Guests who visited the Port Huron, Michigan Ross Medical Education Center campus during the month of June immediately noticed a brightly decorated table full of children’s clothing and toiletries. This table represented the first ever Kids In Distress Services Summer Needs Drive at the Port Huron campus. It is a tradition each December in Port Huron for the staff and students to conduct a Hat and Mitten Drive to benefit Kids in Distress Services. In addition to that collection, this year the Port Huron team decided to reach out to the Kids In Distress Services organization to see what they needed to assist their clients during the warm summer months.
Kids in Distress Services is a non-profit organization that has been in operation in St. Clair County since 2002. Their purpose is to provide clothing, toiletries, and other necessities to children, aged birth to 18 years, who have been displaced from their homes due to domestic situations, financial hardships or due to a disasters such as fires or floods.
Jane Robinson, the Executive Director of Kids in Distress Services, recognized the need for families to receive this type of immediate assistance after taking two foster children into her home who arrived with no personal belongings besides the clothes that they were wearing. Jane started Kids in Distress Services in her garage. It has expanded over the past 16 years to include the store located at 1114 S.7th Street in St. Clair as well as an additional storage facility. Community agencies including schools, clinics, and shelters have become dependent on reaching out to Kids In Distress Services for emergency supplies. The organization is currently providing services to over 17,000 kids in St. Clair County each year.
This summer, the volunteers at Kids in Distress expressed a need for toiletries such as shampoo, body wash, toothbrushes, and toothpaste. The staff and students at the Port Huron campus were eager to assist this very worthy organization. The campus collected 282 items which included toiletries and paper products as well as new and gently used clothing. Student Support Representative Laura Jerlecki said, “it is a great feeling to be able to donate basic items such as shampoo or bath soap and know that they will provide comfort in some way to a child going through a difficult transition.”
If you have donations or would like more information about Kids in Distress Services, you can follow them on the Kids In Distress Services Facebook page or go to their website at kidsindistressservices.org. There you will find a wealth of information about Kids in Distress Services, including referring agencies, upcoming events and ways you can donate or volunteer.