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About Us

Our Vision

At Kids Around the World, we are all about empowering the next generation to live a hope-filled, Christ-centered life.

Our Mission

We live out our mission by sharing God’s transforming hope with kids and their communities through food, play & story.

We partner with others like you to bring the gift of food, play and story to kids in impoverished regions of the world.

There we create environments within local communities through feeding programs, playgrounds and StoryClubs, where kids experience hope with a daily meal, a safe place to play, and stories from the Bible. Week after week, they build relationships with Jesus, their teachers and the local church. The impact spreads like a wave of hope across the community as kids grow stronger physically and spiritually, and share the Good News with their friends and family.

Partnerships

Partnership is at the heart of who we are at Kids Around the World. We recognize that through partnering with like-minded groups and individuals, we can have a much larger impact, helping people experience hope both locally and globally. We thrive through the support and engagement of amazing churches, businesses, schools, organizations and individuals like you.

I Want to Partner with Kids Around the World!
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Jeff Rosene, President/CEO

My journey at KATW started in 2006. Since then it has been an honor to be a part of the amazing growth in this ministry as doors have continued to open and new opportunities have come. I love connecting people, whether stateside or globally, and figuring out how we can all serve together; how we can meet each other where we are in life to have the greatest possible impact.

I love how a simple gift of a playground can literally transform a community, or how a meal can provide hope for a child or empower a mom. Lastly, and most importantly, I love how telling a story in a simple and interactive way can impact a child’s life for eternity. That is what we do here at Kids Around the World and I am so humbled and honored to lead this ministry into the future.

All of this would not be possible without my wife Chelsea by my side since 2014. We live in Oceanside, California where she is a 6th grade teacher. We are blessed to have two amazing young kids: Jack and Everly. Jack loves baseball, swimming and literally anything else outside & Everly is all about being a princess who loves to dress up and dance. As a family we love to travel (of course), go to the beach, sporting events and stay busy. Being originally from Illinois, I am still struggling with being a Cubs or Padres fan (Jack is a huge Padres fan) but that conversation is for another time! We attend North Coast Calvary Chapel and are extremely blessed to have so many wonderful friends there.

Our Board of Directors

Bill & Tonya Meister, Chairman

Denny & Evie Johnson, Founder & Chairman Emeritus

Jim & Denise Rosene, President Emeritus

Dave & Jill Love, Vice Chairman

Judy Roberts, Secretary

Steve & Marita Sjogren, Treasurer

Bob & Jeanne Lindman

Dan & Barb Martin

Frank & Sonja Beach

Jim & Sharon Hessenthaler

Kurt & Sue Jensen

Paul Bierhaus

Raul & Jill Rodila

Rich & Michele Meyer

Scott & Judy Nyquist

Our Team

Jim Rosene

President Emeritus

Jeremiah Addy

Jim Binder

Systems Support

April Bodrie

Senior Manager, Finance

Tim Clauson

Senior Manager, Playgrounds

Dave Dahl

Senior Manager, Projects

Phil Falconer

Playground Support

Charlotte Heeren

Director of Finance and Administration

Heather Johnson

Communications Manager

Jim Kamikawa

Corporate Development and Foundation Specialist

Dan Liesik

Vice President of Operations

Melissa Lounsbury

Vice President of Mission Advancement

Andrew Martin

Resource Partnership Director

Amanda Martell

Regional Director of Mission Advancement

David McDonald

OneMeal Event Manager

Debbie Morales

Regional Director of Mission Advancement

Britta Nelson

Teams Manager

Coleman Nelson

Event Manager

Steve Nine

GenHope International Director, Ecuador Director

Amy Pembleton

Senior Marketing Director

Chase Perkins

Regional Director of Mission Advancement

Sam Snyder

Senior Manager, Logistics

Gary Strudler

KIDStory Global Director

Brian Wahl

Regional Director of Mission Advancement

Daniel Torres

Food Program Event Manager

Ben Wallace

Food Program Event Manager

Jared Weidman

Creative Director

Greg Weitzel

Sr. Director of Mission Advancement

Jacky Altamirano Nine

Director of Operations, Ecuador

Jorge Oliveros

KIDStory Training and Development, Latin America

Marlon Suarez

GenHope Ecuador

Antonella Cantando Oliveros

Kidstory Training and Development, Latin America

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

Lala

KIDStory Regional Director – SE Asia

Misha

KIDStory Regional Director – Eastern Europe

Kennedy

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 2020, we launched a Spirit-led initiative to go deeper in communities around the globe through our Food, Play, Story approach. In partnership with local churches and leaders, we began creating environments, Hope Zones, in three countries, where kids and families experience hope and communities experience lasting transformation.

A year of celebrating milestones for our ministry; as we built our 1000th playground in a community in coastal Ecuador, packed our 50 Millionth meal with a group of youth from a church in Southern California, and launched our 40th Hope Zone community. 2022 was also a year of looking ahead at the horizon, as we plan for the continued expansion of the Gospel and our ministry efforts through new Hope Zones, expanded KIDStory regions, and the equipping of partner ministries to bless kids through Food, Play & Story.

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

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Contact Info

5245 28th Avenue
Rockford, IL 61109

1046 Calle Recodo Ste. F
San Clemente, CA 92673

815-229-8731
info@kidsaroundtheworld.com
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