A BETTER LIFE FOR KIDS

Because Every Child Matters

Mount Prospect, IL   |  www.abetterlifeforkids.org

Mission

A Better Life for Kids is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization committed to providing life-saving food, medicine, baby formula, and education opportunities for orphaned and special needs children in Ghana. We are focused on building personal, meaningful relationships with the children so that they know they are loved.

Notes from the nonprofit

Thank you very much! Have a wonderful day!

Ruling year info

2011

President

Shelley Nizynski Reese

Main address

219 S. William

Mount Prospect, IL 60056 USA

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EIN

27-5064133

NTEE code info

International Relief (Q33)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

A Better Life for Kids focuses on meeting the basic needs of orphans, destitute children and children with special needs in Ghana as well as sponsoring children to receive a complete education. We believe education is the most powerful weapon we can use to change the world.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Malaria Project

Most of the screens protecting the children from malaria carrying mosquitoes at the orphanage had severe tears and large holes in them, and some were missing entirely, including on windows just feet away from the cribs the babies and toddlers sleep in!

Garbage collection and disposal was a large concern for the orphanage. Garbage was collected in a corner of the orphanage children were able to play in and around waste. The trash is rarely collected and accumulates. The garbage posed a danger to the children in addition to breeding mosquitoes and other illnesses.

Population(s) Served

The Fred Hollenberg Family Support Program was created to honor a very special donor whose generosity blessed our children tremendously. This program enables A Better Life for Kids to support needy families with food, education, and housing assistance. Recipients will be families who would not be able to keep their children without this type of support. Our goal is always for children to live with a family. An orphanage is not an ideal place for children to be raised. The love and support a family provides is irreplaceable.

Population(s) Served

A Better Life for Kids provides the opportunity for orphaned and needy children to receive a complete education by providing their school tuition, school uniforms and supplies, books, a solar-powered lamp for studying at night, and lunch every single school day for each sponsored child.

Population(s) Served

Through Eggs for Kids our goal is to give the orphanage children a more nutritious diet by providing a sustainable source of protein (eggs) to them each day. This initiative
offers a structured activity and bring responsibility for the older children at the orphanage as well as provides jobs to local Ghanaian farmers. We will sell the extra eggs to pay for the chicken feed and farmers.

Population(s) Served

A Better Life for Kids is partnering with the village chief and tribal elders to build a manual pump well in a rural, remote village in Ghana to provide clean water to the entire community along with de-worming medication, medical care, and mosquito nets.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Awards

Power of One Award 2012

Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

A Better Life for Kids is committed to providing life-saving food, medicine, baby formula, clean water, and education opportunities for orphans and children with special needs in Ghana, Africa.

Through a variety of initiatives, Eggs for Kids, Malaria Project, Fred Hollenberg Family Support Program, Water for Life, Homes for Kids and Midian Education Support, we focus on giving as many children as possible a better life.

A Better Life for Kids works closely with local people in Ghana that share in our mission and help provide on the ground support for our initiatives. We travel to Ghana a minimum of twice a year to check in on the children we sponsor and projects we fund to ensure accountability and transparency as well as respond to needs that arise. We work with local government officials in Ghana to further achieve our goals.

We continue to provide holistic resources to Ghana's orphans and children with special needs:

Food - A Better Life for Kids purchases and hand-delivers an ample supply of beans, grains, meat, and baby formula to the orphanage bi-annually. Through our Eggs for Kids initiative we provide every orphanage child with a sustainable source of protein (eggs) each day and also offer opportunities for the older orphanage children to learn farming skills, responsibility, and a strong work ethic through working on the chicken farm.

Medical Care - Malaria, infections, ringworm, and parasites are daily threats to the orphans, yet death from these diseases are easily preventable. We regularly provide a variety of life-saving medication and first aid supplies. Through our Malaria Project initiative, we distribute and educate orphanage staff on the importance of using mosquito nets and repair and replace severe tears and large holes in the mesh netting of the orphanage's doors and windows.

Education Access - We are currently sponsoring 28 children to attend school. This includes their tuition, school supplies, uniforms and shoes, as well as lunch every single school day, additional tutoring, and a solar-powered lamp for studying at night.

Special Accessibility for Children who are Deaf - Eight orphaned children who are deaf are currently attending a school for the deaf for the first time ever, because of A Better Life for Kids. These children are shunned by society because of their disability but now they have begun learning proper sign language and how to read and write.

Reaching Distant Communities - We also help in the rural Northern Region of Ghana, where there are the highest dropout and illiteracy rates in the country, by sponsoring 11 children in the region to attend school. Through our Fred Hollenberg Family Support Program, we also provide needy families with food, education, and housing assistance so that they are able to care for their children instead of poverty forcing them to send their children to live in orphanages.

Water for Life - We are working with the village chief and tribal elders to build a manual pump well! In this community the only water available is full of water-borne diseases that is making them and their families sick. Dirty, diseased water leads to a cycle of sickness, lack of education, poverty, and lost hope. It is such needless suffering. We hope to also raise the necessary funds to treat the entire community of 1,000 people for intestinal parasites.

What's Next?
Homes for Kids: Because Every Child Deserves a Family
We believe there is no replacement for the love and care of a family. Our goal is to also build family homes and transition our kids to a more stable, loving, and favorable growing environment using a model that has been proven very successful worldwide.

Financials

A BETTER LIFE FOR KIDS
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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A BETTER LIFE FOR KIDS

Board of directors
as of 6/26/2018
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Mrs. Shelley Nizynski Reese

Encouragement Place

Term: 2011 -


Board co-chair

Mr. Brent Reese

Lighthouse Christian Products

Term: 2011 -

Jennifer Ciok

Skokie School District 73.5

Kathryn Hollenberg

Skokie School District 73.5

Lynn Chambers

Skokie School District 73.5

George Nizynski

Lighthouse Christian Products

Thomas Reese

Alexian Brothers Occupational Heath

Sally Battle

Des Plaines Library

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes