Mike Hollander, Founder of Kidstown International
In 1990, after viewing the 20/20 program on ABC about the deplorable conditions in Romanian orphanages, Mike Hollander made his first trip to Romania. He traveled as part of the Christian Reformed World Relief Committee(CRWRC) and saw firsthand how the orphans lived. Mike made several trips to Romania with different organizations throughout the next few years bringing relief aid.
In 1995, Mike visited a private orphanage in Zsobok, a small town populated by a Hungarian minority. Reverend Irma Molnar, a Reformed Church pastor, and her husband Janos, a professor of theology, were caring for about 35 abandoned children in three small rooms, giving them basic needs and love. “These kids were being loved and cared for,” Hollander declared, “That’s what needs to be supported. That’s what looking after kids is all about.”
In 1996 Hollander established Kidstown Romania, Inc. for the purpose of raising money to expand the Molnars’ orphanage (named Bethesda Home), set up educational facilities, and rescue more abandoned children.
In 1998, Kidstown Romania expanded to helping another Christian orphanage, the Alesd Home, in the city of Alesd, Romania. The Alesd Home is under the care of Anamaria Gonczi, a retired children’s doctor. In 2000 Kidstown began working with three more Christian orphanages: Casa Sperantei, Casa Dorca, and Casa Otniel. In 2002 Kidstown adopted a sixth orphanage, the Casa Filip. In 2003 Kidstown moved forward with plans to help four additional orphanages.
In 2005 God began to open the doors for a new work in India and Nepal where the challenge of abandoned, orphaned and children at risk is enormous. During the next 10 years, we became aware of 40 additional homes that needed help to answer the call of caring for children.
As of 2018, Kidstown is helping to care for over 1,000 children living in 49 orphanages in Romania, India, and Nepal.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Marv Tjoelker, Board Chair
Steve Shelton, Vice Chair
Mike Hollander (Founder)
Chuck Valley, Executive Director
Rusty Polinder, Regional Director NW Washington / Mid-west
Aubrie Devine, Office Manager
Esther Klebe, Administrative Assistant
Florica, Regional Program Administrator (Romania)
Eszter, Regional Program Administrator (Romania)
Loknath, Education Counselor (Nepal)
Naresh, Regional Program Administrator (Nepal)
Sukhlal, Regional Program Administrator (Nepal)
CV, Regional Program Administrator (India)
Nelson and Ruby, Assistant Regional Program Administrator (India)
Asit, Regional Program Administrator (India)
Abhoy, Regional Program Administrator (India)