student at a time – the most important number


Kids Hope USA builds life-changing relationships one at a time: One Child. One Hour. One Church. One School.

Our Story

Over two decades ago, Dr. Virgil Gulker researched a question that led to Kids Hope USA’s launch: How can churches have the greatest impact on America’s children?

After gathering input from sociologists, law enforcement, health professionals, educators, and child development experts, one response appeared on the top of everyone’s lists: Fill the relational voids in kids’ lives. In other words, send people to personally meet with students who need reliable, caring adult relationships. And start with children in the earliest grades. That was the clear answer in 1995. It’s still the answer today.

Relationships Matter

The most abundant resource in every church is the capacity for its members to share love. Person to person. With no agenda. And no expectations. Just show up.

Giving individual attention to students at school grows harder every year. Larger class sizes and smaller budgets means fewer adults to connect with more kids. The obvious solution: Send the adults where they’re needed and can make an immediate difference.

Welcome to Kids Hope USA!

Making an Impact

Evidence-Based Results


90% of Kids Hope USA churches serve their schools, families, and students beyond a mentoring program

After a single year of mentoring


improved in socio/emotional competency


improved in educational success


improved in attitude toward risky behaviors

“Because duration tends to imply close relationships and strong programs, match length is considered one of the best benchmarks of overall program effectiveness.”

Jean E. Rhodes, Ph.D., University of Massachusetts, Boston

out of


relationships studied

91% of mentoring relationships that could have continued after one academic year continued meeting the next year.

Of those relationships that ended, 7% were due to student transiency and 2% for other reasons.


of our students promote to their next school grade.


of volunteers report their faith strengthens or they feel more committed to their churches.


of teachers report that Kids Hope USA students improve in academics, attendance, behavior, and attitude.

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