Why We Do It

The reason Kids Unlimited was founded:
When Kids Unlimited CEO and founder Tom Cole created Kids Unlimited in 1998 it was to empower all children to believe. To do so, it meant developing an ideology that all kids mattered by providing an after school environment with the capacity to overcome economic and cultural barriers so that all children could participate. Driven by the belief that through education, we could empower children and their families, Kids Unlimited was developed to be the conduit of hope that all children could succeed.

The needs of Southern Oregon’s children, families and community:
Since the inception, Kids Unlimited has been committed to the leveling the playing field for our children and families of poverty. As we often say, we are committed to the Unlimited. It is a mantra for describing the length our programs must reach to serve our kids and families. As we have grown, we have listened and we have learned. Today’s programs and systems of delivery are a reflection of best practice approaches based on nearly two decades of our work. Our relationship to our kids and families is at the core of all our programs. With longevity, we have witnessed amazing successes and it has built systems for assuring future pathways to achievement.

Important facts, figures and Information:
• 26.7% of children (0-17) in Jackson County live in poverty
• 90% of Kids Unlimited participants live below the Federal Poverty level
• 62% of Kids Unlimited families are single parent households
• Nearly 43% of children in households at or below poverty line report food insecurity
• Children and families of poverty are disproportionately represented in high school dropout and criminal justice systems
• Jackson County has been designated as a high intensity drug trafficking area
• 80% of gang membership in Jackson County is represented by Hispanic youth

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