Twice a year, our volunteer coordinators in the United States send us report about how our sponsorship program is working at their school, which often times comes are poignant and emotional thank you’s directed to our sponsors for all they do.
Hear from Anne Marie at Alleghany High School about how important our program is for her kids in the rural part of North Carolina where she lives and just how far donations go towards making a difference in this edition of Stories of Hope.
“Alleghany County is in the northwest corner of North Carolina and is known for its abundance of Christmas trees, which are shipped all over the world. It is also home to Alleghany High School, where 18% of the student body has a Children Incorporated sponsor. I became the Children Incorporated coordinator for Alleghany High School in November 2021 and assisted the previous coordinators whenever help was needed. During my time as a coordinator, I have always been amazed at how much the Children Incorporated sponsors help and support our students.
All our Children Incorporated students have their instructional fees paid, and school pictures and yearbooks are purchased for each student. All our seniors also have their cap and gown paid for with Children Incorporated funds. This year, a few weeks after school started, each student was allowed to pick out and purchase school gear (such as t-shirts, sweatshirts, jogging pants, toboggans, etc.). In early December, each of our students received a fresh box of fruit containing apples, pears, and oranges, and the fruit that was not picked up by the families was then delivered to their houses by myself and my assistant, Rhonda.
Several years ago, our school noticed a need for food for the holidays for our families. To meet the need, on the last day of school before Christmas break, each staff member signs up to personally deliver the meals to our Children Incorporated families. The school partners with Lowe’s Hardware, which donates the cooler bags, and Food Lion, which prepares the bags for us to pick up and deliver. The meal consist of a turkey, ham, green beans, mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, salad, rolls, and an apple pie. This year, an anonymous donor in the county bought Food Lion Feeds boxes for each of our families which were delivered along with their meals. The box contained rice, spaghetti noodles, macaroni and cheese, tomato sauce, and a can of green beans and corn. The picture below shows the cooler bags waiting to be distributed to staff members to deliver. Over the years, we have received countless thank-yous and even tears from our families for the meal. Some families have told us that they did not know what they would have eaten over the holidays.
Our Children Incorporated students know to ask us for anything they may need. Funds have been used to purchase hygiene supplies, clothes, shoes, coats, blankets, school supplies, and more. Many of our students would not have the things that they need if it were not for Children Incorporated sponsors. We cannot not say enough thank-yous for all you do for our students.”
Anne Marie Erhardt