Children are a gift, and the late Gary Houck Jr. realized this when he began The Kids Trust in 2005 shortly before he passed away. Houck, who was director of operations for Houck Services Inc., Harrisburg, Pa., formed the charity to help abused children grow up in safe, happy and exciting environments.
Each June, the trust grants money to agencies in central Pennsylvania that address child welfare.
According to the Department of Health and Human Services, 3.3 million cases of child abuse involving 6 million children (reports can include multiple children) are reported in the U.S. every year. The U.S. has the worst child abuse record among industrialized nations—losing five children every day because of abuse-related deaths.
Child abuse includes physical abuse, neglect, sexual abuse, medical neglect and psychological maltreatment.
Brad Beldon, president and chief executive officer of Beldon Roofing Co., San Antonio, has served on the organization's board of directors since 2005.
"Each year, The Kids Trust receives a number of requests and the board selects a handful for grants," Beldon says. "Some of the programs are simple; however, many are complex and will help shape the minds of children in need. Unfortunately, there just isn't enough money to help them all."
Kara McCaffrey, Houck's sister and the organization's director, says: "The Kids Trust recently held our annual fundraiser, Run on the Roof, which raised a little more than $25,000. We know how special roofs were to my brother, so we thought putting a treadmill on a roof is a good way to honor him. We have runners switch off to run during 24 hours."
Since its inception, The Kids Trust has disbursed more than $250,000 to agencies serving abused children.
To make a donation or to learn more about The Kids Trust, visit www.thekidstrust.org.
Ambika Puniani Bailey is editor of Professional Roofing and NRCA's senior director of communications.