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Getting this photo in an email today made my day.  These little ones needed some help for clothes, shoes and ok, I admit it, we had to throw a few toys in. Look at these smiles and then tell me you’re not going to help us help them.  Even the coldest heart would melt at this.

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What can YOU do to help us help them?  Make a donation of any amount, go to our website at www.passion4kids.org and select a child to purchase birthday, Christmas or “just because” gifts, donate your gently used children’s clothes, toys and shoes to us so we can send them on to those who aren’t as blessed as some.

Let these smiles be your “thank you” gift! Thanks for pitching in.

And, as always, please make a difference in the life of a child today.

Making a difference for children in need,
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Linda Van Kessler, Co-Founder, Passion 4 K.I.D.S.

 

KollanKollan is only 8 years old but has already lived a life far too sad for his years.  His dad is in jail and his mom abandoned him.  He was placed with a relative who started physically abusing him.  The courts searched for another relative to take him so he didn’t have to go to foster care and a distant cousin stepped up to adopt him.  The financial strain of another mouth to feed is very hard on her but she is determined to take care of Kollan.  She reached out to us for help buying the basics for him – clothes and shoes.  Lisa, one of our amazing supporters, immediately stepped up and showered Kollan with bags full of brand new clothes, shoes and toys.

Thank you, Lisa, and all our other wonderful supporters who see a need and fill it. We can’t do it alone but together we can help one child at a time overcome the struggles they’ve been handed in life.

And, as always, please make a difference in the life of a child today.

Making a difference for children in need,
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Linda Van Kessler, Co-Founder, Passion 4 K.I.D.S.

 

We received the sweetest email from a 5th grader, Amogh, who told us he had selected Passion 4 K.I.D.S. as his project for school. This week he let us know that he had collected boxes and bags full of gently used toys and books for the children in our charity. When we met him to pick up the items, he told us he made a flyer and then went door to door asking his neighbors to search for items they could donate. Our entire trunk and backseat were full as we pulled away with Amogh and his family smiling proudly and waving until we could no longer be seen.

These are such special moments to us when we see children at an early age finding creative ways to help other children in need.

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And, as always, please make a difference in the life of a child today.

Making a difference for children in need,
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Linda Van Kessler, Co-Founder, Passion 4 K.I.D.S.

 

We were so honored to be contacted by Rhea Lana’s of Poway, CA who organized a huge sale of gently used children’s clothes, shoes and toys for many vendors. And to our surprise, they chose Passion 4 K.I.D.S. to be the recipient of the items that were left after the sale.

Charles had great fun picking up the items and meeting the lovely people behind the event. We are going to have a lot of happy children when these beautiful things are distributed! Thank you so much for your kindness.

 

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And, as always, please make a difference in the life of a child today.

Making a difference for children in need,
blue-signature-linda

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Linda Van Kessler, Co-Founder, Passion 4 K.I.D.S.

 

It doesn’t get any sweeter than this. Listen to what these two first graders did for us!

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And, as always, please make a difference in the life of a child today.

Making a difference for children in need,
blue-signature-linda

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Linda Van Kessler, Co-Founder, Passion 4 K.I.D.S.

 

IMG_2475What a surprise to get a call from a husband and wife who are both Navy Commanders stationed in San Diego!  They were searching for ways to give back in this community and found us.  After reading the stories of the children we are honored to serve, they called and jumped on board to help in any way possible.  Already giving up two of their Saturdays, they are spearheading a project to help our family with 18 adopted special needs children.  They are forming a team of their colleagues to tackle home repair and yard projects for the family since both parents are now getting a little older with some health challenges of their own, making it harder to maintain things the way they used to.  We are so grateful to welcome Scott and Marisol (and of course little Aiden) to our Passion 4 K.I.D.S. family.  Their enthusiasm and kindness is infectious.

And, as always, please make a difference in the life of a child today.

Making a difference for children in need,
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Linda Van Kessler, Co-Founder, Passion 4 K.I.D.S.

 

What a beautiful surprise today in the mail. This very special letter came in from a total stranger who lives in Idaho. Many days we are tired and overwhelmed, trying our best to figure out how to help the many children in need that are relying on us to make a significant impact in their lives, despite our very limited financial resources.

Words of encouragement like this mean so much and keep us going – especially when someone just learned of our work through our website and are touched enough to reach out to us.

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And, as always, please make a difference in the life of a child today.

Making a difference for children in need,
blue-signature-linda

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Linda Van Kessler, Co-Founder, Passion 4 K.I.D.S.

 

It’s a proud moment when we can share with our precious grandchildren the charity work we do. Today we took our 3 year old granddaughter, Henley, to the home of one of our families – Myesha, a 7 year Navy veteran, victim of domestic abuse and single mom of 5, including 2-year-old triplets. Henley brought with her two bags of beautiful clothes she had outgrown and lovingly pulled out one of her favorite dresses and handed it to 2-year-old Tiara.

In the car on the way home, I asked Henley how it made her feel when she gave her clothes to another child who didn’t have a daddy, many clothes or toys and even very much food. Without hesitation she proudly said, “It made me happy.”

We hope to have many more of these teachable moments with our little angels as we try to instill in them the joy of giving! Why not try this with your children or grandchildren? They’re never too young to think about others.

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And, as always, please make a difference in the life of a child today.

Making a difference for children in need,
blue-signature-linda

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Linda Van Kessler, Co-Founder, Passion 4 K.I.D.S.

 

What a treat it was to go to Las Vegas for a convention and then get to have lunch with Frankie and his brother, Michael! Frankie was one of the first children we were blessed to help through Passion 4 K.I.D.S. We have missed them since they’ve moved. Although “our” kids may grow up and even move away, we never lose touch as they will always be part of our family.

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And, as always, please make a difference in the life of a child today.

Making a difference for children in need,
blue-signature-linda

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Linda Van Kessler, Co-Founder, Passion 4 K.I.D.S.

 

This year we were blessed with an unprecedented number of people who “adopted” one of ”our” very special children for Christmas, eagerly taking the child’s wish list, purchasing gifts, wrapping them and mailing them off.  Volunteers are the lifeline of Passion 4 K.I.D.S.  We had over 85 children that we provided gifts to this Christmas, all over the country.  These children wouldn’t have had any Christmas gifts without our supporters stepping up.  Their families are struggling due to a child’s injury, accident or life-threatening illness which is draining the family’s funds.

Thanks to each one of you who went above and beyond this year to bless one of these amazing kids!
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And, as always, please make a difference in the life of a child today.

Making a difference for children in need,
blue-signature-linda

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Linda Van Kessler, Co-Founder, Passion 4 K.I.D.S.

25
Dec 2015
TRIPLETS HELPING TRIPLETS!
by passion4KIDS
Now this is unique – we had teenage triplet girls choose our single mom with 2-year-old triplets to “adopt” for Christmas gifts. The girls felt an immediate affinity to these children while searching through our website and, along with their mom and dad, came loaded with gifts for Myesha, the tiny triplets’ mom. Myesha broke down in tears as she received this family’s holiday kindness. This is what we’re all about – helping each other every day of the year.

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And, as always, please make a difference in the life of a child today.

Making a difference for children in need,
blue-signature-linda

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Linda Van Kessler, Co-Founder, Passion 4 K.I.D.S.

22
Dec 2015
SANTA NEEDS A BIGGER SLEIGH
by passion4KIDS
Next year “Santa” is going to have to trade in his everyday car for a uhaul! All week long, the car’s been filled to capacity inside as well as the trunk thanks to the generosity of so many. “Our” kids are going to have an AWESOME Christmas. This year we are providing gifts for 45 children in San Diego County as well as 40 children around the country that we will be shipping to.

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And, as always, please make a difference in the life of a child today.

Making a difference for children in need,
blue-signature-linda

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Linda Van Kessler, Co-Founder, Passion 4 K.I.D.S.

18
Dec 2015
OVERWHELMED WITH GENEROSITY
by passion4KIDS
IMG_1737IMG_1697IMG_1039It has been a most unusual Christmas season for us. For the first time, we have had many people, both locally and around the country, contact us about “adopting” one of “our” kids for Christmas by purchasing them gifts. There is no question that the “givers” are even more excited than the “recipients”. We were literally blown away by the generosity of our supporters as they came with boxes of all sizes, bikes, etc. beautifully wrapped. Each person who “adopted” a child expressed how grateful they were to be able to give back to a child in need this Christmas. It seems that in this world of chaos, those of us who are blessed beyond comprehension are even more determined to make sure that the children suffering in our own country experience some joy.

For Charles and me, just watching this unfold was a Christmas miracle. Santa is definitely going to need a bigger sleigh next year! Thank you from the bottom of our hearts to everyone who showered “our” kids with so much love.

And, as always, please make a difference in the life of a child today.

Making a difference for children in need,
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Linda Van Kessler, Co-Founder, Passion 4 K.I.D.S.

15
Dec 2015
PETCO NEVER CEASES TO AMAZE
by passion4KIDS
IMG_1040For the past several years, the employees at Petco have blessed us by participating in our Christmas party. And this year they certainly went above and beyond. In just 3 short weeks they pulled together, “adopted” many of “our” kids and frantically purchased and wrapped the gifts little ones are eagerly hoping for. We are so humbled by their outpouring of love and generosity. They’ve come to know some of “our” kids now after a few years and love hearing updates on them. Their participation is not an obligation, or to be socially responsible – it comes from their hearts as they work feverishly to make sure each child’s wishes are granted as much as possible. IMG_1042IMG_1043

We are honored and deeply grateful to know these wonderful people.

And, as always, please make a difference in the life of a child today.

Making a difference for children in need,
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Linda Van Kessler, Co-Founder, Passion 4 K.I.D.S.

11
Dec 2015
A MILITARY FAMILY PAYS IT FORWARD
by passion4KIDS
Last May we had a wonderful time hosting a baby shower for 50 military heroes and their growing families. We’ve kept in touch with many of them and love seeing the photos of their newborns. However for one of the families who attended, joy turned to profound grief as their little one passed away shortly after birth.

Much to our amazement, this family contacted us and said they would like to “adopt” one of “our” kids for Christmas. They remembered what Passion 4 K.I.D.S. had done for them and wanted to “pay it forward” even in their sorrow. They came with arms loaded with gifts. That was a special moment we will never forget!IMG_1600
And, as always, please make a difference in the life of a child today.

Making a difference for children in need,
blue-signature-linda

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Linda Van Kessler, Co-Founder, Passion 4 K.I.D.S.

08
Dec 2015
NEVER TOO YOUNG TO HELP
by passion4KIDS
Giovanna was having her 9th birthday and decided she had enough “stuff”. So she asked her friends to bring gifts for “our” kids to her party instead of for herself. Giovanna was excited to give us the gifts herself. She had a huge smile on her face and, along with her proud mom, unloaded their car filled with gifts. She told us she wanted to make sure the kids on our website had “Christmas” this year. What a great lesson that children are never too young to understand about giving to those less fortunate.

And, as always, please make a difference in the life of a child today.

Making a difference for children in need,
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Linda Van Kessler, Co-Founder, Passion 4 K.I.D.S.

04
Dec 2015
TURNING TRAGEDY INTO MEANING
by passion4KIDS
FullSizeRender2What a beautiful moment in our lives today when a mother in our charity who experienced the horrific death of her toddler opened her heart to shower another child in Passion 4 K.I.D.S. with Christmas gifts! Two years ago, little 16-month-old Manny was in the care of his babysitter when she took her eyes off of him, he wandered out the front door into the driveway and was crushed to death by a car backing out of the driveway. I will never forget attending the funeral of that precious little boy.

FullSizeRenderHowever, today Manny’s mom, Delia, holds in her arms little 2-month-old Erik and focuses her thoughts on helping other children when we came to pick up tons of packages she lovingly bought and wrapped with her daughter to help another child in need. It was hard to hold back the tears knowing the profound grief she still holds in her heart.

That’s what Passion 4 K.I.D.S. is all about – helping each other at our darkest moments. And it becomes even more meaningful when it’s one of “our” families helping another of “our” families because they truly understand.

And, as always, please make a difference in the life of a child today.

Making a difference for children in need,
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Linda Van Kessler, Co-Founder, Passion 4 K.I.D.S.

01
Dec 2015
WHY GIVING TUESDAY IS IMPORTANT TO US
by passion4KIDS
6Today is a very important day for Passion 4 K.I.D.S. It is known around the world as “giving Tuesday”. Families, businesses, and individuals all around the globe will join charities for the common purpose of celebrating the life-changing work of non-profits and to give.

On our website is a representation of the U.S. children we are blessed to serve. But those photos are only a small representation of those we help – there are hundreds more whose faces are not pictured. Without Passion 4 K.I.D.S. these children would not get medication desperately needed, their homes or vans would not be handicapped accessible, their electricity would be turned off so their life-saving medical equipment could no longer function, they wouldn’t have food on the table, they wouldn’t have gifts for their birthdays or Christmas, and the list goes on and on.

8We serve a vital missing need in America – helping the hundreds of thousands of children you don’t hear about in the news who, through no fault of their own, are suffering in ways no child should have to, especially in the United States. But we can’t do it alone – we are just two people. We depend on the support of those who realize the importance of our work.

Your donation of just $10 a month (that’s only 33 cents a day!) will help us make the difference in a child’s life. If we all do something, together we can achieve anything!

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Thank you for standing with us to give American children in need the chance they deserve!

And, as always, please make a difference in the life of a child today.

Making a difference for children in need,
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Linda Van Kessler, Co-Founder, Passion 4 K.I.D.S.

24
Nov 2015
BREAKFAST WITH THE GENERAL
by passion4KIDS
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We were honored to have breakfast on base with the Commanding General of Camp Pendleton. He expressed his gratitude for the Military Moms-to-Be Baby Shower we held for 50 women whose husbands are deployed. Out of all the places he has served, he told us the San Diego community has by far been the most welcoming he has ever seen towards their military.

The General offered his assistance if we want to host any additional events geared towards military families in the future. It was an honor to meet him.

And, as always, please make a difference in the life of a child today.

Making a difference for children in need,
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Linda Van Kessler, Co-Founder, Passion 4 K.I.D.S.

13
Nov 2015
WHAT IS YOUR IMPACT?
by passion4KIDS
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Hard to believe it’s been 3 years since we got the call that Aidan, one of “our” handsome and amazing kids, was no longer with us. Ever since meeting this boy with the shy yet infectious personality, we had clung to the hope that his brain cancer just wasn’t that bad and the surgery would prove successful. Each time we saw him he was so full of life that it just didn’t seem possible that this ugly, debilitating, evil disease was lurking inside his young body. His parents, as is the case with all of the moms and dads to “our” special kids, were relentless in their hope, optimism and search for answers that would cure him.

Aidan didn’t make it in the way we all hoped and prayed for, but he did make it in the way God had designed for him. In his short 11 years he touched so many lives and made such a lasting impression on people that a major league pitcher for his favorite team, The Angels, named his newborn son after Aidan after only one encounter with this special young man. Aidan’s parents shared his ipod list with us in the form of a CD which we play to this day. To listen to it, you would be sure that this was the list of a mature, older person who had found peace in their situation. It is filled with songs of heaven, of finding peace in suffering.

We had lunch with his wonderful parents this week, and they were so honest about their daily struggles of life after Aidan. There is the ready smile that is genuine but to those that “know”, just can’t hide what lies underneath and deep in their hearts. His mom wears a necklace with his name and fingerprints on it. His dad shared how little things trigger memories that are beautiful yet painful.

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I was reminded again of how small my seemingly “big” problems really are when I sit with a couple who has lost their only son, yet still find the courage to go on with strength and dignity.

When the little things of life try to steal the joy from your day ask yourself, “Does getting upset over this really matter enough to waste one second of my life on?” Tomorrow is promised to no one, no matter our age. Make each second count. Does your life have the kind of impact Aidan’s did when people meet you?
And, as always, please make a difference in the life of a child today.

Making a difference for children in need,
blue-signature-linda

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Linda Van Kessler, Co-Founder, Passion 4 K.I.D.S.