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Read more, then contact us. We’ll take you on a tour of our programs and introduce you to our staff and the KIDS we serve. We guarantee your heart will be touched by those you meet and you’ll be impressed by our outcomes.
Our roots are from Camp Fire Girls. Our wings lift up KIDS and families.
A history and mission dedicated to children and making our community a great place to live.
Completely KIDS grew out of the well-known and beloved Camp Fire Girls organization. As Camp Fire Girls, we were a formidable presence in signing up troops and helping girls learn skills and crafts, being rewarded with beads and badges. In the 1930s, the Camp Fire chapter focused on community beautification, planting trees throughout the city. The chapter received a donation of a 107-acre tract of land to provide girls with summer camp memories. In the midst of World War II, the Camp Fire Girls launched numerous volunteer programs, such as canned food drives, lemonade stands and hosting cadets. By the 1950s our historic organization was enjoying record membership of more than 4,000 girls with more than 3,000 girls attending Camp Fire camp.
In 1975, boys were admitted to Camp Fire, facilitating the name change to Camp Fire Girls and Boys. In the 1980s, our local program expanded to encompass a safety education program called “The Bubbylonian Adventure” that educated children on safe and appropriate touch and how to recognize and withstand peer pressure.
At this time, the national Camp Fire organization drove and directed traditional club program and camping experiences, but our vision for our local chapter was to expand programming to include health and safety components, career days and opportunities to build life skills.
As this programming caught on and became increasingly needed, it became clear that our mission had shifted to moving away from camping and beads to services that build self-sufficiency in kids living in low-income neighborhoods in the greater Omaha metro.
We expanded our services to children in homeless shelters in 1991 and we became the first organization to start an afterschool program for immigrant children at Our Lady of Guadalupe Hall. In 1995, the club program dissolved altogether, and our efforts turned to meet the growing demand for after-school and safety education programs and meeting the basic needs of urban families whose children needed a safe place after school.
In the early 2000s, our organization began a partnership with Omaha Public Schools, becoming the first outside agency to provide an after-school program in the schools. This was the beginning of our realization that we could impact the academic success of the children we serve, be a conduit for families with their children’s schools and better understand the needs of our community, which included starting the Snack Pack Program (now called the Weekend Food Program), in 2005.
It was at this time that we moved to our current headquarters building at 2566 St. Mary’s Avenue positioning us at the heart of the community we serve. In 2011, the CEO and Board of Directors made the bold decision to unhook from the national Camp Fire organization. This enabled us to redirect thousands of dollars that had gone to national dues to our true mission and practices serving those in our neighborhood and community. We launched positioning research and with this definition, a committee of experts from the board and outside organizations, identified a new name and developed a new logo and identity system.
In short, that’s when Completely KIDS was born.
By 2017, we needed a renovation and expansion of our building to provide additional educational and enrichment opportunities for an increasing number of KIDS and families.
In 2018, we formed partnerships with Omaha Bridges Out of Poverty, Inc. and Ronald McDonald House Charities in Omaha to provide afterschool and family services for KIDS and families using the services of these nonprofit organizations.
By 2019, our newly renovated and expanded building opened and accommodated the need to serve more KIDS and families with more room for adult education, our Homework Diner, Teaching Kitchen, Saturday classes and the space required to prepare the volume of increased weekend food prep and distribution.
In most recent years, we added two new Omaha Public Schools – Gifford Park and Walnut Hill elementary schools, and St. Cecilia Catholic school – to our family of afterschool sites.
In 2020, we weathered the COVID-19 pandemic resourcefully, offering virtual learning and online mental health services and we maintained weekend food distribution via a drive-thru service.