Started by a 17 year old founder, Theresa Grzenia, in 2012 4 K.I.D.S Sake developed from the passion of a young girl who felt there was an unmet demand not being met to fulfill the needs of a staggering number of children in difficult situations. Theresa was introduced to community service at a young age, volunteering side by side with her mother who worked at a local food pantry as a supervisor as well as at countless local non profits from the beginning of Theresa’s youth. There were many times when she witnessed, in a saturation of organizations fulfilling such a wide range of needs for children, that so many were still falling through the cracks and weren’t able to receive the help they desperately needed.
Theresa didn’t understand how in an entire network of organizations set out to assist these children there was still such a large amount of needs not being met. There are too many children and families going through a multitude of steps and organizations seeking assistance only to not fit the qualifications to have their request fulfilled. 4 K.I.D.S Sake was founded on the belief that services for children in need are incredibly dynamic. We don't believe that one child’s needs should be taken at a different regard than another’s because after all, they are all children in need. After reaching out to supportive family and friends with an idea to change these flaws and fulfill the needs of children in difficult situations no matter what that need may be, the groundwork towards creating the foundation of 4 K.I.D.S Sake began.
To this day we have helped about 10,000 children with differing needs in a multitude of situations. Whether that means filling a request for a family that made a selfless choice to foster a family members 4 drug addicted then abandoned children for outdoor toys or a swing set as they were low income and received no assistance as they weren’t “official” foster parents or providing car seats as there are no official organizations that do just that either. We have filled requests for families with a child with a life threatening illness with other children in the family that can’t afford a birthday cake or a gift for that child.
4 K.I.D.S Sake believes that children are entirely unique and to fulfill such a wide range of these unmet needs we provide services for four key areas: Health & Wellness, Educational Richness, Financial Resourcefulness, and Happiness. We are very unique in what we do as we review every request on a case by case basis with the resources that we have. The needs are endless and we are here to fulfill every uncommon yet significant need that we can. Our goal is to help as many as we can so that no child in need will ever fall through the cracks
Statement from the Founder, Theresa Grzenia:
I started forming the organization in 2011 after witnessing numerous times where children that were in need were not being helped by no fault of their own but rather due to the restrictive criteria the social system or other organizations have (where they live, what the need is, are their parents involved in different groups, what religion do they practice); while I do not fault these organizations, these children still desperately needed support. We helped where we could and advocated to others in support of these children and was able to get assistance for these children.
In 2012 4 K.I.D.S. Sake was "officially" launched and with the help of Family, Friends and members of the community we set out to make sure that any child in need would find assistance through us. We continue to be a volunteer driven agency and all proceeds raised by 4 K.I.D.S. Sake goes directly to the programs to support the children.
We found that there are many children focused agencies that want to assist everyone possible and unfortunately many of the families in need are not aware of them, or the agencies that they do know about, don't focus on the need of that child. We do not want to "re-create the wheel" but rather be able to fix the spokes between these agencies and the children in need and have been able to create partnerships with many of these agencies throughout the years. While we have been able to directly impact the lives of approximately 3,000 children since our inception there are numerous others that we have been able to advocate on behalf of or make the connections with other agencies that may be able to give more focused support for these children. In that way the child gets the support that they need.
One of the first programs that we did was a registration for Bone Marrow donors looking for a potential match for a 16 year old girl who was in need of, in her battle with cancer. During the event were were able to sign up over 800 people to the National Bone Marrow Registry (Be the Match); I was proud to be able to join it myself. Within 6 months I was contacted by the registry stating that I was a potential match for a recipient and if I would continue with further testing to verify, I was able to complete the testing while attending my freshman year of college and was notified towards the end of the year that I was the primary match and before my 19th birthday I was able to be a bone marrow donor.
We try to focus on the little things that seem to make the biggest difference in a child's life whether it be something as small as food and nutrition, holiday gifts, school supplies, physicals and fees; creating programs for special needs children as well as mentoring and empowering children to take the lead in the community in getting involved with helping others; through support for the children that are fighting life threatening illnesses. We have done all of these and continue to impact the lives of all these children as well as the community through direct support, advocacy, community involvement, partnerships with other agencies and corporations.
We strive to make sure that:
No Child in need will fall through the Cracks!