In 1964, the average cost of a new home in the United States was $13,050. Postage stamps were 5 cents each, and a gallon of gasoline cost just 25 cents more than that. One could buy a loaf of bread for less than a quarter, and a ticket to see one of the latest theatrical blockbusters — Goldfinger or Mary Poppins — was $1.25.

Reports from those early days indicate that funds raised for and provided by Children Incorporated — the organization started by Mrs. Wood — were life-changing.

The Ford Motor Company introduced its iconic Mustang with a suggested retail price of just $2,368, and a young boxer then known as Cassius Clay won the Boxing World Heavyweight Championship against Sonny Liston. Additionally, four young men from Liverpool, England —collectively known as The Beatles — took the world by storm, at one point holding down the top five spots on the Billboard Hot 100 record chart.


A legend of her own

In the midst of all of this, a young woman named Jeanne Clarke Wood started a small nonprofit organization out of her home in Richmond, Virginia to improve the lives of children who often went hungry and without their most basic needs met.

Mrs. Wood contacted friends she had met through previous employment, and with the help of her philanthropist father, she began a child sponsorship program consisting of just 95 youngsters in poverty-stricken Guatemala.

Mrs. Wood visited our affiliated projects around the world for decades as the founder of Children Incorporated.

Reports from those early days indicate that funds raised for and provided by Children Incorporated — the organization started by Mrs. Wood — were life-changing.

Hungry children were fed. Children who had been wearing threadbare pants and shirts and shoes with holes in the soles were outfitted with sturdy clothing. Young people, who had gone without paper, pencils and necessary schoolbooks were provided with them.

Standing the test of time

Fifty-five years later, the work of Children Incorporated is still changing lives. Through our child sponsorship program, many individualized needs are met daily as our network of nearly 300 volunteer coordinators worldwide seek out and identify those things that the children they serve need most to succeed in school and life.

Our Hope in Action Fund assists children, families and communities with everything from replacing items lost in house fires and natural disasters to building schools, dormitories, gymnasiums and housing units. Our Higher Education Fund allows qualified students to attend colleges, universities and to take vocational classes.

Our wonderful sponsors and contributors make our work possible today, just as they did when Children Incorporated began in 1964, and for that, we are extremely grateful.

Our Skills Training Programs give young people the opportunity to learn a trade they can use to support themselves and their families while giving back to their communities.

Changing lives all over the world

In these ways and many others, Children Incorporated has reached, touched and changed the lives of approximately 300,000 children and their families over the last fifty-five years. Our dedication to improving lives and providing education, hope and opportunity is as strong — if not stronger — than ever.

We always strive for transparency and integrity in how we use the funds entrusted to us. We honor the fact that we have such high ratings among the main charitable monitoring groups — 4 Out of 4 Stars from Charity Navigator and a Grade “A” rating from Charity Watch, among others — because we respect our donors immensely. They are our partners in all that we do, and we owe them nothing less than our best.


The need still exists today

New homes now cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. Postage stamps and gallons of gasoline are each currently ten times more expensive than they were in 1964, and tickets to popular movies now run between $12 and $16 nationwide. A loaf of bread now goes for around $4.00, and Cassius Clay — later known as Mohammed Ali — passed away three years ago.

Ford is still making the Mustang, though the list price is now approximately $35,000 for a new one, an increase of a whopping 1475 percent! Two of the Beatles now survive, each approaching 80 years of age, and the Queen of England has knighted both.

Many things have changed since 1964, yet the needs that exist in the world — for food, clothing, school supplies and other essentials — remain as real and constant as ever. Children Incorporated is still working to meet as many of those needs as possible.

Our wonderful sponsors and contributors make our work possible today, just as they did when Children Incorporated began in 1964, and for that, we are extremely grateful.

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HOW DO I SPONSOR A CHILD WITH CHILDREN INCORPORATED?

You can sponsor a child with Children Incorporated in one of three ways: call our office at 1-800-538-5381 and speak with one of our staff members, email us at sponsorship@children-inc.org or go online to our sponsorship portal, create an account, and search for a child that is available for sponsorship.