Saturday, January 18, 2014


One year ago, we came together as a Board for the first time to talk about our vision for Kids Five & Over.  It was, in a way, the day our nonprofit was born.  We sat around the dining room table for nearly three hours and emerged with a skeletal plan, a whole lotta hope, and an undeniable bond that connected us as Board members.  While the experiences that brought us together were unique, our hearts were most definitely one.

In February of 2013, we sent out an email introducing Kids Five & Over to the world.  Ok, not the world, but it felt like it to us.  It takes a leap of faith to announce publicly that you have an idea, you think it's a good one, and you need some money to get it started.  We kept it safe and sent the initial email to our friends.  If nothing else, we knew we could count on their cheerleading.  Imagine our surprise when, eight weeks later, we had raised over $5,000 in private donations!

Social media took hold and our website, blog and Facebook page introduced us to new people who wanted to support our cause.  We received handwritten notes and email messages that said things like, "Your nonprofit is pulling at my heartstrings.  What can I do to help?"  And we quickly learned there were many people who understood, at a profound level, that helping those who can't help themselves - especially children - is an unwritten responsibility we all share.

Today we held our second annual Board Meeting.  We sat around the same dining room table, shared stories of the year gone by, and pooled our collective ideas for the year ahead. Sometimes it's hard to share stories of the kids who have benefited from the support of Kids Five & Over without the perfect storm of emotions.  Their life stories have tangled threads of despair, resilience, loss, and hope.  Hearing their stories causes a juxtaposition of emotions that make the heart and brain feel as if they've been tossed about.  We know we can't fix their whole life, or even the whole world, so we work to positively influence our little corner of the world, one child at a time.

And that is happening - thanks to all of YOU!  Today's year in review told us we've raised nearly thirteen THOUSAND dollars!  And because we were selected last spring as the recipient of a grant from The Pollination Project -- a nonprofit celebrating "ordinary people doing extraordinary things" -- 100% of all donations received by Kids Five & Over for two years will go directly to the kids we serve.  Not even the cost of the postage stamp on a thank you note comes out of the money donated.  How beyond amazing is that?!?

Tonight our hearts are full of gratitude for all those who helped us reach this milestone - the one year anniversary of the birth of an idea.  We are grateful to the people who nominated children for sponsorship and then shared stories and photos of their wide smiles.  We are grateful to the people who donated their hard-earned money and believed we could ignite sparks of joy.  We thank you for believing in us.  We thank you for believing in our kids.  We are excited about the year ahead and where it may take us, and we are especially excited to have you along for the ride.

Kids Five & Over