Julie Gilbert is the founder of the non-profit Julie’s Kids, Inc. She has been a resident of Little River, SC for thirty-five years and is originally from Connecticut. Service is very close to her heart and is a member of the North Myrtle Beach Rotary and the American Legion Post 186. Julie started out as a volunteer with Social Services youth nine years ago. She would then go on to obtain a degree, a double Masters, and open her own non-profit 501C3- Julie’s Kids!
The mission of Julie’s Kid’s is to provide youth ages five to twenty-one with hygiene products, new backpacks, clothing, shoes, Christmas, and more. Most foster children are allotted a yearly allowance but rarely do foster parents have the extra money to provide for things like new coats, all their school supplies, and new shoes that the child may have grown out of from the year before. Julie also conducts year-round fundraisers that provide kids with their own soap, toothpaste, towels, and sheets. She admitted that these kids want their own soap/deodorant because smelling “sterile” leads to teasing, especially for girls, leading to a lower rate of success in school.
Julie shared with the Carolina Forest Club members on the population in foster facilities – homes are usually made up of very few young children because that is the age when they are more likely to be adopted out of a home. The majority of the children are teenagers and by eighteen years most leave to start a life on their own- most likely to live on the streets and face many hardships.
Julie’s Kids has access to and receives help from local organizations, like Fostering Hope, and other outside sources. As a member of the North Myrtle Beach Rotary, Julie receives repeated aid from her fellow Rotarians in providing new shoes to the foster kids she works with. She also works closely with Social Services and the organization Save Our Children to combat the issues children face regarding sex trafficking and gangs in the North Myrtle and Myrtle Beach areas.
For more information on future events and how you can serve the Kids of SC, please visit julieskidsinc.com, friend them on Facebook, and/or donate to the cause! Many 2020 fundraisers were canceled due to COVID19, so please support this local organization.