Tag Archives: children in need

For some of us, it is surprising to hear that our affiliated sites in the United States are still dealing with the effects of COVID-19 — even years after restrictions have been lifted and many different areas of lives have returned to pre-pandemic normalcy. Today we hear from Renée Kube, our Director of International Programs, who spoke with Melanie, who is our volunteer coordinator at both Menifee County Middle School and High School, about how their students and faculty continue to adjust to changes in their lives, and how Children Incorporated is able to help.

“Working with middle and high school students, I have seen first-hand how not having the basic resources others do is detrimental.”

Renée speaks with our volunteer coordinator

“Melanie noted that the greatest struggle for her schools has been the return to in-person learning from virtual; she said that there is a large decline in the students’ ability to communicate with teachers, staff – and even their peers – and that they tend to be loners and are perpetually glued to their phones,” said Renée.

“Melanie also told me during our conversation over Zoom that during virtual learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the majority of her students were alone at home while there parents went to work, so they had little to no guidance on what they should be doing, when they should be doing it, and how they should be doing it —with regard to both schooling and personal activities.”

“These struggles have made it hard for children to have any consistnecy in their lives — something that helps them stay focused. Thankfully for these students, Children Incorporated is able to provide consistent support through our sponsorship program, and after we spoke, Melanie emailed a letter to me to described just how important that help really was,” explained Renée.

Melanie’s Letter

 I have been at Menifee County Youth Service Center for over 19 years and have had the pleasure of working with Children Incorporated for most of those years. Working with middle and high school students, I have seen first-hand how not having the basic resources others do is detrimental. It’s a huge part of that age group to want to just fit in. I am so thankful for Children Incorporated and the sponsors we have for our students here. Because of them we are truly able to provide them with their basic needs so that they are able to come to school and focus on learning.

I have one middle school student in particular who would not even have the basic of things we all take for granted without this program. He lives with a single father and two older siblings. Over the years, we have been able to provide the much-needed clothing, coats, and shoes for him. He is non-verbal, so I rely a lot on his teachers. They are wonderful with letting me know all his needs throughout the year and his wants at Christmas. 

Because of Children Incorporated, not only are his basic needs provided for, but we were able to get him a few learning and educational toys to help him with his motor skills. Children Incorporated has been a blessing for this child who unfortunately may have otherwise fallen through the cracks. With Children Incorporated’s help of Hope In Action funds we have also been able to provide this student and his family with food each week through our Meals to Grow program. I cannot say enough good things about the difference that Children Incorporated and its sponsors have made in this particular child’s life. Thank you! 

***

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.

Although we are not always considered to be an emergency relief organization, it is amazing how quickly we actually can respond to helping children and families in our programs when sudden needs arise. Today we hear from Michelle at James D. Adams Middle School about how our Hope In Action Fund has come to the rescue for her over the last year, especially when needed after devastating flooding in Eastern Kentucky.

“We cannot say a big enough ‘thank you’ to Children Incorporated for being one of the very first to reach out and help us.”

Michelle’s Note

“What a year it has been here in Floyd County! We came out of the challenges of COVID-19 thinking it may be a more normal school year, only to get hit by one of the most destructive floods that we have ever seen. Despite the challenges, I am so proud to have been on the front lines here working with my fellow resource center coordinators to help people make it through those early days when they had just lost everything they owned.”

“As our community always does in times of crisis, we came together, and we used what we had to make sure that our people were taken care of. We cannot say a big enough ‘thank you’ to Children Incorporated for being one of the very first to reach out to us and help us provide necessary clothing and shoes for families who were living in emergency shelters after the flooding. As always, your assistance was invaluable and so appreciated.”

“Immediately after the flooding, I quickly filled out a Children Incorporated sponsorship application for one of my students, Nicole*, who was living in a shelter. She and her mom had just moved to the area when the flooding happened. I was so thrilled with how quickly she was able to get a sponsor, and with the additional funding through your Hope In Action Fund, I was able to get her clothing and other needs while she and her mother were living in a camper at the state park. Now, with the help of many resources, she and her mom have an apartment and are getting back on their feet. She has also been matched with a truly wonderful sponsor who has sent her some really encouraging letters which I have loved sharing with her.”

Children Incorporated has also helped us in a major way this year with one of our students named Peter.* Peter is an intelligent young man who unfortunately has a terrible home life. His mother has basically left him here in Kentucky and moved away, and he has been going from relative to relative trying to find a place to stay.”

Thanks to their sponsors, children at James D. Adams Middle School receive basic needs items all year long.

“Despite the situation he is in, Peter continues to be a great kid who so many of us see real leadership potential in. His guidance counselor came to me and asked about sending him on a trip that they take every year to the state capital where they participate in activities that teach them about government, and I just knew we had to make a way for him to get there. I emailed Children Incorporated and explained the situation, and you all were able to help us get the needed funds to send Peter on the trip. We also were able to use some of the funds to help him present his project on lizards at the state science fair. Without this extra help, I don’t know if either of these activities would have been possible.”

“I also found out that one of our students, Rachel*, did not have a bed. A local furniture store donated a mattress so that her bed would no longer be on the floor. With Children Incorporated funds, I was able to get her a comforter set and blanket. She was so happy when she saw it!  She said, ‘This is the one I looked at when I was at Wal-Mart, and my mom said we would have to wait.’ It truly was an awesome feeling to be able to help her in that way.”

“These are just a few of the ways Children Incorporated has helped me make it through such a difficult year. I am so thankful for our partnership and the difference it has made in so many of our students’ and families’ lives over the years.”

Sincerely,
Michelle

*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

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 225 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

Michael and Sandra Ruddick are a family that I have had the pleasure of spending time with over the last 20 years, although their support of our organization far exceeds the time that I have been with Children Incorporated. I recently took some time to ask them some questions about how they became dedicated donors and what drives them to continue to be involved in our work so many years later.

“It impressed me that a sponsored child in the program received most of the donation and only a small portion was used for the organization’s administrative overhead.”

– Sandra Ruddick

RC: You started with Children Incorporated in November 1980. Do you recall how you initially found us?  

Sandra: I saw a newspaper clipping about Children Incorporated when I was 20 years old. Jeanne Clarke Wood was the founder and director at the time. The small not for profit organization appealed to me since the children in the program were not orphans but had families whose parents needed a little financial assistance to help with some basic necessities and also with educating their children.

RC: And what led you to contact us and begin sponsoring with us?

Sandra: It was a long time ago, but I just remember wanting to help a child in a small way that could make a difference. It impressed me that a sponsored child in the program received most of the donation and only a small portion was used for the organization’s administrative overhead.

RC: You currently sponsor a dozen children with us. What do you find most rewarding about child sponsorship?

Sandra: Michael and I, along with our own children and our aunt (who lived in Rungue, Chile where she ministered the elderly and partook in parish work) were warmly welcomed when we visited one of our sponsored children in Talca. Our own children took up a collection of beanie babies in their high school. We brought the beanie babies as well as school supplies with us on our visit. The children in the home each took their turn choosing a beanie baby and their excitement was touching. Although we cannot visit each of our sponsored children, we can imagine each child and their family’s appreciation of our sponsorship.

RC: You’ve sponsored many children with us over the decades. Are there any specific children you’ve aided who stand out in your memory? 

Sandra: A girl named Monica was the first child I sponsored in Chile. I was able to visit Monica at her home. I was traveling with a girlfriend, and we were visiting two additional friends who lived in the Santiago area where they were doing missionary work.  Monica’s family was gracious enough to have us all come to their humble home for lunch. My friends and I weren’t sure what to expect but were deeply moved and honored as we were treated as very special guests where the food was plentiful. I’ll never forget the experience. Monica aged out of the program, obtained a good job and moved into her own apartment. Stories like Monica’s are part of why Michael and I now continue to support many children.

RC: You’ve also supported a number of our special projects. How have you decided which projects to support, and what has the experience been like for you?

Sandra: We have supported projects Children Incorporated has identified as those of greatest need with strong local partners to help ensure the funds are well invested — things such as helping build a school in Honduras, funding a building project at the Visayan Center in the Philippines, and contributing to feeding and warm clothing funds. It’s gratifying to know our donations have made a difference in the lives of many.

RC: If you were asked to describe Children Incorporated in just a couple of sentences, what would you say?

Sandra: Though Children Incorporated Incorporated is a small organization, their dedicated staff does much to improve the lives and futures of countless children around the world.

RC: Thank you so much for your time and all that you do for children, families and communities we support! 

***

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.

After spending a little more than a week together visiting our affiliated sites in Sucre and Santa Cruz, it was time for me to depart and return home from Bolivia, as our Director of International Programs, Luis Bourdet, stayed to visit two more of our sites by himself — the Pedro Poveda School in La Paz and the the Lourdes School in Santa Ana del Yacuma.

“Our sponsors are providing their children with support, so that they have a sound education at Pedro Poveda.”

I had the pleasure of visiting Pedro Poveda in 2016 on my first trip to Bolivia with Children Incorporated, and I remember what a great affiliation it was, which it remains today. I have fond memories of visiting with our volunteer coordinator, Josefina, and I was excited for Luis to get the chance to see her again and get updates about how our sponsors are helping children in this part of the country.

Luis’ Visit

“Pedro Poveda is the only school in the capital city of La Paz affiliated to the Children Incorporated program,” explained Luis.

The study room at Pedro Poveda is available for children to receive support with their school work during and after school.

“This school is located in the area of La Paz called Villa Armonia, a section of the city that suffers from land movements due to bad drainage systems in this very mountainous area. Most homes, and even the school, suffer with constant deterioration and cracking of walls and floors.” “Families of our sponsored children at Pedro Poveda are very poor, and most are living in housing with the same issues.”

“The local government will not do anything to address this problem. At this moment, there is a section of the school with four classrooms that has been condemned because of this problem. The school goes from 6th through 12th  grade, and children attend primary school at a government institution next door,” said Luis. “Our sponsors are providing their children with support, so that they have a sound education at Pedro Poveda.”

Help from our sponsors

Children Incorporated support is utilized to provide school supplies and any fees the children need to attend the school. They are also provided with food items, clothing and shoes after all educational needs are met. While I was visiting, the children expressed the importance of our support so that they can complete their education. I am hoping to help them with repairs needed at the school if at all possible,” explained Luis.

“Beyond the education they are receiving, the school has tutoring programs, and also a program to support children from the area with special education needs. It also has a collection of textbooks and other resources to support many children with research and completion of educational projects.”

***

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.

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

Dear Friends,

As the leader of Children Incorporated, one of my greatest responsibilities is finding the funds needed to meet the vast array of needs presented to us, almost on a daily basis. These needs come from our volunteer coordinators and those managing our programs in the field, and they are many and diverse.

Our child sponsorship program addresses a large number of the more common requests such as those for food, clothing, and school supplies for the children we serve, and our sponsors are incredibly generous in sending additional money gifts for the extra things their children want and need. But there is much more to what Children Incorporated provides. We are there when children and families lose their homes due to fires and natural disasters, and we have assisted a number of our sites with infrastructural projects such as funding housing developments and schools.

I am amazed at how far some of the gifts left to Children Incorporated have gone, and I am humbled as I see them keep on giving, year after year after year.

doing so much more

We also provide the money needed to implement skills training programs, and we have established community gardens, paid for after school tutoring programs, and made sure that children, who would otherwise go hungry, have backpacks full of food to tide them over on weekends when free school meals are unavailable. All of these things take money and it is my responsibility to secure the funds needed to meet as many of these needs as possible.

Over the years, one of our greatest assets and blessings has been the wealth of funds we’ve received from wills, bequests, and planned giving. This is the money that we often draw from to meet needs such as those listed above, and our sponsors and donors have been incredibly generous in sharing their resources. I am amazed at how far some of the gifts left to Children Incorporated have gone, and I am humbled as I see them keep on giving, year after year after year. 

living on through their gifts

I immediately think of Ms. Henkle, a sponsor who passed away nearly ten years ago. She planned in advance and left Children Incorporated a generous bequest that we continue to draw upon in addressing urgent and specialized needs of numerous children and families all around the world. Ms. Henkle’s generosity and kindness live on through her gift. And then there is the Dulin Fund, left to Children Incorporated over two decades ago that is still being used to provide monthly support to approximately 200 unsponsored children. Mr. Dulin’s generosity and kindness also live on and continue to change and improve lives, all these years after his passing.

As you plan for your future, please consider including Children Incorporated in your estate planning. Though our days on this planet are relatively short, we can make a difference that far outlives them. Long, long after our actual time here has ended, we can still offer education, hope, and opportunity to children and their families. Again, I am amazed by the generosity of those who have gone before us, and I am humbled to witness how their foresight is allowing us to address many wide-ranging needs today. 

Sincerely,

Ronald H. Carter
President and CEO
Children Incorporated

***

 Dear Friends,

I recently went on my first ever cruise to the Bahamas and Mexico, and I must say I truly enjoyed the experience. The sunrises over the ocean each morning were breathtaking, and the brush of the waves against the hull of the ship lulled me to sleep each evening. The cruise personnel was wonderfully attentive, and the entertainment on the ship – including two Broadway-type shows and an incredible singer saluting the late great Aretha Franklin – was fantastic.

Will you please consider making a contribution to our Feedings Programs Fund? Whether a little or a lot, every dollar matters in the fight to feed the hungry.

But the thing I most remember from the cruise was the food. There was food everywhere! Perhaps due to my line of work, I found the vast array of delicacies and the sheer volume of food before me to be quite overwhelming, and as I filled my face time and time again, I couldn’t help but reflect on the many children and families who go hungry on a daily basis. 

Seeing the need for myself

It’s been said that nearly 44 million people, including 1 out of every 5 children, face hunger on a regular basis. Many do not have enough food to eat, and some have extremely limited access to healthy and nutritious food. Many rely on heavily processed canned goods which have virtually no nutritional value whatsoever, and they have those items in only limited amounts. 

My co-workers and I have visited homes where the cupboards and refrigerators were absolutely bare. I clearly recall one home, consisting of two parents, a grandmother and three small children, where the only food item to be found was a half-eaten bag of potato chips. In another home, there was only a can of evaporated milk and a few day-old pastries.

At Children Incorporated, we are working to correct such heartbreaking situations. One of our greatest outreach efforts and most successful ways of meeting poverty head-on is through our Feeding Programs.

Our Feeding Programs Fund at work

Each year, we provide hundreds of thousands of dollars of food assistance to our site locations around the world. We support on-going food programs, and we aid in special as-needed situations. We regularly provide backpacks full of non-perishable food items to children who might otherwise go hungry on weekends and during breaks from school. Additionally, we provide financial assistance to programs that encourage planting home and community gardens where children learn how to cultivate and harvest their own food.

We always need your help in this very valuable work. It is on-going, steady, and persistent. Will you please consider making a contribution to our Feeding Programs Fund? Whether a little or a lot, every dollar matters in the fight to feed the hungry. As Mother Theresa said, “If you cannot feed a hundred people, then feed just one.”

From the heart, 

Ronald H. Carter
President and Chief Executive Officer
Children Incorporated

DONATE TO OUR FEEDING PROGRAMS