Seven years ago, this gracious woman decided to open her arms and her heart to the “inner city” kids in Sulphur Springs who had no “safe haven” or positive place to go after school. Letitia Conliff did not have a lot of money and really no place to open an after-school program, but she has done it anyway. At a small building she rents near downtown Sulphur Springs, she prepares and serves a light afternoon meal and snacks with the use of a crockpot, a microwave and a donated refrigerator. She and her volunteer mentors read and sing, play games and see that the children ages 5-17 study and get their homework. They show pride in the kids and teach practical life lessons, like teamwork and getting along together like a family. She dreams of taking the children on educational trips to show them the world beyond their home town.
For most of the seven years, Letitia has paid the rent and utilities from her own pocket and from various local donations she received. At times she was dismayed, but always prayed that the club could continue. As attendance began to grow to 50 kids at times, at times Letitia really needed extra help to keep the doors open for the boys and girls who arrived each afternoon. She admits that termination notices from utility companies often came to her mailbox, and that many mornings when she unlocked her building, she felt joyful when the lights came on.
In 2017, she decided to try GoFundMe to help raise some money for the organization. Recently, Whoopie Goldberg saw the GoFundMe video on You Tube and was impressed. Next thing you know, a film crew from The View was in Sulphur Springs at the 200 Fuller Street location, and Letitia was in New York on the set of the popular TV talk show. In response to the broadcast, three different organizations pledged $20,000 plus services and a nationwide grocery chain kicked in $10,000 plus shipments of food to be delivered weekly for a year.
Now, long-awaited assistance in on it’s way! The club will have a new fully-equipped kitchen, new heating and AC system, thousands of dollars worth of foods, skin and hair care products, backpacks and more for the children, plus funds to help with operating expenses. Letitia gives the glory to God for making it happen for the kids of Lil 4’s Kids Club.