What is Carrie’s Kids?
Carrie’s Kids is a volunteer ministry that provides outreach, clubs, groups, events, and programs that promote dignity, build social and life skills, nurture potential, and instill self-sufficiency to qualified children and teens who enjoy a safe learning environment or are at risk or even homeless in the Bismarck-Mandan area. Carrie’s Kids believes that all children and teens are created with a purpose. Carrie’s Kids, with the help of community volunteers and support, is committed to the youth we serve through innovative problem solving, shared responsibility and a relentless focus on achieving real goals through sustainable and measurable outcomes. Carrie’s Kids has a holistic focus so children/teens thrive at home, at school and in the community. I feel Carrie’s Kids is a VIP Club for children and teens and their families. We are blessed to be such an amazing part of a growing community. Carrie’s Kids became a 501(c)3 in January 2012. On August 1, 2012 Carrie’s Kids decided to expand and leased a building on south 12th street in Bismarck. The 4,000 square feet building has a kitchen, a gym, and a place for kids to hang out.
How long has Carrie’s Kids been around?
Carrie’s Kids began in Febraury of 2006, during Trinity Lutheran Church’s 40 Days of Community worship campaign. During that campaign the congregation picked an ongoing service project that would affect the area where they live. A Carrie’s Kids Task Force was formed to coordinate efforts to impact these important children/teens in the Bismarck/Mandan area of North Dakota. At that time I was working as a liason with the Bismarck Public School District, working with kids who were in transition. I’m still doing that today, just from my own building.
What makes Carrie’s Kids unique?
The children and teens! They are the best. We feel like one big, growing family. We are working together to help each other and make a difference every single day. Last year we helped about 2,800 children, teens, and families. These are kids who are “at risk” for a variety of reasons. Homelessness doesn’t look like what we see on television. In our area, it’s not people sleeping on the streets. It’s people moving around, living with different friends and family, trying to save up for their own place, but just never quite making enough to achieve that. It costs a lot to rent an apartment, and for many of the families we help, it’s an expense they just can’t afford. Many times mom is working three jobs but it isn’t enough. Sometimes there are addiction issues, or abusive relationships. It breaks my heart to see kids in those situations. They didn’t choose that life. We work with them to help them realize they have value and we teach them how to be a contributing member of society. And we also let them be kids, something that many of these at-risk kids don’t often get to experience. I want them to be proud to be a part of Carrie’s Kids.
Can people donate to your organization?
Yes! Donations keep us going! There are several ways for people to donate, including online through PayPal and by shopping Amazon Smile. Superior Silk Screen, Inc. has been so awesome in helping us collect items. If you have things to donate, just drop them off there (1030 S. 18th Street in Bismarck). I’m always looking for volunteers too. There’s a place on our website where you can sign up to volunteer.
What are your needs right now?
Winter is coming – right now we really need snow pants, snow boots, and food.
If someone needs help, how can they contact you?
There are lots of ways to get in touch with us. My phone is always on and I encourage people to text me at 701-390-3201. You can also email carrie@carries kids.com. Referrals can be made on our website, www.carrieskids.com