In the United States, the first Thanksgiving celebration dates back to 1619. Thirty-eight English settlers arrived by boat at the Berkeley Plantation in Charles City County, Virginia, and they immediately held a festival of thanks and appreciation for their safe arrival following a long and treacherous trip. They also gave thanks for the abundance of the land – vegetables and foodstuffs galore – and they feasted on the bounty before them.

Each year since that time, though the days and dates changed over the course of history, our society has set aside one day each year to give thanks for all that we, as a people, have been blessed with. Food is a huge part of these celebrations, and many of us take for granted that it will be served in great variety and large quantity. That is simply not true for thousands of families in the U.S.

I want to thank each of you who supports the work of Children Incorporated for your caring hearts.

A thanksgiving to remember

I recall meeting a family a few years back at a local elementary school. They had been chosen by a church group to be the beneficiaries of a multi-course Thanksgiving meal, and I was given the task of delivering the food to them. When I arrived at their home and started unloading turkeys and hams, stuffing and gravy, green beans and cranberry salad, as well as an assortment of pies and cakes, the children’s eyes were absolutely huge, and one of the little boys, seeing the turkey in front of him exclaimed excitedly “Is that really for us? We’ve never had a turkey before!” Another child was mesmerized by the pecan pie before him.

The children’s mother had tears rolling down her face as she explained that without this donation of food, she would have prepared a big pot of collard greens, seasoned with a ham bone, and that would have been their entire Thanksgiving meal. That was all they could afford.

Thanksgiving is a time to celebrate and express appreciation for all that we have, yet it is also a time to reflect on the fact that many people – an estimated 12.5 % of U.S. citizens – live well below the poverty line, and food insecurity plagues far more than that. Worldwide, it is said that as many as 828 million people go hungry at least part of the time. As we reflect on our many blessing this Thanksgiving season, may we also think of those who go without. May we realize that we do have the power to make a difference, and we can do so with small acts of kindness, generosity and sharing.

I want to thank each of you who supports the work of Children Incorporated for your caring hearts. I truly believe that together, we can, and we do make positive differences each and every day, however big or small. Together, we touch children, families, and communities, and we offer hope and possibility. For that, and for you, I am thankful. I am also very blessed.

From the heart,

Ronald H. Carter
President and Chief Executive Officer


How do I sponsor a child with Children Incorporated?

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