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,
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