One of our favorite aspects of what we do at Children Incorporated is pairing special individual sponsors with children to create lasting relationships, where each benefits from the other – the sponsor from knowing that they are helping a child in need, and the child from knowing that someone cares about them and their well-being, and is willing to support them so that they may obtain an education.
“I want to thank you for helping me with everything. It helped me get this far, and it has been a huge help to my parents that you are in my life. I hope that one day I can return the favor or pass it on.”
We recently received a beautiful letter written by a sponsored child, Josh*, to his long-time sponsor, Mr. Edwards*, where Josh expresses his deep gratitude for the support he received over the years. Josh began in our program at Glade Creek Elementary School in western North Carolina, and then continued to our affiliated school Alleghany High School, where he was provided with consistent monthly support and regular additional gifts, thanks to Mr. Edwards. For Josh, the support that he received through our sponsorship program has made all the difference in the world.
Introducing Glade Creek Elementary School and Alleghany High School
Just south of the Virginia-North Carolina boundary, Alleghany County is nestled amid idyllic mountains, only a few miles from the only roadway to be designated a U.S. national park: the Blue Ridge Parkway. Thousands of tourists pass through Alleghany County each year to glimpse its spectacular vistas. For many there, however, it is a struggle to earn enough of an income to get by.
Today, there are a few textile mills that provide employment, and there are some small businesses and service industry jobs in which Children Incorporated kids’ parents work – but they are often only part-time jobs. The largest employers in Alleghany County are the Board of Education, the county government, a yarn mill, a nursing home, and a hospital.
Out of town, in the countryside, there are some small timber operations and a growing number of Christmas tree farms. As tourism in the area has increased, many have purchased land and built vacation cabins on it. There are some gated communities there, too – and a growing gap between the “haves” and the “have nots”.
Many whose families had farmed for generations cannot make a living anymore by working the land alone. It is not uncommon for someone to hold a minimum wage service job in town while trying to maintain a small family farm. Many commute quite a distance to work, even across state lines into Virginia. For these reasons, Glade Creek Elementary School and Alleghany High School are incredibly important to the surrounding community, providing a nurturing environment for and a well-rounded education to students.
On the path to success
Upon graduating, Josh wrote to Mr. Edwards:
I want to say thank you for all your help. I am not sure that I would have been OK without your help. You put food on our table. My mother would pay all the bills, and then we wouldn’t have any money for food to cook. I was able to use the money to buy enough groceries for the week. That really put a smile on my mother’s face. I can never thank you enough for that.
I will be attending Appalachian State University in the fall. I want to major in pre-medical studies. I am super excited, and my family is super proud. I am the first in my family to ever attend college. I am very happy about it.
I want to thank you for helping me with everything. It helped me get this far, and it has been a huge help to my parents that you are in my life. I hope that one day I can return the favor or pass it on.
I am very excited to graduate in a few weeks. I am excited to see what the world has to offer. This is the biggest opportunity I have had in my life. I am glad to say that you played a part in this opportunity. Thank you again for all the help you have given me.
Sponsorship provides tangible assistance, and also intangible support through dreaming and planning for a better life. This hope is what Children Incorporated is all about.
*Names changed for individuals’ protection.
HOW DO I SPONSOR A CHILD IN NORTH CAROLINA?
You can sponsor a child in North Carolina 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.