Discovery Kidz provides a safe, caring learning opportunity for kids to develop physical, mental, social, emotional and spiritual wellbeing.
Thank you for taking the time to visit my fundraiser page!
As many of you may know Dustin and I were married at Central Lutheran Church. I have other ties to the church as well. In 2010 I joined the Community Outreach Board, which helps oversees the Central’s Restoration Center, a place that offers services for anyone who is struggling.
Shortly after joining the board, Jace, Beth and I put in a pilot program proposal for Discovery Kidz. The Restoration Center offers assistance in many areas– but none of the programs were tailored to children. Discovery Kidz complemented the efforts of the Restoration Center well.
Summer of 2013 will mark our 4th year of service. Several of the children who attend are homeless or highly mobile and we provide a safe, consistent, place where they can interact with other children, have a snack, express their creativity and receive items to make their lives easier.
The take-away bags are a key aspect to our program. Many of our children depend on schools to provide meals and the take-away bags provide lunches while school is out. The bags have sandwich fixings, juice, healthy snacks, silverware and hand wipes. All items are shelf-stable and can be used “on the go”.
While the Restoration Center believes this program enhances their community outreach, we have decided to finance this program solely with outside funds rather than depleting the Restoration Center’s limited resources for other programs such as housing assistance. We funded the program ourselves, with Beth as the primary benefactor, in the pilot year. In each of the last two years, the program has solicited some food donation sponsors. This year, we applied for a grant and were awarded the Special Recognition Award from St Thomas’s Gibney Grant. While it is impressive we received an award at all (every other organization was a large scale non-profit with paid employees) we got a little less than half of the funds we asked for.
Your donation would help us continue the program, and increase the quality and quantity of the food take-away bags. It will allow us the flexibility to purchase new or gently used clothes, and undergarments in the sizes we are not able to obtain during the clothes drive. It will aid us in preparing the children for their return to school – starting off on the right foot with needed supplies.
Please consider adding Discovery Kidz to your end of year donations. Your gift will be tax deductable. While the donation is given through Razoo, we will receive all of the funds minus a small credit card processing fee. I will get a list of donor names so I can reconcile with Central and insure your gifts are used as you wished.
Any amount will help – it’s the little things that matter to these kids. Just click the " Make a Donation" box on the right of the screen. Thank you for your gift!
Discovery Kidz Anecdotes:
Clothing. While the children enjoyed the Kidz Clothes Closet, a great example of providing needed clothing involved snack preparation. We were making ice cream in a bag which requires shaking a bag of ice. We bought a pair of socks for each student to put on their hands during this activity. When we gave one child his socks he asked if he got to keep them - when we said he did, he exclaimed, “Oh good, I don’t have any socks!”
Social Interaction. One of the new children was bowling with a new friend while waiting to be picked up. The dad was peeking in the window and we went out to tell him he could pick up his son. He replied, “please just let him play for a while, he hasn’t been around other kids in a while.” The father and son had recently been placed in a shelter that did not cater to children. While it provided a place to sleep, it did not provide age appropriate social interaction. Without the funds to enroll his son in a summer program, Discovery Kidz was the only free program he had found where his kid could “just be a kid.”
Food. It was a child’s first time at Discovery Kidz and when he peered into his food take away bag he exclaimed, “Bread! I am going to give this to my mom; she hasn’t had bread in months.” The family had just been approved for Section 8 housing and had been living in shelters for several months.