Caring for Kids is an all volunteer organization helping kids in need in Lakewood, Joint Base Lewis McChord, Steilacoom and University Place. All of the money we raise goes directly to help our kids, as we work through our local schools and community organizations. We provide school supplies, clothing, hygiene and dental products, food, books, ready to learn materials and holiday gifts. In addition we also collaborate with the Methodist Church Friday Dinners, the Fish Food Bank and the Food Connection Food Truck in Springbrook. Caring for Kids now has their own 501©3. All donations are tax deductible.
Caring for Kids Projects
Each year the Holiday Fair helps more than 2,000 kids and their families with food gift baskets for the holidays.
Held in mid-August, Ready to Learn Fair is an annual event which provides over 1800 students with new and good used clothing, new school supplies, immunizations, vision and hearing screening, dental screenings, free haircuts, $6 bike helmets, hygiene and dental products, books to read and a free lunch. Free sports physicals were provided to secondary students.
CFK Food Bank supplies immediate emergency food to families through the schools and community partners.
Emergency Food Packets are supplied to schools and after school programs. These packets contain a canned meal (chili, ravioli, chicken and noodles, etc.), a can of fruit and a cup of soup. This program meets the immediate needs of hungry kids.
The CFK Clothing Bank was established to provide free clothing to kids in need and their families. The clothing bank runs year-round.
The School Supply bank also runs year round . In addition to pens, notebooks, etc., deodorant, toothpaste, flosses and toothbrushes are also accessible through the school supply bank. The Life Skills Class at Lakes High School manages the CFK School Supply Bank as part of their work-training program.
We provide Dental Care Kits to our kids in need. Each kit includes a toothbrush, toothpaste and dental floss with a loving reminder to brush and floss in the morning and at bed time.
In celebration of the NEA sponsored Read Across America on March 2nd, a 1,000 New Books are distributed to Headstart and ECEAP (at-risk preschoolers) and some of the needier kindergarten students. Our purpose is to encourage parents and students to read at home and to put a new book in the hands of our kids in need. We purchase the books for thirty-five cents through the national organization First Books.
Barbara Smith, Clover Park Homeless Liaison coordinator, ” I work daily with over 300 homeless students that our district has identified. If not for the generosity of CFK, these children would have nowhere to turn for clothing and school supplies.”
Each year approximately 500 Growing Up Is Fun Bags are assembled and distributed to low income preschool parents. Each bag provides instructional materials and supplies to help parents prepare their kids for school.
CFK “Kids Helping Kids” Work Team is composed of special needs students from the Alfaretta House, Clover Park H.S. and Lakes H.S. The Alfaretta House runs the Kids Helping Kids Balloon Bouquets business,assembles ABC necklaces for the Growing Up Is Fun Bags, assembles toothbrush kits, collects ink cartridges and cell phones, prepares books for distribution and fills bags for the weekend backpack program. Lakes and Clover Park run the school supply bank and work at packing baby clothes and organizing the warehouse.
Baby Clothes Packets are prepared by the Caring for Kids work team. Used clothing is processed and packed into bags (6 outfits per bag ) and distributed through the clothing bank and WIC ( Women, Infants and Children Program)
In collaboration with Northwest Harvest we provide Weekend Bags of Food. Caring for Kids provides the bags and the work team processes and delivers the food to four elementary schools. Approximately 100 kids a weekend.
List of Needs
Money to purchase socks, shoes, school supplies, pants, underwear, and hygiene products for the Clothing Bank.
Holiday Fair donations of new clothing, gifts and money
New or good used children’s and young adult clothing.
New or good used toys, stuffed animals and games
New School supplies
New or good used books
Non-perishable food (especially meals in a can (chili. ravioli, etc), fruit, peanut butter, tuna, etc.) for our emergency food packets and the food closet.
Hygiene products such as shampoo, conditioner, toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant and dental floss (unused hotel amenities too)
Household goods blankets, silverware, plates, etc
Glasses and hearing aides (for the Lion’s)
Auction items for our February auction – a major fundraiser