. The Center for Disease Control statistics highlights the alarming racial disparities among SIDS deaths. (Read more SIDS statistics from the CDC here)
Though SIDS is still the number one cause of death in infants in the United States, its occurrence has declined nationally since 1994, thanks in great part to the national Back to Sleep campaign. The Back to Sleep campaign is recognized as the most successful public health campaign in our nation’s history. While this progress is tremendous, SIDS rates remain significantly higher among African American and low-income populations.
This is unacceptable. We know how to lower these rates, but the messages haven’t successfully reached these most vulnerable populations.
The message is simple:
1. Put a Sleeping Baby on His Back (side and tummy positions are not safe)
2. Crib, Firm Mattress, No Soft Toys or Bedding
3. Don’t Smoke Around Your Baby
4. Keep Your Sleeping Baby in Your Room, but Not in Your Bed
This is why K.I.D.S. is announcing a new targeted approach to keeping low-income and African American babies alive, “K.I.D.S. Safe Sleep Centers.” This campaign aims to educate parents and caregivers of young children about safe sleeping conditions coupled with the donation of new cribs, which meet the latest safety standards. For the educational component, K.I.D.S. will work with local partners to ensure recipients receive adequate training on crib and child safety. K.I.D.S.’ Campaign was launched in Los Angeles in early February. Families who attended our first event received 200 brand-new new cribs,valued at $60,000, and 200 mattresses.
To learn more about K.I.D.S.’ Safe Sleep Campaign please click here and visit our blog.
K.I.D.S. thanks you for all of your support, helping us to reach thousands of families in need. But, we need YOUR help to ensure the success of our Safe-Sleep Campaign. GlobalGiving has given us an opportunity to make this happen.
On Wednesday, March 13th, Global Giving is providing a 30% match to all online donations up to $1,000 per donor! There is a total of $50,000 available in matching funds to GlobalGiving partners, so please make your donation early in the day to ensure that it is matched. Please note that this special day of matching begins on March 13th, at 9 a.m. EST, until 9 p.m. EST. The earlier in the day your donation is made, the more likely your gift will be matched. As always, (in addition to the 30% match) every $1 donated enables K.I.D.S. to provide $10 worth of product to needy children and families.
We hope we can count on you next Wednesday, March 13th. Mark your calendars now and please click here on the 17th to make your matching gift!
With kindest regards,
Since 1985, K.I.D.S. has touched the lives of nearly 70 million children in need by providing them with their most basic essentials: shoes, clothing, home goods, books, back-to-school supplies and baby products. While impressive, the needs of American families continues to rise. According to a recent study conducted by UNICEF, of the 25 richest industrialized nations, the United States has the highest childhood poverty rate second only to Mexico. Families throughout the country are stretched to their capacity, and children, unfortunately, are the direct victims of poverty.
K.I.D.S. has been rigorously working to give children a fighting chance this year. Thanks to your support, families suffering from life altering and debilitating circumstances were given the items that they so desperately needed.
The impact your gift has on children and their families is profound. A family that particularly benefitted from K.I.D.S.’ donations this past month was Marcie and Donald, along with their four children. Although Marcie and Donald have always struggled to put food on the table, their situation took a turn for the worse when Donald lost his job. Their lives began to spiral downward: they were evicted from their apartment, they did not have sufficient funds to purchase food, and their children lacked their most basic essentials. Homeless and hungry, they jumped from home to home, seeking a place to rest their head for the night. Their children, tired and hungry, began the school year wearing torn and ragged clothing, and lacked the appropriate school supplies to complete their assignments.
K.I.D.S.’ donations helped Marcie and Donald get back on their feet. Not only is this family extremely thankful for the brand new clothing, backpacks and school supplies they received, but now that their children's basic needs are provided for, they feel that they possess the tools to help them move forward. Thanks to you, Marcie and Donald now know that they are not alone in the midst of their struggle.
To see more photos from this NYC back-to-school distribution event, please scroll down.
Although your support thus far has helped us achieve miracles, there are many families like Marcie and Donald undergoing similar, if not worse, circumstances. We need your help and we want to help you stretch your dollars farther. GlobalGiving has given us an opportunity to make this happen. On Wednesday, October 17th, Global Giving is providing a 30% match to all online donations up to $1,000 per donor! There is a total of $50,000 available in matching funds to GlobalGiving partners, so please make your donation early in the day to ensure that it is matched. Please note that this special day of matching begins on October 17th, at 12 a.m. EST, until 12 p.m. EST. The earlier in the day your donation is made, the more likely your gift will be matched. As always, (in addition to the 30% match) every $1 donated enables K.I.D.S. to provide $10 worth of product to needy children and families.
We hope we can count on you this Wednesday, October 17th. Mark your calendars now and please visit http://www.globalgiving.org/projects/clothing-toys-books-for-kids-in-need/ on the 17th to make your matching gift!
On behalf of the thousands of children and families K.I.D.S. serves, thank you.
Click here to download the PDF of the Summer 2012 Newsletter
Raising hope and self-esteem. Minimizing the impact of poverty. These are just two of the reasons why K.I.D.S., through our special bonds with our generous donor and retail partners, continues its commitment to provide product to children and teens who are incredibly challenged by unfortunate circumstances. Below are some of the ways we've carried out our mission to deliver dignity and self-worth in 2012.
CLOTHES FOR MILITARY MOMS AND SHELTER CLOSETS
Along with one of our most committed retail partners, Carter's, Inc., we held a baby shower in April for 200 military moms-to-be at Operation Homefront in Fort Benning, Georgia. Read more
SLEEPING SAFELY: CRIBS AND S.I.D.S.
When a large number of people live together in cramped housing in order to afford a roof over their heads, children are inadvertently put into harmful "bedsharing" situations. Experts agree: bed sharing with older siblings or adults, an abundance of blankets or pillows or with someone who is a heavy sleeper can increase the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome ("SIDS"), especially for infants under 3 months old. Read more
Also featured in our Summer 2012 Newsletter:
K.I.D.S. at NASDAQ Kids for K.I.D.S. K.I.D.S. Sixth Annual Women in Industry Luncheon K.I.D.S. Partner Agency Network: 1,000 and Growing Back To School: Student Ambassadors Baby Einstein Teams Up With K.I.D.S. Letter from the Chairman Please click here to read more
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