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K.I.D.S. Continues National CLOTHES4K.I.D.S. Campaign and Multiple State Campaigns:

2012 has entered with a big bang, with major product distributions taking place throughout the country. Whether as part of the national "Clothes4K.I.D.S." Campaign or through our "state" campaigns, product donors, local agencies and communities are working together to ensure that those otherwise neglected are provided the essentials they need to survive and thrive.

Our theme of "Caring Continues" is manifested in the many events that have brought together corporations with recipients. The first of these multiple occasions occurred on February 11th when 60 Graco employees and their families gathered at Caring For Others in Atlanta, Georgia to distribute 250 strollers and car seats. The line extended past the parking lot and into the street as single mothers, families below the poverty line, infants and caring siblings waited to receive the items so necessary for the proper functioning of their lives.

This moving experience was followed by the distribution of Huggies diapers to pregnant single moms at the Covenant House in Washington, D.C. on February 21st (please see separate article on page 5). Being able to provide an item that is so critical for toddlers' development makes us feel grateful to be partnered with wonderful companies like Kimberly Clark and other not-for-profits such as the National Diaper Bank Network.

Reaching across the country, K.I.D.S. partnered with Big City Moms at their Baby Shower in Los Angeles. K.I.D.S. has worked with Big City Moms, the largest mommy blog in NYC, for several years, always appreciating the opportunity to be exposed to, and welcomed by, the juvenile product industry. K.I.D.S. Executive Committee member, Renee Pepys Lowe, represented K.I.D.S. in Los Angeles and had the opportunity to introduce or reacquaint companies in this segment to the role that K.I.D.S. plays in meeting families' needs.

On April 2nd, K.I.D.S. will be in Miami. Again, with Big City Moms, we will be part of their Baby Shower in which companies can learn about the importance of providing us with product for agencies that serve children in need. This trip will be accompanied by a major distribution of Gerber children's wear to families served by Neat Stuff in Miami. Neat Stuff is the largest organization to help abused, abandoned and otherwise mistreated children in Dade County and is a long time partner with K.I.D.S. The distribution will be part of the Clothes4K.I.D.S. Campaign as we distribute different types and sizes of children's wear to recipients of all ages.

Following closely on the heels of the Miami event, K.I.D.S. will partner once again with the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation to provide a mix of product items to children who receive training and life lessons through baseball practice sponsored by the foundation. At the launch of another ball field under the Cal Ripken auspices, K.I.D.S. will present the families merchandise that they can use during sports activities and/or in after-school programs. Attending the event and underscoring its importance will be the Mayor of Greensville, state officials and celebrities.

On April 20th, K.I.D.S. will participate in yet another major distribution event. Carter's will distribute clothes to families on the military base at Ft. Benning, Georgia. This occasion will serve as a pre-Mothers Day event for those women whose husbands are being deployed and will highlight again the value of providing apparel to children of all ages. Carter's has been one of K.I.D.S.' main donors over the past few years both for disaster relief and during times of daily disasters at home. K.I.D.S. remains ever so grateful to this undeterred and unwavering partner.

Another early Mother's Day event will occur on May 6th at the Fort Greene base in Brooklyn, N.Y. when K.I.D.S. will partner with one of its Board members, Debra Joester, and Operation Homefront, to provide clothes to mothers and their children. This occasion will be made possible both through the financial and product donation of the Joesters who recognize the importance of supporting military families as they address the daily and existential challenges they face. As in Fort Benning, the occasion will include food, activities, distributions and speakers.

And, finally, on May 12th, K.I.D.S. and Delta Enterprises will provide cribs to 250 underserved families of Newark Now. As last year, the event will involve inspirational words from public officials, screening for social service support (health care, housing allowances, etc.) and will include a big party full of games, raffles, delicious food and party gifts. Delta Enterprises has been a source of great joy to so many families who would otherwise not have a safe, usable and necessary crib for their toddlers. Without this product, many impoverished babies sleep with their parent, thereby increasing the probability of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.

In all, the first five months of the year initiate and lay the foundation for the remaining months of both campaigns, national and state, clothing and other products, and always involving the local community. Our goals are great for 2012 and through this series of events America will recognize and gain from the work that K.I.D.S. does at the grass-roots level, day-in and day-out.