BERRYVILLE, AR – An estimated 300 million children worldwide are subjected to violence, hunger, exploitation and abuse. That’s why Kerusso, the leading producer of Christian-themed apparel in the United States has announced the launch of a new worldwide initiative called “Live for Him: Waiting Children” in partnership with Compassion International, the world’s largest Christian child development and sponsorship organization.
A portion of the sale of items in the “Live for Him” product line, that include apparel, caps, rings and wristbands, will be donated to Compassion International. So far, more than $300,000 has been donated through the program. The goal of the “Live for Him” program is $500,000.
“In 2006 I went to Peru and visited several Compassion projects in action. I saw first-hand the true impact of the sponsor-child relationship on the faces of the children – with and without sponsors,” said Vic Kennett, chief executive officer and president of Kerusso. “I couldn’t let the moment pass. Before I left, my son Nik and I made the decision to sponsor two children named Edin and Elthon.”
Since that time, Edin has graduated from the Compassion program, and Samuel has been added in his place, Kennett said. “Knowing that I have a part in caring for ‘the least of these’ is part of what fuels me each day.”
Kennett said today’s announcement is a re-invigoration of the program. “‘Live for Him’ has been resting for a couple of years,” Kennett said. “But I’m excited to tell you that ‘Live for Him’ is back in action! These precious little ones deserve our help. All proceeds will help unsponsored children.”
More than 150,000 unsponsored children will wait up to six months for sponsors to support them through Compassion’s Child Sponsorship Program. During this time, Compassion provides physical, emotional, educational and spiritual resources for unsponsored children. That’s why the theme of this year’s “Live for Him” initiative is “Waiting Children” – focusing on those children waiting for sponsorship.
“’Live for Him’ is much more than just a best-selling product line and a fundraising campaign,” said Kennett. “‘Live for Him’ is a lifestyle statement. It means that your life is no longer your own. It belongs to Christ! Everything you do reflects on Him. When you ‘Live for Him,’ you care about your neighbors, your customers and those around you that don’t know Him.”
Mark Hanlon, Compassion senior vice president, praised Kerusso and said Compassion is grateful for the partnership. “Kerusso is a wonderful example of a company that is truly seeking to make a huge impact for the Kingdom of God by donating to worldwide missions,” said Hanlon. “Many companies post a mission statement in the halls of their organization. Kerusso does their mission around the globe with their products.”
The Kerusso “Live for Him: Waiting Children” product line, as well as other Kerusso apparel, jewelry, gifts and accessories, will be available at thousands of retail stores nationwide this summer.
Compassion International is the world’s largest Christian child development organization that permanently releases children from poverty. Founded in 1952, Compassion successfully tackles global poverty one child at a time, serving more than 1 million children in twenty five of the world’s poorest countries. Recognizing that poverty is more than a lack of money, Compassion works holistically through local churches to address the individual physical, economic, educational and spiritual needs of children – enabling them to thrive, not just survive. Charity Navigator, America’s largest charity evaluator, has awarded Compassion its highest rating – four stars – for seven consecutive years.