Tag Archives: child poverty

Our sponsors and donors know just as well as we do how powerful sponsorship is, and how life-changing it is for children in need.  Through our blog series, Stories of Hope, we share the many different ways in which we help children all around the world all thanks to you. Your donations have allowed us to continue to offer vital resources to more and more children each and every year. 

Today, we would like to introduce you to five of the three hundred children in our sponsorship program who are waiting for a special sponsor just like you.

No matter how we grow as an organization and the world around us changes, the most important way in which we are able to sustain our work is through “word of mouth.” Since 1964, we have changed the lives of tens of thousands of children because our supporters have  shared stories of our work with their friends and families and encouraged them to get involved. For us, this has been vital to our growth. For children in  our program, it has been invaluable.

Today, we would like to introduce you to five of the three hundred children in our sponsorship program who are waiting for a special sponsor just like you, and ask that you please consider sharing their stories with loved ones who might feel compelled to become a sponsor. As always, thank you for your support. We couldn’t do our work without you.

Meet Ajay

Achini lives in Sri Lanka and would really benefit from having a sponsor.

 Hi! My name is Ajay! I live in India, and I am in the fourth grade. I love to study the English language, and I also like to draw. My favorite sport is Cricket and my favorite animal is a dog. I live at home with my parents and my sister. Our house has electricity but no running water. When I am at home, I like to watch cartoons and listen to children’s music.

When I grow up, I would like to be a pilot. I dream of a world that is full of peace and love. If I had a sponsor, it would help to make sure I have fresh food to eat and make sure I can get an education.

Meet Chester*  

Hi! I’m Chester. I live in Virginia, and I am in the fourth grade. I love math, coloring, and drawing. My teacher describes me as kind and respectful. In my free time, I like to play on the computer.

I live with my dad in a mobile home. I have two brothers and one sister. I would really like to have a sponsor because then I could get clothes that fit me instead of having to wear old hand-me downs.

Meet Achini

Hello! My name is Achini. I live in Sri Lanka. I am in the seventh grade, and I like to study information technology. My teacher describes me as pleasant and cheerful. During my free time, I like to draw and play with my friends. My favorite sport is volleyball.

I live in a children’s home in Sri Lanka. I have a younger brother. When I grow up, I would like to be a nurse. Having a sponsor would mean that I could have the things I need so I can stay in school and follow my dreams.

Meet Belen

 Hi! I am Belen. I live in Chile, and I am in the third grade. I love drawing and running. My teacher describes me as fun and talkative. My favorite color is red, and I like to eat French fries.

I live with my mom and my brother in an apartment with brick walls that has running water but no electricity. My mom is a hairdresser. When I grow up, I would like to be a gymnastics teacher. I would love to have a sponsor because it is exciting to think of a family from another country wanting to help me even though they have never even met me!

As always, thank you for your support. We couldn’t do our work without you.

Meet Dennis*

Hi! My name is Dennis, and I live in Kentucky. I am in the fourth grade, and I love art and basketball. My favorite color is red, and my favorite food is spaghetti. My teacher describes me as a kind and happy boy.

I live with my parents, sister and brother. We live in a small house. My mother works at my school,  and my father cuts trees for work. Having a sponsor would really help me have the things I need to go to school, like shoes and good clothes.

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How do I sponsor a child with Children Incorporated?

You can sponsor a child 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.

SPONSOR A CHILD

written by Shelley Callahan

Shelley is the Director of Development for Children Incorporated. She is also the lead social correspondent, regularly contributing insights through the Stories of Hope blog series. Sign up for Stories of Hope to receive weekly email updates about how your donations are changing the lives of children in need.

» more of Shelley's stories

Children Incorporated’s Hope In Action Fund supports our affiliated sites in a variety of ways, from emergency relief to construction projects and beyond. As one of our oldest and most valuable funds helping children and families living in poverty, it is amazing how this special fund touches lives in so many positive ways.

“With the Hope In Action Funds, I started a Fall garden at the school that includes kale, lettuce, beets, collard greens, cabbage, rainbow chard, arugula, peas, and pole beans. It has been so much fun!”

Today, we hear from our volunteer coordinator, Sydney, at G.H. Reid Elementary School, about how our Hope In Action Fund allowed her to create a new school garden, and how it has not only been educational for students, but a lot of fun as well!

A letter from Sydney

“With the Hope In Action Funds, I started a Fall garden at the school that includes kale, lettuce, beets, collard greens, cabbage, rainbow chard, arugula, peas, and pole beans. It has been so awesome!”

The school garden is bringing smiles to the faces of children at G.H. Reid.

“I am sharing a photo of a student in the Children Incorporated sponsorship program named Maria.* Maria was having a tough morning a few weeks ago, and her teacher asked if I could spend some time with her so she could have a break from the classroom. I was watering the garden at the time, so I asked Maria if she’d be interested in helping me.”

“While we tended the garden, I taught Maria about the different parts of the plants (leaves, roots, stems) and showed her how to water directly at the roots. We found some beets that were ready, so she pulled them up. Afterward, I called her mom to see if they would eat beets at home. Her mom was so excited, she happily accepted! Maria took the beets home with her that day.”

Meeting Giselle

“I have also shared a picture of another sponsored child named Giselle.* Giselle used to have a garden at her house in El Salvador, but she doesn’t have enough yard space at her new apartment in Richmond to have one. She loves to help me in the garden and said when she’s grown up, she wants to have plants of her own.”

“We also were able to invite fourth and fifth grade classes out to the garden last week on ‘Hamburger Day’ to add fresh picked lettuce to their hamburgers. The kids thought it was so cool! They were able to try arugula, red leaf lettuce, kale (soaked in water, salt, & olive oil), Great Lakes Head lettuce, and a salad bowl mix.”

“I truly can’t thank you enough for supporting our school garden. It has brought so much joy to staff and students alike! We couldn’t do it without your support.

Warm regards,

Sydney”

*Names changed to protect the children. 

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How do I sponsor  a child with Children Incorporated?

You can sponsor a child 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.

SPONSOR A CHILD

In the United States, the first Thanksgiving celebration dates back to 1619. Thirty-eight English settlers arrived by boat at the Berkeley Plantation in Charles City County, Virginia, and they immediately held a festival of thanks and appreciation for their safe arrival following a long and treacherous trip. They also gave thanks for the abundance of the land – vegetables and foodstuffs galore – and they feasted on the bounty before them.

Each year since that time, though the days and dates changed over the course of history, our society has set aside one day each year to give thanks for all that we, as a people, have been blessed with. Food is a huge part of these celebrations, and many of us take for granted that it will be served in great variety and large quantity. That is simply not true for thousands of families in the U.S.

I want to thank each of you who supports the work of Children Incorporated for your caring hearts.

A thanksgiving to remember

I recall meeting a family a few years back at a local elementary school. They had been chosen by a church group to be the beneficiaries of a multi-course Thanksgiving meal, and I was given the task of delivering the food to them. When I arrived at their home and started unloading turkeys and hams, stuffing and gravy, green beans and cranberry salad, as well as an assortment of pies and cakes, the children’s eyes were absolutely huge, and one of the little boys, seeing the turkey in front of him exclaimed excitedly “Is that really for us? We’ve never had a turkey before!” Another child was mesmerized by the pecan pie before him.

The children’s mother had tears rolling down her face as she explained that without this donation of food, she would have prepared a big pot of collard greens, seasoned with a ham bone, and that would have been their entire Thanksgiving meal. That was all they could afford.

Thanksgiving is a time to celebrate and express appreciation for all that we have, yet it is also a time to reflect on the fact that many people – an estimated 12.5 % of U.S. citizens – live well below the poverty line, and food insecurity plagues far more than that. Worldwide, it is said that as many as 828 million people go hungry at least part of the time. As we reflect on our many blessing this Thanksgiving season, may we also think of those who go without. May we realize that we do have the power to make a difference, and we can do so with small acts of kindness, generosity and sharing.

I want to thank each of you who supports the work of Children Incorporated for your caring hearts. I truly believe that together, we can, and we do make positive differences each and every day, however big or small. Together, we touch children, families, and communities, and we offer hope and possibility. For that, and for you, I am thankful. I am also very blessed.

From the heart,

Ronald H. Carter
President and Chief Executive Officer

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How do I sponsor a child with Children Incorporated?

You can sponsor a child 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.

SPONSOR A CHILD

Known as the land of lakes and volcanoes, Nicaragua boasts fertile Pacific lowlands, north-central highlands and Atlantic/Caribbean lowlands. Nearly a fifth of the nation is set aside as protected parks or reserves — unique ecosystems teeming with a variety of wildlife. Nicaragua includes diverse ethnicities as well.

In Nicaragua, children’s very lives and futures are at risk, as they struggle with poverty and lack of
educational resources.

Indigenous peoples, Europeans, Africans, Asians and people of Middle Eastern origin all call this breathtaking land home. Nicaragua’s wealth of natural resources and rich culture, however, belie the deprivation in which most of its residents live.

This largest Central American nation is also the region’s most destitute — it is the second-poorest country in the Western Hemisphere — and is riddled with natural disasters, political instability and widespread poverty and underemployment. The vast majority of Nicaraguan workers earn less than two dollars a day. 

Challenges for Children in Nicaragua

In Nicaragua, children’s very lives and futures are at risk, as they struggle with poverty and lack of educational resources. Right now, children in Nicaragua need your help.

  • Half of all children and adolescents in Nicaragua live in poverty
  • An estimated 500,000 children from infancy to 17 years old are not in the education system
  • 240,000 children under 17 years old are in the work force in Nicaragua
  • Only 72% of children enrolled in school in Nicaragua finish primary school


Our Work in Nicaragua

Thanks to caring people like you, Children Incorporated has helped thousands of children living in poverty in Nicaragua since 1964.

We work with our volunteer coordinators in local communities to provide health and nutrition, education, hygiene items, clothes, shoes, and other essentials that help children and families rise above the poverty in which they live.

Our strategy is to focus on individual children through our sponsorship program, ensuring they are receiving exactly what they need on a regular basis.

Your support makes all our work possible to help children in crisis in Nicaragua.

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How do I sponsor a child in Nicaragua?

You can sponsor a child in Nicaragua 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 in Nicaragua that is available for sponsorship.

SPONSOR A CHILD

Sources:

 https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2015/may/19/poverty-nicaragua-children-school-education-child-labour

written by Children Incorporated

We provide children living in poverty with education, hope and opportunity so they have the chance for a brighter future. Thanks to past and current supporters around the globe, we work with 235 affiliated sites in 20 countries to offer basic needs, emergency relief, and community support to thousands of children and their families each year.

» more of Children's stories

Today we hear from Katalina, who writes to us from Richmond, Virginia, about how simple gifts are making a huge impact on children in our program.

Understanding Cardinal Elementary School

“The Children Incorporated program has been so incredibly helpful in assisting the children this year with their needs here at Cardinal Elementary School.”

“What has also made an impact are the extra gifts that were sometimes sent for either Christmas or a child’s birthday. With those gifts, I made sure to find out what the child wanted to make it extra special for them.”

“Cardinal Elementary School is a Title I school, meaning that most of the children attending are from low-income families; as a result, the entire school receives free breakfast and lunch. With most children at Cardinal coming from families that struggle financially, the ability to assist them with clothing and other needs throughout the year has been a huge help for the families.”

“Through their generous sponsors, children were assisted with clothing, shoes and even toiletry items. This was especially helpful during the winter months. Through these donations, the children were provided with warmer clothing to protect them from the colder temperatures that we get here in Richmond. What is especially heartwarming is that it’s not just the parents that are grateful, but the children as well.”

Helping Marcus and Katie

“What has also made an impact are the extra gifts that were sometimes sent for either Christmas or a child’s birthday. With those gifts, I made sure to find out what the child wanted to make it extra special for them.”

“Marcus* is a 1st grader here at Cardinal and is everything that you would expect from a seven-year-old. He is sweet, funny, playful and loves dinosaurs. For Christmas, his sponsor sent a special donation, and I was able to purchase him a dinosaur toy. His mom allowed him to receive this before the holiday, and I was able to witness his face when I stopped by their home to drop off the gift. His face lit up instantly, and he was so excited.”

“Katie* is a 5th grader here at Cardinal. She is hardworking and incredibly sweet. She is beyond grateful to her sponsors. In the fall, money was used to purchase her some clothes and boots for the winter, and the gratefulness she displayed was beyond her years. Her sponsor sent some extra funds for Christmas and then a few months later for her birthday.”

Cardinal Elementary’s newer school buildings offer students a modern and beautiful place to receive an education and additional support.

“Both times, I met with Katie to see what she would like, and her response was always ‘nothing too expensive.’ She is very conscious of price and doesn’t want to ask for too much. For her birthday, I brought her into my office, and we shopped together on Target’s website for some shoes and a jean jacket (she also needed a lighter jacket for the spring). When we found a jacket for $32, she started saying it was too expensive and that she did not need to get that one.”

Making the impossible possible

“I had to remind her that this was her birthday gift and that it was meant for her to choose what she wanted. When the jacket and shoes arrived, she immediately changed into them, and her joy at these simple things was just so heartwarming. Allowing her the opportunity to choose things for herself is something that is not always possible to do with her family’s means, and this program is doing so much to provide for a child that is just so giving and sweet with those around her.”

“These are just two of the children who are assisted by the program, and I think it so clearly shows the impact that the program has. Through the program, the children are given things that may seem simple to some but makes a world of difference in the life of a child.”

“In a much bigger way, the program allows the children to feel that they matter and that people care about their well-being and their day to day lives.”

“Having clothes that fit properly and are in good condition allow a child to better fit in with their peers and protects them from being cold or even too warm depending on the weather. It allows the child to not be an easy target for any other children to point out or make fun of, as children can sometimes do. Providing a child with something as simple as a birthday or Christmas gift, again seems simple, but these simple childhood pleasures that we often take for granted can make a huge impact. It allows the children to feel seen and cared for by their community.”

“Children Incorporated helps connect donors with children in need. In a practical way, the program helps to provide the children with physical needs that may be obstacles to coming to school on a regular basis. However, in a much bigger way, the program allows the children to feel that they matter and that people care about their well-being and their day to day lives.”

*Names changed to protect the children.

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HOW DO I SPONSOR A CHILD WITH CHILDREN INCORPORATED?

You can sponsor a child 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.

SPONSOR A CHILD

 

As a sponsor or donor with Children Incorporated, it is likely that at some time you have communicated with our Sponsorship Director, Steve Mitchell, whether by email, on the phone, or even by mail.

Steve is an incredibly dedicated member of the Children Incorporated family, who plays a crucial role in making sure our sponsors feel a personal connection to our organization and the children they support.

“It’s been a great ride along the way for almost 24 years, and I have had the honor of working with some of the best, good-hearted people along the way.”

-Steve Mitchell

I spoke with Steve recently to ask him a few questions about his time with our organization to shed some light on this special person, and to show just how much he does for Children Incorporated, our staff, and our supporters beyond his role as Director.

SC: When did you first start at Children Incorporated?

SM:  I started working at Children Incorporated on May 7, 1999.

SC: What was your first role with the organization?

SM: Mrs. Wood, the founder for Children Incorporated, interviewed me and hired me the same day. I was shocked and grateful since I had four children and needed the work. I was told that I would be working in the mail and filing department.

SC: How has that role changed over time?

SM: Wow, my duties and job assignments have certainly changed over the years. After working a couple of years in the mail and filing department, I then had the privilege of working with Mrs. Renée Kube in the Appalachian region and then moving into the position of manager of the Native American division. After several years, I was asked to be the sponsorship manager for the international division of Children Incorporated.

My most recent change was in December 2019 when our caring president, Mr. Ron Carter, asked if I would oversee the entire USA and International sponsorship department as Sponsorship Director when my colleague, Mr. Chuck Smith, moved into retirement. So, yes, it’s been a great ride for almost 24 years, and I have had the honor of working with some of the best, good-hearted people along the way.

SC: What is a day in the office like for you?

Upon completion of of our newly renovated office, our staff dedicated the building to Steve thanks to all his hard work.

SM: A day in the office….honestly, it changes constantly. Since I also oversee the maintenance and oversight of our office building, sometimes I may be investigating why the phone system isn’t working to shoveling snow in the winter months off the front steps and walkway. However, a “typical” day would be addressing the emails from the sponsors and donors along with assisting with any issues the sponsorship team members may bring to my attention. Time flies when you’re having fun!

SC: What is the most rewarding aspect of working with Children Incorporated?

SM: There are several, but I would have to say when we purchased our current location right outside of Richmond, Virginia. With the good leadership of our president securing a great price for the building, we then had the daunting task of renovating the almost 6,000 sq. ft. building with three floors.

Our deadline was just under three months and with the help of all staff pulling carpets to painting walls, along with hiring a few needed contractors for the larger tasks such as replacing the worn-out HVAC systems, we met our goal and moved in on time. It was a great achievement for all the staff. It was rewarding indeed.

SC: What is one of the most challenging parts of your job?

SM: Probably having to handle some of the building maintenance work. Finding a loose wire in a wall can be difficult, but we work through this as well. I have a great counterpart, Mr. Chuck Smith, who assists me as we tackle these issues.

SC: What is one of your fondest memories of your time with the organization?

SM: When I look back, I still remember having some really great conversations and hearty laughs with our founder, Mrs. Wood. I still miss talking with her and learning from her. Another incredible person I had the privilege of learning from and getting to know.

SC: What do you enjoy doing when you are not at the office? 

SM: That’s an easy one. Enjoying time with my wife and family. I also really enjoy traveling with my dear wife of 35 years. We love seeing the world and finding new places to visit. The world is a great place to see with the ones you love!

***

How do I sponsor a child with Children Incorporated?  

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 sponsorship portal, create an account, and search for a child that is available for sponsorship.

SPONSOR A CHILD

written by Shelley Callahan

Shelley is the Director of Development for Children Incorporated. She is also the lead social correspondent, regularly contributing insights through the Stories of Hope blog series. Sign up for Stories of Hope to receive weekly email updates about how your donations are changing the lives of children in need.

» more of Shelley's stories