Monday, May 31, 2010

2010 for KIDS by KIDS bike-a-thon

"The bike-a-thon is very exciting.  Exciting!!  Woo hoo!"

The 2nd annual for KIDS by KIDS bike-a-thon was a huge hit!

Biker participation was about double, bringing eighty children out to bike for child abuse prevention and response.

 There were 150 people in total attendance, up 50% from last year!


We raised a couple hundred dollars more than last year.  Each organization will receive the exact same in impact -- $600!  This little event - hosted by little boys, and attended by their little friends and children within the community - will go a long way, and make a huge impact in the lives of other children all around us.  You raised $1,200!!!

We prayed for sun and no rain, both of which we received.  However, we also received strong, chilly winds.  The end result was more of a bounce-a-thon...  Kids bouncing.  Adults bouncing.  Everyone bouncing and having a wonderful time!

The bike raffle brought in more than $150.  Thanks to Target, WalMart and Bed Bath & Beyond for the donations that made it possible.  And to my friend Pam for the genius idea!

The hot dog stand and impromptu bake sale brought it more than $300.  Thanks to Sonic, HyVee, and Price Chopper for their generous donations.  And thanks to my father-in-law and mother-in-law for slaving over the grill!

Hats off to Kids on a Mission, the Fairchild family, the Shrader boys, and the animal balloon crew.  You kids are really the heart and soul of this event.  We are so honored to know you.  If we could handpick our kids' friends, we'd handpick you over, and over, and over again!!

And to the countless other volunteers...  Thank you!  We couldn't pull this off without your help.  Know that you have made a difference in our community.

Already looking forward to next year...  Brainstorming about how to make it even better!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

2010 Event Details

Second annual
for KIDS
by KIDS 

Benefiting Sunflower House and Kansas Children's Service League.

When:   May 8, 2010

Where:  Westside Family Church
               8500 Woodsonia Drive
               Lenexa, KS

Cost:  $5 per biker (paid at check-in)

Registration:  Email biker name and age to

Bring your helmet and bicycle or trike.  Kids will bike to their heart's content, enjoy a carnival atmosphere including bounce houses, balloon animals, face painting, temporary tattoos and colored hairspray, meet Happy Bear, enjoy a hot dog and eat a popsicle or two!

Support child abuse awareness in our community and be a friend to a child in need - 100% of the proceeds will be split between these two amazing organizations.

Who's idea was the bike-a-thon? 

In early May 2009, my five year old son asked me about orphans.  We talked about the typical "orphans" that come to mind for most American families --- poor children with no parents in far away countries.  Service, compassion and awareness are important values in our family, so we took the conversation further.  We discussed children in our own community who have been "orphaned" emotionally (and sometimes literally) - living a life of abuse and neglect.  

As we talked about parents sometimes mistreating their children, starving them, hitting them, touching them inappropriately, saying terrible things to them ... my son abruptly said, "I know what we should do, Mom!  We should collect them - the kids whose parents don't treat them right.  You should interview families and figure out which kids need to be protected and bring them to live with us."  Knowing that bringing every abused child to live with us isn't possible, my husband and I didn't want to leave this discussion with a simple "no".

We talked as a family about ways we could help.  Ultimately, we came up with the idea to have a bike-a-thon to raise funds for two of our favorite child abuse awareness, prevention, response and victims' advocacy organizations.

What were the benefits of the first bike-a-thon?

July 2009 was our first bike-a-thon.  We'd expected to ride bikes around with our cousins and a handful of friends, but ended up with about 100 people in attendance!  We had 25 volunteers (including 7 teenagers and 3 kids ages 2-11), 36 bikers, and 37 parents.  A total of $755 was raised, but thanks to a matching program at Kansas Children's Service League, the total impact was $1,140.

I had the honor and privilege of talking with parents about how our family came to be connected with Sunflower House. I (privately) shared my story of an abusive childhood, God's saving grace, and the support groups that I now lead at our church.  Westside Family Church is serious about reaching wounded men and women and providing a safe place for one to recover from the devastating effects of sexual abuse.

There were numerous conversations about the proactive steps parents can take to keep their kids safe.  Sunflower House and Kansas Children's Service League each place a high priority on educating adults and making personal safety discussions as easy and natural as possible. 

And there were even conversations between parents and children about how sometimes adults hurt kids. As one mom baked with her children, the kids asked questions about the purpose of this event. As their mother began talking with them about foster children and child abuse, it occurred to her that their family had had many conversations about families that struggle financially due to job loss, or families where a parent or child has lost their battle with a terrible illness, but she'd never talked with them about how sometimes parents hurt their children. When their discussions were over, her children understood that, through this bike-a-thon, we were helping to make lives a little easier for children who have struggled through some things that should never ever happen. I believe that in many households compassion grew through this event.

And 43 kids in attendance (not to mention the ones who baked for our bake sale but couldn't attend) got to see first hand just what a difference children can make!  The event couldn't have been pulled off without parental assistance, but the bike-a-thon truly is for KIDS by KIDSFrom ages 1 to 15, these children pulled together to meet the needs of other children.  They are inspiring.

What is the dream?

Our family prays for the complete eradication of child abuse.  Knowing that child abuse is an epidemic around the world, we place a huge emphasis on the need for all adults to be well-educated in child abuse prevention, recognition and response.  We wholeheartedly support the efforts of Sunflower House and Kansas Children's Service League as they strive to make extremely difficult situations as bearable as possible for victims of abuse.

How can you help?

Gather your friends and come out to the bike-a-thon.  Have a garage sale, bake sale or lemonade stand and donate the proceeds to Sunflower House and Kansas Children's Service League.  Attend a sexual abuse prevention class and implement what you learn into your daily life.  Advocate to bring these classes into your church, schools and other organizations.  Talk openly with friends and family members about the importance of child abuse prevention and awareness.  Volunteer.  Become a foster family.  The possibilities are endless!

If you decide to send a donation directly to Sunflower House or Kansas Children's Service League, we'd love to hear about it!  Our children - now ages 3 and 6 - enthusiastically count and celebrate every penny raised 

for KIDS by KIDS.

Thank you for caring about the kids around you!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Event sponsors

A huge thank you to area businesses who so generously support the for KIDS by KIDS bike-a-thon.  All supplies and activities at the bike-a-thon have been donated by these sponsors so that 100% of the proceeds can go to Sunflower House and Kansas Children's Service League.  Thank you for making this event happen, once again, with absolutely no budget!

Families and children all over the Kansas City area thank you.

15400 Shawnee Mission Parkway
Shawnee, KS  66227

16637 Midland Drive
Shawnee, KS  66217

Frito Lay

13550 W. 63rd Street
Shawnee, KS  66216

Kansas City Kansas Community College
Athletic Department
7250 State Avenue
Kansas City, KS  66112

12219 Shawnee Mission Parkway
Shawnee Mission, KS  66216

Magic Twister Inflatables

20080 W. 151st
Olathe, KS  66062

Price Chopper
22210 W. 66th Street
Shawnee, KS  66203
8311 Hedge Lane Terrace
Shawnee, KS  66226

Super Target
15700 Shawnee Mission Parkway
Shawnee, KS  66217

US Toy
2008 W. 103rd Terrace
Leawood, KS  66206

16100 W. 65th Street
Shawnee, KS  66217

12801 Kansas Avenue
Bonner Springs, KS  66012
8500 Woodsonia Drive
Lenexa, KS  66227

Monday, February 22, 2010