During the year of 2016-2017 we saw a lot of growth with Kids In Crisis and specifically with our KICDRUM program. We have expanded our KICDRUM program into seven middle schools and one elementary school. We have established community partnerships with NextUp, Higher Achievement, Community and Schools and the YMCA. We have secured funding through grants and community funders.
Kids in Crisis was established in 2002, as the US face of Child in Crisis, a South African charity helping children orphaned through HIV. Kids in Crisis began in the US as a fundraising organization to help other already established charities that were helping children in the US and around the world. In 2008 the organization began to shift from just general funding to establishing more specific projects and goals with a focus on Nicaragua and Cambodia. We have raised funds through charitable art auctions, using paintings created by the children in these countries. Some of these funds helped build a home for children in Nicaragua that were previously living on a garbage dump.
In 2013 Kids in Crisis once again received a new focus and passion, driven by it's new Executive Director Chris Yeatts, and his wife Rachel. With their personal journey in adopting three children from China with medical and developmental needs, they have allowed us to see first hand what a big impact a little intervention can have on an individual child's life. As an organization we have set specific goals to make a difference in children's lives here in Richmond, in the US and around the world, by establishing effective programs. We want to help orphans be placed in families, provide support for families to help prevent children from becoming orphans, and help at risk children here locally.
As executive director and founder of one our program KICDRUM, I’m so excited about all the amazing opportunities that we have
in our great city of Richmond, Virginia, and abroad to bring hope, give life
and make a real difference in children’s lives.
In the spring of 2015 we just completed our first pilot
program of KICDRUM+ARTS with amazing results. I have to admit at the beginning
of our 10-week program with fourth grade boys we did have our skeptics. Over the
weeks, a visible tangible change began to occur in these young men’s lives.
I remember at the beginning of our program, when I would
bring my students back to class after our sessions, the teachers ask me if their
student was in trouble for misbehaving during the session. I would always
answer that question with a smile and report back to the teacher that “No, your
student is actually doing a really good job.” In about the fifth week the
teachers stopped asking me about their misbehavior and started asking me about
what I was doing, because they could see a difference in the behavior in the
classroom from their students.
At the end of the 10-week program we performed for the
entire school. There were tears in the eyes of some of the faculty and staff
because the change was real. These young men had come together in spite of
their differences with each other and done something that was truly amazing and
inspirational. I think the thing that made all involved, including myself, get
a little choked up was that these were children that were often overlooked and
only received attention because of misbehavior.
I have been involved in Kids in Crisis for seven years. Initially as a volunteer, then a board member and now president. I have seen this organization evolve over this period from a more hands off fundraising organization to an emphasis on creating programs that directly effect and change children's lives. As a mother of five, three adopted from China, I want to be able to help children where they are at, to give them a step up and a chance at a life where they feel they have self worth. With this change in our organization comes challenges, specifically in the need for increased personnel, volunteers, and committed funding. Without these things we can not sustain these programs that have been established, and they will just become nice ideas.
Although we face challenges as we establish ourselves as an organization that is making a real difference, it is worth it. We are driven by a passion to see children's lives bettered. The need is overwhelming, but I have always been driven by the perspective of helping the one. It is impossible to help them all, and if we take on that burden we will become discouraged and ultimately fail. If we focus on making a significant difference in each individual child that we touch, the change for them could be life altering.
Hello from the young men of Cascabel:
Warm and heartfelt greetings, a hug, a kiss, our hearts
for you. We are grateful to all of you because God used you as a special instrument,
at the time that we really needed you. When you arrived we are very young.
Barefoot, poorly dressed, poorly fed, without going to school, sleeping on the
floor without a bed no mattress, no blanket and helplessness totally abandoned
because of our extreme poverty experienced by our families.
You came like an angel to our aid, it was of great joy
for us and for Pastor CARLOS who is and has been and will continue to be a
father for us. We have truly recognized all the effort both from CARLOS and all
of you. You grasped our hands, never having disgust of us having been in the
trash. THANKS for this huge love. Here we are moving on. THANK YOU for helping
us to be men and to work today and to be able to tell you THANK YOU. It was not an accident but a privilege that God put people like CARLOS
and you at our side to help us and grow up with tranquility. The difference has
been real. From the dump to a dignified and beautiful house, the difference has
been from eating discarded food in our hands to now eating on a plate, with
spoons, neat and all clean, the difference was from sleeping on the floor to
today sleeping in beds clean and safe. The change is real. We worked in the trash
with risks of all kinds. But today we work and continue living safely and
tranquil and help the younger children.
The whole group today who are now young men say
thank you for your support.
To you and the many people who did not know us but sowed
into us so that we might succeed. Today we are changed in all aspects.
We appreciate the sincere support for CARLOS and
that you trust his work to help us and never refuse our needs.
As an organization we have gone through a major overhaul over the last two years. We have become more focused and intentional about our vision and goals. We recognize the need to increase the size, and experience of our board and are actively working towards that. It is an exciting time as we are seeing opportunities open up to be effective and really help children here in Richmond, and other countries.
KICDRUM is a school-based therapeutic intervention model
that is based on the award-winning Australian program Drumbeat. Drumbeat is an
evidence-based intervention that uses drums as a therapeutic tool to get
participants involved and working together towards a common goal, challenging
each other, and above all having fun.
KICDRUM will creatively inspire participants and build
their self-esteem as students interact with each other during the 10 week
sessions. Participants will have the opportunity to perform for their peers and
parents at the end of the session. KICDRUM will address issues facing today’s
classrooms in a creative and supportive environment including: peer pressure, listening
skills, bullying, dealing with emotions, identity, social responsibility, and teamwork.
Participants involved in the program have reported a
range of positive outcomes including: enhanced social skills, increased
self-esteem, improved school attendance, decrease in classroom disciplinary
referrals, and greater classroom cohesion.
All facilitators are trained and certified and operating
within a therapeutic model that stresses best practice in accordance with the American
80% of participants will have a significant decrease in disciplinary referrals.
70% of participants will have increase in academic performance.
Lily’s hope is our newest project inspired by our
executive director, Chris and his wife Rachel’s adopted daughter Lily. Lily was
adopted from China at the age of 2 ½ weighing 13 pounds; she was unable to sit,
talk, and only drank from a bottle. She has a congenital heart defect and
significant developmental delays. The last three years have been a journey full
of hope, struggles and amazing accomplishments, involving therapies, many doctors’
appointments, and open heart surgery. Lily can now walk, she is thriving
physically, and although she is developmentally delayed she is progressing at
her pace and most importantly is happy.
Many children around the world with physical and developmental
needs are unable to have access to the basic resources they need to improve
their quality of life, a heart wrenching situation for their parents. We have
started Lily’s Hope to raise funds to help some of those children and their
families. Specifically right now we are focusing on 195 children in the
mountains of Nicaragua, all with physical and developmental needs. They are in
desperate need for medical supplies, equipment, therapies, medication, and good
nutrition. The families, often single parents are unable to work as they have
to take care of their child.
We have seen firsthand what neglect and lack of
intervention can do to a child, our desire is to help these families, help
their children, and give them hope, by elevating some of the financial burden.
As Executive Director I am excited about the opportunities
that Kids in Crisis has to impact our city, nation and the world. Over the last
12 months Kids in Crisis has expanded and continued to join with other
organizations to positively impact children’s lives. Two of our biggest
opportunities are through KICDRUM and Lily’s Hope. Both of these programs have
already made an impact on families, schools and communities. KICDRUM and Lily’s
Hope both have a vision to expand and impact more children.
Another opportunity that we would like to implement through
our KICDRUM program, in the spring of 2016, is a pilot program specifically
focusing on children with developmental delays. This program would use drums
just like the regular KICDRUM program but the curriculum would be adapted to
meet the specific needs of this group. This program is very close to my heart
as my own daughter, Lily, has development delays and I have experienced the joy
drumming has bought to her. The cost of this pilot program would be $6000. I
would personally oversee and implement this program.
With opportunities of expansion come challenges, our biggest
challenge is funding. Kids in Crisis has done a great job over the last 13
years at building relationships around the world and creating supporters. We
have established a support network of quality people and organizations to
implement the vision of these programs. To continue the success of these
programs and maintain the standard of excellence that we feel is an essential
ingredient for the continued success of our organization, we want to expand our
organization and higher two counselors to implement our growing vision.
Indirect Public Support HelpIndirect public support represents revenue received through solicitation campaigns. This includes funding United Way and other federated fundraising organizations, but does not include donor designated contributions.
Earned Revenue HelpEarned revenue represents income generated in direct exchange for a product or service.Earned income includes income from government contracts.
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