4thekids was founded in 2012 by two Baton Rouge high school girls: Elizabeth Sherman and Sydney Saia, who, as next-door neighbors and life-long friends, began at age 8, doing ongoing projects to raise money for children. When their church youth leader invited the two girls to tour the Our Lady of the Lake children’s hospital, the girls recalled two high school friends who had been recently transferred out of state for serious health care needs and learned of the need for expanded, new facilities and the dream of a new freestanding children’s hospital in Baton Rouge.
They created the “4thekids” campaign and designed a logo by having actual patients place their painted handprints and names onto a heart shaped poster. The sale of t-shirts and various fundraising events began immediately with all proceeds going to Our Lady of the Lake children’s hospital.
4thekids continues to sell t-shirts, and has additional projects including their design of “coeur-sage” bracelet and pendants. “Coeur” (which means “heart” in french) “sage” bracelets are sold as an alternative or as an addition to the usual corsage bouquets given at high school formal occasions. The project expanded to 7 area Baton Rouge high schools. All proceeds go to the Our Lady of the Lake children’s hospital and the purchasers not only are able to save their “coeur-sage”, but also help to save the lives of children. Additionally, 4thekids expanded its fundraising efforts by hosting charity estate sales, live teen concerts, as well as bake sales in conjunction with the annual Louisiana state chili cook-off. 4thekids received a Kappa Delta Foundation grant which was used to host “4thekids lead-on young leaders’ summit” in early 2018. 4thekids also host the annual fall event “kickoff 4thekids” and annual spring event “crawfish for a cause”.
In August 2015, after 6 months of research and consultations, 4thekids donation of the first telepresence robotic device for hospital use in Louisiana! 4thekids robot, called “Weegeaux” by Vgo, allows health care providers or family members to not only be in a distant location but to move around in that location, thus extending family member and health care contact and support to the patient. All of this is possible through the growth and support of our wonderful high school and college volunteers!
4thekids is grateful for the many publication appearances and donations over the years and anxiously awaits the opening of Our Lady of the Lake’s freestanding children’s hospital in fall 2019.
4thekids has tax-exempt status under IRS 501 (c) (3) and is classified as a public charity. Contributions to 4thekids Baton Rouge, inc., are deductible under section 170 of the internal revenue code.