About Us

Our Mission

Sharing God’s transforming hope with kids and their communities through food, play and story.

Our Vision

We will strategically impact the lives of four million children through our outreach programs (KIDStory, OneMeal, and Playgrounds) by the year 2020. We recognize that nearly 25% of children under the age of 14 who hear and believe the Gospel message will begin a relationship with Jesus, so our vision is to see one million one lives transformed.

We also recognize that 85% of children learn best through teaching that is oral based, so we will share the message of God’s love primarily through Bible Storying. Our training will focus on methods and strategies that will assist in creating environments where children can be nurtured to make an impact in their communities.

Our primary area of focus will be in communities where the Church isn’t engaged to meet the needs of children, or there is no Church presence at all. In order for us to accomplish our vision, we partner and network with like-minded churches, organizations, and individuals to globally impact the lives of children.

Our Partnerships

Philosophy of Collaboration

Kids Around the World is a catalyst, designed and destined to serve the mission-success of our field partners at ground level. Every initiative we undertake exists within a collaborative framework, ensuring efficiency of resources and maximized efficacy in our combined work to bring spiritual, physical and emotional well-being to suffering children and their communities around the world.

Our President

Jim Rosene, President

With the commitment to reach children worldwide for Jesus, Jim Rosene has been the President of Kids Around the World, a faith-based, non-profit missions organization, since it was founded in 1994. Before this, Jim was an elementary school teacher and then the Associate Pastor of Children’s Ministries at First Evangelical Free Church in Rockford, IL. Jim and his wife, Denise, live in Rockford, IL while their son Jeff lives in Southern California and their daughter Jenny in Minneapolis.

Our Board of Directors

Bill & Tonya Meister, Chairman

Denny & Evie Johnson, Founder & Chairman Emeritus

Bob & Jeanne Lindman

Jim & Denise Rosene, President

Kurt & Sue Jensen

Steve & Marita Sjogren, Treasurer

Raul & Jill Rodila

Dave & Jill Love, Vice Chairman

Dan & Barb Martin

Frank & Sonja Beach

Jim & Sharon Hessenthaler

Judy Roberts, Secretary

Paul Bierhaus

Rich & Michele Meyer

Our Team

Jim Binder

Systems Support

April Bodrie

Senior Manager, Finance

Tim Clauson

Senior Manager, Playgrounds

Dave Dahl

Senior Manager, Projects

Phil Falconer

Playground Support

Heather Johnson

Communications Coordinator

Jim Kamikawa

Corporate Development and Foundation Specialist

Dan Liesik

Vice President of Operations

Melissa Lounsbury

Vice President of Mission Advancement

Andrew Martin

OneMeal Director

Debbie Morales

Mission Advancement Specialist

David McDonald

OneMeal Event Manager

Britta Nelson

Communications Manager

Coleman Nelson

Event Manager

Steve Nine

GenHope International Director, Ecuador Director

Chase Perkins

Mission Advancement Specialist

Jim Rosene


Jeff Rosene

Executive Vice President

Garrett Schneider

Food Program Event Manager

Sam Snyder

Senior Manager, Logistics

Gary Strudler

KIDStory Global Director

Brian Wahl

Regional Director of Mission Advancement

Jared Weidman

Marketing Director

Greg Weitzel

Sr. Director of Mission Advancement

Jacky Altamirano Nine

GenHope Ecuador

Jorge Oliveros

KIDStory Training and Development, Latin America

Antonella Cantando Oliveros

Kidstory Training and Development, Latin America

Marlon Suarez

GenHope Ecuador

Juan José Altamirano

GenHope Ecuador

Katherine Lopera

GenHope Ecuador

Mario Bertis

GenHope Ecuador

Ramon Corsino

GenHope Dominican Republic Director

Cristopher Macias

GenHope Ecuador

Aracelys Reyes

GenHope Dominican Republic Director

Moses Andruga

GenHope Uganda Director


KIDStory Regional Director – SE Asia


KIDStory Regional Director – Eastern Europe


KIDStory Regional Director – Central Africa

Emmanuel Corsino

Director of Operations GenHope DR

Mayelin Castro

GenHope Ecuador

Josue Moriera

GenHope Ecuador

Zenon Palma

GenHope Ecuador

Karen Rodriguez

GenHope Dominican Republic Communications

Our History

In 1994, KATW began when Denny and Evie Johnson came up with a plan to help Rockford’s sister cities around the world (sister cities allow for average citizens to engage in diplomatic relationships). One of Rockford’s many sister cities is Brovary, Ukraine. As a gift to Brovary, KATW built the first of two playgrounds for the city’s children.

In March 2000, Jim Rosene started working full-time for KATW as President. For the first 6 years, Kids Around the World was an all volunteer organization — gifted men and women led the charge under the leadership of the Board of Directors.  As the organization continued to grow, it became obvious they needed a full-time leader and in March 2000, Kids Around the World welcomed Jim Rosene as their President.

In 2008, KATW started OneMeal, a mobile food-packing program that feeds children worldwide. Local churches, schools, businesses, and civic groups even host food packing events at their own locations or at the KATW warehouse.

From the very beginning, we had an outreach to children with puppets, songs and flannelgraphs, but realized we could accomplish so much more if we were able to train and equip leaders with an oral-based strategy: Bible Storytelling.  It was in 2015 that we officially launched KIDStory, impacting lives of children by creating an environment where they are loved and accepted, play games, and have fun learning the Bible.

In October 2015, we launched an aggressive campaign, One Million One!  In order to accomplish our goals, we needed more space and in May 2016 we moved to our new location in Rockford — nearly 50,000 square feet of warehousing — allowing us to accomplish so much more.

Our story began 25 years ago when a team of volunteers traveled to Ukraine to build a playground for children in need.

Since then, we have built over 800 playgrounds, shipped over 27,000,000 meals, and nearly 20,000 KIDStory Clubs have been launched, providing ongoing storytelling methodology centered on Jesus’ hope.

Our Financials

Kids Around the World is eager both to remain financially transparent as well as to strive for financial growth for the purpose of serving more children. We work to continue our efficiency in raising and spending money. We are proud to report that in 2021, the percentage of funds used directly for program services was 90%, while the percentage spent on administrative and fundraising expenses was 10%. We continually maximize our effectiveness as we deliver the gift of food, play, and story all over the world — thanks to donors and partners like you.

When it comes to donations and giving to Kids Around the World, we abide by the financial guidelines set forth by the ECFA (view documentation). This specific document explains their policy on Stewardship of Charitable Gifts.

Contact Us

Social Links


Contact Info

5245 28th Avenue
Rockford, IL 61109

1046 Calle Recodo Ste. F
San Clemente, CA 92673

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