Category Archives: Heart Beats

Service Project for Fundango Teens

This Saturday at Fundango, our teen group will be performing a service project at Harvest of the Hearts Community Garden at Heart of the Rockies Christian Church. We are currently full for Fundango, but we have plenty of spots available for our teen group. If your teen would like to participate, please email Erica at director@kidsatheartfundango.org by Wednesday.
Here are the details about Saturday.

  • We are asking parents to drop off all teens (ages 13 and older) at Heart of the Rockies Christian Church (6501 Brittany Street Fort Collins) by 4:00 pm. That will give you enough time to drop your other children off by 5:00 pm at club.*
  • Each child needs a hat, works gloves if possible, sunscreen and insect repellent.
  • We will be grilling hot dogs and learning how to cook in season veggies that we harvest from the garden that afternoon.
  • Harvest of the Hearts is an outreach ministry of Heart of the Rockies Christian Church. Our mission is to grow food for those in need. Everything we grow is donated to families in need and agencies who serve local families in need.
  • Josh, Leslie and Erica will be working with the teens that night at the garden. We will be driving all teens back to the club by 7:50 pm.

* Note – we are full for Fundango. Reminder emails will be sent out tomorrow. If you are not on the list for Fundango, but would like your teen(s) to participate, please email Erica.

Congrats Kelly!

Please help us congratulate Kelly O’Connor in her promotion as our Fundango Program Director. Kelly will now be in charge of our Fundango program at Kids at Heart. This is a big step for Kids at Heart and I am excited to be able to work on growing Kids at Heart while Kelly works on making our Fundango Program even better. Below you will find a quick note from Kelly.

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Hello Everyone,

I am so excited, and lets be honest, a little intimidated by my new position. Over the past two years, I have had so much fun releasing my inner child as I planned Fundango events. Aside from planning activities, I’ve enjoyed getting to build relationships between Kids at Heart and many community groups that have supported us at our events. Now, instead of just one or two weeks a month, I have the privilege of working every week to grow and improve this amazing program. There will be much to come, and I am not entirely sure what to expect, but I know that is where God works his greatest miracles. 
Thank you, and God bless,
Kelly O’Connor

Kelly can be reached via email at fundango.director@kidsatheartfundango.org and by phone at 970-223-1230. Send her a note and welcome her to her new position.

Thanks everyone! I am so excited about the future of Kids at Heart.

Sincerely,

Erica Wharton

 

Special offer for Kids at Heart Families

OB full logoWe are excited to announce that Camp Timberline has offered Kids at Heart Families a discount program.  The following information is your guide to sign up and access our Outta Bounds program for summer 2016.  We hope your kiddos can join us!

Special Pricing: $112.50 (50% off $225) for each camper.  No sibling discounts.

Participating Locations:

  • Week 1:  June 6-10 – Crossroads Church, 5420 N. Taft Avenue, Loveland ;TEEN camp for 5th – 8th grade
  • Week 6:  July 11-15 – Immanuel Lutheran Church, 4650 Sunview Drive, Loveland Finished with Kindergarten – Finished 6th grade
  • Week 10:  August 8-12 – Discovery Fellowship Church, 6630 Brittany Drive, Fort Collins Finished with Kindergarten – Finished 6th grade

How to register:     Email Erica Wharton for the discount codes for the above camps. Then       go to www.camptimberline.com and register your camper.  There will be a field asking for coupon code, enter the given code and your price will be adjusted accordingly.  Deposits are $75.  There are no refunds for the deposit.  If you need to make a payment plan, contact our registrar at:  office@camptimberline.com.

Questions? Email Erica Wharton @ director@kidsatheartfundango.org  / 970-223-1230

Camp Teen Fundango Registration starts today!

postacardJust a quick reminder that registration for Camp Teen Fundango starts TODAY. Camp Teen Fundango will be on June 3-5 at EDUCO and is open to foster, adoptive, and kinship teens (biological siblings in the home as well) ages 10 – 16. Cost is $30 a camper.

All completed registration forms & fees that arrive via mail, email, or dropped off will be entered into a lotto. 24 kids will be selected. All others will be added to a waiting list. We have never filled up on the first day, but usually do after the first few days.

This year we are offering a online payment option. For more information, please visit our website.

Please feel free to share with anyone who might be interested.

Pancakes with Santa Fundraiser

Pancakes with Santa Fundraiser

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No matter how you stack it… We need you!

All you can eat pancakes, sausages, juice, milk & coffee for only $5 before the event / $7 day of event. Kids 5 and under are FREE! We will have Santa available for photos and our lines are short! This year we will have Josh Beecher from Halcyon Daze Photography taking photos for us.

For over fifteen years, Kids at Heart has been supporting Foster & Adoptive families.  Our Fundango, Camp Teen Fundango, and Camp Fundango programs have been providing children with the chance to build relationships with other children in adoptive, foster and kinship families. Our programs provide respite which is a key part of the post-placement services often needed by adoptive, foster, and kinship families that help support placement stability and permanency.

Details:

December 12th, 2015 8:30 am – 10:30 am @ Heart of the Rockies Christian Church (6501 Brittany Street in Fort Collins).

You can reserve tickets by calling 970-223-1230 or emailing Erica Wharton at director@kidsatheartfundango.org

Let us know you are coming, by visiting our Facebook event.

 

 

Mid Month Update

I’m the Heart in Kids at Heart

My name is Jennifer and I’m fairly new to the Kids at Heart Board. It has been a busy and kahheart1750eye-opening start to our Kids at Heart – I’m the Heart in Kids at Heart 30-day Campaign.

We are half way through the month and are on our way of achieving our two important goals of increasing awareness and support for the importance of respite for our foster, adoptive and kinship families.

For me, it is about the families.  I personally do not have foster or adoptive children.  But as a mother of 4 boys and for my love of kids, joining Kids at Heart made it a no-brainer.  I had no idea how special these families and kids are.  It has been a gift to me to meet and interact with the selfless parents who work hard for our children.  They are amazing and inspiring.  They give their time, love and compassion unconditionally.  What an amazing gift our community has been given.

These families are busy.  These families are tired.  They are active and continually growing in their knowledge and skills of how to care for these special kids.  Kids at Heart provides programs to support these families so that they can continue with their hard work.

Have you read The Troy family’s story? If not you can read it here.

The first half of our 30-day Awareness Campaign has produced approximately $1,400.   We have also been spreading awareness as well which has resulted in new collaborations with local businesses for our Fundango program. We are excited to have BJ’s Brewery, Raising Cane’s, and Texas Roadhouse in Arvada joining with Subway, Carl’s Jr, Chick-Fil-A in Loveland, The Walrus, Arby’s, Noodles, Runza  and The Rio in donating food and treats for our Fundango program.

Thank you for being the Heart in Kids at Heart.  Your support really does make a difference. Will you help to fill our heart?

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Nisargo’s Story

How You Filled Our Heart

DSCF3458My husband and I adopted two wonderful children who are now 12 and 15 through a private agency in Colorado. Our son, the older one, was not even one day old when we met him, our daughter was 13 months old and had been living with her birthparents for most of that time. We were thrilled to finally have a family as we had envisioned before we got married!

As time went on we realized that both kids have special needs. Our son has ADHD and has not had an easy time at school. As a matter of fact he homeschooled since 6th grade since he was just not succeeding in regular public school. Our daughter was diagnosed early on with reactive attachment disorder ( RAD ) and later with Bipolar Disorder. Parenting her has been a challenge from the get-go. Baby sitters would not stay for long, schools called frequently for parental intervention and time at home was spent mostly with trying to help our daughter regulate, a full time job.

My husband and had not had a weekend to ourselves since our son arrived. Both our families live far away. Time and again I had looked for respite, but without being able to pay for expert help, which is expensive, we were left to our own devices, which meant staying home with the kids or taking time off one at a time.

Last year I heard about “Camp Teen Fundango” and contacted the organizers. Erica Wharton called me back right away and assured me that my daughter was more than welcome to attend the weekend camp and that they were very equipped to handle the issues she would bring. I was thrilled! My daughter had wanted to attend an away camp for years but we never felt we could send her anywhere with the issues she is having. Topping it off was the price, $30 for the three days. I could not believe it!

The weekend came, our son was by magic attending another camp that same weekend, and my husband and I booked ourselves into a B&B near the Camp Fandango location, just to be sure. We had a wonderful time, were never called with an emergency and our daughter loved it! They kept her busy, made sure she was safe, she learned a lot of new skills and made new friends. And we – had two days of uninterrupted time together.

We will be forever grateful for this opportunity!

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Jessica’s Story

Our Safe Haven – Jessica’s Story

My name is Jessica.  I am a full-time working mom and have 3 young kiddos.  I am not sure what the definition of “normal” is, but it certainly does not apply to me. “Unique” would be a better way to describe us.  My husband and I adopted all three of our children from foster care.  Not one at a time but all of them at once.  When our trio came to us they were 18 months, 5 and 6.  I will spare the details but these kiddos were not given a good start into this world.  They came from abuse, neglect, trauma, alcoholism, mental illness, homelessness, uncertainty and not knowing where their next meal would come from.    No child should endure any of these things…let alone all of them.  As a result, our kiddos struggle in many different areas in their life:  socially, academically, mentally, physically and especially emotionally.  These kiddos had no reason to trust or love us or anyone else that crossed their paths.  Our kiddos have been with us for four years now.  Children are resilient and our kiddos are a true testament to that belief.  However, trauma, neglect and abuse will forever mark our children in certain ways.  Some areas of life have gotten easier for our family but we will never be a “normal” family.  Due to our children’s past, we have to continually prove to them that we will protect and love them unconditionally.  We can’t erase their past but it always will be a part of our lives.

Although we love Colorado, we have no family in this state.  Therefore, our support system isn’t very large.  Parenting hurt children is very rewarding but it also is very challenging.  Anyone that is takes care of our children, whether they are a teacher, special educator, daycare provider, camp counselor or babysitter, they must be prepared to deal with the aftermaths of what my children have endured.  They must understand attachment struggles, Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome, ADHD and extreme triggers that come with children that have been hurt.

Often times as an adoptive mom, I feel like much of the rest of the world doesn’t understand our struggles.  It usually is only the ones that are in the same boat as us that truly “get it.” My husband and I don’t have the luxury of going on weekly dates.  My days need to be very planned and structured for our children’s peace of mind.  I can’t drop by a friend’s house for a cup of coffee without my child exploded due to the unknowns.

I love our children with my entire heart.  I love them for their personalities, quirks and passion to be fighters in their battles.   Yet, I am human and I also need breaks…alone time, time with my spouse, time with friends, time to recharge my battery.  I rarely get most of those items but when I do, I am so very grateful for the people that make them happen.

Kids at Heart is a program that is near and dear to our family.  It is a program that accepts us with all of our uniqueness.  It is a place that our kiddos are not the outcasts but instead amongst kiddos and families that are just like us.  It is our safe haven.  It is a place we they trust, love, have fun and truly look forward to being part of such an amazing program.  The staff is kind, understanding, patient and loving.  Whether is in an event for the evening or a weekend camp, each moment is appreciated in ways that only foster/adoptive families can truly understand.  We get to network with other families, make new friends and build lasting relationships.   It truly does take a village to raise a child and we are so grateful for the staff and supporters of Kids at Heart.  The time, money and support of their programs are appreciated in more ways that I could ever express.    – Jessica

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