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Kids in Distressed Situations, Inc.

112 W. 34th Street, Suite 1133

New York, NY 10120


Winter 2013



n old movie once said that there are 8 million stories in this city. On October 29th, 2012, when Hurricane Sandy struck, it seemed that all the stories were heartbreaking. Lives lost, homes destroyed, thousands left with little or nothing. To make things worse, the city and state government were nowhere to be seen. The next day the stories began to change from heartbreak to heroism. First responders saved lives, neighbors helped each other, and local charities stepped in for a paralyzed government. For this national charity, the greatest needs were suddenly in our own backyard. K.I.D.S. team members hit the ground running. And we were literally running. With no transit system or gasoline for cars or relief trucks, our staff and volunteers were forced to walk or ride bikes to respond to the disaster. At one of our K.I.D.S. distributions in Coney Island, the blanket and water line was at least 200 people long. In the middle of that line

was one mom who pulled aside one of our K.I.D.S. staff, away from her children, and she broke down crying. She needed to cry, but didn’t want her kids to see how scared she was. She was grateful not only for the blankets and water, but for everything the K.I.D.S. team could provide. The outpouring of generosity was amazing. We could fill pages and pages in this newsletter of the lists of all of the companies who donated merchandise. There were also folks from around the country who made financial contributions. There were artists giving their time and talent to fundraise; Brownie Troops organizing product drives; employees conducting office product collections and then accompanying us to the impact areas to hand out the donations they just collected. The K.I.D.S. partner agencies who received and distributed the vast amounts of much-needed product were absolutely amazing — many of them and their volunteers had also been affected by the super-storm, but their spirit and determination were forces stronger than any hurricane.

Three months later, the work of rebuilding continues. •h  elping kids from “Head to Toe” with donations from Skechers, Carters, and Toys R Us: • coordinating Extreme Home Makeovers with charity partners and volunteers; • rebuilding public and school libraries across New York and New Jersey with one million books from Scholastic. Visit our site to find out more about K.I.D.S.’ continued Hurricane efforts.


K.I.D.S. CONNECTS A CARING NATION WITH A COMMUNITY IN NEED “The immediate show of caring and support for us was amazing. It was a terrible storm that brought out the best in people.”

“You didn’t realize how high the water was until you saw the trees – hanging in the branches were kitchen utensils and children’s clothing.… K.I.D.S. donations are helping people who truly lost everything.”

Footlocker employees dropping by K.I.D.S. with their Christmas toy donations.

“People forget that before there was the Hurricane poor, there was the every day poor – K.I.D.S. has stepped up to that tough challenge.”

“After seeing the news, I knew I needed to do something. I wanted an organization I could trust, and my research led me to you. I feel better knowing my donation will really reach Sandy survivors.”

Kitley, a mother of 3 who survived the 2010 Haiti earthquake and was able to immigrate to New York just before Sandy hit, told us:

“I couldn’t believe this was happening to me again. My children and I lost everything. K.I.D.S. has provided us with winter clothes and so much more.”


Brownie Troop 10355 from Southern California, who created this banner of good wishes to go with their product drive.

K.I.D.S. Gala Report

Celebrating 27 Years of Fighting Poverty in the U.S. and Around the World


nce a year, we host our Annual Gala, a celebration that brings together an incredible group of people who support K.I.D.S.’s mission. This year, over 500 of these industry leaders came out to continue that support and to honor the key people who help K.I.D.S. make a difference in the lives of children around the world. The year 2012 not only marked our 27th Anniversary as an organization; it was also our “Year of Impact.” While there was a lot to celebrate, it was a somber occasion as well. Hurricane Sandy had struck just 6 weeks before. The staff was actually directing hurricane relief activities from the event. The magnitude of the relief operations was a bold reminder of what K.I.D.S. represents.

 Our special guest emcee for the night was was Jordyn Weiber, Olympic Gold Medalist. She came in early in the week to volunteer at a K.I.D.S. program in Harlem. We didn’t give her a gold medal for that, but she certainly deserved it.  Our Donor Partner of the Year, was the Toy Industry Foundation (TIF). The award was accepted by Carter Kiethley, President of the Toy Industry Association. K.I.D.S. and TIF have partnered together for years to bring healing to millions of children through the power of play.

 The K.I.D.S. Manufacturer of the Year was Kahn Lucas. Everyone in the room was riveted on the moving speech that Howard Kahn made about the smiles his merchandise brought to children in Ethiopia.  Howard Kahn and supporters

 The Retailer of the Year was the Army & Air Force Exchange Service. They represent the retail stores on military bases where our servicemen and women can shop for their families at discounted rates. Given all of the work that K.I.D.S. does on military bases, it’s partnership we’re proud to honor.  The Agency Partner of the Year was NewarkNow, founded by Newark Mayor Cory Booker in 2003 to provide Newark residents with skills, tools and support. Our program at NewarkNow has been integral to their work for the last four years. (With presenter Wendy Williams)  Mayor Cory Booker was our keynote speaker and the stories he told of the “Power of One” were filled with hope and inspiration. It was a perfect conclusion to an amazing evening that captured the spirit of K.I.D.S. in 2012.  K.I.D.S. Interim President Chris Blake and wife Andrea


Letter from the Chairman Dear Friends and Members of the K.I.D.S. Community: There is no charity in the world that makes a bigger difference in the lives of children than Kids in Distressed Situations. From the streets of Long Island to the hills of Rwanda, K.I.D.S. changes lives. Every day, CEOs of companies that make donations to K.I.D.S. are astounded by the impact and reach their donations have. They depend on K.I.D.S. to deliver their merchandise donations and use them to change children’s lives. Every day, our K.I.D.S. program partners around the world tell us that they couldn’t do what they do without these same merchandise donations. They depend on K.I.D.S. to keep their programs running. Every challenge faced by a child, from the smallest taunt a child hears because their clothes are old... to the biggest, most destructive storm to hit the Northeast... each is simply an opportunity for K.I.D.S. to make a difference. Responding to those challenges made 2012 a record-breaking year for K.I.D.S. • We collected more merchandise than ever before ($110 million in value), from more companies than ever before (1,430 companies). • We sent product to more K.I.D.S. programs than ever before (over 2,000 communities) to more children than ever before (5.2 million kids). • We did all of this more efficiently than ever before with an overhead rate of under 2% and we were recognized by Consumers Digest as the #1 charity in the Humanitarian Category. At our Annual Gala held in December 2012, we celebrated our 27th year of changing lives. That Gala did more than raise money and raise awareness. It was a reflection of our organization at its best. With the area still recovering from Hurricane Sandy, we all knew that there was a long road of rebuilding ahead. It didn’t discourage us; it motivated us. Every article of clothing, every pair of shoes, every toy, every book, every diaper that is donated from a company to K.I.D.S. in 2013 will represent a child’s life that is made that much better. This defines our mission. It is an honor to serve such a vibrant and life-changing organization. It is a joy to work with such a dedicated staff. It is a privilege to partner with such an energized Board of Directors. But it is also a little humbling. I grew up on Long Island. And my old neighborhood was one severely impacted by Hurricane Sandy. I always say that “charity must start in your own backyard.” For me, as Chairman of the K.I.D.S. Board, that saying was never more true. Stay tuned, there are big changes ahead for K.I.D.S. in 2013 but the humble passion that K.I.D.S. was built on will never change. Sincerely, Kevin Burke Chairman

Kids in Distressed Situations, Inc. Board of Directors 2013 Executive Committee members denoted by *

KEVIN M. BURKE* CHAIRMAN American Apparel and Footwear Association DEBBIE RIES* VICE CHAIRMAN NCircle Entertainment Chris Blake* Interim President Kids In Distressed Situations, Inc.


Karen Bromley* The Bromley Group LLC

John W. Lee II Bambini Partners LLC

Peter Rosenthal Rosenthal & Rosenthal

Chris DeMoulin Advanstar Communications, Inc.

Renee Pepys Lowe* RPL Consulting LLC

Richard F. Schaub Jr.* LaJobi, Inc.

Brian Lynch Carter’s, Inc.

Joe Shamie Delta Children’s Products

Richard L. Markee The Vitamin Shoppe


Susan S. McLain Walt Disney Studios

Gary F. Simmons Gerber Childrenswear LLC

Abbey Doneger The Doneger Group Milou Gwyn* Jockey International, Inc. Jack Haddad Haddad Brands

Mark Levenfus, CPA* Treasurer Marks Paneth & Shron LLP

Laurel Hurd Newell Rubbermaid

MARK ADJMI Adjmi Apparel Group

Debra Joester The Joester Loria Group

Christina Miller Turner Sports/NBA Digital

Richard A. Sutton LT Apparel Group

Victor Azrak American Marketing Enterprises, Inc.

Sharon John Stride Rite Children’s Group

Meg Ostrom*

Robert Waller Juvenile Product Manufacturers Association

Kenneth Baronoff Peter J. Solomon Company

Howard Kahn* Kahn Lucas Lancaster, Inc.

Carole Postal* CopCorp Licensing

Laura Brevetti, Esq. K & L Gates LLP

Thomas Koltun Kolcraft Enterprises

Connie Rishwain UGG Australia

© 2013 Kids in Distressed Situations, Inc. All rights reserved.

K.I.D.S. OVERSEAS We recently received this post from our partner in Honduras: “We are writing to say thank you on behalf of nearly 600 orphans living in Guaimaca, Honduras. On our Soles4Souls distribution trip last week, we led a team of 15 ladies from across the US to a small town outside of Tegucigalpa, Honduras. We fitted almost all of the residents at Orphanage Emmanuel with new shoes. They were thrilled to receive a new pair of shoes and to get some one-on-one attention from our team participants. I wish you could have seen their eyes when they ALSO received a box of LEGOS. They humbly accepted the present and got back in line with the other children. But there’s more! We were taking a tour with the director of the orphanage the next day, and as we circled around the back yard of the middle boys’ living quarters, we saw about 50 of the boys spread out on the lawn playing with their new LEGO sets. To see all of the boys so focused on putting together their sets was such a sight.” Sincerest thanks to the Toy Industry Foundation from all of the great kids at Orphanage Emmanuel!

We just received this photo from our partner in Rwanda. They report that the BOBS Shoes by Skechers, sent to us from FASHION DELIVERS, have been a tremendous blessing to the children. The picture, taken at the Kibenga Primary School in Nyamata, is from our partner, Africa New Life Ministries (ANLM) based in the Bugesera District. About half of the 300 children attending this school are neighborhood children. The other half are orphans who live there and are cared for by ANLM. Many of these children only have one pair of shoes which are often either tattered and worn, or used only for special occasions. K.I.D.S. is at our best when we work closely with our partners. It all started when Skechers made the incredible donation to Fashion Delivers. Fashion Delivers utilized the strength of K.I.D.S.’ network, marketing, and logistics to get these donations all over the world. Children’s Hunger Fund helped get the shoes to Africa, where Africa New Life Ministries put shoes on the feet of some very needy children. It’s this kind of global teamwork that K.I.D.S. is famous for.

K.I.D.S.’ Board of Directors: Celebrating 27 Years

Honoree Howard Kahn and fellow K.I.D.S. Board member, Gary Simmons

Meg Ostrom, Executive Committee/ K.I.D.S Board member

K.I.D.S. Founder Karen Bromley and Board members K.I.D.S. Chairman of the Board Kevin Sharon John and Chris DeMoulin Burke and Board member Carole Postal

K.I.D.S. Board member Abbey Doneger and Chairman, Kevin Burke

K.I.D.S. Board members David M. Coleman and and Sam Haddad


Kids in Distressed Situations Donor of the Quarter

2012: Our Year of Impact Yippee!

K.I.D.S. makes a huge difference in the lives of needy children all over the world. We provide new clothes, new shoes, new toys, new baby items and new books to millions of kids. To top it all off, this year, we celebrated our 27th Anniversary.

Here is a look back at what made 2012 our Year of Impact...

Goods Doing Good In 2012, K.I.D.S. distributed $110 million worth of brand-new, high quality goods around the world. That new merchandise made a difference in the lives of 5.2 million children. From children’s hospitals in Sri Lanka to libraries in San Francisco... From kids living in garbage dumps in Honduras to kids going to elementary schools in Harlem... K.I.D.S. impacts more children than ever.




2000 1900 1800 1700 1600 1500 1400 1300 1200 1100 1000 900 800 700 600 500

K.I.D.S. Local Programs K.I.D.S. doesn’t just drop off truckloads of merchandise. We make sure that every donation is part of an already existing program that educates, heals, and improves the lives of children. The K.I.D.S. national network has grown to reach almost 2,000 communities.


hen Parigi Group, Inc. was looking for a charity to donate their clothing to, they “needed to look no further” once they spoke with Donna Charles, K.I.D.S.’ Chief Operating Officer, and heard some personal stories about the work they had done over the years. “I knew that we had found the perfect fit,” said account executive Courtney Zane. “What K.I.D.S. does is exactly what we want to do – find a way to give back to as many different causes, in as many different areas of the country, as possible.” Parigi has since provided K.I.D.S. thousands of dollars of brand new apparel which has helped families in disaster struck areas, most recently to those affected by Hurricane Sandy. Not content to just send much-needed clothing items, Courtney went on site to Far Rockaway, where she was struck deeply by the scene she encountered. “What you see on the news doesn’t even come close to the real life devastation,” she said. Founded in 1981, Parigi has established itself as the premier lifestyle company in the children’s apparel industry. We thank Parigi for their partnership with us and their dedication to making a difference for families in need.

Agency of the Quarter

Disaster Relief From day one K.I.D.S. has responded to natural disasters. New strategies help us respond more quickly, more efficiently and with more product. From tornadoes in Alabama to wildfires in Colorado to the devastation of Hurricane Sandy, K.I.D.S. delivered $15 million worth of aid to natural disaster victims, the most ever in one year.

Awards K.I.D.S. is recognized by the Better Business Bureau, Charity Navigator and Forbes as one of the highest ranked and most efficient charities in America. Consumers Digest now ranks K.I.D.S. as the #1 Humanitarian Charity in the United States.

Together, we’ve made a difference in the lives of millions of children. But there are millions more waiting for us. Here is how you can help K.I.D.S. have an even bigger impact in 2013. Donate: For every $1 you donate, K.I.D.S. provides $10 worth of new merchandise to a needy child. COMPANIES can donate excess inventory and K.I.D.S. will pay for shipping. Sign Up: If you work with kids in need, sign up your program with K.I.D.S. Volunteer: Conduct a drive for new clothing... or new books... or new school supplies for the K.I.D.S. program in your community.

Visit us online at KIDSDONATIONS.ORG


It was the kind of letter that ripped your heart apart... “Dear Dennie, I am hoping you hear my cry for help. My best friend Rosemarie Conry and her two young children Ireland (7) and Gavin (5) have been helping their dad battle renal failure for 9 years. Four years ago he was given a kidney by his little sister and was finally healthy. Then, just two weeks ago he went to visit his family in MI. She received a call late night and was told her husband was GONE, passing away in his sleep at 33 years old. I am reaching out to you hoping and praying you will help make their first Christmas without him just a little better. Please Please Please... Christine M. Barrett” Finding out that Christine was in the Philadelphia area, we immediately contacted the closest K.I.D.S. program to her, the Pennsylvania United Medical Association (PUMA). The Executive Director, Steve Simpson, didn’t hesitate to help in any way he could. Thanks to a recent K.I.D.S. donation of toys from The Toy Industry Foundation and clothing from Haddad Brands, Steve and PUMA’s Ed Tornetta were able to put together a beautiful Christmas donation for this family to help ease some of the shock and pain they would be feeling this holiday. When Rosemarie arrived, and she saw the outpouring of love for her family, she began to weep for joy. Steve said later that he just couldn’t stop grinning for days. “What we did there, well, that was the true spirit and meaning of what our organizations really do,” he said. We thank everyone at PUMA for being one of our brightest and most dedicated K.I.D.S. programs in the country.

K.I.D.S. Winter 2013 Newsletter  

Focus on K.I.D.S. is the seasonal newsletter of the nonprofit organization Kids In Distressed Situations (K.I.D.S.), which supports children...

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