She isn’t doing this for the fame. She doesn’t do it for the fortune. Letitia Conliffe, founder and president of Lil 4’s, does it for the children.
“This might be the worthiest cause I have been able to help with in my career,” said Sulphur Springs City Manager Marc Maxwell. “I am so excited for Letitia.” He admitted this all started with one promotional flyer back in November 2017.
On Monday Maxwell joined Conliffe in a surprise trip to New York City courtesy of ABC’s The View. This was where the giving-back took place. Conliffe was featured for her work she does on 200 Fuller Street in Sulphur Springs. The nonprofit organization is helping children by providing food, life skills, mentorship, and motivation. What she didn’t know was that back in Sulphur Springs her organization was going to receive a huge makeover.
“My house is always full,” admitted Letitia Conliffe, in a recent interview with KSST. She cares for children ages two to 18.
A correspondent, Sean Giggy, from WFAA was waiting live in Sulphur Springs while Maxwell and Conliffe were in New York being interviewed live on The View on Tuesday.
“My mom did not say, ‘I love you’ to me,” said Conliffe, describing her reason for starting this club. “She would write it but never said it.” Conliffe felt like she wasn’t important and began running away from home, skipping school, and was living on the street as a teen mother.
“I was given a second chance,” expressed Conliffe, after losing a friend to drugs. She hopes to guide these children away from drugs, teen pregnancy, and abuse. “I have dedicated my life to these children. I will never turn a child away…I want to give these children the love they might not be getting at home…There are so many that seek for this love.”
During the live interview, The View co-host Whoopi Goldberg held back the tears describing how rare a person Conliffe is and that she helps “remind people of what they can be – of the best in them.” Goldberg goes on to say Conliffe is quietly changing the community and is “a mother, counselor, caretaker, and source of strength,” as she was given a stand ovation. Author Colleen Hoover and Maxwell helped create her GoFundMe account. The video made Goldberg want to reach out to her situation – “safe haven for kids.” Hoover wants to help show these children the community cares for them.
“You can just feel the love when you walk in…it is like it is baked into the walls,” said Maxwell. “She [Letitia] genuinely loves these children.” He said the first thing the children look for when they walk in is their hug. Then they get a warm meal. He had to be very sly setting this surprise up for Conliffe. When he had to bring in donors and contractors he introduced them as his cousins. All of his planning made for even more excitement.
Her club, she originated in 2001, was named for her four daughters, three which were present for the interview along with her son. It is a free daycare and after school kids program.
In her interview, Conliffe went on to hit the target of the issues in today’s society. “Do we really know our kids?...We have let social media take over our children’s lives. Social media is killing our kids day by day.” She teaches these children values and respect from a tiny space near the railroad tracks in Sulphur Springs.
Conliffe looked on as a big HEB truck pulled in next to her building full of groceries for her pantry enough to last her and the children through the holidays along with a $10,000 donation. But it didn’t stop there – the Jarrell Company kitchen and bath will be providing her with all new GE appliances for her kitchen to replace the crock pot and microwave she had been using.
Kevin Otto with Seconds & Surplus will be remodeling her kitchen to give her the proper accommodations for her club. Plus Goodman Manufacturing will be installing a new air conditioning system to fight off the brutal Texas heat.
Maxwell was credited by the show for working overtime secretly to make this happen for Lil 4’s Kids Club and Conliffe. He has been a passionate supporter. The giving continued as Michelle Moran donated Skineez skincare baskets and $20,000. Grace Eleyae blessed her with caps and $20,000. Casey Kelley with Blended Designs donated backpacks to all of her kids and $20,000. Conliffe was overwhelmed with emotion and tears.
She also secretly received amazing support from local contractors and citizens. Maxwell credited JR Services – Jeff Redding – with plumbing and air conditioning installation, Mike Bentley installed the electrical, Elliott Electric – Brian Monk – donated electrical supplies, Commercial Services – John Heilman – coordinated the labor, Apex donated the hot water heater, Coy and Patsy Johnson helped insulate the building plus many other anonymous donors.
“Everyone was so generous. All I did was ask once,” said Maxwell. He said her next big need was clothing and diapers in sizes 3, 4, and 5.
Maxwell extended his appreciation to all of those at ABC and the WFAA affiliate.
“They really care,” he said. “They continue to offer support.”
To contribute to her club find her GoFundMe account at https://www.gofundme.com/for-the-children-of-sulphur-springs. She still has a mountain to climb, but she has set goals for the club. She restores these children’s dreams. She would like everyone to know her motto, “if no one has ever told you that they love you today… it is Letitia loves you.”
Watch the entire segment now: