Kids Helping Kids

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Kids Helping Kids Junior Members (back row from left) Michael Pickett, John Pickett, Jayden Alvarado, (front row from left) Liana Giannuzzi, Isaiah Bird (center) Elijah Rodriguez
Kids Helping Kids Junior Members (back row from left) Michael Pickett, John Pickett, Jayden Alvarado, (front row from left) Liana Giannuzzi, Isaiah Bird (center) Elijah Rodriguez

A charitable organization is spreading some warmth this chilly season. The Long Island based not-for-profit organization Kids Helping Kids by Kids Way, Inc., has officially launched its 11th annual Making a Warmth of Difference winter apparel program and benefit. Since 2004, Kids Helping Kids has distributed more than $1,800,000 in branded winter apparel to the kids most in need at numerous Long Island agencies, including EAC Network, Salvation Army, Nassau County Social Services, CASA and The Mary Brennan INN. With an additional $400,000 in winter apparel that will be distributed over the next two months, Kids Helping Kids will have distributed in excess of $2,200,000 in winter apparel.

“This program focuses on obtaining only new branded winter apparel, rather than used, to give to children at a critical time of year—the cold winter months now upon us,” said executive director Bob Eslick. “A lot of kids today, especially those that live in economically challenged areas, don’t often get new branded apparel and this is their opportunity to get something ‘special’ that keeps them warm.”

The Department of Social Services commissioner, Dr. John Imhof noted that since its inception, the organization and the Making a Warmth of Difference program has collected and donated thousands of new coats, fleece and other winter apparel to Nassau County. In addition, Imhof said that “Kids Helping Kids is an outstanding role model showing how youngsters reach out and care about kids less fortunate than themselves, especially in times of need.”

Executive Director Bob Eslick
Executive Director Bob Eslick

The organization was founded in Old Bethpage in 1997 by kids and its mission is to encourage philanthropy in young people. The group’s members have spent thousands of volunteer hours via a variety of programs with a vision, dedication and a drive that addresses various community and individual needs.

On Thursday, Dec. 11, Kids Helping Kids held their Making a Warmth of Difference Holiday Benefit at Oheka Castle.. Herb Williams, the former NBA basketball star from 1981 to 1999 who also served as interim head coach of the New York Knicks, was in attendance.

The organization honors one notable youngster at its annual event. This year, Isaiah Bird was recognized for his ability to light up a room with his big smile and spunky attitude. The 7-year-old was born with Cauldron Regression Syndrome, and was born without legs. Bird lives each day without excuses, and believes that nothing is going to stop him.

“There are so many wonderful young people who not only demonstrate academic or extracurricular skills, but also do a little something extra to help make the world a better place,” said Eslick. “We felt it was important to recognize our young residents who involve themselves in voluntary community, charity or civic activities on their own individual initiative.”

Consider Kids Helping Kids by Kids Way, Inc., when making your charitable contributions this holiday season. For further information, contact Robert Eslick, executive director of Kids Helping Kids by Kids Way, Inc., at 516-249-9449 or email him at happykidsclub@aol.com.

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