NEW YORK, April 30, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Kids In Distressed Situations (K.I.D.S.) and Fashion Delivers Charitable Foundation, Inc., announced today that they have successfully completed their merger as of April 7, 2014. Both K.I.D.S. and Fashion Delivers, U.S.-based nonprofit organizations with a global reach, were founded to secure donations of excess new product from manufacturers and retailers to provide relief for people in need. The official name of the organization is now K.I.D.S./Fashion Delivers, Inc., and the new website is www.DonateProduct.com, a call to action that emphasizes the organization's 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," said Co-Chairmen Allan Ellinger and Gary Simmons in a joint statement.
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. The organizations 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," said Mr. Simmons. "K.I.D.S./Fashion Delivers brings together a diverse network of more than 1000 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 announced that Joel Newman, former COO of Kenneth Cole and Tommy Hilfiger, joined the organization 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," commented Mr. Ellinger. "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," added Mr. Ellinger.
About K.I.D.S./Fashion Delivers, Inc.
K.I.D.S./Fashion Delivers, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, unites retailers, manufacturers, foundations and individuals to provide new merchandise to families and people impacted by poverty and tragedy. Excess product, including apparel, accessories, shoes, home furnishings, toys, books, school supplies and other items, deliver hope and dignity to people in need through a network of community partners. K.I.D.S./Fashion Delivers was recently listed #207 in the Chronicle of Philanthropy's annual ranking of the Philanthropy 400, with a 29% increase in private support over the previous year. To date, over $1 billion of donated products have been distributed, serving the poor and disadvantaged worldwide. www.DonateProduct.com
SOURCE K.I.D.S./Fashion Delivers, Inc.