About Us

Our Mission Statement

We are empowered students making a difference from the classroom to the community.

Who Are We?

It’s in the name. Kids Helping Kids is an entirely student-run, official 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization lead by the students in the Advanced Placement Economics classes at San Marcos High School in Santa Barbara, California. We work to help fellow kids in need. 

What do we do?

The ultimate goal of Kids Helping Kids is to invest in the lives of kids needing socio-economic and physical support, both locally and globally. We do this in a variety of ways, but we are known for our annual benefit gala concert. These concerts began in 2009 and are held at the world-class, multi-million dollar Granada Theatre. The concerts are entirely student produced, by us at Kids Helping Kids, and have featured artists such as Grammy nominee Sara Bareilles, Grammy winning Switchfoot, and nationally acclaimed Andy Grammer.

Up to the night of our signature gala, Kids Helping Kids is involved in events in the community and produces a series of smaller events such as school dances, festivals, and restaurant nights. We also put on a school talent show - the winner of which gets to perform as an opener at the benefit concert.  

We also raise funds through sponsorships, visiting and speaking to both local and national businesses, in order to form partnerships and spread the mission of Kids Helping Kids. 

Why we are passionate about what we do.

Everyone has different reasons and motivations for joining Kids Helping Kids, but the overwhelming reason is that we have a passion and desire to help others who are less fortunate. Our organization is a family; we help each other grow and push each other to always do our best. Having this opportunity to help others allows us to extend our family. We take what we learn in the classroom and use it to improve the quality of life of kids, and in turn their families, locally and globally in an experience that cannot be equaled anywhere else. It provides us students not only with life-long and life-changing memories, experiences, and rewards of running a non-profit, but also with mastery of real-life applications of the principles of economics.

What we've accomplished.

  • Raised over 2.5 million dollars since being founded in 2002.
  • Past artists who perform at our benefit concert have been: Toad the Wet Sprocket and Tyrone Wells (2009), Five for Fighting (2010), Mat Kearney and Tyrone Wells (2011), Sara Bareilles and Tyrone Wells (2012), Switchfoot and Brad Corrigan from Dispatch (2013), Andy Grammer and Tim Lopez from Plain White T’s (2014), Ingrid Michaelson and Jon McLaughlin (2015), NeedtoBreathe and Johnnyswim (2016), Gavin DeGraw and Parachute (2017).
  • Spread our Kids Helping Kids model to 2 other high schools: Sacramento and Dana Hills, California. 
  • Locally: 
    • Provided financial support to a family at our school, so they could spend all of their time with their daughter who was dying of cancer. 
    • Supported a family with the payment of a funeral for their child, who was tragically killed in a car accident.
    • Donated an electric wheelchair for a student with the rare skin disease, Epidermolysis Bullosa, who could then achieve a great sense of independence. 
    • Purchased visual aid machinery and hearing equipment for students at our high school, to enable them to interact with their peers and teachers to the best of their ability.
    • Subsidized SAT/AP fees for students who were unable to afford the cost of the exams, which provide them the opportunity to display their knowledge, receive college credit, and boost their chance at undergraduate admission. 
  • Internationally: 
    • Continue to support a safe house for children in Minagua, Nicaragua, who can be taken out of their at risk environments. 
    • Installed water purification systems in Honduras, to bring clean water to communities that, mostly, have never had access it to before.  
    • Funded the building of a preschool in Rwanda, providing shelter and education for children living in an impoverished and disease stricken environment.
    • Helping provide education resources to girls recused for The Red Light District in Mumbai, India. 
  • Awards: 
    • Recognized nationally by receiving the National Subway High School Heroes Award in 2011. 
    • Awarded a $78,000 grant from the Youth Advisory Board of State Farm Insurance to support our dream of spreading the Kids Helping Kids program to other high schools across the nation.