Tag Archives: child

Providing Stability in New Mexico

The town of Bloomfield, where our affiliated project, the Hanaa Dli Community School/Dormitory, is located, is known as New Mexico’s “tableland” — a desert crisscrossed by gullies and washes in the United States’ Navajo Nation. Families in this community live in traditional Navajo hogans, made of logs and mud, in remote areas that make a daily commute for children to the closest schools not viable. Additionally, poverty, unemployment, and a sense of hopelessness pervade Navajo life. Were it not for Hanaa Dli Community School/ Dormitory, as well as the Children Incorporated sponsorship program, so many children living in poverty would not have the opportunity to receive an education — or have stability and consistency in their lives.

It was amazing to hear them talk about how important sponsorship was to them and see how much of a difference our sponsors make in their lives,” said Shelley.

Visiting Navajo Nation

Our Director of U.S. Programs, Renée Kube, and I visited Hanaa Dli Community School and Dormitory together early in the late fall of 2019,” explained U.S. Project Specialist, Shelley Oxenham.

“We met with our then-new coordinator, Steven, for a brief meeting before visiting with all of the dorm students. Steven is the home’s living specialist in the dormitory. He said that many of the kids are dealing with a lot of trauma, and he believes our sponsorship program offers a form of stability to them.”

“He is hoping that the benefits of having a sponsor will influence the parents’ decision to keep the students at the dorm where they can get consistent care. Children Incorporated helps provide the students with school clothes, dorm supplies, and educational supplies,” said Shelley.

The entrance to the school decorated for the Fall season

“We asked if there are things needed above and beyond sponsorship, and he said they could use more computers, tablets, and art supplies for the dorm. Our Hope In Action Fund exists for just that reason, and we were happy to suggest he apply for funds so we could purchase these items for our sponsored children. Steven did just that, and since the visit, Children Incorporated has been able to provide Hope In Action funding to purchase computer tablets, hygiene items, school supplies and warm clothing for children at the dorm.”

“The dorm is for students in first through twelfth grade. The students in our program stay at the dorm during the school week and are bused to and from their schools each day — a short commute considering how far away they live from their schools and the dorm,” explained Shelley.

Getting to meet our sponsored children

“Most students attend school in nearby Bloomfield. That day, the staff decided to keep the students out of school for the morning so that they could be there for our visit. This was a nice change because, in past visits, the students have not been there because they are at school.”

“We sat with the girls who room in the girls’ dorm — they told us how much they love the new things they receive from their sponsors and how much it helped them. It was amazing to hear them talk about how important sponsorship was to them and see how much of a difference our sponsors make in their lives,” said Shelley.

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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 in the United States that is available for sponsorship.

SPONSOR A CHILD

Sweet Dreams for Kids in Kentucky

Our affiliated project, Morgan County Middle School, is located in West Liberty, Kentucky, and serves 464 students in 6th through 8th grade — many of whom come from low-income households.

The school’s Family Resource Youth Services Center is run by Children Incorporated’s volunteer coordinator, Kim.

“Kim runs a lot of important programs for our kids, and she can always use help with them. Her favorites are the 8th grade career mentoring program, the weekend feeding program, and the Sweet Dreams bed program,” said Renée.

“Kim was previously at one of the elementary schools, Morgan Central, for many years, but she moved up to the middle school after its coordinator retired. Kim said it was a smooth transition, as many of the kids were her former elementary students,” explained our Director of U.S. Programs, Renée Kube.

“However, the move did refine her awareness and sensitivity to this age group — middle school children are coping with the physical and emotional challenges of puberty, and many of them are also enduring poverty and family stress. These challenges make the Family Resource Center more important than ever.”

“When I last visited with Kim in late 2019, she told me that, due to the county’s high poverty rate, they were awarded district-wide free lunch. This has made it so much less embarrassing for the kids who don’t have lunch money. Now everyone is on the same level. Her school is also one of three schools in the county that is serving an early supper on select days, which really helps families in the community as well,” said Renée.

Kim’s Programs

Kim is pictured with one of the students in our sponsorship program at Morgan County Middle School.

“Kim runs a lot of important programs for our kids, and she can always use help with them. Her favorites are the 8th grade career mentoring program, the weekend feeding program, and the Sweet Dreams bed program. She is most proud of and excited about the Sweet Dreams bed program,” exclaimed Renée.

“Kim said all Morgan County Public Schools are eligible to participate in the Build A Bed Program operated by Morehead State University. However, only 200 beds are made per year, and with so many counties and schools eligible, not all children in need can be helped.”

“So, she and the other coordinators in Morgan County started their own program. The Eastern Kentucky Correctional Center is located in West Liberty. The prison builds the beds for free for the students at the school, and the school coordinators appeal to local businesses to buy the mattresses for the kids, some of which she has been able to secure. Kim said more assistance is always needed to purchase mattresses, sheets, blankets, pillows, and comforters,” said Renée.

“Because of our Beds and Linens Fund, and thanks to our sponsors, Children Incorporated has been able to help Kim and our sponsored children with those new items so that students from the middle school can sleep comfortably at home and be prepared for school each day rested and ready to learn!”

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How do I sponsor a child in Kentucky?

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

SPONSOR A CHILD

Seeking Ways to Alleviate Child Hunger Around the World

I love grocery stores!  I admit it. I really do.  I find a lot of joy in shopping for food.

Your contribution to our Feeding Programs make our work possible, and it is through your generosity that we are able to fill empty bellies and offer nutrition where there otherwise may be none.

Some of my fondest childhood memories are of trips to the grocery store or food markets with family members. When I was really small, I spent Saturdays with my Aunt Louise and Grandmother Pierce while my parents worked. Every Saturday morning, my aunt would shop for groceries, and she always took me with her. At first, I sat in the basket as she shopped, but as I grew older, I graduated to pushing the shopping cart!  I thought I was hot stuff, let me tell you!  I clearly recall pushing that buggy down the aisles of our local A&P. I recall the smell of the freshly ground coffee near the front of the store, as well as the wonderful aroma of cakes and pies just out of the oven in the bakery.

Our Feeding Programs provide food for hundreds of children each year.

In my immediate family, my father did the vast majority of food shopping, and he loved grocery stores probably as much or more than anyone I have ever met.  There were six or seven food stores in our small town, and Daddy made the rounds from one to another, looking for bargains and stocking up on deals.  Sometimes when my dad was stressed or just needed an out from the responsibilities of daily life, he would say to my mom “Peg, I think I’ll just go to Winn Dixie and look around,” and off he’d go.  Sometimes I went with him, and Daddy loved pointing out the bargains –  BOGO items (buy one, get one free) and things marked down for clearance.

My folks were not wealthy. They were hard-working folks who sometimes struggled to pay their bills, but we always, always had food to eat, and my childhood memories are of wonderful meals and abundance. Both of my parents were excellent cooks, and I can still taste some of the special dishes they made — my mom’s lemon pie and fresh coconut cake, and Daddy’s fried chicken and chili con carne immediately come to mind. So many memories are of the taste and smell of food, and for me, of course, those magical trips to the grocery store.

It is hard for me to imagine being constantly hungry, but I am painfully aware that there are millions upon millions of people who go without proper food and nutrition on a daily basis. In the United States, 1 in 6 children face food insecurity, and globally, there are over 800,000,000 people who do not know where they will get their next meal. Over 3,000,000 children die each year from hunger and malnutrition. The numbers are astounding, and they are shocking. Sadly, they are reality.

Over 3,000,000 children die each year from hunger and malnutrition. The numbers are astounding, and they are shocking. Sadly, they are reality.

Children Incorporated is working to alleviate some of the suffering that comes from food insecurity. Our international and United States child feeding programs offer nutritious food to thousands of children on a regular basis.  As needs arise in the field – whether in a remote Kenyan village or a rural school in Eastern Kentucky – Children Incorporated responds to the calls we receive and provides life-sustaining nourishment to children and families. In Central and Latin America, this may be in the form of bagged rice and beans to feed a family for a month, or in the United States, food distribution through weekend and holiday backpack feeding programs. By whatever means, we are always seeking ways to reach more and more children and to alleviate their hunger.

Your contribution to our Feeding Programs make our work possible, and it is through your generosity that we are able to fill empty bellies and offer nutrition where there otherwise may be none.

Please, consider donating to our Feeding Programs today.

DONATE TODAY

 

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

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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.

DONATE TODAY

Helping Parents Become Teachers

We recently received a letter from our volunteer coordinator at the Father Andeweg Institute for the Deaf (FAID) in Lebanon that we wanted to share with our sponsors and donors. Amidst all that has happened since 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic, we are thankful to hear that there have been some good things to come out of the harder times for children in our program — and their families:

Parents being involved more in the education of their children enhanced family bonds, which stimulated the children’s development even more.

Greetings from the FAID Family

“Dear Friends and Supporters,

Thank you on behalf of the FAID family for all the support we have received from you over the years, especially during the last two years. Running our school in an economic crisis in the middle of a pandemic has been highly challenging.

A school cannot be run without staff. With your help and support, we have held onto our team and continued paying wages. However, the hyperinflation in Lebanon has reduced the buying power of the wages by a lot. One Lebanese pound is now worth less than one-tenth of what it was two years ago. But your support has enabled us to provide food parcels on three occasions for everyone – students, families, and staff – connected to the school.

Students are back in the classroom at FAID after an 18-month period at home during the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 also offered a blessing by helping parents in Lebanon become teachers of their deaf children. 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 on a particular topic each week. 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.

Parents being involved more in the education of their children enhanced 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.

The value of continued support

Furthermore, providing audiology support, hearing aid maintenance and batteries during COVID is very challenging. Again, because of the help of Children Incorporated and their sponsors, we could put in the safeguards and precautions to make it possible.

We would heartily appreciate your keeping us in your thoughts and prayers.

Our political and economic situation is extremely worrying. There is a shortage of medicine, fuel, electricity and sometimes food, and the prices are going up on a daily basis. We know we can depend on your continued support, and for that, we are tremendously grateful.”

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How do I sponsor a child in Lebanon?

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

SPONSOR A CHILD

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.”

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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.

SPONSOR A CHILD