The overarching mission of Kids to Love is to meet the immediate needs of children living in foster care. Since incorporation in 2004, the Kids to Love Foundation has been able to reach over 275,000 foster children, rescuing them and meeting their needs.
Our first commitment is to find forever families for foster children, and we are working to create those lifelong bonds by recruiting adoptive parents through training initiatives and outreach. Our founder and CEO, Lee Marshall, a former foster and adoptive child herself, is continuously sharing the stories of children waiting to be adopted on our social media platforms. As a result of our outreach, the number of Alabama children in foster care has decreased 30% statewide.
Kids to Love also helps foster kids succeed through several educational and career-skills programs that range from a simple backpack filled with school supplies to cutting-edge technology and robotics training:
Davidson Farms—Our Davidson Farms for girls provides a refuge for local orphaned and abandoned tween and teen girls. Since 2017, 20 girls have called Davidson Farms home. In 2020 alone, Davidson Farms provided 7,655 Meals, 2,555 Nights of Safe Shelter, 365 Hours of Counseling and Therapy, and 165 days of Virtual Homeschool Support.
Cottage Community — In September 2020 we celebrated our next growth at Davidson Farms, our Cottage Community! These homes will be a bridge to independence as the young ladies continue their education or begin a career while remaining under the guidance of the Kids to Love team of mentors.
Child Placement Agency – New in 2021, Kids to Love launched the Child Placement Agency that will match foster children to foster families who can meet their needs. There are currently 6,358 children in the foster care system in Alabama, but only 2,294 foster homes. These children can move on average of seven times before they even turn 18. Then tragically, every year 20,000 kids age out of the foster care system never having a family to call their own. Since January of this year alone, we have received 150 calls from Alabama DHR looking to place a child. With 2 social workers now on staff to train potential foster families we can help alleviate a huge problem in our state.
More than a Backpack Campaign—Each summer, we equip 6,000 foster children in Alabama and Tennessee for their new school year with backpacks and school supplies.
Christmas for the Kids—Each year, Kids to Love works with social workers to collect Christmas wish lists from foster children, and then we invite the community to sponsor a wish list or donate individual items. In 2020, Kids to Love filled the wish lists for 1,948 foster children.
KTECH—In 2016, we launched KTECH, a cutting-edge program and facility offering Mechatronics/Advanced Manufacturing training to young adults living in foster care, veterans, and non-traditional students. In 2018, our KTECH curriculum expanded to include soldering and robotics classes. Students enrolled in KTECH also participate in our LifeLab, which develops and promotes life skills. Since 2016, KTECH has delivered 64 Mechatronics Graduates with a 100% completion rate and issued 143 certifications with the addition of soldering and robotics. 91% of our students were offered jobs or continued higher education.
Food Boxes for Foster Families—This food service began during the Pandemic to help support and sustain our foster families. In 2020, Kids to Love distributed 5,274 fresh food boxes to families across Northern Alabama.
Camp Hope—More than half of the thousands of Alabama foster children are separated from their siblings. Our Camp Hope provides an opportunity for these siblings to reunite and spend a fun week/weekend together. Since 2016, 842 siblings have reconnected at Camp Hope and spent precious time bonding and just being a kid.
Scholarships—Every spring, we offer scholarships for certification training, trade schools, and 2 and 4-year college tuition to help the career dreams of foster children become reality. Since 2005, the Kids to Love Foundation has awarded 836 scholarships.
See Meth, Stop Meth— This Kids to Love initiative is a tip line that allows the public to anonymously report people who may be making, dealing, or using meth. The Kids to Love Foundation then turns those tips over to district attorneys and/or law enforcement. More than 4,000 tips from 44 states have resulted in more than 500 arrests. More than 2,000 of these tips involved children living in drug-infested homes. In those cases, DHR is also notified.