Welcome to our quarterly newsletter, The Good News, featuring stories of how God has been working through Kids Around The World. Enjoy!
The Good News
So Far in 2023…
Million Meals Packed
Thousand Kids Being Discipled
Active Hope Zones
We have had the honor of helping partners host 44 food packing events so far this year, alongside the joy of working with over 8000 volunteers! Celebrate with us for the 2.6 million meals that have been delivered to kids in need so far in 2023 and for the 2.9 million that are making their way across oceans right now to communities in faraway places from Ecuador to Zambia and multiple countries in between!
This past quarter the Reload Love organization chose KATW’s Food Program as their highlighted project with the goal of raising enough funds to send full shipping containers of meals to both Ukraine and Uganda. Reload Love helps heal the lives of little ones around the world who have suffered from the violence of terrorism. Every year on Valentine’s Day weekend they host a fundraising event appropriately called Love Bomb. In addition to raising funds this year, they packed 270,864 meals with over 700 volunteers at their event! Far exceeding their fundraising goal, they truly put love in action!
Walking in the same generous spirit to love and serve kids is a band of students named 60010 Feeds Kids. Seven years ago 8th grader, Morgan Larson, contacted KATW hoping to find a way to provide a fun service opportunity for classmates at Station Middle School and Barrington High School. Her dream was to create a group of students that would come together to help others. In total, they’ve engaged over 1,500 volunteers in the last 7 years to pack over 428,000 meals total! This past March, when they packed 75,000 meals, their current President, Himat Sidhu, shared, “I have been a part of this group for six years. I joined because I want to help other people gain access to food, which is something that no one should ever have to worry about”.
Our dedicated and big-hearted partners and volunteers have not only set impressive examples, but they’ve made an incredible impact on thousands of hungry children.
We’ve been quite busy around here with having shipped 28 playgrounds by the end of March! Of those playgrounds,12 have been to support our Hope Zones.
Cooler temps is when we prep for warmer weather playground builds! In early March,15 hard working and big hearted volunteers joined us at installer training in Baja, Mexico. Three days were spent going through the entire playground build process, in detail, so that all would feel confident leading an installation. Because of the location, we were able to bless Strong Tower Ministries with a new playground for their community outreach!
We remain extremely thankful for our growing partnership with Little Tikes Commercial. Forty of their reps helped us install a playground in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic this quarter. The hardworking team assembled it in a few hours while some of the volunteers even pitched in to help repaint the community center next to the playground. It’s inspiring to witness beautiful hearts creating beautiful spaces!
Bluegrass Recreational in Kentucky has been supporting the KATW mission by removing playgrounds and sending them to us for refurbishment. Through the Tikes Giveback Program, they will fund 5 playgrounds for KATW in 2023 based on 2022 orders. We are extremely blessed to benefit from the accomplishment of this rep agency.
Our efforts to build into the lives of kids through play are being multiplied around the world thanks to the amazing support of our partners and volunteers that God has blessed us with!
As a teen, David was a member of our first StoryClub in the DRC in 2014. Through his involvement in the StoryClub, he committed his life to Jesus! After a few months, he became the leader of a club that he started in his own neighborhood and continued to pursue his education with a masters degree in Theological Studies. With praise to God, David is not only currently pursuing a doctorate degree but also pastoring a church in his community all while joyfully influencing many with his testimony and his mentoring of children. With love and the gift of teaching, David, himself an orphan child, is now an engaged catalyst to reach and disciple many children in the hope and truth that God’s Word offers!
Our KIDStory method is designed to multiply the impact of God’s Word just like this. Children discipled, who grow into leaders, who disciple more children. The ripple effect of joy, hope and truth at work!
New leaders, being trained in the DRC, share joy and have fun in their interactive ways of discipling kids with the use of KIDStory.
Karla lives in Las Piñas, a small fishing village on the coast of Ecuador. She and her grandmother suffer from a disease called Ichthyosis. Ichthyosis is a skin disorder causing dry, scaly, or thickened skin. This prevents Karla from being able to be in constant sunlight or an environment with salt water. When exposed to these, her sensitive skin blisters with cuts and irritation, resulting in a lot of pain. Living near the ocean has been a constant challenge for her.
A year and a half ago, we launched a Hope Zone in Las Piñas. The Hope Zone leaders led a StoryClub each week, welcoming children to learn about the hope of Jesus and receive nutritious meals. Karla’s grandmother volunteered in the Hope Zone and was particularly interested in the OneMeal ingredients, specifically the included vitamin packet. She took the OneMeal pouch to Karla’s doctor to see if Karla could consume all components included. The doctor told her to give the vitamins to Karla regularly. The packet contained all the vitamins she needed to improve her skin.
After four weeks of eating OneMeal, Karla’s parents disclosed to the leaders that her skin was healing, particularly the palms of her hands and soles of her feet. Little by little, the rest of her skin was visibly healing. Karla has always loved the sea. Now she can go and enjoy the beach, even play in the water without her skin getting irritated or reacting. Her parents recently expressed that their daughter’s happiness has brightened the whole house.
The StoryClub continues to pray over Karla for miracle healing in her life.