Kids Helping Kids, an entirely student-run 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based out of San Marcos High School's AP Economics classes, is hosting its annual benefit concert on Jan. 11 at The Granada Theatre in downtown Santa Barbara. Up-and-coming artist Andy Grammer is featured as the headliner of Kids Helping Kids’ annual benefit concert, with special guest Tim Lopez from the Grammy-nominated Plain White T’s band.
This night is presented by the State Farm Youth Advisory Board. All proceeds go directly to those in need.
Since its inception in 2002, Kids Helping Kids has raised more than $1 million for youth, both locally and globally. Past allocations have included educational and medical subsidizations for youth in the Santa Barbara community, as well as support of an orphanage in Rwanda and a safehouse in Nicaragua.
You can get involved by attending the Kids Helping Kids annual benefit concert at The Granada, donating an item to our live or silent auction, buying a raffle ticket for our Mini Cooper to be raffled off on Jan. 11, becoming a sponsor, or by making a monetary donation.
The Kids Helping Kids initiative was started in 2002 by the San Marcos High AP Economics class. Its vision came from teacher Jamie DeVries, who wanted to change the stagnant atmosphere of the Econ curriculum and give the students a real-world application to the principles they learned in class. The organization’s first project was a penny drive enlisting the help of local grade schools and high schools. From there, Kids Helping Kids students hosted a benefit night and silent auction at Santa Barbara’s Ruby’s Diner during which a portion of each dinner was donated to Kids Helping Kids.
The organization has grown exponentially from there and each year the students build off of the accomplishments of the prior class. Kids Helping Kids hit its big break in 2008 when Tyrone Wells, folk-pop singer and songwriter, agreed to perform for a benefit concert. By the end of that year, a total of $105,000 was raised. 2008 also marked the year that Mark Chipello, Wells’ personal manager, agreed to be the talent buy for Kids Helping Kids. As the official talent buyer, Chipello served and continues to serve as the organizations liaison with record industries, securing each year's artist.
The following year, Kids Helping Kids landed alternative rock band Toad the Wet Sprocket, which coincided with the first year the annual gala event was held at The Granada. Kids Helping Kids landed well-acclaimed artists, three of which have garnered Grammy nominations. They have hosted Sara Bareilles, Matt Kearney, Wells, Toad the Wet Sprocket and Five for Fighting.
— Laurel Mead represents Kids Helping Kids.