Big Story

It all started 10 years ago when Kids Around the World built its first playground in Rockford's sister city in Ukraine.

Jim Rosene says, "We've completed over 40 playground projects around the world in over 15 countries, and six in Rockford."

Kids Around the World's next scheduled project happens to be in Thailand where they've been planning for months to build a playground with Rotary International. The site is in an area further inland from most of the tsunami devastation.

While they are still going ahead with the playground at the end of the month, right now they're focusing on meeting the basic needs of the hundreds of thousands of orphans. The partners the group already works with on playground projects in India, Sri Lanka and Thailand are coming together to provide food, water and shelter to the hundreds of thousands of children who lost everything.

"We have partners in these three countries, organizations we've worked with before that we trust will meet the immediate needs of the children with food, water and bedding [and] love them the way a child should be loved and cared for."

An organization out of Minneapolis has donated to KATW huge containers of food that will provide 285,000 meals. The local group is raising money to pay for shipping. The food will go to new orphanages in India and Sri Lanka. Local residents are helping with generous donations.

"It's been wonderful to be part of this. The Rockford community has come together with other organizations, great friends. It's great to be a part of this community and see the involvement that people have."

If you would like to send a donation to Kids Around the World, you can do it online by going to, or just stop by their office on Charles Street next to Stockholm Inn.