Kids in Action, a preschool program in Kingwood, has recently reopened its doors once again after enduring two catastrophic floods during May and September of last year.
This reopening is, however, special; the story behind Kids in Action’s recovery is a motivating and encouraging one.
Firstly, it is important to recognize the scope of this childcare program. “Our services are extensive – We began this program in 1988 and we have expanded in our 32 years of operation. In 2011, we created an after-school program that has seen tremendous growth ever since. We currently host several hundred students, all of which we actively seek to entertain by allowing them to play a myriad of games – we are a very play-based program,” said Diane Havens, co-owner of Kids in Action.
The wide range of services provided by Kids in Action have allowed them to make extensive relationships within the local community – connections that would assist Kids in Action when catastrophe struck.
“Our center flooded in the May flood unexpectedly; we did not flood in Harvey but this time around, the water rose and we flooded,” said Havens.
Although Kids in Action was able to successfully recover from the May flood, the program took another devastating hit during September.
“By the time the first renovation was completed, we had only 20 days in our building until the Sept. 19 flood hit us … this process forced us to relocate our children to five different locations over the local area,” said Havens.
One of the key elements to the story is the hospitality and devotion that was exemplified by members of the community, who stepped in to assist not only Kids in Action, but also all of the children that the program seeks to assist and take care of on a daily basis.
“Woodridge Baptist Church opened its doors to us and received our childcare children and two Humble ISD elementary schools opened their doors as well … That alone was a miracle, as they already host after-school childcare – but an Humble ISD representative told us that, ‘You take care of our children, so we'll take care of you,’” said Havens.
One of the rather interesting obstacles developed with the notoriously challenging and difficult reality of battling with City of Houston permits. Kids in Action ordered several temporary buildings to place in their parking lot and the city demanded payment in the amount of tens of thousands of dollars.
“Unfortunately, we had to scrap the idea so we had to cut our losses; our temporary buildings stood in our lot for two months and not once did one of our children step in,” said Havens.
But no matter the amount of difficulty that Kids in Action faced, the organization’s resolve was far stronger.
“It would have been a huge strain on any business to keep their business afloat as we had to; we faced multiple difficulties … But through it all, we kept all our staff intact and with five locations, we miraculously kept the place together,” said Havens.
Havens emphasized the perseverance that was displayed by her staff. She said, “The commitment from our staff has been incredible, this journey was a testament to the human spirit – we overcame these setbacks two times and our resolve, although wavered – did not break.”
Kids in Action held its reopening ceremony Jan. 6 after a series of anti-flood features were installed into the renovated building.
Kids in Action rests as a pinnacle example of perseverance, endurance and the effect that community outreach may have on a local business dedicated to serving the people all around it.