Saving Ukraine’s Vulnerable Children, Now and Into the Future
Since 2016, the U.S.-based nonprofit Kidsave has been in Ukraine working to find older kids living in orphanages and institutions, or those who aged out, lasting connections with adult mentors and forever families.
But with the onset of war in February 2022, Kidsave expanded its work dramatically.
As the world watched, stunned at the ruthless invasion of Ukraine, sparking an unprecedented humanitarian crisis, Kidsave volunteers jumped into action. What started with a small “boots-on-the-ground” volunteer team grew into dozens. And then hundreds more, as Kidsave mobilized to aid the humanitarian efforts and move the children and families they worked with to safety.
CEO, President, and Co-founder Randi Thompson says, “Children in institutions facing fear, don’t know what’s going on… They have no loving family to count on.” Kidsave volunteers risked their lives and worked to evacuate women, children, and families into safety. Since the start of the war, Kidsave has helped evacuate more than 30,000 people out of active combat zones while feeding another 35,000 each week.
Kidsave’s priority has always been children and families.
Through its Family Visit Model, Kidsave works with local social workers and psychologists to find permanent family care, adoption, or long-term foster care for older children and orphans languishing in institutions. When family placements can’t be made, their model promotes long-term mentoring, providing children support and guidance.
According to The New York Times, Ukraine had 91,000 children in institutional orphanages before the invasion. And certainly, when the fighting is finally over, there will be more children left orphaned.
Kidsave will be there to help them now and after the war is over. “We’re restoring families and investing in trauma therapy. We know that thriving adults, thriving communities, raise healthy children. Kids can be the impetus for the healing of Ukraine,” Thompson says.
While Kidsave shifted its resources from family placement and mentoring to rescue and evacuation during the war, Kidsave has never lost sight of its mission: helping vulnerable kids in foster care and orphanages find families.
Recently, Kidsave’s Ukraine team was gifted 2.4 acres of land in western Ukraine. On that land, Kidsave will plant the seeds of the new Ukraine – by building a center to restore and build families, train professionals on trauma therapy and Kidsave models, and provide a safe place for children in transition.
Kidsave’s goal is to be operational within the year. “It’s a big project, and we’ll be renovating for years,” says Thompson. “But if we can fix up the existing buildings, put in a professional kitchen, and build the training center, we can launch by next summer… and be one step closer to ensuring orphaned children get a fighting chance to rebuild and thrive.”
Director of Development: Liz Crozer
Kidsave helps find forever families for older kids in foster care and orphanages so they can thrive in a home filled with love, support and encouragement.
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I am the evidence of the generational change that adoption brings. Without the adoption of my mother and the path it put her on, I wouldn’t be here. Adoption not only changes the life of the child and the family at the center of it, but it also creates these beautiful ripples that flow from it, and my family is proof of that. And that’s why I am so proud to support organizations like Kidsave who are creating life-changing ripples as champions for older kids in foster care.
Help Kidsave Find Loving Families for More Kids Before They Age Out of the System
Three out of four kids in Weekend Miracles have found adoptive families or a lifelong connection.
“Next year Kidsave will celebrate our 25th anniversary. In honor of this milestone, we are asking 25 local donors to give $1,000 or more. Each gift allows us to help even more children find forever families and get them the love and care they deserve,” says Randi Thompson, Kidsave CEO and co-founder.
Karey Burke and Michael Duggan
California Federation for
Disney Worldwide Services, Inc.
Fund of Boeing California
Leonard Green Foundation
Max and Karel Guefen
The Hicker Family
Conrad N. Hilton Foundation
The Bob and Nita Hirsch
David and Janyce Hoyt
Audrey and Sydney Irmas
Thomas and Dorothy Leavey
Ralph M. Parsons Foundation
M B Seretean Foundation Inc.
Dave Thomas Foundation
Venable Foundation, Inc.
Warner Bros. Television