Hear from our Director of U.S. Programs, Renée Kube, about her visit with our volunteer coordinator and a sponsored child and his mother at our affiliated project Johns Creek Elementary School in Pike County, Kentucky:

“I arrived on a cloudy afternoon; and even though it was April, spring had not yet reached the higher mountain elevations. The trees had buds, but no leaves.

“I was welcomed warmly by long-time Family Resource and Youth Services Center (FRYSC) Coordinator and our Volunteer Coordinator, Dwayne. It had been a while since I’d visited, so Dwayne took me on a tour of the buildings and grounds so I could familiarize myself with them.

“Rebecca told me that she will never forget our organization’s special help when she and her husband were so desperate.”

– Renée Kube

“Dwayne explained that the original building was constructed around 1950. A separate addition was built in 1975, with a courtyard between the two structures. Finally, a third addition was built in 1991 that enclosed and reclaimed the courtyard for academic purposes, and also provided a new cafeteria.

“Johns Creek Elementary School is the second-largest elementary school in the entire county, with over 800 children. Dwayne feels the school has an excellent academic reputation, and that young parents choose to live in the community so their children can attend school there. It is located in the rural community of Meta, where there is a lot of poverty. Seventy-two percent of the students at the school receive free meals. However, the county’s overall poverty rate is so high that it has qualified for countywide free breakfasts and lunches.”

A tireless advocate

“Dwayne is a tireless advocate for his students, and he works with partners large and small, near and far, for their benefit. He uses a company called Kits for Kidz that provides new, discounted, name-brand school supplies that can be ordered by age and grade. He partners with Operation Warm, a nonprofit organization headquartered in Pennsylvania that provides new winter coats to needy children.

“And he works on a smaller scale with a county group called Manna From Heaven Outreach, Inc. that provides clothing, hygiene items, and sometimes furniture. By collaborating with Operation Warm, Dwayne doesn’t have to use sponsorship funds for winter coats, so he instead focuses on using that money for the purchase of shoes and clothing for our sponsored children throughout the year, which really helps him and the children in our program.”

Taking action

Renée with Joshua and his mom, Rebecca

“After our tour, Dwayne took me to his office, where he had made an appointment for me to meet with Joshua* and his mother, Rebecca*. Joshua is eight years old and is the youngest of three boys who live with their mother and stepfather. All three boys are currently in our sponsorship program. His mother is a homemaker, and his stepfather does landscaping work. Joshua has Down syndrome, which comes with some developmental and physical problems. Overall, his health was stable until this school year, when he had three emergencies that required hospitalization.

“One of these emergencies resulted in a delicate heart operation at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. Rebecca took Joshua to Ohio, and she stayed with him while his stepfather stayed home with the two older sons. Dwayne appealed to Children Incorporated for help for the family during these emergencies, and we were able to respond. Our Hope In Action Fund provided food for the stepfather and older boys, some aid with food and lodging for Rebecca, and some funds to purchase food and pajamas to ease Joshua’s stay in the hospital.

“While visiting with them, Rebecca told me that she will never forget our organization’s special help when she and her husband were so desperate. And she added that they are, of course, very grateful for the regular assistance that the boys receive from their sponsors, too.”

Thank you, Renée, for sharing this heartfelt story as a reminder of how Children Incorporated sponsors and donors make a difference in the lives of so many children and families in Kentucky, all over the United States, and around the world!

*Names changed for individuals’ protection.



You can sponsor a child in Kentucky in one of two ways: call our office at 1-800-538-5381 and speak with one of our staff members, or email us at sponsorship@children-inc.org.


Education, Stories of Hope, Kentucky

written by Shelley Callahan

Shelley is the Director of Development for Children Incorporated. She is also the lead social correspondent, regularly contributing insights through the Stories of Hope blog series. Sign up for Stories of Hope to receive weekly email updates about how your donations are changing the lives of children in need.

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