Kids Helping Kids Program Gives Winter Coats To Those In Need

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Volunteers gathered at founder Bob Eslick’s Old Bethpage home to help pack winter coats for those in need.

Every autumn, Kids Helping Kids (KHK) Making a Warmth of Difference brings both youngsters and adults together at its Winter Apparel Packing Day in an effort to provide children in need with new, branded apparel for the cold winter months. The event was once again held this year on Nov. 3 at the Old Bethpage home of founder Bob Eslick.

The importance of the program is something that is never lost on Eslick, the program’s executive director.

“They can look and feel like their peers and stay warm during the cold winter months soon to be upon us,” Eslick said in a Facebook video at the packing day event. “All of this culminates in our Kids Helping Kids Benefit.”

The theme of this year’s benefit, to be held at Oheka Castle on Dec. 6, is “Visions” and it will honor 16-year-old Christopher Duffley and 10-year-old Kaelyn Mc Candless. Duffley was born prematurely, weighing 1 pound, 12 ounces, and was rendered blind due to Retinopathy of Prematurity and is autistic. Meanwhile, Kaelyn is fighting brain cancer. Diagnosed in the summer of 2016, the tumor was removed, followed by a month of radiation and 12 months of chemotherapy, ending on Dec, 7, 2017. New scans have indicated that the cancer has spread into the membranes/lining of her brain.

“Christopher and Kaelyn are both an inspiration to us all,” said Eslick. “In a world with challenges that we all face, none compare to those that they both have endured.”

The Making a Warmth of Difference winter apparel program has benefited thousands of kids most in need. This program focuses on obtaining only new, high-profile branded winter apparel for kids, allowing them to stay warm. Since the inception of this program in 2004, Kids Helping Kids has distributed more than $5.5 million in winter apparel. Kids Helping Kids by Kids Way Inc. was founded in 1997 Eslick’s then 9-year-old son Robert, now 30, with a mission to encourage philanthropy in young people. Members have spent thousands of volunteer hours via a variety of programs with a vision, a dedication and a drive that addresses various community and individual needs. Eslick said it began with a legacy of community service to improve the quality of life for many, specifically “kids in need.”

“Kids learn by helping, volunteering and seeing those less fortunate remain with them forever in their lives, making them want to be the next generation of givers and philanthropist on multiple levels as they grow from a kid, to a teenager, to a young adult and have their own kids and careers in life,” said Eslick. “We have seen and heard this from parents who’s kids volunteered with KHK for many years who are now out of college and in their own careers.”

For more information on Kids Helping Kids and its upcoming benefit, call 516-249-9449 or email happykidsclub@aol.com.

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