Kidsave is changing the world one child at a time
Eight million children worldwide are living in orphanages and institutions, according to the Kidsave website, which further states that more than 442,000 children are currently in the U.S. foster care system. And a handful of dedicated individuals – with scores of volunteers — are working tirelessly to change those statistics by giving children a voice and a choice about who becomes family for them. Together they create change, so children grow up in families and connected to caring adults. That is the mission of Kidsave.
Operating under the mantra that it is not alright for kids to go through life without a family, Randi Thompson, president, CEO and co-founder, along with Terry Baugh, created Kidsave after seeing first-hand the deplorable conditions for foster children and orphans in Russia and Kazakhstan.
At a Glance
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Year founded: 1997
Year presented: 2020
Size: 3 - 30 employees
In 1999, they gave 177 older orphanage children from eastern Europe summer vacations in the U.S. with American families – and 97% of those children were adopted.That provided the basis for Kidsave’s Family Visit Model, a program designed to help older orphanage and foster kids in Russia, Colombia, Ukraine and the U.S. find parents and committed mentors.
And in the U.S., Kidsave is helping older, forgotten kids in foster care find adoptive parents and lasting connections to caring adults through its Weekend Miracles program.
The payoff has been huge. “Some of our kids from 1999 are now parents raising families, others are now working, because we gave them that one thing – family – and the support they don’t get in the system,” says Thompson. “Our kids are amazing survivors, and they inspire us every day. “And I’m so in awe of the families that step up for these kids, because it’s a lot. These people open their homes and their hearts. They are in the trenches every day, and they are extraordinary. They are my heroes.”
She places Kidsave’s employees in the hero category as well. “This isn’t a typical 40-hour a week job, not when peoples’ lives are at stake and kids are out there waiting for families. My employees do so much more than go to work. They have a passion that sets them apart, and every single one of them feels they are making a difference.”
Thompson says it’s more than just a job for her employees. The greatest compliment they can give me is that Kidsave never gets old, because to work in a nonprofit means giving up certain material acquisitions, especially for younger people. Something larger has to make the job worth doing. For all of us, we get much more out of work than a paycheck, we get to see the lives we change — and that keeps us going strong.”
This proved especially true during the pandemic of 2020, when live events became virtual, and organizations like Kidsave saw much of the philanthropy and grants they depend on dwindle. An HR partner like Insperity became more valuable than ever.
“I’ve spent more time with Insperity this year than I ever have, and everything they’ve done around the pandemic has been amazing. I’m sure there are clients with much greater needs than mine, but you’d never know it. Everything Insperity handles takes a tremendous amount of stress off me.”
Thompson says Kidsave believes strongly in the power of the individual. “When families are healthy, we have a much stronger world. And that’s close to Insperity’s mission of helping businesses succeed so communities prosper. When I get guidance from Insperity, it’s clear that people are always top of mind. Insperity has been a great partner.”
Thompson says Kidsave is happy to partner with Insperity and honored to receive this award. “We’re this one tiny little client, but we like to think of ourselves as the little engine that could. We do a lot of good work that’s also big work, and Insperity helps us focus on our business instead of worrying about the things that they’re experts in,” says Thompson.
“My employees… have a passion that sets them apart, and every single one of them feels they are making a difference.” Randi ThompsonKidsave president, CEO and co-founder