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Since the beginning, Kenzi’s Kidz has stood for creating stable environments for children in Colorado – a safe haven for low-income families so that their kids have the best possible chance for success in school and at home.

The Colorado Rockies have always been a great outing for families – a place to breathe in the fresh air, root for the home team, and enjoy one of America’s favorite pastimes. Our Board Member Tonya Bradshaw organized a trip to the stadium so families in the program and our alumni families could have a night out at a baseball game, something many of them have never done before or are unable to do because of the cost.

The Colorado Rockies pitched in to ensure that families in our Kenzi’s Kidz program were able to attend the Rockies vs the Giants. Just our luck – the Rockies won 6 to 5!  With more than 50 people huddled in the rain, our families and board members, along with their friends and families, enjoyed some time together and some baseball. We are deeply appreciative of everyone’s efforts that helped make this outing a success.

What a fantastic day for the Rockies AND Kenzi’s Kidz!!

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Life can be tough, and no one knows this more than an underprivileged family. With the parents working long hours to bring in enough money to keep food on the table and clothes on the kids, the idea of having fun and splurging on extra activities is usually never considered. At Kenzi’s Kidz, we realize the benefits of fun, family activities. They bring joy and laughter into children’s and family’s lives and that is worth more money than we could ever give away. Through partnering with MOTH Contemporary Circus Center, we were able to provide three of our Kenzi’s Kidz families with an amazing, fun experience.

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MOTH Contemporary Circus Center is the premier circus and aerial training facility in Denver, designed specifically for professionally-minded circus artists. Through their Community Outreach program, they give underprivileged youth the opportunity to train, perform, and create with the MOTH coaches. Not only does this program give kids an incredible athletic experience, but it also helps them develop life skills such as confidence, team building, trust, and life-long friendships.

 

 

On October 1st, our seven kids and three adults were trained by MOTH Circus  coaches Deena and Stephen. They learned juggling, tightrope walking, fabric climbing, and jumping on the trampoline. The favorite event of the day: the trampoline by far! The MOTH Circus coaches were incredibly positive with the kids and really encouraged them to try out all the different activities. Not only was it fun to watch the kids have fun learning these acrobatic skills, but seeing them develop their confidence as they tried new things was purely rewarding.

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I thank MOTH Contemporary Circus Center for the opportunity they provided to our three Kenzi’s Kidz families. This will definitely be an experience they will never forget. I’d also like to encourage you to learn more about MOTH Contemporary Circus Center. They provide an invaluable service to underprivileged kids and are still trying to meet their fundraising goal for 2016. Any support you can provide them would help them reach more kids throughout the Denver area and continue to allow them to offer this invaluable program.

 

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James A. Baldwin stated that, “Anyone who has ever struggled with poverty knows how extremely expensive it is to be poor.”  Not only are families struggling financially at a disadvantage because they can’t qualify for discounts or buy in bulk, but their children can suffer emotionally because they don’t have the resources needed to be successful in school and to keep up with their peers.  The mission of Kenzi’s Kidz is to support underprivileged children and their families in Colorado by providing toys, food, and more during the holidays, school supplies and clothing during the school year, and assisting families through community outreach, financial planning, and professional support.

Kenzi’s Kidz relies on sponsors to contribute to the needs of our participating families.  In 2010, we started with one family and continued to add another family each year until 2015 when we were able to sponsor six families!  For the upcoming 2016/2017 school year our goal is to again sponsor six families.

In order to do this , we need sponsors!

If you are in a place to give and desire to build up the community around you, we would be happy to have you sponsor one of our families.

Fund a Family $2,500

By becoming a Kenzi’s Kidz Fund a Family Sponsor, you ensure that one family in our program has the financial assistance they need for one full year. Your gift presents this family with peace of mind and the ability to re-focus on their future, and offers them the security they need to believe in that future. In addition, you will get updates on the impact your gift is having on the family.

Our sponsors get to select the family they support from our accepted applicants and many of our donors build a relationship with the family they’ve chosen to sponsor (though sponsorship can be anonymous). Sponsors get updates any time we spend money on the family and they receive photos and written experiences from the family.  It may not seem like enough, but it is only $2500 to sponsor a family for one year.  This payment can be broken up into monthly, quarterly, or bi-annual payments. Contact us if you would like to break up the payments.

 

With these funds, Kenzi’s Kidz supplies the children in these families the fundamental items needed to succeed in school, such as school supplies and fees, clothing, and extracurricular activities.  Other items we provide them with include winter jackets, hats, gloves, boots, Halloween costumes, birthday parties and gifts, holiday gifts, desks, beds and bedding, towels, and supplemental food for one year.  We also help with various other needs to ensure the family’s life continues on a path towards stability.  For example, last year we assisted a family with their car repairs so the parents could get to work to continue to provide for their children.

 

Wonder if this assistance really helps?  Marcellina’s family was one of our sponsored families in 2011 and she says, “Our quality of life has certainly improved in a huge way.  My children and I have choices in the activities that have been offered to us for the summer.  We are able to attend the zoo and water parks with guests.  Not to mention the clothes that were provided for us.  This added to the needed summer wardrobe.  As a single mom being able to take my kids to places as a family, and have fun, makes us all feel good.  This opportunity gave my children the added confidence that we are a normal family.”

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Here at Dolls for Daughters, we work continuously to help the children in our communities and programs get the tools, supplies, and support they need to be successful, especially in their schooling.  One way we do this is through our Packz 4 Kidz program which we held on Sunday, August 14th and I’m happy to report that the event was a huge success!

This was our First Official Pack 4 Kidz event and with the 128 backpacks that were donated to us, plus our own 156 backpacks, we were able to serve 286 children in one day!  Each child received a fun backpack filled with school supplies that will help alleviate some of the financial stress families can feel surrounding going back to school.

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In addition to the backpacks, we were able to give away 47 water bottles, 250 toothbrushes and toothpaste kits from Delta Dental, 262 of our 2015 Dolls for Daughters book, and 69 lunch boxes.

Helping out and giving their time to ensure a smooth event, were 20 volunteers (the youngest being only seven!) who organized all of the supplies and backpacks, and made sure every child who came to the event was able to get their goodies!  Seeing the smiles on the faces of the children who got to pick out their own backpacks and the “thank you’s” from the parents made all of the hard work worth every second!  Everyone was so kind and happy and their gratitude reminds us why we do the work we do.

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Our success is attributed to the help and generosity we received from businesses in our community.  In particular, this Packz 4 Kidz event was made possible by Precision Homes who sponsored and hosted it.  We also want to give a huge Thank You to the following companies for their generous donations of backpacks, supplies, water bottles, and lunch boxes: Bachus and Schanker, Porch Light Real Estate, Orangetheory Fitness Lowry, Wystone’s World Teas, and Gnat Jewelers.

This one event is proof that when we come together and share our resources, we can really make a difference in the lives of those in our community.

 

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The Power of a Few

Life can be tough for any of us, but it can be especially difficult when you’re a single mother, trying to make ends meet, and are hit with challenges that have the potential to completely derail you.  That’s where Kenzi’s Kidz comes in, to help solve the problem and mitigate what could have been a disastrous situation.

On Friday, June 3rd, we were able to do just this!

A mom in our program needed to get her car repaired.  Without this transportation, she couldn’t get to and from work and school and couldn’t transport her three children.  The problem was the repair cost $1,194.  The mom used the remaining funds in her Kenzi’s Kidz account, but it wasn’t enough to cover the cost.  Fortunately, we had an amazing donor step up and cover the difference!  Not to mention, he worked with a local auto company to get a deal on labor and parts for us.  Without this generous donor’s time and financial assistance, this mom would not have been able to get the repairs she needed.

It’s times like this, when we are able to turn a possible disastrous problem into a small passing issue, that I see the amazing impact we have in the families lives that we serve.  Kenzi’s Kidz gives a helping hand to these families who are working hard to support and care for their children.  Sometimes all it takes is one caring, able person to be a donor that makes a huge difference in the life of a struggling family.

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Families who are sponsored by Kenzi’s Kidz are more than just recipients of our help, they become part of our family and we continue this relationship even after the family’s sponsored year is over.  As part of our family, we love to celebrate with them, especially on the happiest day of a child’s life, their birthday!

Through the generosity of our amazing donors, three of our alumni celebrated their birthdays this month at Chuck E Cheese.  Angel celebrated her 7th birthday and twins Joel and Shekinah turned 4.  All three kids were in our program last year, becoming alumni as of July 31, 2015.  Having created strong bonds with the children we help, we were honored to attend their birthday party!

Do you remember the joy you felt as a kid, opening up all those brightly wrapped birthday presents?  Many low-income families do not have this luxury and it brings us great pleasure here at Kenzi’s Kidz to bring these small joys into families lives.  Angel absolutely loved all the new clothes she opened.  Shekinah was delighted by receiving a Jasmine Disney doll that played a song.  Joel was given a lollipop and he wanted to open it immediately!  He also did not want to put down any of his presents!  All three kids were incredibly excited and thankful for all the clothes and toys they received.

 

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If you’ve ever been to a child’s birthday party at Chuck E Cheese, then you know about the ticket tornado tube!  For those of you who have never experienced this, one or two children will stand in a clear tub while wind circulates and blows prize tickets all around.  The child has one minute to grab as many tickets as they can to redeem prizes.  Well, when Shekinah was in the ticket tornado tube, the flying tickets kept getting stuck in her hair!  When the wind stopped, instead of letting her keep the tickets in her hair, Angel, being ever helpful, knocked all the tickets out of Shekinah’s hair!  Despite losing these tickets, all three kids had an amazing birthday party.

 

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It’s the small things in life that bring us so much joy.  For Angel, Shekinah, and Joel, the chance to have an exciting birthday party at Chuck E Cheese will be something they’ll remember for years to come.  Without our amazing donors, these types of small joys would not be possible.  A huge thank you to these donors and all our donors who sponsor these families and help bring joy and hope into their lives!

 

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