Team Kids students from Meadow Park, Culverdale, Springbrook and College Park Elementary joined forces with ABC7 and Orange County Fire Authority to stuff the TK Bus with toys as part of the Annual Spark of Love Toy Drive! Click the picture below to see the TK crew on Good Morning America!
The Team Kids spirit even melted the hearts of Storm Troopers, who snuggled teddy bears and gave thanks to our Team KIDS for their generous spirit! Our bus was stuffed with 2000+ toys, which helped bring smiles to many of the 1 in 5 children who live below the poverty line in Orange, Ventura, Riverside, Los Angeles and San Bernardino Counties.
It’s your turn! YOU are invited to Get on the Bus with Team Kids, alongside educators, police, fire fighters and our generous philanthropic partners, as we collectively empower our kids to create a better future for all!
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Team Kids facilitates a great deal of inspirational moments throughout the year as we empower our youngest leaders to change the world, but our annual Shop With a Cop is hard to rival.
The children from the domestic violence shelters, Human Options and The Second Step, and their courageous mothers have been through heartbreaking challenges. Our caring partners at Irvine Police Department and The City of Irvine recognize this and for the 9th consecutive year helped us spread the true spirit of the holiday season to these families.
At our 9th Annual Shop with a Cop, we witnessed our Irvine police officers shop for the kids in reindeer antlers. Then they entered the room with bags stuffed with toys for the kids. (Video link here for you to see). The kids’ eyes lit up and the excitement they experienced was infectious. But the truly remarkable moments of the night were the tears of joy in the mothers’ eyes and the looks of adoration the kids gave to their officers as they played together. As the evening winded down, every table was filled with a police officer and a mother engaging in heartfelt conversation, genuinely connecting with each other in the most elegant way. Team Kids’ Shop With a Cop is all about connection: the connection to each other, the connection to community, and the universal human connection to hope.
“This has truly just touched and warmed my heart. I feel important and loved. It has also taken away the stress of not being able to provide this type of Christmas on my own.”
Human beings, no matter their faith, have gifts to put into action to create change.
The American Muslim community has recently experienced a heightened sense of concern. While thoughts and prayers are nice, action is needed. That is why I called my colleague and friend Dina Eletreby, who is the principal at New Horizon Elementary School, which provides Muslim-based education. After a warm embrace, coffee and shared concerns, we grabbed our calendars and scheduled a Team Kids Challenge.
Our team is excited to return to New Horizon Elementary School and empower the children in our local Muslim community alongside our partners from Irvine Police Department and Orange County Fire Authority. Not just because the beautiful students at New Horizons need to know how much our community values them, but mostly because they have so much to give back as compassionate leaders. The students will be accepting the challenge to address literacy, hunger and animal welfare. Dina remarked, “By working together to do good, Team Kids and the students of New Horizon provide a model for healing and for renewing our hope in the future.”
We can all find opportunities to replace fear and hate with security and love. If you know someone in a group being marginalized, reach out to let them know they matter and that you care about them. Our community is built on mutual respect and admiration for our cultural differences. Now more than ever, I hope the students from New Horizon and everywhere feel love and appreciation. Human beings, no matter their faith, have gifts to put into action to create change.
Building off of the momentum in Long Beach from our first pilot school last month the Team Kids Youth Council (TKYC) decided to plan their 4 day Servathon serving Long Beach County. You can stop looking, the word Servathon is not in the dictionary…It is a word unique to Team Kids and defined by the passionate hearts of a group of highschoolers who love serving others! Every year the TKYC spend part of their summer trying to make this world a better place through serving communities for 3-5 days straight! There were some amazing service projects this year, if you have a moment watch the full slideshow by clicking here and see photos below:
This group got to lead a pet rocks craft in the oncology/hemotology unit at Miller Children’s Hospital, ROCK ON!
Spontaneous stop at a local flower shop to hand out friendly flowers to anyone in sight to bring a splash of sunshine into the lives of the LB community!
The owners of the flower shop joined in on the fun and stayed open extra late to help us individually wrap each flower.
Who is this mystery man beneath the icy waterfall? Someone very special to the founding of Team Kids, retired Irvine Police Chief Dave Mihalik. He met us at one of our service projects in Long Beach to complete the ice bucket challenge in honor of the Fallen Officer Foundation. These kids were peanut butter and jelly making machines! The kids made hundreds of sandwiches and distributed them to the homeless at Lincoln Park in Long Beach. SO PROUD of the murals the TKYC spent hours and hours painting at our pilot Long Beach School Lafayette Elementary. This is just one of the 5 murals that were painted in this school’s “Laffe Cafe”! Principal Wendy Thompson’s daughter created the designs and sharpied them onto the walls, so talented! P.S. Do you see the oversized fork skewering Seamus’ head, yikes!
Drawing inspiration from this video, the youth council each brought 2-3 used backpacks filled with everyday essentials like socks, hygiene supplies, sweatshirts etc and found people in need of these backpacks around Long Beach. I kid you not, we spent 2 hours “light-painting” on the last night of the Serv-a-Thon. Light-painting is not a joke, it requires abnormal arm strength, high range of motion, rainbow glow-sticks and 4 very delirious chaperones!
The Team Kids Challenge kicked off this morning at Bonita Canyon Elementary in Irvine! There’s a lot of St. Patty’s green here! Thanks Irvine Police Department DARE Officer Mike Frei for inspiring the kids!
Deerfield Elementary in Irvine, CA continues to deliver amazing Team Kids Challenge Programs year after year thanks to a tradition of amazing leadership from the STUDENTS, Principal Kathy McKeown and staff, and the unstoppable parent volunteer duo of Holiday and Sandi. This year Irvine DARE Officer Mat Aragon knocked it out of the ballpark representing IPD AND Team Kids. He clearly enjoyed the carnival, as he sports his new hairstyle and manicure! Thank you all for continuing to share your enthusiasm and support to empower the amazing students at Deerfield!
“STUFF THE BUS!” Team Kids Bus is stuffed with 1,200 toys for OC Children!
We salute the students at Meadow Park Elementary and our partners at Irvine Police Department and Orange County Fire Authority for the successful “STUFF THE BUS” event. Our Team Kids Bus was stuffed with close to 1,200 new toys to bring joy to so many children in OC. The incredible outpouring of generosity and giving was appreciated by all at the Honda Center, where the Bus was invited included in a live ABC7 news report. Even Mighty Duck’s Wildwing was impressed with the outpouring of holiday spirit. We salute the awesome Meadow Park Mustangs, IPD Sgt. Russell, DARE Officer Aragon, OC Fire Authority Battalion Chief Kelly Zimmerman, and TK Board Member Nestor Herrera at REMAX Premier for making so many Christmas wishes come true! Continue reading →
Today in Orange County, most of the work being done in health and human services focuses, appropriately, on the immediate needs of the disadvantaged. Team Kids takes a different approach, directing their energies toward our youth, teaching them the value and power of working together to solve community issues. In so doing, they are developing the philanthropists of the future and creating systematic change in our community.”
OC United Way, CEO Max Gardner
Team Kids is addressing critical child and community needs today, while also building our next generation of problem solvers.”
Dan Lubeck, Team Kids Board Member
I became a Founding Team Kids Board Member in 2004, after witnessing the leadership and compassion being developed in the students participating in the Team Kids Challenge Program. Team Kids engenders a culture where it is everyone’s right, regardless of age, to be a powerful agent for change.”
Bethany LaFlam, Team Kids Board Member
Team Kids, to me, is an antidote to entitlement and one great way to create the responsible citizens we all want as future leaders.”
Mike Cupps, Team Kids Board Member; Private Investor