Last year, we received a wonderful donation of hundreds of pairs of shoes, thanks to a special donor Rita who wanted to help children in Richmond, Virginia, in the vicinity of which our office has been located since the organization’s inception more than fifty years ago. Rita spearheaded a massive shoe drive with local churches in response to the devastating Hurricane Harvey of 2017. Many of the shoes were shipped to Houston, but Rita set aside about 250 pairs specifically to help children in our program, because she strongly believes that children must have their basic needs met so that they may attend school and have the chance to succeed.

Upon receiving the donation of shoes, our Director of U.S. Programs, Renée Kube, delivered the shoes to four of our Richmond projects: E.S.H. Greene Elementary School, T.C. Boushall Middle School, Elkhardt-Thompson Middle School, and Huguenot High School. The children were incredibly grateful for the shoes, and we are thankful for people like Rita who go above and beyond to help children in need!

Rita set aside about 250 pairs specifically to help children in our program, because she strongly believes that children must have their basic needs met so that they may attend school and have the chance to succeed.

Our history in Richmond, Virginia

Founded in 1609, Richmond is among the nation’s oldest cities, steeped in a history that spans the colonial era, Civil War era, and beyond. It is situated upon the picturesque James River, which winds its way from Appalachian tributaries into the Chesapeake Bay. It is also here in Richmond that Mrs. Jeanne Clarke Wood first founded Children Incorporated out of her home in 1964. Since then, we have moved our office to just outside of the city in North Chesterfield, Virginia, where our dedicated staff of fifteen works diligently to help children all over the globe, including in the City of Richmond Public Schools system, where we partner with Communities In Schools. Children Incorporated is currently affiliated with ten public schools in the city: seven elementary schools, two middle schools, and one high school – all located south of the James River.

Quick facts about child poverty in Richmond

Despite its wealth of history, culture, diversity, and the arts, many areas of Richmond, Virginia struggle beneath poverty and its socioeconomic effects. Some facts about child poverty in the city include:

 In 2015 (the most recent year for which data is available), the City of Richmond was home to 14,254 children who were living in poverty – a rate of 36.3%

– Between 2011 and 2015, children living in “deep poverty” were three times more likely to find themselves in the same circumstance as adults, and to experience greater toxic stress and negative experiences than children living in or above poverty. In the City of Richmond, these were an average of 9,604 children, or 25.1%

 – In 2015, children who were living in the City of Richmond and struggling with food insecurity were numbered at 7,910, or 20.1% – despite access to and the use of food stamps

1 in 7 children in Virginia struggles with hunger – a combination of charitable action and government assistance is necessary to help bridge the meal gap [source: Feeding America]

– There are 7 food banks that serve Virginia, including the Capital Area Food Bank in Richmond. Our volunteer coordinators tell us that many families have transportation barriers – especially grandparents and great grandparents raising children – and that they have difficulty accessing the food bank. Programs that let the children take food home are very helpful in overcoming these transportation barriers, and in ensuring that children have nutritious food [source: Feeding America]

– In general, children who live in the south side or east end of the city are poorer than those who live in the north side or west end

***

HOW DO I SPONSOR A CHILD IN RICHMOND, VIRGINIA?

You can sponsor a child in Richmond 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.