2020 turned out to be a year that nobody expected. With the spread of COVID-19, the world was forced to shut down and adjust to a new way of living, making it difficult for small businesses, schools, and families to overcome the immense challenges of the unprecedented year. Non-profit organizations and charities especially had to step up during these times to ensure that the country’s most vulnerable members were taken care of. Kids Helping Kids Succeed, for instance, is one organization that truly went above and beyond to serve its community.
Founded in Bay Harbor Islands, Florida in 2012 by Debbie Aquino, Kids Helping Kids Succeed impacts the lives of families and children in local Florida communities by providing children with the tools necessary for success including school supplies, mentoring, group activities, art programs, and celebrating important milestones such as birthdays and graduations. The charity strategically focuses on underserved children living in shelter facilities and school districts with less resources.
Kids Helping Kids Succeed has also recently expanded by helping children who have survived natural disasters by donating resources like food, clothes, and toys to children in Puerto Rico after hurricane Maria and to delivering medical supplies for children in the Bahamas after hurricane Dorian. The most recent expansion of Kids Helping Kids Succeed came in March 2020 at the start of COVID-19, when families and children needed sufficient resources more than ever.
Due to COVID-19 related school closures, Kids Helping Kids Succeed was contacted by local school social workers because of an urgent need to provide assistance for families with children who have special needs, many of which had lost their income. The charity started a grassroots movement to collect and deliver weekly basic supplies and nonperishable items, and it has been delivering boxes ever since. Now, they are delivering up to 150 boxes to families in Kendall, Hialeah, Bay Harbor, Miami-Dade, and Broward counties.
“When COVID-19 started, we started feeding the families with disabled kids,” says Debbie. “We started with 30 families and now we are capped at 150.”
According to Debbie, the greatest challenge when it comes to operating the charity continues to be gaining the monetary donations needed to cover the running expenses, the materials, and supplies they need. Kids Helping Kids Succeed is entirely dependent on volunteers and donations from the community, which clearly shows the hard work, dedication, and most importantly the heart that goes into making this admirable youth-led organization function.
Overall, Kids Helping Kids Succeed has successfully provided an abundance of children in Florida with necessary resources to help them safely grow, learn, and thrive, making a positive impact on its community and on the lives of families and children. If you want to be a part of the incredible impact, you can donate to Kids Helping Kids Succeed or sign up to volunteer at kidshelpingkidssucceed.net.