Kids in Distressed Situations K.I.D.S.
Kids in Distressed Situations (K.I.D.S.) is a nonprofit organization that gives children and teens impacted by poverty and tragedy new kid-essential products that are vital to their self-esteem. K.I.D.S. ships and delivers products directly to impoverished children through a network of local partner agencies located in all 50 states.
For every $1 raised, K.I.D.S. provides $10 worth of product. The nonprofit receives both financial and product donations directly from companies, foundations, and individuals.
Since its inception 1985, K.I.D.S. has provided almost 1 billion dollars to help nearly 70 million children across the country and abroad in families that are homeless, in the military, dealing with low literacy, major illness or natural disasters, as well as domestic abuse and incarceration.1
Founded in 1985 as a response to the famine in Ethiopia, the children's industry donated $600,000 of clothes, shoes, and toys to the children in Ethiopia and to the victims of mudslides in South Africa during that first year.2 For the first five years they focused on children suffering from disasters and poverty internationally, but in 1990 they began to also serve children in need in America. Over the next twenty years the focus of K.I.D.S. has shifted to distributing 90% of donations within the United States and 10% oversees.3
Once new products are donated, K.I.D.S. distributes them to appropriate local partner organizations, such as food banks, military bases, Native American reservations, relief organizations, prisons, religious organizations, after school programs, hospitals, and schools. In this way they fulfill their vision of “Giving back in brand new ways.”4
Believing that “child's play is important, as it offers a chance to explore, to dream and to enjoy,” a rarity for low income families, K.I.D.S. has formed partnerships with toy industry leaders and charitable organizations, such as Toys “R” Us and Gymboree, the Toy Industry Association and the Today Show Charitable. Annual million dollar partnerships include American Girl, Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment, and the Toy Industry Foundation.
Twice a year at the American International Toy Fair in New York City, exhibitors donate toys to the Toy Industry Foundation's Toy Bank. These toys and educational products are then distributed through K.I.D.S.5 From all their toy partnerships, in 2011 they were able to donate more than $26 million worth of toys and entertainment products, which was roughly one third of the $79 million worth of products donated that year.6
Charity Navigator has awarded K.I.D.S. its highest four-star rating five years in a row; Forbes magazine ranked K.I.D.S. 6th in fundraising efficiency, and The Chronicle of Philanthropy placed K.I.D.S. among the top 2 percent of nonprofits in the United States.7
- 1. Private correspondence from K.I.D.S. to Playground Professionals. 15 Aug. 2012.
- 2. “About Us: Our History.” K.I.D.S. < http://www.kidsdonations.org/about_h.php > 11 July 2012.
- 3. “About Us: How K.I.D.S. Works.” K.I.D.S. < http://www.kidsdonations.org/about_hkw.php > 11 July 2012.
- 4. Op.cit., Our History.
- 5. “Product Donors: Donate New Children's Toys and Entertainment.” K.I.D.S. < http://www.kidsdonations.org/pd_wtd_ct.php > 11 July 2012.
- 6. “About Us: Who We Are.” K.I.D.S. < http://www.kidsdonations.org/about_wwa.php > 11 July 2012.
- 7. Private correspondence from K.I.D.S. to Playground Professionals. 15 Aug. 2012.