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K.I.D.S. is a global charity of leading retailers, manufacturers, and licensors of children's and youth products committed to helping improve the lives of children and their families who are ill, living in poverty, or are the victims of natural disasters. Accolades over the years have been bestowed upon K.I.D.S. by the Boys & Girls Club, American Business Press Points of Light, International Missing Persons Foundation, New Leadership Group, United Hospital Fund, Childrenâ s Hopes & Dreams, faith-based organizations and elected officials across the U.S.
Since its founding in 1985 by fashion industry executives in response to famine in Ethiopia, K.I.D.S. has distributed a half billion dollars worth of new essentials to 60 million children and families living in communities across the United States, as well as Africa, Asia and the Caribbean. In 2005, $41 million worth of new product was distributed to 4 million children in the U.S. and abroad through a network of over 1,000 first-tier partner agencies in 50 states, with $12 million in donations directly to victims of Hurricane Katrina/Rita in strategic alliance with Fashion Delivers. In 2005, K.I.D.S. also established a strategic alliance with the Ready-to-Learn Partnership to fulfill a multi-million dollar federal grant to enhance literacy around the United States. Product donations include new apparel, shoes, books, developmental toys, juvenile products (bedding, school supplies, accessories, etc.), and baby care items (blankets, cribs, bottles, diapers, strollers, etc.). Our partner's capacity-building programs for at-risk youth (0-18 yrs) and their families address poverty, literacy, domestic violence, homelessness, child safety, illness, incarceration, disaster relief, and foster care. Examples of recipient agencies augmented or supported by K.I.D.S. are homeless shelters, domestic violence shelters, food banks, hospitals, community centers, prisoner rehabilitation centers, HIV/AIDS clinics, Indian reservations, school systems, day cares, youth clubs, faith-based organizations and foster homes. K.I.D.S. donates new product because studies prove new items combat the psychological effects, discrimination and barriers underprivileged children face with used or poor-quality items. New items promote dignity and self-esteem in young children as they often compare themselves to their peers.