Tag Archives: back to school

Making Memories with Back to School Shopping

According to the National Retail Federation, last year’s back to school shopping reached $27 million. It is the second largest shopping season for retailers, after the winter holidays. In fact, the beginning of a new school year is a little like Christmas; the children are excited, and everything is shiny and new. But just like during the holiday season, many families wince at the economic pinch they feel as fall approaches, having to stock up on school supplies for their children at the close of summer break.

Receiving new school supplies at the beginning of the school year helps sponsored children feel ready to learn!

The Pride of Having New Shoes

Most of us have fond memories of back to school shopping – the happiness of opening a new box of crayons, with their bright colors, waxy smell, and perfect pointy tips; the fun of choosing spiral-bound notebooks with your favorite movie or television characters; the pride of having new shoes. However, for impoverished parents and guardians, these are memories they can’t afford to make with their children.

Over the years, as I have traveled to our affiliated schools in the United States and talked with our dedicated volunteer coordinators, I have often heard that back to school time is difficult, and often very stressful for the families in the communities we serve.

Our Back to School Fund helps kids, especially those still waiting hopefully for sponsors of their own, to experience the happiness of getting the things they need to have a great start to the school year.

When a summer electric bill is due or food stamps have run out, or the old car needs a repair so you can get to your part time job at the mini mart on time, getting your child new clothing and supplies for school is something that gets moved to the back of the line. And if there is a big brother or sister who needs new clothes and supplies as well, then the cost has doubled. These items may be essential for kids, but they can also be impossible for parents to afford.

We know that receiving a new outfit and school supplies provides concrete benefits above and beyond confidence and self-esteem – these items help kids stay on track to attend school regularly and to keep up with their classmates. Giving them the tools to learn sets them up for success for the entire school year.

Our Back to School Fund helps our coordinators stock cabinets full of supplies for children for when they return to school from summer break.

Wanting to Fit In

In addition to poverty, many of the children we serve are also dealing with some kind of trauma. The family situation may be chaotic and unhappy. Yet, while coping with poverty and instability, the children in our program want to look and feel just like any other kid. They want to fit in. Imagine the joy on a little girl’s face when she receives a new backpack emblazoned with Disney princesses, when she has never had a new book bag to start school; for once, she feels “normal”.

In the midst of their struggles, Children Incorporated and our caring sponsors and donors serve as a safety net. Our Back to School Fund helps kids, especially those still waiting hopefully for sponsors of their own, to experience the happiness of getting the things they need to have a great start to the school year. Your contributions will bring happiness, hope, and success to many children in need.



You can donate to the Back to School Fund in one of two ways – call our office at 1-800-538-5381 and speak with one of our staff members, or go online to our donation portal, create an account, and donate to the Back to School Fund.

written by Renée Kube

Renée oversees Children Incorporated’s work in the United States – from the rural southeast and southwest; to the urban areas of Detroit, New Orleans, and our nation’s capital – and even in our own backyard, Richmond, Virginia. She works closely with our U.S. Projects Specialist and an outstanding network of over 100 volunteer coordinators at our program sites.

» more of Renée's stories

Top 10 Most Popular On the Road Stories of 2016

It’s been an amazing year. Thanks to your support, we’ve been able to feed and clothe children all over the globe, and provide them with supplies for the school year. Your donations also made it possible for us to send holiday gifts this season to tens of thousands of children whose stockings would have otherwise been empty.

DSCF9626It has also been our pleasure to report on our projects around the world, from rural Morgan County, Kentucky to the slums of Nairobi, Kenya, to help illustrate the impact your donations make on the lives of the children we serve. Check out the most popular On the Road stories of 2016:

  1. The Ministering Angels of Casa Hogar Ines: Shelley and Luis meet Sister Flor, who oversees Casa Hogar Santa Ines, a group home for more than thirty girls who have nowhere else to go. See how your contributions help provide school supplies, clothes, shoes, and so much more.


  1. Inside that Backpack Lies Choice, Agency, Style and Self-Worth: Few things come to you brand new when you are living below the poverty line. Imagine that for the first time in your life, you get to choose what you want.


  1. Two Wheels and the Wind in Your Hair: Shelley C. and Shelley O. surprise Kentucky children with new bikes.


  1. Touchdown in La Paz: Can three new bridges and new cable cars lead families out of poverty? What do the efforts to modernize in La Paz mean to its poorest citizens?


  1. Bolivia: Visions of Hope from 30,000 Feet: Luis and Shelley return home. They reflect on their trip to Bolivia, and think about what’s in store for the future.


  1. Audacity and Hope in Kenya: After a series of bleak visits in the city slums, Shelley finds creativity and tenacity fueling hope and feeding children.


  1. Africa: The Impact of Compassion: Shelley considers her site visits in Africa, and the impact of compassion, in this special edition.


  1. From Kentucky to Kenya: The Universal Truth of Children: Shelley reflects on recent site visits to Bolivia and Kentucky, and examines some of the parallels that exist between the two.


  1. Back to School: Supplying Children with Education: ‘Tis the season of new backpacks, binders, and pencils. But for the fifteen million children living in poverty in the United States, these essential items are out of reach.


  1. The Hidden Face of Americana: Back from Bolivia, Shelley takes us to Eastern Kentucky, where the collapse of the coal mining industry has left many families struggling to make ends meet. More than sixteen million children live in poverty in the United States. Meet some of them, and see how your contributions are making a difference.



You can sponsor a child with Children Incorporated 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 donation portal, create an account, and search for a child that is available for sponsorship.