Yearly Archives: 2014


GOING GLOBAL: RFK Camp Comes to Ghana

GOING GLOBAL: RFK Camp Comes to Ghana


Pastor Joshua Earnest Tay (aka “Papa JET”) flew to the USA this year to raise funds for his ministry in Ghana, especially for children’s programs. Ghana has over one million AIDS orphans and many are abandoned and live on the streets of Accra, not far from Glorious Harvest Ministries Church where he serves as founding pastor.


In May, Pastor Joshua came to the Christian Alliance for Orphans conference in Chicago for new ministry ideas, but he kept returning to the Royal Family KIDS booth, quizzing Kerry Rhodes about RFK camp. He loved the “treat people royally” message, but he could not see a camp working in Ghana. “We just don’t have the money!” he told Kerry. Plus, most Africans don’t get paid vacation so how could volunteers give a week to help kids? “This is God’s camp for HIS kids, if it is going to happen it is up to God!” Kerry told him. Then Kerry, Glenn Garvin, John Schweider and the RFK team gathered around Joshua and prayed.


Within days, Joshua was emailing the office and chatting by phone with Joanne Feldmeth, who directs RFK international programs. In June, he got on a bus for a 17-hour ride from Illinois to Texas for Camp Directors’ Training! He emailed the office: “By the grace of God I arrived successfully in Texas yesternight for the RFK Directors Training Institute Camp. Scott Murrish picked me [up]… He and the wife are hosting me in such a wonderful way … We have had our orientation. It’s exciting! …Am meeting more wonderful leaders and friends… God bless you all and the big royal family kids leadership…”


When the training covered “Everybody’s Birthday Party,” Joshua confessed he had never had a birthday party! So Training Director Jeff Juhala and the class threw him a party! By the end of the week, this young pastor was determined to bring RFK ‘royal treatment’ home to abused and abandoned children in Ghana.


Once home in Africa, Joshua’s preaching changed. In September he focused on the gospel messages about orphans and vulnerable children and explaining the Royal Family KIDS approach to his church: 18 camp volunteers signed up! The new team started intensive planning, deciding on the Christmas 3-day holiday for a weekend camp. Joanne emailed new camp covenants and legal agreements to establish the program, and ‘met’ some church staff via Skype. Jeff sent e-versions of the training manuals and Joshua launched formal RFK Counselor and Staff Training in November!


With an estimated $4,000 needed to run camp, a committee went to local Accra corporations for sponsorships. They were turned down by every company they asked! Three weeks before Christmas, Pastor Joshua refused to delay camp, convinced God was calling them to move forward in faith. He received the OK from Joanne and Jeff to approach his American RFK training class, and Jeff also contacted key USA Camp Directors.


On December 12, $3,639 was wired to the church for RFK Ghana! The funds came from RFK friends, directors and churches. On Christmas Day 2014, the first RFK Camp in Ghana welcomed orphaned and abandoned children as a result of Royal Family international partnerships and the unwavering vision of a young African pastor we met in Chicago!



You can see this $100,000 Future Hope Matching Challenge comes at a critical moment … and what a great Christmas gift for children who have been abused, abandoned and neglected.

Dear Friends,

When you stepped in, things began to change! Lexi started out life unwanted, battered and bruised by a neglectful mother and her slew of abusive live-in boyfriends.

Her life continued to go downhill as she moved in with a new family that continued to abuse her. But thanks to friends like you, Lexi was able to attend Royal Family KIDS Camp … where one afternoon, she was dressed in a beautiful ball gown, invited to an elegant tea party — and received a new name: “Princess.”

When “Princess” Lexi went back to her abusive home, she held onto what she had learned at Camp:

“God didn’t create me for this. I am a Princess.”

Her new-found hope helped her overcome the difficult situation —

Today, our “Princess” Lexi is in her second year of college. She excels in her studies, and is bound for a future of helping others, the way she was helped — by you. Right now, you have the opportunity to help many more children like Lexi find hope for the future — through an amazing year-end matching challenge that will DOUBLE your online donation.

This is great news because right now we are preparing for …

  • 213 Royal Family KIDS Camps in Summer, 2015, serving 7,600 children in need.
  • 41 Royal Family KIDS Clubs in 2015, providing mentoring for 750 children throughout the school year.

With these crucial plans for the new year, it’s imperative that we finish 2014 in a position of financial strength — prepared and equipped to bring hope to more kids like Lexi.

You can see this $100,000 Future Hope Matching Challenge comes at a critical moment … and what a great Christmas gift for children who have been abused, abandoned and neglected.

Please consider giving a generous online donation now.

Your gift will be DOUBLED to give the gifts of love and a Future Hope to many more children like Lexi! Thank you for standing with us at an important time.

For the Children,

Chris Carmichael, President & Wayne Tesch, Co-Founder


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Royal Family KIDS & For the Children Foundation invites you to check out this Legacy Giving opportunity!

The President has just signed HR 5771 into law. This law includes a one year extension of expired tax provisions retroactive to January 1, 2014, including a reauthorization of the IRA charitable rollover through December 31, 2014. Donors age 70 1/2 and older may now transfer up to $100,000 from their IRA to a qualified public charity. The transfer is not subject to federal income tax and qualifies for the donor’s 2014 required minimum distribution (RMD).Don’t delay! You will need to act right away if you wish to receive IRA rollover gifts from your donors by the December 31 deadline.
Thank you!


Job Title:             Director of Community

Organization:      Royal Family KIDS, Inc.

Location:             Santa Ana/Costa Mesa, CA, Area

WANTED: An organizational superstar with a natural flair for using social media and an eye for creative excellence. Also, you must be a great writer/editor who is not afraid of bursting into tears (from the amazing stories from the kids we serve, not because the boss is a jerk).

Royal Family KIDS, the nation’s leading network of summer camps and mentoring clubs for kids in foster care, is seeking to fill a key position at its national office in Santa Ana/Costa Mesa. This is a rare opportunity to start a life-changing career with eternal benefits (and some earthly ones, too). These include competitive (non-profit) pay, a fun work environment, a flexible work schedule, and most importantly, making a tangible difference in the lives of kids who need YOU!

As the first ever Director of Community, you will be responsible for managing the messaging of the charity, both in print materials and online. You will work with our leadership team and network of Directors around the world to collect the heartwarming stories to communicate to our donors. With the help of our outside programmers and creative teams, you will reshape and refine our website and social media strategies. We are seeking someone ultra-comfortable with WordPress, Photoshop, and other programs. You will also work with our financial team to maintain our donor software and tracking the trends in our donors’ giving.

You will serve on the front lines when communicating with our donors, which makes this one of the most important positions at our charity.

Finally, you will help our President by scheduling fundraising and donor appointments, following up on emails and phone calls, and generally serving as Executive Assistant as needed. You will train under our Communications Director and President, and it is a full-time position with opportunities for advancement.

Specific Responsibilities:  

  • Gather, filter and manage all communication elements (stories, pictures, audio, video) from camp directors, club directors, volunteers and others as needed and create a schedule for distribution throughout the charity’s network.
  • Provide marketing skills and expertise where applicable in social media, online presence, video production, print materials etc, working with in-house or outside contractors for creative and graphic design development as needed.
  • Assist with the design, distribution and maintenance of all print and electronic collateral, including (but not limited to) newsletters, monthly donor letters, receipt letters, appeals, brochures, annual report, e-newsletters, etc.
  • Coordinate print packages/communications in pre-press stage of production through final product.
  • Coordinate website maintenance system. Ensure that new and consistent information (article links, stories, and events) is proofed and ready to be posted regularly according to social media calendar. Assist with individual camp website program.
  • Communicate and work closely with all relevant internal departments as it pertains to the marketing/communication departments.
  • Assist with preparing appreciation/recognition gifts for Board, volunteers, donors, outside professionals, etc.
  • Assist with coordination of fundraising events and other donor functions.
  • Help identify grant opportunities, recommend new technologies/platforms and help the organization track current, potential and lapsed donors.
  • Serve as Executive Assistant for the President, as needed.
  • The above responsibilities are subject to change and additional duties may be assigned as needed.


  • 3+ years of marketing/communications experience, preferably in non-profit sector. (We had to say this. The truth is that if you’re the right person for the job, we’ll hire you — it just might take longer to get through the interviews.)
  • BA or BS degree.
  • Project management experience.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  • Ability to think analytically.
  • Strong communication skills and a positive public speaking presence.
  • Proficient in Microsoft Applications (i.e. Excel, Word, PowerPoint) and other desktop applications such as Photoshop, donor management software.
  • Knowledgeable in current marketing/digital trends and technologies.
  • High degree of integrity with the ability to handle confidential and sometimes highly sensitive matters in the appropriate manner.
  • Must be a happy, positive worker with an acute sense of urgency in regard to frequent deadlines.
  • Versatility, flexibility and enthusiasm – “no task is too small or too big” mentality.
  • Highly organized and a self-starter. Able to work independently; enjoys creating and implementing new initiatives. Professional attitude.
  • Sincere commitment to work collaboratively with all constituent groups, including staff, board members, volunteers, donors, program participants, and other supporters.



Salary:     Depends on Experience

In-Service Training: There is one week required attendance of our Director’s Training Institute in June. This week is paid service.

Vacation: See PTO Policy

Sick Pay: See PTO Policy

Work Hours: 40 hours per week, flexible in-office schedule possible, as coordinated with the President.

Holidays: RFKC, Inc. observes approximately 9 holidays; offices will be closed:

New Years Day, Good Friday, Memorial Day, July 4th, Labor Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving and Friday following Thanksgiving, Christmas.

If you feel God nudging you to apply for this position, please follow these steps:

  1. Send an email to Chris Carmichael, our President, at CHRISC@ROYALFAMILYKIDS.ORG.
  2. Mark the subject line “Director of Community.”
  3. Attach a simple resume and be sure to include at least three references.
  4. In a cover letter (or the email body), tell Chris a little more about you and what makes you tick. Please have patience as we expect this to be a popular opportunity and we may not be able to respond right away.
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Christmas is a GREAT time to promote Royal Family KIDS Camp, Club & Mentor programs.  Santa Maria, California’s RFK has sponsored a Holiday Home Tour for the past 3 years.  This event gives the community a chance to tour five of the area’s most beautiful homes all decked out for the Holidays.  Volunteers join in the fun of decorating, advertising, preparing refreshments for guests and hosting visitors on the tour.  Tickets are $20 per person for the relaxed evening of festive Christmas cheer.  Last year’s one-day tour raised nearly $4000.  What a wonderful way to share the Gift of Camp & Club with the foster children of Santa Maria!

Listen to Camp Director, Diane Rae share this story on the Royal Family KIDS Leadership Podcast!

Training Flyer 2014


For the first time ever, our registration process for Directors’ Training is available ONLINE!   Is your church ready to launch their own Camp for the children in foster care from your area?  We would like you to send 3-5 people from your church to our Directors’ Training Institute… a week-long time of intense training designed to prepare your leaders to put a new Royal Family KIDS Camp in your area.

Your leaders will participate in 36 class-hours of study with Master’s & PHD level trainers.  They will also experience approximately 20 hours of observation at a running Royal Family KIDS Camp as it is in progress.  Click here to be directed to our training page to learn more!

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CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE SOUL is making another book about volunteering! Whether you are a first time volunteer or you have been volunteering for years; whether you are a hands-on volunteer or you work or donate to a charitable organization, you can make a positive impact in this world. A single individual can make a significant difference in the lives of others and in the community as a whole. How has your life been changed by volunteering? What have you done with your life that makes you feel good and has also made this world a better place? We are looking for true stories about how you found purpose, passion and joy in your life by doing for others. And by volunteering, we mean an unpaid position.

Here are some suggested topics but we know you can think of many more:

  • Paying it forward
• Making a difference
• Random acts of kindness
• Unsung heroes
• Being a role model
• Acts of compassion and love
• Finding a new purpose
• Being the beneficiary of a charitable act
• Working as a team
• Working for a charitable organization
• Taking a chance
• The rewards of volunteering
• Doing something for someone who cannot repay you

Please remember, we no longer publish “as told to” stories. Write your experience in the first person. Do not ghost write someone else’s story unless you list that person as the author. If a story was previously published, we will probably not use it unless it ran in a small circulation venue. Let us know where the story was previously published in the “Comments” section of the submission form. If the story was published in a past Chicken Soup for the Soul book, please do not submit it, as we will not publish it again.

If your story is chosen, you will be a published author and your bio will be printed in the book if you so choose. You will also receive a check for $200 and 10 free copies of your book, worth more than $100. You will retain the copyright for your story and the right to resell it.

SUBMISSIONS GO TO OUR WEBSITE. Fill in the form, select this title, and paste your Word document into the box that is provided.




Abandoned by his mother as a three year-old boy, Rob Mitchell shares his story of growing up amidst unspeakable abuse.  Listen to Rob as he is interviewed by Focus on the Family President, Jim Daly.  This two-part interview was featured as a part of Adoption Awareness Month and broadcast on Focus on the Family Radio. In sales since 1978, Rob Mitchell has built a successful business that has earned him recognition as one of the nation’s top investment consultants. He has authored one book, Castaway Kid: One Man’s Search for Hope and Home.  

Rob is a long-time friend of Royal Family KIDS and has spoken at our National LIFT Summit/Directors’ Enrichment Conference in California.




What an honor it was for Royal Family KIDS to be invited to participate in the National Foster Care Initiative’s Symposium hosted by the Christian Alliance for Orphans this past August in Oklahoma.  Both Wayne Tesch and Glenn Garvin were among the 45 distinguished guests and speakers for this intense day of live broadcasting.  The purpose of the event was the sharing of stories, vision, passion and networking… all on behalf of those whose voices are seldom heard.  Royal Family KIDS is a partnering member of CAFO, joining in their efforts to engage Christians around the globe in meeting the needs of the Modern Day Orphan.  (

As stated on their website:  The Christian Alliance for Orphans unites more than 150 respected Christian organizations and a national network of churches.  Working together, our joint initiatives inspire and equip Christians to “defend the fatherless” (Isaiah 1:17).

Ultimately, we seek to stimulate and help grow Christian communities committed to adoption, foster care and global orphan care in the local church.  Our united efforts include the annual Summit conference, the Orphan Sunday campaign, the Global Movements Initiative, the National Foster Care Initiative, and an array of other shared undertakings.

As the Alliance helps Christians understand God’s call to care for the orphan and equips them for effective response, the impact reaches far beyond a single program or met need.  Rather, an ever-expanding army of passionate advocates invest time, talent and treasure in a personal and sustained commitment to caring for orphans in the name of Christ.


Scott-Tricia-MurrishScott Murrish, an active Royal Family KIDS Ambassador, walked into a classroom full of high school freshman to give a two-day presentation on “Sexuality, Health and Relationship Education.” Tough topic. Tougher audience. He immediately recognized a former camper, Brianna*, who was 15. She saw Scott and gave him a reassuring “thumbs up.” With that, Scott dove into a well-put-together and compelling discussion on how these young students can reserve their hearts, minds and bodies for the best future relationship possible: marriage. A segment of this hard-hitting but compassionate curriculum deals very honestly with sexual abuse. In the middle of this difficult part of the lecture, Brianna shocked the room as she stood up. With tears in her eyes, she boldly thanked Scott for so clearly sharing how kids are often abused with no one to stand up for them. Scott’s heart melted at her courage! He says, “Eight years earlier, Brianna came to Royal Family KIDS Camp as a little girl who was repeatedly abused and neglected. Shy and withdrawn, she wouldn’t even play with other children. But now, she is filled with confidence and boldness. This change is nothing short of amazing! After class she told me how she can’t wait to graduate so she can become a Volunteer at Camp. Thanks for helping transform Brianna’s life!”