Kars4Kids’ small grant program helps us help more children through collaboration with other worthy organizations. When an organization applies to us for a small grant, we look into the work it does, and often, the applicant has identified a need we didn’t know about and is providing a response we respect—responding in a way that helps to corrects a societal wrong. Take, for example, children with mental health issues or low self-esteem. Kars4Kids isn’t equipped to handle children with serious mental health problems, but Hibiscus Children’s Center and Daniel, were designed to do exactly that, while WINGS and GOTRI help bolster a child’s self-esteem in creative ways we’d never heard of before.
Hibiscus Children’s Center was founded when LaVaughn Tilton realized that while there were organizations to help abusive parents, there were actually none to help abused children. That was in 1985. Hibiscus Children’s Center has since served thousands of abused, abandoned and neglected children, translating to some 250,000 safe nights. Now, Kars4Kids can’t claim credit for that, but Hibiscus Children’s Center’s application to our small grant program did bring this work to our attention, which meant we could bring this work to your attention. Our small financial assist leaves us proud to have helped with work we’d otherwise never have known about.
Some of the children Daniel helps have been in the Florida Juvenile Justice system. Some of the children are actually violent. These are kids that in many cases, have serious mental health issues. They aren’t the kind of children that generate warm fuzzy feelings and generally have such severe problems there really is no other place for them. Daniel takes these children in and gives them a chance, when society has all but turned its back on them. We hope our small grant somehow makes up for that and helps these children regain their hope, their trust in humanity, and their mental health.
The children at WINGS are from low-income homes. The stress of poverty doesn’t just mean doing without, it means witnessing the adult struggle of their parents to hold things together in the home. The children may be dealing with anger and low self-esteem. They may be fighting with their peers as a way of acting out their feelings. WINGS does what the schools cannot, and helps teach children to develop their emotional intelligence so they can manage their feelings. This enables these children to make better life choices. Which, in turn, helps them grow up better adjusted, better able to get ahead in life. It thrills us to bits to be able to lend a hand to these children who would otherwise be doomed to poverty and worse.
GOTRI stands for Girls on the Run International. As you might suspect, this organization helps empower girls so they feel the equal of anyone in society. Running is an integral part of the program. Kars4Kids first gave a small grant to the Southeast Washington branch of GOTRI. Then the international organization applied for and received one of our small grants. We were happy to help with these small infusions of cash. Girls are important, and our small grant is our way of helping them know that, way deep down.