In the 1990’s, South Florida was a dark place to be a child in foster care. A broken system led to national news headlines of children suffering from abuse, starvation, disappearance or death in the very homes that were supposed to be safe. Then one bright woman began knocking on doors pleading for forgotten kids. One church listened, and in 1997 Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale caused this little spark of hope to spread like wild fire. It developed into what we now know as 4KIDS of South Florida.
Now celebrating 20 years, 4KIDS of South Florida has been a beacon of hope for more than 25,000 kids, giving them a place to belong, a safe bed, a warm meal and the healing of a family. That’s a reason to celebrate. On November 10th 4KIDS will host a Night of Celebration chock full of family fun at Sunset Cove Amphitheater in Boca Raton. Encouraging parents and kids to interact together, this fall festival will feature old-fashioned carnival games like corn hole, giant Jenga and life-sized Legos. Parents can peruse rows of interactive games and tents while the kiddos are entertained by balloon artists and face painters.
The celebration will feature Kids’ School of Rock, artist Kerrie Roberts and the headliner Christian band Hawk Nelson , whose album Diamonds with songs like “Drops In The Ocean” point people to God’s true nature and His refining power. The title track “Diamonds” is all about redemption and life’s moments that just don’t make sense when we are going through them.
There will be video testimonies from young adults who aged out of foster care, discussing the impact 4KIDS families have had on their lives, and opportunities for families who have participated in 4KIDS over the years to reconnect at tents set up especially for them along Impact Avenue.
“It will be very much like a reunion for foster and adoptive families, a celebration of those who have been impacted, a community wide festival to celebrate the many partnerships that have made the 4KIDS story possible. ” explained Tim Frank, Marketing & Communications Director.
Celebrating the role each family has had in shining God’s light into the lives of kids in crisis, 4KIDS will lay a path of close to 1,000 luminaries around the amphitheater and the evening will culminate with a fireworks display to light up the sky.
Tom Lukasik, a member of the 4KIDS Founding Team, said, “In the last 20 years, I have seen hundreds of families turn their lives upside down to turn the life of a child right side up. Thousands of lives have been changed for eternity and that is the greatest legacy of all.”
Lead Pastor of Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale and former 4KIDS president, Doug Sauder, agreed, “No other ministry that I know more completely embodies what God did for us than the ministry of foster care and adoption. Every time another family steps up to take in a child in need, that family reenacts the Gospel.”
There is no doubt the vision of a home for every child has touched countless lives. “What has differentiated 4KIDS over the last 20 years, and what I know will continue to define us as an organization, is our commitment to God to care for these children in extravagant ways,” said Kevin Enders, 4KIDS President. “Even when the crisis feels greater with each passing day, we will not give up. I believe in a day where children will not languish in shelters, be separated from siblings or fill waiting rooms and offices when what they need is a home and a family. There is still much to be done… As we celebrate this beacon of hope, I encourage you to fight with us and keep shining forward… until every child has a home.”
To learn more about 4KIDS 20th Anniversary Night of Celebration, visit 4KIDS.US and be a part of the celebration of 25,000 lives impacted. Join 4KIDS for a night of family fun and inspiration!