Eighth Annual Women In Industry Luncheon

K.I.D.S./Fashion Delivers, Inc. honors Celeste Gudas, 24 Seven Inc.; Deidre Quinn, Lafayette 148 New York and Patti Buckner, Warner Bros. Consumer Products.

K.I.D.S./Fashion Delivers, Inc. is committed to being a change agent in our communities. Working closely with businesses and community organizations is essential to our goal of making a difference in the lives of people in need. We are proud to recognize our honorees who share that vision and congratulate them all on this well-deserved award.

– K.I.D.S./Fashion Delivers co-chairman Gary Simmons

K.I.D.S./Fashion Delivers, Inc., the newly merged non-profit organization that has provided more than $1 billion in new product donations to individuals and families affected by poverty and tragedy, recognized three top leaders from fashion, real estate and entertainment at the Eighth Annual Women In Industry Luncheon (WIIL) June 3 at The Pierre Hotel in New York.

New York television personality Jessica Abo again served as mistress of ceremonies at the fundraiser event to honor Celeste Gudas, CEO and founder of 24 Seven Inc., a prominent executive search firm; Deidre Quinn, president and co-founder of Lafayette 148 New York, a leading fashion design company; and Patti Buckner, a vice president in the Apparel & Accessories, Licensing Division at Warner Bros. Consumer Products.

As our first major event post-merger, we are very happy to share this historic moment with these three inspirational women who are undeniably leaders in their field,” said “Their stories prove that real success is founded on not only excellence in business or breaking glass ceilings, but also on the kindness and generosity of helping others.”

 -K.I.D.S./Fashion Delivers co-chairman Allan Ellinger


Photo caption: Honorees Deirdre Quinn, Patti Buckner and Celeste Gudas

K.I.D.S./Fashion Delivers, Inc.

Kids In Distressed Situations and Fashion Delivers merge to better serve people in need.

043014_CRTPost_KIDSFashionDelivers_LogoKids In Distressed Situations (K.I.D.S.) and Fashion Delivers Charitable Foundation, Inc., both U.S.-based nonprofits with a global reach, were founded to secure donations of excess new product from manufacturers and retailers to provide relief for people in need. Now, these two organizations have joined forces to create K.I.D.S./Fashion Delivers, Inc., with a new website named as a call to action that emphasizes the mission,

We are very pleased that the merger is completed, maximizing the benefits of our consolidation with strengthened resources and, most importantly, our ability to serve families, kids and adults in need.

-Co-Chairmen Allan Ellinger and Gary Simmons

K.I.D.S. was founded in 1985 by children’s industry executives, and in 2005 Fashion Delivers was created by adult apparel and home fashions professionals to serve similar purposes.

Moving donations of new apparel, home fashions, toys, books and other items is a huge effort. Cash donations and other financial support help pay for programs, logistics, coordination and transportation costs so that new product reaches the people who need it most. While the organizations’ work in natural disasters has attracted the most attention, fighting poverty is a daily mission. Together, they have delivered over $1 billion of new product and efficiently operate with less than 3% overhead.

Confronting poverty that robs an individual of their dignity. “Roughly 50 million people in the U.S. live in poverty, including seven million families,” Mr. Simmons says. “K.I.D.S./Fashion Delivers brings together a diverse network of more than 1,000 community partners and 390 donors throughout the 50 states and the world to distribute donated product. Connecting these local, on-the-ground agencies with donated product given by some of the most recognizable brands in fashion, footwear, toys, home and juvenile product allows us to provide hope and dignity to families and individuals facing these challenges.”

K.I.D.S./Fashion Delivers also introduce Joel Newman, former COO of Kenneth Cole and Tommy Hilfiger, as president for an interim period. “Joel has extensive senior management experience in the retail and wholesale industry as well as experience with non-profit organizations,” Mr. Ellinger says. “He will initially concentrate on fine tuning strategy and organizational development and will also participate in the search for a permanent president.”

With the merger of K.I.D.S./Fashion Delivers complete, Denise Durham Williams, former Executive Director of K.I.D.S., has resigned to pursue other opportunities in direct-service nonprofit work. “We want to thank Denise for her efforts, particularly her work on the merger. We wish her every success in her future endeavors,” says Mr. Ellinger.

Robeez® Buy One Give One Sock Event

The Original Soft Sole brand partners with K.I.D.S. this month on a fabulous giving campaign.

Throughout April, Robeez, beloved maker of the industry-leading Original Soft-Sole pre-walker, is partnering with the equally beloved charitable organization K.I.D.S. (Kids in Distressed Situations) on a spring giving campaign. Right now, for every pair of Robeez socks purchased* at, a new pair of socks will be donated to Head Start –the federal government program that promotes school readiness in children ages birth to five from low-income families by enhancing their cognitive, social and emotional development.

Robeez and K.I.D.S. are committed to underserved children with a variety of needs, especially lack of shoes and clothing, and we are dedicated to helping the children of Head Start in any way possible, and hope to do so by starting with a simple pair of new socks.

David McCubbin, President of McCubbin Hosiery, a Robeez licensee

041714_CRTPost_Robeez_webpage*The Buy One, Give One Sock Campaign runs until April 30 on and is expected to donate at least 1,000 new Robeez socks to Head Start through K.I.D.S.

Robeez was founded in 1994 and offers fun, whimsical footwear and hosiery with functional support for tiny feet. New York, NY-based K.I.D.S. provides new clothes, shoes, toys and books to families in underserved communities, an ideal partner for Robeez on this event.

We are so grateful for this wonderful donation program of Robeez socks from McCubbin Hosiery. Socks are one of the most requested items for donation among the many community charities with which we work. The support for low-income children in Head Start programs is especially important given the challenges faced by the families of these kids.

Donna Charles, K.I.D.S. CEO

Annual Gala Raises $1.4 Million

The event celebrated the fashion industry’s efforts to provide families and children in need with supplies and goods, in partnership with K.I.D.S. and Fashion Delivers.

Eight hundred fashion leaders joined Kids In Distressed Situations (K.I.D.S.) and Fashion Delivers for the annual fundraising gala, raising $1.4 million and several hundred thousand dollars in product donations.

This year’s gala celebrates the growing collaboration between K.I.D.S. and Fashion Delivers as we reach new levels of impact, helping families affected by these challenging times. This is especially important following recent natural disasters like Hurricane Sandy, the Oklahoma tornadoes, and the Colorado floods.

– Kevin Burke, K.I.D.S. Chairman of the Board

Recently held at Chelsea Piers in New York and hosted by celebrated film and television actress/producer Vivica A. Fox, this year’s honorees included Brendan Hoffman, President and CEO, The Bon-Ton Stores, Inc.; Peter Comisar, Vice Chairman, Investment Banking, Guggenheim Partners; Robert Campbell, Chairman and CEO, BBC International LLC; and Daisy Fuentes, fashion entrepreneur and television personality.

112613_KIDS_01“I’ve often said that we don’t work within just an industry,” says Allan Ellinger, Chairman of the Board of Fashion Delivers. “Ours is a community that gives back to help people in need, people who are sick, students seeking professional support and many other worthy causes.”

K.I.D.S. and Fashion Delivers help fight the consequences of poverty by delivering hope and a brighter future through the gift of new product. The two charities solicit excess merchandise from companies that make and market home furnishings for children and adults. To date, over $1 billion of donated goods have been distributed through a network of more than 1,000 community charities serving the poor and disadvantaged worldwide.

Photo, left to right: Denise Durham Williams, K.I.D.S. President; Allan Ellinger, Fashion Delivers Board Chairman; honoree Robert Campbell, Chairman and CEO, BBC International LLC; Kevin Burke, K.I.D.S. Board Chairman; Honorees Daisy Fuentes; Brendan Hoffman, President & CEO, the Bon-Ton Stores, Inc.; Peter H. Comisar, Vice Chairman, Investment Banking, Guggenheim Partners; Vivica A. Fox, gala host

Carter’s partners with K.I.D.S.


Carter’s, Inc. names  Kids In Distressed Situations (K.I.D.S.) as its charitable partner in a new company-wide store donation program, donating all excess children’s apparel from nearly 500 Carter’s and OshKosh B’Gosh retail stores nationwide to benefit children in need through the organization.

“As part of our mission to help children feel safe, happy and nurtured,” says chairman/CEO Michael Casey, “K.I.D.S. is the ideal partner to ensure that Carter’s can provide essential new clothing to children who need it most.”

Carter’s is launching an ongoing partnership program with K.I.D.S. to ensure that every piece of Carter’s and OshKosh apparel that is suitable for donation goes to local children in need.  K.I.D.S. is distributing the clothes through its network of nearly 1,000 social service agencies to children of military families and those challenged by poverty, homelessness and domestic abuse.

The program expands on a longstanding partnership between Carter’s and K.I.D.S.  Carter’s provided over $1.5 million worth of product to K.I.D.S. in 2010. Now, with its donation commitment extending to inventory from every one of its retail stores, Carter’s anticipates that value rising to $3 million in clothing this year alone; in the last three months, Carter’s has already donated approximately $316,000 in product to K.I.D.S through this program.

“Carter’s has been an invaluable contributor for more than a decade,” K.I.D.S. president Dr. Janice Weinman. “A store’s excess inventory finds new life when a child receives a new sweatshirt, winter coat or a pair of jeans. In a time when so many needy children require apparel, it’s wonderful to have a retailer like Carter’s committed to helping children in need.”

-Janet Muniz

Hollywood K.I.D.S. Benefit

Ooh! La, La! Couture and Disney Star Host Tutus 4 Tots

In mid-February, Ooh! La, La! Couture and Disney star Bella Thorne invited young Hollywood to distribute over 300 new dresses to underprivileged girls, making the Second Annual Tutus 4 Tots a huge success! The Los Angeles, CA-based Ooh! La, La! coordinated with  the Volunteers of America Los Angeles to invite girls from its Strengthening Families Program -which assists families that are either homeless or at risk for becoming homeless –donating about $24,000 in new merchandise to Kids In Distressed Situations (K.I.D.S.).

The room was filled with poufy tutus and huge smiles as surprised families were treated to fun fashions, sparkly shoes, headbands and cupcakes. Enthusiastic young Hollywood celebs escorted little girls through racks of colorful dresses, signed autographs and posed for photos. All the guests were brought to tears when one mother thanked everyone, saying that it was her daughter’s first birthday and she couldn’t afford to give her a present, so she was grateful that a beautiful new dress given to her.

Bella Thorne was joined by fellow Shake It Up cast members Roshon Fegan, Adam Irigoyan and Davis Cleveland, as well as other hot stars Billy Unger, Morgan Lily, Jadin Gould, Kathryn Newton, Pia Mia Perez, Kaitlyn Maher, Elsie Fischer, Ashlee Keating, Daphne Blunt, Emily Grace Reaves, Avalon and Alexis and Natalia.

Co-owners Ann Dugourd and Jennifer Rotunno founded the line of fun and funky, yet sweet and girly clothes eight years ago and regularly gives back by donating clothing to children in need. Since 2007, Ooh! La, La! Couture has donated over $272,000 in new dresses to K.I.D.S.

China Doll Shoes generously donated a new pair of shoes for every girl in the room. Penelope Wildberry, Pink Pewter, Top Trenz, Gaby! Be Gorgeous, Be Happy! and Bracelets by Caley Camarillo also donated merchandise to make this event special.

-Janet Muniz

K.I.D.S. 25th Anniversary Gala

Congratulations to K.I.D.S.!

Internationally renowned children’s charity Kids In Distressed Situations (K.I.D.S.), celebrated its 25th anniversary at a Gala on December 1 in New York, NY at Cipriani Dolci, raising about $1 million to help benefit children in need.

Gayle King, editor-at-large for O, The Oprah Magazine and host of The Gayle King Show, hosted 650 guests including the mayor of Newark, NJ, Cory Booker -the event’s keynote speaker.

The organization also raised close to $3 million in new product toward its 2010 goal of $100 million of new merchandise to distribute to needy children.

As part of the event, K.I.D.S. honored three industry leaders for their exceptional contributions to help underprivileged and disaster-struck children, including  John Goodman, executive vice president of Sears Holding Corporation; Oscar Feldenkreis, president and CEO of Perry Ellis Corporation; and Wayne Elsey, founder and CEO of footwear charity Soles4Souls. A special service award was given to Karen Bromley, principal of The Bromley Group and K.I.D.S. board member, for her 25 years of continuous service to the organization.

-Janet Muniz

25th Anniversary of K.I.D.S.

To help celebrate K.I.D.S. 25th anniversary, check out the Kids In Distressed PSA airing on one of the jumbo screens in New York City’s Times Square through October 15. It details instructions for mobile phone users to text “Happykids 25” to 27138; this triggers a $25 donation to the organization, helping put desperately needed new merchandise in the hands of those who could use it most.

In this 25th anniversary year, K.I.D.S.’ goal for donated new product is $100 million. “K.I.D.S. is unique in its ability to reach 4.5 million children in need every year, helping them strive for a better life than they have,” says president Janice Weinman. “By tapping into the new technology of mobile phone giving, we are asking many more people to help us continue to make a difference in the future of our youth, by giving them new product, one child at a time.”

See the PSA – bigger than life – every hour, 18 hours per day  on the CBS big screen, north side of 42nd Street, between 7th and 8th Avenues. The PSA can also be seen on and on YouTube – but you don’t need to see the PSA to celebrate with K.I.D.S. Simply make a donation – of money, merchandise, time – it’s all good!

The K.I.D.S. website offers information on how people can directly join the mission to help children in need.  The “Get Involved” section of the site has suggestions for personal and group projects such as product collection drives and fundraisers.

K.I.D.S. officially commemorates its past on December 1 during the 25th Anniversary Gala at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York.

-Janet Muniz