Congratulations to Kids Helping Kids Pasco County for being applauded by Avalon Park Wesley Chapel.
The nonprofit organization was founded in 2018 by president Michelle Patel, who was looking for ways for her family to serve the community together. Patel didn’t find many local opportunities for children to be involved, until a sandwich-making project in the community became the ‘building blocks’ for Kids Helping Kids Pasco County.
The nonprofit strives to be a source of assistance to local, low-income families that are struggling financially but may be unable to receive assistance elsewhere.
“We have a ‘no questions asked’ policy when it comes to most of the support we provide. If a family reaches out in need of support, we will do everything in our power to help them,” says vice president Dara Dimeler.
Kids Helping Kids Pasco County has a few projects it does every year, such as its summer food drive and holiday toy drive.
“Our Teen Advisory Board helps to guide our projects every year – they provide valuable insight into the needs of their peers,” says Patel.
The organization also has started installing some Free Little Libraries around the area, and are doing more routine road cleanups.
The two Little Libraries are located at the RCMA Dade City Learning Center and the Pasco Woods Apartments in Wesley Chapel.
“We supply the books, and we have volunteers that routinely check on the libraries to make sure they are not damaged and are fully stocked,” says Dimeler.
Patel says the nonprofit’s greatest achievement to date has been its COVID-19 food project.
“When schools abruptly closed in March 2020, the access for food was initially very limited within our county. We saw a need and stepped in immediately to provide supplemental food to families that had suddenly lost the food support they would have otherwise been receiving through free/reduced school lunches,” says Patel.
Together with the help of more than 100 volunteers, community donations and business sponsors, Kids Helping Kids Pasco County provided more than 27,000 meals over a 21-week period.
“Watching the community come together in what was such a unique and confusing time was absolutely amazing to witness, and something I personally will never forget,” says Patel.
For Patel, the most rewarding part of founding Kids Helping Kids Pasco County is the impact the nonprofit has on these young children.
“Watching a child with a smile on their face genuinely wanting to help make a difference in their community is what keeps me going. We’ve had the opportunity to watch many of these young volunteers grow over the years, step up into their community and really make a difference,” says Patel.
Kids Helping Kids Pasco County is currently looking for a fundraising chair. The nonprofit also is looking to fill spots on its Back to School Planning Committee. Ideal volunteers for this role would be available to work through the summer to plan and execute its drive scheduled for July 30, 2022. Both of these roles would be adult-held positions.
For more information on how to support or volunteer for the nonprofit, call 813-957-5711.
Be sure to follow the nonprofit on Facebook (Facebook.com/KidsHelpingKidsPasco) and Instagram (@kidshelpingkidspasco).