A little help… goes a long way.

A Message from the Chair & CEO of

Every day, a child goes to school without a winter coat, wearing sneakers with holes in them or carrying school supplies in a paper bag because they can’t afford a backpack. Another child cannot see properly because their glasses are broken.

Working with a network of hundreds of teachers and social workers, Alice’s Kids pays for such items because we believe…

A little help… goes a long way.

“It is THE WAY that they help the kids. With dignity.” ~ Thomas Capone


We know from personal experience that when you grow up in poverty, you face many different hardships. When your house has no heat or there is no food in the refrigerator, you suffer physically. We also know that when you venture into the public you can experience emotional hardships that are just as painful. You might feel ashamed when you go to school wearing the same tattered sweater five days in a row. You want to hide when you have to tell your teacher you cannot afford the field trip fee. Or you might decide to skip school altogether because you cannot afford deodorant and you want to avoid being the subject of snickering as you walk down the halls. Indeed, the public aspect of poverty can be harsher than the private.

In the early 1960’s, our family received a monthly welfare payment that barely covered the cost of rent and food. Our mother – Alice – insisted that we stay in the same middle-class community so, after a while, we were targeted as “those welfare kids.” Needless to say, our self-esteem suffered greatly. Alice understood our pain and she did whatever she could to pick up extra cash to supplement the welfare check. And when she got that money she’d proudly run home to announce to us that we were going shopping! To this day, we recall the exhilarating feeling of getting onto the school bus wearing new clothes or sporting a new haircut. Maybe it meant getting a new baseball glove or the required gym uniform. In the grand scheme of things, these items were not as important as food and shelter but they lifted our spirits and made us feel more “normal” among our classmates.

Almost nine years ago, we were reminiscing about how our mother tried hard to make us feel good about ourselves despite our desperate situation, and an idea started to form about how we could do for other children what Alice did for us. How could we help lift these kids as Alice lifted us?

The rest is history. We consulted with numerous charities to see if they had a mechanism to offer targeted financial assistance to a child and the unanimous answer was “no.” One director replied, “we do not have a petty cash drawer.” With the assurance that we would not be duplicating any other charitable efforts, we formed Alice’s Kids.

And after all these years, we know that a little help can go a long way.

Ron Fitzsimmons

Laura Fitzsimmons Peters

Alice’s Kids- a little help can go a long way

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