- Teens in the Northwoods facing hard times have a caring resource specifically for them.
That's the mission of the Kids in Need program based in Rhinelander.
Kids in Need serves at-risk teenagers in Oneida, Vilas, and Forest Counties.
But "at-risk" includes more of a variety than you might think.
"At-risk can mean many things. It can mean a child that is just having troubles in school and needs a little help. It can mean a teen that is having troubles at home. It can mean a teen that is out on the streets or couch-hopping," says Tammy Ellis, Executive Director of Kids in Need.
The Kids in Need program is open to all teens in the Northwoods.
From giving presentations in middle schools to offering a 24-hour hotline for teens with troubles, Ellis estimates the program contacts about 12-hundred children per year in the Northwoods.
Kids in Need also provides opportunities to complete court-mandated community service, tutoring and mentoring, and crisis intervention.
"The biggest goal of Kids in Need is runaway prevention and working on keeping kids at home. The first thought of a youth when there's problems at home is 'I'm going to run away'," Ellis says. "Our biggest goal is to preserve families, to keep everyone together."
For teens needing help, from runaway situations to school problems, the number for Kids in Need is 1-800-622-9120.
When we stopped by today, the Kids in Need office was preparing for its annual Senior Citizen Prom.
That's one of many community programs they put on, and it's coming up April 21.
Written By: Ben Meyer