5th Annual Back to School Bonanza!
The Back to School Bonanza! is a program of KidzKare, Inc, a Rochester-Based 501(c)3 non-profit founded by pediatrician Jay Mitchell, MD in 2011, who recently retired to work full time with KidzKare programs, to provide the following free items and services to Rochester area* children ages 4-18 with Medicaid or no medical insurance:
Poverty in the Rochester Area
Despite being thought of as one of the wealthiest cities in one of the wealthiest counties in the country, more than 15% of students in the Rochester Community Schools qualify for one or more forms of state and/or federal financial assistance. The Bonanza! serves these financially disadvantaged children 4-18 years old in the greater Rochester area. Despite improvements in the economy, the number of children served each year continues to grow.
The Bonanza! started in 2012. In the first three years of the program, the Bonanza! served more than 2,200 children from 2 months old to 18 years old, and provided goods and services with a retail value of more than $330,000. It was awarded the Michigan Department of Community Health’s Hometown Health Award in 2013.
More than 40 for-profit and non-profit organizations partner with KidzKare each year at the Bonanza, including Rochester Area Neighborhood House, Assistance League of Southeastern Michigan and Whole Foods Market.
The Bonanza! has also received grants and sponsorship to support its funding, including 2015 event sponsors DTE Energy and Five Star Singles Connection. In addition, over 150 volunteers offer their time each year, including many healthcare professionals.
Without this generous community support, the Bonanza! would not be able to serve the needs of local financially-disadvantaged children.