Kindness for Kids, Inc. was established in 1994 as an all-volunteer charitable organization for the sole purpose of helping less fortunate children in Oneida County receive the spirit of the holiday season. It began with a vision of helping out local children by inspiring the collective spirit of our community. Kindness for Kids coordinated the placement of toy collection boxes at area merchants and businesses, which has become a visual connection for our community during the Christmas season. The donated toys are collected, sorted, and distributed right back into the community from which the generosity was propagated. One hundred percent of the toys and money collected each year goes back into this effort to improve the lives of our local children. Kindness for Kids also provides stuffed animals to the Oneida County Domestic Abuse Shelter, the Oneida County Sheriff’s Department, the Rhinelander Police Department and the Oneida Rescue Squad to comfort children who are in crisis all year long.
Our first year consisted of primarily collecting used toys. They were washed in bleach water and checked for any missing parts or disrepair. During this time we wrapped and delivered the toys to the families personally. We served 38 families the first year in 1994 and it has continuously grown. During the Christmas season of 2008, Kindness for Kids helped deliver the spirit of the season to 189 families; nearly 500 children in our community. We consider ourselves a means of spreading the generosity, love, sharing, and kindness of the community; we simply collect, organize, package, and make sure it gets to those in need. The coordination between many local organizations helps us accomplish our primary goal of reaching all kids in our surrounding area who find themselves in less fortunate situations.
We have expanded our mission over the past several years to include providing emergency relief for families in our community who become victims of disaster such as fire. We provide them items of necessity as well as toys. We understand that children caught up in these situations need the comfort of toys as well as clothing and food. To a child, a toy can be a symbol of love, hope, and comfort so we continue to look for every opportunity to help.
Kindness for Kids is made up of volunteers who make it possible to continue our vision. As a community based organization, we are continuously searching for ways to help needy children and families who are burdened by circumstances beyond their control.