Kids in Crisis (KIC) Board of Directors have always claimed that they are fortunate to live in a community where people sincerely care for others and especially the children.  That caring was recently displayed by Abilene resident Vernon Howard when he donated more than $26,000 to Kids in Crisis, which serves Dickinson County.

 “I was so overjoyed,” board treasurer Louise Habacker said.  “What a lovely donation from a very kind gentleman!

 The first case that might fit into the seriously ill child funding came to Kids in Crisis this week and will take a couple of days to review need and find collaboration with local agencies.

 When the Seriously Ill Child fund was described to Vernon, also known by Vernie, he said, “I think that sounds good!  I just want to help people!”

 Of course, helping children is what KIC is all about with board members having approved more than 20,000 cases since KIC’s founding in 2007.

 KIC helps hundreds of children annually at the Back to School fair, and assists hundreds, some years into the thousands of family members with food boxes for Thanksgiving.

 KIC has board members associated with every school in Dickinson County who can be contacted when needs for children arise and will help children with health needs, even assisting those children who need to visit doctors in hospitals out of town.  Whether the assistance is in the visual, dental, hearing or mental category KIC is willing to assist.

 The most expensive health challenge since KIC’s founding cost more than $13,000  as the student needed expensive equipment to assist with daily needs. KIC tries to collaborate with other non-profits at that time to share costs.

 “Costs may be large at times,” board president Amy Meysenberg said, “but nothing stops us from every effort we can make to help the children. Sometimes when a child needs glasses, for example, costs are softened by doctors who have special funds for such glasses and we certainly appreciate that.”

 KIC not only assists with classroom needs for the children, as far as special books, advanced math calculators, instruments for band, etc, students can be helped with all kinds of extra-curricular items including needs for cheerleading and dance.

 A huge need this year is assistance for counseling. The pandemic has affected youth in many ways, some serious and needing to bring in trained counselors for help.  KIC is happy to pay for that.

 Most of the youth KIC helps qualify for free or reduced lunches at school, but some assistance is given to students whose parents are facing loss of jobs that may be a  temporary loss but still leaves the parents in need for current  assistance.

“Our mission is strong,” Meysenberg said.  “We want to help children in any way so they can be stronger in the school classroom.”

 Vernon Howard’s donation is certainly going to help do that.


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