Kiki’s quest for helping others started many years ago in memory of her beloved cousin Anthony Hartman. Her cousin greatly inspired her by the way he mentored young children and families before and after his service in the military.
He would take them to look at Christmas lights, something they never had the opportunity to see, he would bring happy meals to children in the projects, only to see them share it with their siblings, and through the love of god he would help many people in need even if having to give them his last dollar.
Shortly after his tragic death in 1994, Kiki’s desire to keep his memory alive started with one child he mentored. She took this child shopping to buy him Christmas gifts and seeing that he was buying for his family instead of himself and how unselfish this little boy was, really made her want to do more for his family and in her community.
A few years later, after her son’s birthday party, and seeing the amount of presents he received, she felt a need to donate some to children that would otherwise not receive a toy for Christmas. She also felt this was a great way to teach her son about giving back and being part of community outreach. After answering an ad for donations and voluntary help for the County’s Emergency shelter for abused, abandoned and neglected children and seeing the dire need at this facility, she soon started her Adopt-an-Angel program for 40 children. This was the year where it all started.
With the support of local companies, friends and family they have been able to help thousands of children over the years and personally bring joy to each and every child at a special time of year. Her Adopt-an-Angel Christmas drive collects new clothes, sneakers, socks, underwear, toiletries and much needed necessities for children ages 0-18. They have served thousands of children bringing joy and happiness to each one. These children get to make their own “Toy Wish-list”, she collects their clothes sizes and makes sure each child gets a full outfit and uniform, along with 2-3 toy wishes, snack packs and many other goodies. For these children it’s the only gift they will receive at Christmas most often sharing it with their siblings.
Besides the gift giving, Kiki throughs these children a Christmas party every year to celebrate a special time of year and also collecting additional donations to stock up their clothing closet to get them through the year as new children come in.
Throughout the years her group has helped out many organizations such as the Sulphur Springs boys and girls club, Kids cafe, Faith community Haitian mission church, head start programs in migrant community and adopted families reaching out to over 200 children and families annually.
She has also assisted a program that would help transition young teenagers from the emergency shelter to the real world by mentoring and furnishing their apartments through community donations.
Giving back is something that is extremely important to Kiki’s family. Her oldest son started with her at the age of 4 and youngest as a newborn. Now as young adults, she is so proud to watch her boys venture on their own and do good for others.
Her mission is to make a difference in the lives of these children.
One child at a time.