How We Operate

Alice’s Kids has served 828 children thus far in 2017!
Representative Don Beyer honors Alice’s Kids in the November 14, 2017 Congressional Record!

How We Operate

Identifying The Children

Alice’s Kids has a network of almost 500 teachers, counselors, county social workers and others in the Washington DC metropolitan area who contact us when they identify a child with a particular need. We do not accept requests from the general public. In addition, working with the national organization “Communities in Schools” we have begun serving children in Los Angeles, Nashville, Seattle, Tulsa, Harrisburg, San Antonio and other cities.

The request describes the family’s situation (e.g., father arrested, mother hospitalized, house burned down), the desired item and the cost. We respond to the request within 24 hours. We do not provide assistance for food, housing, utilities or medical care as fulfillment of those needs are offered by other charities. We serve children who are school age – from kindergarten to high school.

How Is Assistance Provided?

All requests are approved by the Executive Director. In most cases, Alice’s Kids pays for the item by issuing a check to the appropriate entity (e.g., Fairfax County Park Authority for summer camp or Adams High School for senior dues). In cases where a gift card is the only option (e.g., to purchase soccer cleats, summer clothes, a new bike), we determine the approximate cost and the appropriate store and electronically transmit the gift card to the referrer. The referrer then passes the card on to the parent or guardian and informs them that the card can only be used for the desired item. We ask for a receipt.

Donations Are Anonymous

In an effort to help preserve the child’s dignity, our assistance is anonymous. We work only with the person who made the request who then passes on the gift card to the parent or guardian. This approach is designed to avoid the potentially embarrassing situation where the item(s) are bought and delivered directly to the child.

Indeed, because the gift card is delivered to the parent or guardian, it gives them the opportunity to announce to their child that it’s time to go shopping! That allows the adult to take the credit while Alice’s Kids pays the bill.

How Is Alice’s Kids Funded?

Most of our contributions come from individuals in Fairfax County, although we do receive donations from people across the country. The only time we ask for donations is through our annual appeal in November. In addition, we receive donations from local businesses, churches and service organizations such as the Kiwanis Club, the Lions Club and the Knights of Columbus. We also have received donations from several foundations or trusts.

Governance

Alice’s Kids has a ten-person Board of Directors that meets biannually, but constantly communicates via email throughout the year. Our fall meeting is our “Annual Meeting.” Board members serve three-year terms and can serve as long as desired if re-elected. In addition, we have established “Alice’s Friends,” a group of volunteers who perform a variety of tasks for the organization, including organizing special events, doing research and serving as liaisons to local schools.