We work to mobilize MILLIONS of people to improve the lives of children in their communities.
Champions for Kids began with a core commitment: to improve the lives of children through the leverage of people. We are motivated by one purpose—to support people and organizations working to make our communities a better place for children.
General Information Packet
Today, over 24,000 children in the world under the age of five died due to poverty, hunger, easily preventable diseases and illnesses and other related causes (UNICEF). When including children over the age of 5 (6-18), this number almost doubles. This means that today almost 50,000 children will die from mostly preventable causes.
The State of America’s Children 2010 released by the Children’s Defense Fund is a sobering account of children in America. Before the recession, the comprehensive data released by the Children’s defense fund was dismal. Since the recession, the plight of children has worsened. Unemployment, hunger, and housing foreclosures have hit historically high levels. Marion Wright Edelman, Founder of the Children’s Defense Fund, writes: “Whether looking at poverty, health coverage, family structure, family income, early childhood development, education, child abuse and neglect, juvenile justice or gun violence, the news is mostly not good for the children, their families, or the fabric of the future of our nation... The recession has hit children the hardest…And we still do not know the recession’s full impact…We must create a level playing field for all of our children. The steps we take will shape our children’s and nation’s futures.”
Today, More than 17 million children in the United States are at risk for hunger. One in five children is poor; half live in extreme poverty each day. Family structure and economic instability impact the availability of emotional and financial resources for children and the extra support needed for their special needs. Millions of children do not have the basic resources they need such as eye and dental care; school supplies, warm clothes, food.
The sad reality is that while we receive daily news regarding natural disasters, government reforms and financial news, the stories reflecting the needs of children rarely manage to receive coverage. Each day, thousands of children quietly die in some of the poorest villages on earth, are displaced from their families, go hungry, die from violent crimes, suffer neglect, abuse and abandonment, drop out of school, are placed in shelters, hope to be adopted and we wake up, not knowing this happened.
Our vision is to see a world where MILLIONS of people work to ensure that no child dies from dies from hunger or easily preventable diseases. Our vision is to see a world where MILLIONS of people work to ensure that ALL children have the nutrition and food they need to thrive. Our vision is to see a world where MILLIONS of people offer every child a home. Our vision is to see a world where MILLIONS of people work to ensure that every child has someone who cares and a place to belong.
This is why we have the 20:20 Campaign.
People care about the future of our children. And they will help. The only solution we know is through the leverage of people.
Our core values have remained our driving commitment.
All children should have:
Someone who cares
A place to belong
Hope for tomorrow and provisions for their journey.
This is the vision and the core values that guide us.
Vision and Values: 20M People by 2020
Champions for Kids was founded in 2004 as a result of escalating needs of children in communities. A phone call marks the beginning of Champions for Kids.
The phone call came two weeks before Christmas. Snow was falling. During a morning drive to work, I received a phone call from a teacher I had never met. “Hello, Mrs. Schaeffer, you don’t know me but I’m a teacher from Fayetteville High School. We have a young boy who needs a home. We were wondering if you and your husband may be able to help. The schools are closing for Christmas. And this boy doesn’t have a home.” Daniel lived alone in an abandoned home. His mother died of cancer. His father was homeless. A team of teachers worked to provide food, clothing and temporary shelter for Daniel. We drove to the school that afternoon.
When we walked in, Daniel rose to meet us. “Hello Mr. and Mrs. Schaeffer. My name is Daniel.”
Champions for Kids started to help many children like Daniel. Over the course of several years, there were many phone calls that came our way. Champions for Kids began with three core commitments. We began with a commitment to provide help for all children—not some children. In the early years, we never focused on a single issue or cause. The needs were too great.
Second, we focused on a solution rather than the problem. The solution is in the leverage of people. People care about children. And if asked to help, they will do what they can. Thus the name, Champions for Kids. Champions for Kids has always been about people who are and will be Champions for Kids. They are everywhere. We only need to find ways to leverage their passion, commitments and influence.
Three, our core values have remained our driving commitment. All children should have: Someone who cares; a Place to belong; Hope for tomorrow and provisions for their journey. All children.
Our mission has always been focused on the mobilization of people. The Mobilizing MILLIONS theme is new, but the mission is not. The theme simply is a way to bring focused attention to the power of people and the leverage we can bring.
This year, with the support from Disney and several corporate partners, we launched our first SIMPLE Service Project, The Champions for Kids Holiday Stocking Stuffer Party. Over 650 people leveraged their influence to touch the lives of over three thousand children in their communities. It was a SIMPLE launch. But people caught the idea—and did this SIMPLE Service Project.
This year, we seek to launch many more SIMPLE Service projects. People want to leverage their influence for good as well. The primary way to do this is to first engage them by providing SIMPLE service projects they can do in their communities. The SIMPLE service project is one way to mobilize MILLIONS of people to be a force for good in their communities.
Champions for Kids is entering our seventh year. In six years, we have provided over $500,000 in challenge grants and have seen many of these grants exceed the challenge. We have worked closely with 48 organizations who serve over 180,000 children. Since 2004, through the Abbott Nutrition RazorFest annual event, we have involved over 8,500 volunteers who have provided well over 60,000 hours of community service to provide resources and healthy activities to over 200,000 children and families in Arkansas.
We are proud to see organizations like the Brandon Burlsworth Foundation move from a small start to providing eye care to over 2,000 low income youth in Arkansas. We look forward to supporting their plans for growth and celebrate their 2011 plan to expand to eleven more states. We salute Cycle Kids expansion from Cambridge to Somerville, Massachusetts and Harlem, New York. We are confident Talia Rivera will one day have a national model to end gang violence and support teens in making positive, life choices. We salute Miracle League’s expansion in Arkansas, opening a new ball park in Springdale to provide inclusive and meaningful athletic opportunities for children with disabilities.
Are we the engine for their success? No. They are the engine for their success. We fuel their efforts to help them achieve their dreams to provide children with the resources and opportunities they need to transition successfully to adulthood.
"I am a huge fan of Champions for Kids because it has strong, passionate leadership and it is built on a powerful concept that if we can activate large numbers of people to become Champions for Kids in their communities, they can transform the lives of millions of children. CFK and its corporate partners promise to become that booster rocket.", David Gergen, CNN Senior Political Analyst, Director, Center for Public Leadership, Harvard
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