Source: Good News Network
Charity Has Been Secretly Fulfilling Small Wishes for Homeless Kids Who Could Use the Self-Esteem Boost
by McKinley Corbley
May 9, 2019
Homeless families struggling to make ends meet are usually more concerned about providing food and shelter for their children – and that’s why this organization is working to take care of the little things along the way.
Alice’s Kids is a nonprofit that grants the smaller wishes and requests of homeless children.
Sometimes it’s giving a new trumpet to a struggling music student; other times, it’s buying new shoes for a young athlete living in poverty – or it’s simply providing prom tickets, a bike lock, or new glasses to disadvantaged teenagers.
Regardless of the gift, the organization has found that fulfilling these small requests has a huge impact on the child’s self-esteem and happiness.
The organization was founded by Ron Fitzsimmons and his sister Laura in 2011 after they were motivated to start the nonprofit based on their own experiences growing up in a poor New York household during the 1960s.
After their father left, their mother worked tirelessly to pay for food and rent – but they were still living paycheck to paycheck.
Fitzsimmons told The New York Times that he often skipped school because it was too “humiliating” to wear tattered clothing around his well-dressed peers.
He and his sister now believe that their organization is helping other children to avoid that very same social anxiety.
Alice’s Kids grants wishes based on the requests that are submitted to them by teachers, social workers, counselors, and homeless shelter staffers.
The nonprofit then grants the wish by sending gift cards to the parents so they can purchase the gift themselves.
Since the child is unaware of the charitable exchange, parents are given an opportunity to feel supportive of their child’s additional needs – and the child may be given a chance to feel proud of their parent.
Over the course of the last eight years, the nonprofit’s services have expanded to 27 US states.
In 2018 alone, they spent $59,000 on 862 students across the country – and they have already spent $26,000 on children since the start of this year.
Since The Times published an article on Alice’s Kids in March, the organization is delighted to say that they have been flooded with donations – and they hope the financial support will continue.
“We’re not going to solve all the pains of all the children,” Ron told The Times. “But we just want to be part of the answer at least.”
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