KT’s Kids began in 2003 at Liar’s Club with Katie Augustyn, Herb Rosen, Mike O’Connell, and Mike Cook. Katie was spending her days working at Schwab and her nights bartending at Liar’s Club. These four started talking one night and decided that they wanted to do something to support the kids at Schwab – KT’s Kids was born.
Each Christmas, we host a show at Liar’s Club featuring raffles, burlesque, and performances by punk legends from bands like Local H, Naked Raygun, Pegboy, Dummy, and Stiff Little Fingers. We’ve raised over $75,000 since 2003.
We raise money for the patients of KidsRehab at Schwab Rehabilitation Hospital, ranging in age from infants to teens. Schwab is in North Lawndale and is one of only two rehabilitation hospitals in Chicago. Most of our kids come from the lowest socioeconomic communities in Chicago.
The Schwab multidisciplinary KidsRehab staff, including physical, occupational, speech and psychological therapists, help children gain their maximum functional independence after illness or injury. Our medical director, Dr. Lisa Thornton, is one of the world’s preeminent pediatric rehabilitation specialists. The team at Schwab designs a treatment plan tailored to the unique needs of each child. To assure continued progress even after a patient has been discharged, KidsRehab maintains ongoing contact with families and the child to help provide smooth transitions; whether back home, to school, or with ongoing therapy.
In summer, we support C.A.M.P. Schwab. C.A.M.P. (Children with Adapted Mobility Play) is a free summer day camps for kids with disabilities in Cook County. We provide camp for almost forty kids, aged 7–18, who receive services at Schwab, La Rabida or Shriner’s Hosptial, including transportation, activities, and a closing picnic to celebrate. C.A.M.P. Schwab brings kids outside to play on their own terms, and that’s hugely empowering.
Each winter, KT’s Kids throws the kids of KidsRehab a holiday party to give them all of the donations we’ve raised each year during our Toy Drive. We invite all of the children in the household, not just patients. Every child gets two gifts (one fun, one practical), and each family gets a $20 Target gift card. The children play adaptive games, have pizza and cookies, and most importantly, they meet Santa!
*This past year, because of Covid-19, we have had to rethink our normal way of doing things for the holiday party. So to comply with all health and safety guidelines, we decided to live stream a music and variety show. A big THANK YOU to everyone that participated and made donations!