Tag Archives: Arizona

Our Fall 2021 Newsletter

We are happy to share with you our Fall 2021 Newsletter, highlighting our work around the world thanks to our sponsors and donors and their generosity and dedication in helping children in need. Enjoy!

Thanks to our sponsors and donors, we have been able to help them in their efforts to keep children and teachers safe and healthy.

Providing an Abundance of Support to our Projects in 2021

Around the world, our volunteer coordinators at nearly 300 affiliated projects continue to navigate how they can best support children in need through the COVID-19 pandemic. Thanks to our  sponsors and donors, we have been able to help them in their efforts to keep children and teachers safe and healthy while they work hard to provide impoverished students with a well-rounded education — whether at home or in the classroom.

Although the last school year has been like no other in Children Incorporated’s history, we have continued to provide children in our program with the resources they need to overcome the obstacles they face during the global pandemic. It is with a great deal of gratitude that we thank each and every one of our supporters for their role in these efforts.

Offering Hygiene Items to Girls in Kenya 

Our sponsors have provided thousands of children with school supplies this fall.

More recently, some of the most important items we have been able to offer to children in our program has been hygiene items — masks, soap and hand sanitizer – for them  to take home and use in their daily lives to help prevent illness and protect children and their families against all kinds of disease, most specifically COVID-19. Additionally, when we consider the needs of our sponsored children, we especially need to consider the particular needs of young girls who might not have access to feminine hygiene products — most likely because their families can’t afford them. When young ladies don’t have access to sanitary napkins, they often skip school to stay home which can be detrimental to their education.

This year, we have focused on providing three-month supplies of sanitary napkins to all girls at our affiliated project, the Dandora Community Centre in Kenya, on a continuous basis so that they may remain in attendance at school throughout the year.

Supplying Vitamins During COVID-19 in Guatemala 

Children in Guatemala are pictured with their vitamin supply

In the last months, thanks to a contribution by our partner, Altar’d State, to our COVID-19 Relief Fund, we were able to provide funds to the Juan Apostol School in Guatemala for a three-month supply of vitamins containing vitamin C, vitamin D, and zinc for all 102 children enrolled in our program. And, because our volunteer coordinator was purchasing these items in bulk for the benefit of children, the local pharmacy provided a four-month supply of vitamins to our coordinator at the cost of just a three-month supply.

We are incredibly grateful for the support from Altar’d State, as well as for all contributions that donors have made to our COVID-19 Relief Fund.

 A Blessing During the Pandemic in Lebanon   

We recently received a letter from our volunteer coordinator at the Father Andeweg Institute for the Deaf (FAID):

“A blessing came out of COVID-19. Several lockdowns reduced our face to face teaching time severely. So, we needed to find another way to help our children and their parents develop their educational skills. Our staff made several videos each week. Each video had a particular topic. The video “OPPOSITES,” for example, explained all about up and down, in and out, high and low, etc. These videos, made for WhatsApp, were easy for parents to use.

COVID-19 helped parents in Lebanon become teachers of their deaf children. Increased parental involvement enhanced building family bonds, which stimulated the children’s development even more, and most of all, reduced the emotional trauma that exists in families having children with special needs.

Providing audiology support, hearing aid maintenance and batteries during COVID is very challenging. Again, because of the help we received from Children Incorporated donors, we could put in the safeguards and precautions to make it possible. Thank you for all of your support in helping children at FAID.”

Supporting Agriculture in Bolivia 

Throughout the year, our affiliated projects from around the world share with us proposals for special projects that will help improve the lives of not only the children that we support but their families as well. Thanks to our Hope In Action program, we are often able to support many of our projects so they can grow their programs and offer skills training and other important resources to impoverished communities in which we work.

We are incredibly grateful all contributions that donors have made to our COVID-19 Relief Fund.

One such proposal we received in 2021 was from the Montero School in Bolivia, in which our volunteer coordinator requested funds to construct an agriculture school on the same property as the existing school.

“This area is mainly an agricultural area, and many children and adults have to go to nearby cities, and even a few hours away to Santa Cruz to get better training,” explains our Director of International Programs, Luis Bourdet.

A sponsored child in Arizona poses with her new book bag thanks to our Back to School Program.

“With the support of this training institution that is being implemented, Children Incorporated is contributing to the whole community. The agricultural school will include a barn with cows, a pigpen, and a chicken coop in which students and their parents can learn how to take care of animals as well as grow food which they can then apply to their own lives to better their employment opportunities or income in the future!”

Time for Back to School Around the world

 At the end of the summer this year, students at some of our affiliated projects returned to in-person learning for the first time since the spring of 2020. As our volunteer coordinators work hard to re-connect with these children as they see them on a regular basis for the first time in over 16 months, we are especially grateful that our sponsors have remained consistent in their lives during the difficulties they faced while being out of school and adjusting to a new life-style.

Welcome back to all the students who have returned to the classroom! We wish you a wonderful 2021-2022 school year!


Our U.S. Feeding Program

Our U.S. Feeding Program provides children food to take home on the weekends and during summer break when they otherwise might not receive regular meals. We support children at our affiliated projects in Kentucky, Washington, D.C., Arizona, New Mexico, Virginia, and New Orleans.

Every year, Children Incorporated provides food for hundreds of children in the United States. Consider donating to our U.S. Feeding Programs Fund to help ensure that children get enough food to eat every day.

What is backpack feeding?

Twenty-two million children receive free or reduced-price meals through the National School Lunch Program and the National School Breakfast Program. Although free and reduced breakfast and lunch programs provide significant nutritional benefits to students during the school day, many disadvantaged children do not have access to regular meals when school is not in session. For many of these children, school meals may be the only meals they eat.

Our U.S. Feeding Program helps alleviate child hunger by discreetly providing hungry children with bags full of nutritious, non-perishable, and easy-to-prepare food on Friday afternoons, so they have food to eat throughout the weekend or over holiday breaks. Thanks to our U.S. Feeding Program, children show up on Monday morning healthy and ready to learn.

What you need to know about child hunger in the U.S.

– In America, 1 in 6 children don’t know where they will get their next meal

– Nearly 13 million kids in the U.S. face hunger

– 5 out of 6 kids who rely on free or reduced-price school meals aren’t getting free meals in the summer


How you can help

Every year, Children Incorporated provides food for hundreds of children in the United States. Consider donating to our U.S. Feeding Program to help ensure that children get enough food to eat every day.


Keeping Kids Active at Mariano Lake

The remote town of Crown Point is located in northwestern New Mexico, near the Arizona border and the vast Navajo Indian Reservation. Many of the American Indian families in this area generate income by making and selling jewelry and pottery. A few families maintain small herds of livestock. Unemployment is high, and many parents rely upon public assistance as their only means to afford the cost of feeding and clothing their children.

Because of the remoteness of the area in which the school sits, Mariano Lake has a dormitory for students to board during the week and return home on weekends and during holidays.

Our affiliated project, the Mariano Lake Community School, is located about 24 miles southwest of Crown Point. The school educates 130 children from Kindergarten to 6th grade — 98% of the students at the school are from low income families. Because of the remoteness of the area in which the school sits, Mariano Lake has a dormitory for students to board during the week and return home on weekends and during holidays.

A long-time volunteer coordinator

“Our volunteer coordinator at Mariano Lake is Barbara. She has worked at the school for many years. Her title at the school is Home Living Specialist since she manages the school’s dormitory, and the kids keep her hopping,” explained our Director of U.S. Programs, Renée Kube.

“The dorm is currently caring for sixteen children, eleven girls and five boys. Barbara is big on keeping the kids occupied. They do a lot of reading and sight words to improve their literacy. She has one dorm aide, Ann, who helps her with our sponsorship program.”

The dorms at Mariano Lake offer children who often don’t have the support of their parents a safe place to sleep and learn.

“When I visited Barbara in 2019, she gave me a big envelope of progress reports, letters, and pictures of the kids getting school supplies, thanks to their sponsors,” said Renée.

Helping kids stay active

“Barbara said many of the children’s parents are working in Colorado or Texas, are deceased, or simply gone. Those kids without parents stay with relatives on weekends, holidays, and breaks. Due to unstable home environments, poverty, and emotional issues, some of the children have a difficult time with good behavior in the dorm. They get upset and act out. Barbara and Ann work hard to help the kids feel cared for and try to keep them busy so they don’t become bored and frustrated.”

“Barbara would like to do more activities for them, but funding is always a problem. She would like to be considered for Hope In Action funds for materials and supplies for the boys’ and girls’ dorms. Not just practical needs, but fun things too. I told her we would be happy to help when she submitted requests for funding. We at Children Incorporated understand the detrimental effects that poverty has on children, especially those living without their parents, and we want to do what we can to help keep children’s minds active so they can always be learning whether in school, at home, or in their dorms.”


How do I sponsor a child in the United States?

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


Our Spring 2021 Newsletter

We are happy to share with you our Spring 2021 Newsletter, highlighting our work around the world thanks to our sponsors and donors and their generosity and dedication in helping children in need. Enjoy!

Tablets Are Bringing Education to Children Around the World

Many children in our sponsorship program are experiencing exceptional difficulties during the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, as schools have had to shift to virtual learning. These adjustments have been hard on parents, teachers and children — especially for those students who don’t have the technology they need at home to keep up with their course work.

We are happy to share with you our Spring 2021 Newsletter, highlighting our work around the world thanks to our sponsors and donors and their generosity and dedication in helping children in need. Enjoy!

Thankfully, because of our amazing donors, Children Incorporated has been able to provide tablets to children in our program in Latin America, India, and in the United States over the last few months so that children can continue learning until schools are back to in-person learning in the near future. These tablets will allow students to keep up with their studies and do not have to be returned when classes resume so children can keep learning at home after the pandemic as well!

Bringing Joy to Children During the Holiday Season

Our sponsors and donors are often the only reason children in our program receive holiday gifts, and for that, we are incredibly grateful — especially after an exceptionally difficult year for so many families.

On behalf of all our volunteer coordinators around the world, we would like to share a message from Sandy at Beaver Creek Elementary in Kentucky to express our gratitude for the holiday gifts you provided:

“Thank you for all the support you give our children. You are our backbone. We couldn’t survive without Children Incorporated. Merry Christmas to all Children Incorporated staff and sponsors!”

Our Warm Clothing Fund Brings Smiles to Children in Need

Brain poses for the camera with this new clothes.

Every year, your donations to our Warm Clothing Fund do more than just keep children properly clothed — it also brings immense joy to children who otherwise might never get new winter clothes.

Our volunteer coordinator, Monica, at Gouge Elementary School in North Carolina wrote to us about Brian*, after she provided him with warm clothes, thanks to his sponsor: 

“I showed Brian the new clothes I bought him, and he is loving it. He said, ‘I just love clothes!’ And I took the picture in that moment. The mask is hiding his laughter. We both got tickled because he got so much clothes, he couldn’t hold all of it.  The socks are in his book bag.

This was definitely the highlight of my week. Thanks to Children Incorporated sponsors for all you do, and for letting me be a part of this!”

*Name changed to protect the child.

 An Interview with Board Member, Liz Collins

Our President and Chief Executive Officer, Ron Carter, recently sat down with our Board Chair, Liz Collins, to discuss her long and valuable relationship with Children Incorporated.

RON: Liz, you first became involved with Children Incorporated in 2003 when you accepted a job as a sponsorship coordinator. You later served as Director of Marketing and Development. What are your recollections of your time as an employee of Children Incorporated?

I loved being able to share all of the amazing work that went on in our programs with our donors.  As a result of their giving and the tireless efforts of our volunteer coordinators, we changed a lot of lives.

Liz Collins, Board Chair

LIZ:  I loved being able to share all of the amazing work that went on in our programs with our donors.  As a result of their giving and the tireless efforts of our volunteer coordinators, we changed a lot of lives.

RON: Do you have any special memories of that time?

LIZ: I do. The stories of the children who graduated from high school and went on to college are special to me. I recall one particular story of how we were able to send funds to have a child’s driveway paved so that he could use his wheelchair to get to the bus. Before that, his brother had to carry him down the driveway to the bus each day. I also think about the incredible artwork of Roberto Andrade, one of the children in Latin America who benefitted from our program. There are so many more wonderful  memories!

RON: You left Children Incorporated in 2010, shortly after your son, Noah, was born, but I asked you to return to Children Incorporated as Board Member at the start of 2015, and you willingly agreed.  Just a few months after you joined, Steve Holton, our then chair, was forced to resign due to health reasons, and you were selected as Board Chair. In your wildest dreams, did you ever see that coming?

LIZ: No! I was truly taken by surprise with the sudden turn of events, but honored and humbled to be able to serve the organization in a new way.

RON: As Board Chair, what are your impressions of Children Incorporated? What are you most proud of? What is it about Children Incorporated that you most value?

LIZ: Children Incorporated might be among the smaller sponsorship organizations, but it is by far the most personable. That’s what I love, and I truly believe our donors and volunteer coordinators value that attribute as well. We’re transparent in our funding, and we’re extremely conscientious about our overhead so that much more of every dollar raised can go to the children, families, and communities we serve.

RON: I agree that our personality as an organization, as well as our transparency, are the keys to our continued success. But I also have to say that we have a wonderful network of volunteer coordinators, and our small but loyal staff really is incredible.

Emily was very excited to receive school supplies thanks to her sponsor.

LIZ: Yes, I agree completely. That old saying “It takes a village” really applies. That is how I see Children Incorporated. The staff, our donors, and the volunteer coordinators, all working together, make it all happen. And, it’s a village I’m very proud to be a part of and to serve in.

Still in Need of Ordinary School Supplies  

School closures have meant big changes for families and children in our program, but despite the adjustments that the pandemic required, students still need the most basic items that Children Incorporated has always provided for them.

While many of our sponsored children are learning remotely at home, either partially or wholly, they still need ordinary school supplies, especially the younger ones. Emily*, received a bundle of new supplies at home thanks to her sponsor and promptly wrote to him to say that she loved everything — especially the dry erase board and matching magnets. From her photos, you can see that Emily’s sponsor has made her  incredibly happy as she adjusts to home learning!

*Name changed to protect the child.

A Special Thank You to Our Partner, the Jeunesse Kids Foundation

 In January 2021, we were approached by the Jeunesse Kids Foundation to participate in a fundraiser they were hosting virtually. Jeunesse Kids is dedicated to creating a positive impact in the lives of children worldwide, and the foundation is funded and supported by a vast community of caring individuals who are passionate about building a better tomorrow for young people in underprivileged communities around the world — which very closely aligns with Children Incorporated’s mission and vision.

We are very proud of you, Kris!

Thanks to the efforts of all of the Juenesse Family, their fundraiser raised over $102,000 for Children Incorporated from donors around the world over the course of a weekend which will go towards purchasing tablets for virtual education children in Peru, Argentina, the Philippines, Kentucky and New Mexico, repairing a greenhouse at the St. Michaels Special Education School in Arizona, and towards expanding on skills training programs at the Montero School in Bolivia. We are incredibly grateful for their support!

From Sponsored Child to Attorney: Our Higher Education Fund at Work

We want to send our congratulations to Kris in Honduras for receiving her University Degree at the end of 2020. Kris has been in our sponsorship program since 1999. Thanks to her sponsor and our Higher Education Fund, she was able to attend school over the last twenty years and now has graduated as an attorney. We are very proud of you, Kris!

A New Roof at the Dandora Center in Kenya

While students were out of school for remote learning, we were able to continue to support our projects thanks to donations to our Hope In Action Fund so administrators could repair buildings in anticipation of the return of students in the near future.

At our affiliated project, the Dandora Center in Nairobi, Kenya, a new roof replaced an old worn one which will protect the children from poor weather and heat when they are back in classrooms.


Accelerating Reading for Children in Arizona

*Note: This blog was written prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Although much has changed regarding our sponsored children’s learning experience in the past months, our On the Road stories remain relevant in regards to our volunteer coordinator’s work and the impact of sponsorship on children in our program thanks to our sponsors. We are pleased to continue to share stories with you about our work.


Administrators at the schools we partner with are the ones most closely linked to the children in our program and have a deep understanding of the tools they need to help them excel in school.

Accelerated Reader can also help improve a student’s knowledge of many different varieties of books and also raise their vocabulary.

While visiting our affiliated project, Lake/Desert View Elementary School in Arizona last year, our President and CEO, Ron Carter, met with our volunteer coordinator, Elouise, and the school’s principal, Ms. Erikson, who felt that her students would greatly benefit from using Accelerated Reader — a computer software that monitors the practice of reading.

Understanding Accelerated Reader

Renaissance Learning, Inc., the company that developed Accelerated Reader (AR), states on its website that the software was developed for use in K-12 schools and is “intended to help children at school manage their reading, to provide teachers with the assessment of the reading ability of a class, and to encourage reading.”  Accelerated Reader can also help improve a student’s knowledge of many different varieties of books and also raise their vocabulary. It comes in two versions: a desktop version and a web-based version on the company’s online portal.

Other benefits of Accelerated reader software

Beyond just encouraging reading among students, AR also provides:

-An assessment of a student’s reading level through the STAR (Standardized Test for the Assessment of Reading) test

-A system of using a reading formula which includes average sentence length, average word length, vocabulary grade level, and number of words in the book

-A computer-based quiz that assesses comprehension and tests general knowledge using a computer-based 3 to 20 question multiple-choice quiz

– A  range of reports for parents and teachers that detail ongoing student progress.

Thanks to our Hope In Action Fund, Mr. Carter was able to provide Ms. Erikson with funding to purchase the AR software, so children and teachers at Lake/Desert View Elementary School could benefit from computerized reading support and enrichment. 

Ms. Erikson and one of our sponsored children

Helping Carlotta buy a home  

After meeting with Ms. Erikson, Mr. Carter had the chance to meet with Carlotta, one of the mothers of children enrolled in our sponsorship program.

“Carlotta is a single mother of six who works hard to take care of her children and her home,” said Mr. Carter.

Carlotta lives in a small apartment that costs her over $700 a month in rent. Not long ago, she was presented with the opportunity to purchase a used trailer for $3000 and place it on the land she already owns. This would save her the $700 rent each month and give her and her children more room. At the time of Mr. Carter’s visit, Carlotta had about $500 saved up to purchase the trailer.

“Understanding that the purchase of a trailer would be life-changing for Carlotta and her kids, I agreed to provide the family with Hope In Action Funds for the remaining amount,” explained Mr. Carter

A few weeks later, our volunteer coordinator Elouise reported to Mr. Carter that the trailer had been purchased, and there were funds were left over to buy materials for some small repairs and buy a refurbished propane stove.



You can sponsor a child in Arizona 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.


The Great Risk to the Navajo Nation

New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham raised concerns in the past weeks about the “incredible spikes” in coronavirus cases in the Navajo Nation, which she feels could be detrimental to some tribal nations that are already living in vulnerable situations. According to NPR, after New York and New Jersey, the Navajo Nation has the highest coronavirus infection rate in the U.S. 

Today, we want to shed some light on the harsh realities that families living in the Navajo Nation experience — and how our sponsorship program, volunteer coordinators, and special COVID-19 Fund are helping children and families in need in these unprecedented times.

Today, we want to shed some light on the harsh realities that families living in the Navajo Nation experience.

Understanding the Navajo Nation

The Navajo Nation is an American Indian territory that covers a large amount of land — over 17 million acres — and encompasses portions of northeastern Arizona, northwestern New Mexico, and southeastern Utah.

It also holds the famous Four Corners Monument, where one can stand on a quadripoint and be in four U.S. states — Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, and Colorado — at the same time. The adjacent Utah land is part of the Ute Mountain and Southern Ute Reservations.

The largest portion of the Navajo Nation lies within Arizona, where the Hopi Reservation is located and surrounded on all sides by the Navajo Reservation.

The Navajo Nation land in New Mexico is nicknamed the “Checkerboard” area because the federal government attempted to diversify Navajo lands with non-native lands. Thus, the Navajo lands in New Mexico are intermingled with fee lands, owned by both Navajo and non-Navajo, and federal and state areas under various jurisdictions. Additionally, there are three recognized groups of Navajos living in New Mexico outside of the regular reservation boundaries: the Ramah Navajo, the Alamo Navajo, and the Tohajiilee Navajo Reservations.

Abhorrent Poverty in the U.S.

The Navajo Nation is the largest American Indian tribe in the United States. While it makes up just 1.7% of the total U.S. population, it makes up 10.6% of the New Mexico population.

In New Mexico, 27% of Navajo households are headed by single mothers, and  8.4% of Navajo children are being raised by a grandparent. About 16% live in multi-generational households.

In January 2018, a reporter for the Navajo Times researched the well-being of women and children on the Navajo Nation and found that New Mexico children were at the top of the national list for poverty and food insecurity, and at the bottom for education and overall well-being. Per the report: “This financial insecurity within families leads to fewer opportunities for young people as well as a variety of health, cognitive, and emotional risk factors for children.”

We are grateful to be able to support children and their families during the COVID-19 outbreak.

The report also mentioned that “[c]hildren who grow up in poverty are also more likely to be food insecure, to suffer from adverse childhood experiences, like abuse and homelessness, and to live in poverty as adults.” It cited a National Institute of Justice study that found nearly half of Native American women reported domestic violence in the home. The research confirmed what many social scientists already knew — poverty, abuse, and insecurity drastically affect the well-being of children.

While infrastructure and utility services are improving slowly in the Navajo Nation, there is still a long way to go. Many roads are unpaved and are instead small dirt paths that contribute to isolation and lack of access to services. Access to the power grid is almost essential, yet there are still many families without it.

A May 2019 investigative report by NPR stated about 10% of Navajos on the reservation live without electricity, and almost 40% have to haul their water and use outhouses. More than a quarter of Navajos have experienced problems with electricity, the Internet, and the safety of their drinking water.

For many, finally getting access to the power grid can be life-changing. In the NPR report, families shared their gratefulness for being able to use nebulizers, and for their children having bright, clear lighting to study at night — as well as having the Internet. Families were also able to charge their phones and store food safely through refrigeration. One reporter shared seeing a group of teenagers in battered old cars in a hotel parking lot. They were clustered as close to the hotel as they could get so they could use the hotel’s Internet to complete some of their homework assignments.

While it is impossible to talk about the Navajo Nation without addressing poverty, it is important to stress there are many strengths of the native culture.

The strengths of children and their families

While it is impossible to talk about the Navajo Nation without addressing poverty, it is important to stress there are many strengths of the native culture. For example, many Navajo children can speak both their native language as well as English, and research shows that bi-lingual children can have better problem-solving skills than children who can speak just one language.

Another strength is their tie to their lands. While many other native peoples were moved from their ancestral lands, most of the Navajo people were able to maintain this vital connection.

Our Work to Help

We work with twelve affiliated projects in Arizona and nine in New Mexico to support children and their families in need. During the COVID-19 outbreak, we are providing support to our volunteer coordinators — thanks to donations from our sponsors and donors — who are providing meals to children who are out of school. Many of our coordinators are personally dropping off bags of food that include fruit, juice, sandwiches and other simple items that children eat for lunch and dinner.

We are incredibly grateful for these partnerships, and to our sponsors and donors who are providing crucial support at this time — and all year long.


How can I donate to the COVID-19 Response Fund?

We have created a COVID-19 Response Fund so that we can support children in crisis in the upcoming months. Donations will be used to provide food and emergency supplies to the children in our program who are in immediate need.