Our Story | For Purpose Kids
Pictured: Founder, Misty Castañeda & Son
We all want our children to feel safe and loved. To feel they belong.
As a little girl, I remember being unsure of how to navigate the world. Some things would make me extremely happy, like going to the beach and singing with my Dad. Other things would make me feel crushingly sad, like reading about devastating events and learning about people suffering. It felt like I was personally experiencing their pain. My family told me I was safe and I had everything I needed, but I wanted to understand how to belong in a world that felt so overwhelming.
I was incredibly privileged to travel to other countries while growing up. Over time, I began to realize I felt most “at home” outside of the United States – in places where I met new people and interacted with other cultures that spoke to my heart, even if in a different language.
The seed of For Purpose Kids was planted back then, but it began to take root while I was living in Hong Kong as an adult in 2014. There seemed to be an extreme disconnect between my fellow expats and the people who lived and worked in the places we were living and traveling. I knew I needed to do something to cultivate more connection. I also knew my worldview was more open because I was introduced to different cultures throughout my life. After seeing a video online of a compassionate young boy named Dane raising money for his community, the vision for For Purpose Kids began to sprout. I imagined a world in which being kind and doing good for others become the rule for the next generation, rather than the exception – and I got to work creating the first version of FPK.
Many voices told me kids were “too young” to understand the things I was trying to inspire, like empathy, compassion, and belonging, but I knew that wasn’t true.
Back in the U.S. two years later, still trying to find my stride with FPK, my husband and I welcomed our son into our multiethnic family and I became a Mom. I kept thinking: what will I say when my son grows up and asks “What did you do when the world I was born into was so full of hate, fear, and divisiveness?” With this, the drive to connect people, especially young people, became that much more urgent. And since learning about other people, new places, and different cultures has always been the primary point of connection for me, I decided to narrow the focus to inspiring the next generation of global citizens through cultural exploration.
Through several iterations, numerous conversations with parents and caregivers, ongoing research about the power of play and how imaginative stories can expand young minds, the Global Kidizens were born.
Along with a team of visionaries, we’ve brought the Global Kidizen dolls and stories to life. What we’ve created together, as a team, brings me so much joy and gratitude – feelings I hope are shared as you interact with For Purpose Kids and the Global Kidizens. I’m so glad you’re here.