Developing K.I.D.S Hosts Annual “Kingdom Builders” Charity Gala

Detroit non-profit seeks to raise $25,000 to support youth during charity gala

To provide resources for children and families in underserved communities at no cost, Developing K.I.D.S is hosting their annual “Kingdom Builders” charity gala on Friday, Oct. 11, at the Best Western Premier – Detroit Southfield, located at 26555 Telegraph Road in Southfield. The event opens with a cocktail reception at 6 p.m., followed by dinner and a program at 7 p.m. Tickets are $100, and all funds raised from the gala will support youth and community programming for the year.

Developing Kingdoms in Different Stages (K.I.D.S) has been serving Detroit families since 2006. The not-for-profit organization provides programs centered around three core areas: prevention, family management and community support and supports children and youth ages 5-18, year-round. Program participants receive after-school tutoring, mentoring, development workshops, family night activities, field trips and grief, loss, and trauma support.

“The families we serve represent the marginalized communities where resources are few and far between,” said Kimberly Johnson, a former school teacher and the organization’s founder and president. “Our programs and initiatives give them a fighting chance to become respected leaders in their communities.”

The organization impacts communities that have been mislabeled as “at-risk.” When Developing K.I.D.S. began, the organization supported 27 youth from several Northwest Detroit neighborhoods. Since the inaugural year, the program has grown to serve nearly 450 youth with operations at four locations including two community centers and two Detroit Public Schools. With a retention rate of nearly 100 percent, the organization is tasked with accommodating the rapid expansion of the program with limited resources. They have been forced to waitlist candidates for the program.

“Even after youth age out of the program, they can still depend on us for additional support and access to resources,” added Kim. “Some of our youth have literally grown up in the program and we feel responsible to make sure that they are successful when they begin the next chapter of their lives.”

After completion of the program at age 18, youth still have access to counseling, mentoring, job readiness training and summer employment opportunities, should they return to the program as summer counselors. They have also had support when they are making plans to attend a college or university and receive care packages when they go away to school – every year.

The charity event also includes dinner, a silent auction, live entertainment by jazz pianist, Marvin Thompson, and presentation of this year’s Kingdom Builder Award. The recipient of this year’s award is State Senator Sylvia Santana, a long time Developing K.I.D.S. supporter and parent who uses her role as an elected official to advocate for policies that keep communities safe and to ensure that all children have access to a good education. WDIV Local 4 reporter, Larry Spruill Jr. returns this year as guest emcee. Sponsorship packages are still available with packages starting at $500. To purchase tickets, visit developingkids.org/annual-gala.

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