MADISON, Ala. (WHNT) - When you generously donate nearly half-a-million dollars to a local nonprofit, you get a whole lot more than the 'nickel tour.' Dorothy Davidson took a grand tour of the Kids to Love Center Thursday. The Kids to Love Foundation welcomed a $369,000 investment to its capital campaign by Davidson Technologies Inc. The generous donation will expedite the launch of KTech, a new workforce training initiative to benefit area foster children.
The initiative, called Mechatronics, will be the heart of the Kids to Love Center located at 140 Castle Drive in Madison. The donation provided by Davidson Technologies Inc. will fund a Mechatronics lab, which will train students in a specific skill set used for industries from automotive to aerospace.
“The Mechatronics Lab will provide children with the Kids To Love organization training in skills that will benefit their future. It will be good for them and the community. It will offer them a feeling of accomplishment and enable a look into their future with hope.” Mrs. Dorothy Davidson said.
Madison Mayor Troy Trulock was in attendance for the check presentation and explained he had a personal connection to the Kids to Love mission.
"I had a young man that my family and I took in for 4 years as a foster child and he did exactly what this program is going to help. When he aged out, he wanted a trade skill because he wasn't wild about college. He's actually at Calhoun and doing well, but if this place existed then, he would have preferred to come right out of high school, gotten a technical skill, and gone straight to work in advanced manufacturing," Trulock explained.
Kids to Love Founder Lee Marshall says she is absolutely overwhelmed at the generosity of Davidson and countless others.
"There have been so many people who have given their time, donated supplies for the renovations, the building itself is donated -- but today really is about putting some traction into this vision. So now we're going to be able to purchase that much needed equipment at the large price tag of $360,000 plus, to become a center to train our children and give them skill sets where they can go straight to work. But it's not only for our kids, this is a benefit for the community too because this is a skill that's needed in the workforce that employers are telling me they just can't find and they need to make business happen in our community."
KTech will equip older teens who are aging out of the foster care system and might not otherwise have education or career opportunities.
But the KTech lab at the Kids to Love Center won't just be schooling kids on high demand labor skills; they'll be learning life skills along the way, as well.
"They are going to ready to be successes in life," Marshall assures. "And we're really breaking the mold and this has been a burden that I've had for a long time for these older kids who are aging out. Most of them end up in jail, they end up homeless, on drugs -- we are going to breaking the cycle of foster care and dependence on the system with our Kids to Love Center."
Kids to Love, incorporated in 2004, has impacted the lives of more than 175,000 children in foster care. It operates 8 programs, including efforts to place children into “Forever Families” through adoption. For more information log on to www.kidstolove.org.