Back in 2012 Minda learned that kids who are on the Federal Free Lunch program are often hungry throughout the weekend. Minda wanted to put bags of food together so that they kids had food to eat over the weekend and would come back to school on Monday ready to learn so she reached out to Backman Elementary and asked if there was a need and indeed the need was there. She started putting together 50 bags of food for kids to take home. After realizing the need was great, Minda wanted to help a second school and also increase the number of bags per school, so she solicited help from local businesses and received enough funds to go from 50 kids to 250 kids. Many of the kids who receive the food are refugees, homeless or living with relatives. In addition to the weekly bags, together with community, For The Kids have put together thousands of Thanksgiving meals and Holiday break food bags.
Minda knew to continue sending out 250 bags each week and hopefully serve more kids that she would need to apply for grants, so she moved out of the closet she started in and found a small storage space and from there she founded For The Kids, an accredited 501C3. After receiving the accreditation and securing grants For The Kids increased their weekly delivery to 350. The FTK family has grown to hundreds of volunteers and supporters.
At an event a schoolteacher told this story: “At school a child was acting up and this is a child who was well behaved. When I took him aside and tried to find out what was wrong, he said…. My little sitter ate an extra bowl of cereal this morning and that means we are short a breakfast this week and I am already hungry.” The teacher was heartbroken. Unfortunately, these situations among the children we serve are frequent and For The Kids believes in being hunger advocates for those in most need and to help cover basic needs so that these kids have one less thing to worry about.
Never doubt what 1 bowl of cereal means to a child, 1 box of mac and cheese, a Thanksgiving side dish and even a granola bar. You can make a difference! What makes For The Kids special is we understand that it takes a village and we have been able to continue our efforts because companies, churches, neighborhoods and individuals believe in what we are doing and become a part of the positive change we want to see in our communities. Would you like to join us? Each week 2,450 items of food leave our shelves, For The Kid’s is always look for food or monetary donations as well as volunteers, come join us and be a hunger advocate!
As a child I experienced hardship, and I knew at an early age that I wanted to help others who were going through the same thing. I had a positive role model in my life, and I learned that hope can be a powerful thing, and that if one person could show me hope through their actions and by caring about me that I wanted to do the same if I ever had the chance. I started out by simply wanting to feed as many kids as I could and what has happened is that I found so many more people just like me that wanted to help and together we not only feed hundreds of kids, but we are also giving these kids hope. “Get started, make it happen” (Author unknown) it really can be that simple and I would love for you to join us!
I have been in the HR world for years, helping employees through hard times so when Minda reached out to me to join the For The Kids Board it was an easy yes for me! A few years prior I had created a youth softball team to help young kids stay active and learn a sport in a positive environment and it was an easy transition to add sports to FTK and help kids not only through providing nourishment but also through a sport. FTK now sponsors the Rose Park Panthers and I get to help in new ways to make a difference in the lives of kids who need the help!
As a child who grew up not always knowing where my next meal was coming from, I have made it a priority as a successful businesswoman to give back to the community, specifically with feeding impoverished children. I believe that providing nourishment for these children will foster hope, opportunity and change for these young lives. We all have the ability to help end the cycle of poverty and provide the nutrition, mentorship and guidance they need to succeed in life, and FORTHEKIDS.ORG is a great way to do just that.
I came across Minda and her work completely by accident. She was hosting a fundraising silent auction at a downtown hotel the same night I checked in. The rest is history! I've been helping out in one form or another since 2014, becoming Volunteer Coordinator in Spring 2021 and joining the board in September 2021. It is hard to express how much For The Kids has changed my life. By simply giving of my time, I have helped impact so many lives for the better. Danny Thomas once said, "Success has nothing to do with what you gain in life or accomplish for yourself, it's what you do for others". By this measure, I hope to lead a very successful life.
Growing up in my small hometown, the economic ups and downs of the oil industry provided me with multiple opportunities to witness and experience firsthand some very hard economic times. In addition, my father was a great example to me at a young age. Even though at times things were financially limited, he would help anyone at any time with whatever he had. So, this influence from my parents coupled with my experiences while earning my Eagle Scout, the importance of helping and giving back to those less fortunate or going through difficult times was instilled in me at a very young age. I was introduced to For The Kids through my youngest son’s baseball team and I fell in love with their mission. Shortly after this introduction, there was no question in my mind that any time they needed anything that I was grateful for the opportunity to help. Giving back has become a fundamental part of my life and something I am now striving to instill in my own children, and I am grateful to FTK for the opportunity to allow me to participate in this great organization.