Meet the Founders
Passion 4 K.I.D.S. (Kids In Desperate Situations) is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit charity dealing with handicapped, neglected, abandoned, abused and underprivileged children of any race, color and creed as well as children in acute, life-threatening, emergency situations in the United States.
These are the “forgotten” children whose young lives have been turned upside down that fall through the cracks with little or no insurance or government programs available to help them. Truly nothing brings us greater joy than to put a smile on their faces and try to lighten their load. Our help wears many faces, depending on each child’s individual circumstances.
Our founders, Charles and Linda Van Kessler, have a passion for kids – their kids, other people’s kids, kids that are hurting, kids that are “special” – any kid! That’s why they created Passion 4 K.I.D.S.
Charles’ passion came from personal experience enduring an “upbringing” rivaling a movie script. Born in Amsterdam, Holland during World War II, he watched his Jewish father and grandparents be snatched away by the Nazis in front of him at age 2. His Catholic mom couldn’t take care of him so he was placed in a state-run orphanage where he suffered abuse of every kind for 8 years and survived on eating flower bulbs until he could no longer take it and ran away at age 10 drifting all over Holland. He vowed one day to help children, like himself, who needed stability, love and someone to care.
As an empty nester mom who at the time didn’t have any grandchildren to hug, Linda’s arms longed to bring love and happiness to suffering children who needed someone to care enough to help them.
It didn’t take long for them to see just how great this need really is, particularly in their own “backyard” of San Diego – they had no idea! With economic hardship, families unraveling, serious childhood illnesses in epidemic proportions, etc., Passion 4 K.I.D.S.’ mission is to focus on children in the United States that need help. These precious little ones have been given very heavy burdens to bear, through no fault of their own – some with life-threatening illnesses, some with abusive homes, some with life-altering accidents caused by others’ irresponsible actions. Each one deserves our best efforts because each one counts.
Passion 4 K.I.D.S. brings joy, love, stability and practical help to turbulent young lives. Charles and Linda believe in having a very hands-on approach both in the day to day operations of the charity as well as the lives of the children they work with. Passion 4 K.I.D.S. donates Passion 4 Life liquid vitamins to quadriplegic, autistic and ADD/ADHD children who can’t afford it. Linda also mentors foster youth for the County of San Diego and, together with Charles, spends many weekends taking these children on fun and educational one-on-one outings. They build lasting relationships with the children which continue long after the children leave the Foster Youth Program. In addition, Passion 4 K.I.D.S. raises funds for children in acute, life-threatening situations. Charles and Linda spend many hours weekly visiting “their” kids in the hospital or at home, purchasing and delivering basic necessities of food, clothing and water to the children and serve as a resource of love, compassion and assistance in any way possible to the children and their families they are honored to serve.
There are NO salaries taken out of any of your donations..
Charles and Linda reflect, “We hope we can be an example of two very ordinary people – no prior experience in setting up a non-profit, middle class with few resources, helping with situations we previously knew nothing about – who stepped out of our comfort zone to let God interrupt our life with a purpose and mission we are passionate about, yet totally inadequate in our own strength to accomplish. We have learned over and over when God gives the vision, He gives the provision.”
We hope you will be inspired to ask yourself, “If not me, who? If not now, when?” Find your passion, step out in faith and start! We’re sure you’ll find, like us, that the blessing you receive is far greater than the blessing you can be.
We invite you to join us on our God-given journey of trying to make a difference – one child at a time!
“To dedicate ourselves to glorify and honor God for His many blessings to us by making a difference in the lives of the most vulnerable and precious of His creation – children”
Although the “Van Kesslers” are surrogate grandparents to many children within the Passion 4 K.I.D.S. organization, they are thrilled to announce the arrival of their own 2 granddaughters Cecilia Anne “Cici”, born July 7, 2012 and Henley Amandine, born February 24, 2013.