Tag Archives: children in poverty

Letters from our volunteer coordinators around the world are one of our favorite ways to show the impact that our sponsors have on children in our program. Today, we hear from Traci about how our sponsors help children throughout the school year at Valle Crucis Elementary School in North Carolina.

A warm thank you from Traci

“This year, Children Incorporated helped our school give extra support to the special children who are a part of this wonderful program. Last winter, we were able to send specific winter clothing, shoes, and holiday wish items to their homes.”

A sponsored child poses with a box of food he received thanks to his sponsor.

“Each child also received a holiday reusable bag of stocking stuffers which included a Valle Crucis School t-shirt, a water bottle, socks, toothpaste and toothbrushes, hats, scarves, gloves, candy, gum, Band-Aids, hair ties, body wash, wrapping paper and scotch tape.”

A trip to remember

“Their families were ecstatic to pick up these extra stocking stuffers at the school that were already bought and ready to go for their children. It made their holiday so much brighter. Our two 8th grade students who graduated this spring each received a Valle Crucis School yearbook with a slip inside that told them that Children Incorporated provided the book and wished them well as they transition to high school.”

“Children Incorporated also paid the cost of their 8th grade field trip to a whitewater center. They had never gotten to whitewater raft before so it made for an experience they will never forget!”

Ready for the summer break

“This spring, we also did a round of spring and summer clothing orders, shoes, swimsuits and a few outside summer toys that were sent to their homes. We also were able to purchase for each child a plastic tote they can reuse and filled it with summer fun and hygiene items that included a beach towel, hypoallergenic sunscreen and lip balm, a hairbrush, laundry detergent, flossers, Clorox wipes, granola bars, water balloons, sidewalk chalk, bubbles, board games and craft sets depending on their ages. It was a really nice gift to send off with them the last week of school to get them ready and excited for summer break!”

“The families are always so appreciative of everything Children Incorporated is able to help with for their children.”

“The families are always so appreciative of everything Children Incorporated is able to help with for their children. During this time when the cost of everything is rising, this program is becoming even more important and valuable for everyone. They grow out of clothes so quickly; I have seen that the most requested items from our families are clothing and shoes because it’s hard to keep them in the right sizes.”

“Thank you so much to all the sponsors who make this program possible! You make an incredible difference in our children’s lives!”

Best,
Traci

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How do I sponsor a child in North Carolina?

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

SPONSOR A CHILD

As our Floyd County, Kentucky virtual visit series comes to a close, our Director of U.S. Programs, Renée Kube, tells us about our newest affiliated site in the area, Betsy Lane High School, and how valuable so many of our programs are to its Family Resource Center coordinator, Anita.

As our Floyd County, Kentucky virtual visit series comes to a close, our Director of U.S. Programs, Renée Kube, tells us about our newest affiliated site in the area, Betsy Lane High School.

“Betsy Lane High School officially began partnering with Children Incorporated October 2020, with a few kids transferring in from other affiliated schools. Our Volunteer Coordinator, Anita, added more enrolled students in November of the same year. Around this time, we also sent some start-up funds from the Warm Clothing Fund so the teens could have warm coats while they were waiting to be matched with sponsors.”

“The school is one of three public high schools in the county. It is located between the communities of Betsy Lane and Stanville, and is south-southeast from the county seat, Prestonsburg. The school serves about 372 students in grades 9-12. School officials are rightfully proud of its 98% graduation rate. However, this achievement is hard won, as most of the students fall below the state average on test scores. About 77% of the students come from low-income families.”

Anita pictured with one of our sponsored children.

“During our “virtual visit” via FaceTime, Anita shared she was a former Family Resource Youth Services Center coordinator who retired early to help care for her grandchildren. When they got older, she decided to come back to work and was thrilled when there was an opening at Betsy Lane.”

“Anita is very enthusiastic about working with Children Incorporated. In March 2021, there was a severe flood in the county and surrounding areas. Our organization was able to send funds for flood relief to our affiliated schools that were impacted, including Betsy Lane High School. Anita bought and delivered supplies ranging from bleach to mops and buckets to laundry detergent. The families were so appreciative.”

“This school year, Anita asked for help to establish a weekend backpack feeding program. Thanks to our U.S. Feeding Fund, we were able to respond to this need.”

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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

Abundant in rivers, lakes, and fertile, tropical farmland, El Salvador’s wealth of natural beauty traverses a vast central plateau bordered by Pacific coastal plains to the south and rugged mountains to the north. For centuries, several Mesoamerican nations called this land home, including the Lenca, Olmec, Maya, and Pipil/Cutcatlec.

High unemployment rates, rising inflation, organized crime, and a soaring birthrate leave many Salvadorans in a desperate state.

However, this smallest and most densely populated Central American nation is particularly susceptible to natural disasters like earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, and it has been plagued by chronic political and economic instability for more than a century. High unemployment rates, rising inflation, organized crime, and a soaring birthrate leave many Salvadorans in a desperate state. El Salvador’s poverty is a problem that prevents many from getting a proper education, adequate healthcare, drinkable water, and sanitation services. It also affects children’s growth.

Challenges for Children in El Salvador

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

  • 25% of children under the age of 5 live in extreme poverty
  • 36% of the rural population lives in poverty
  • Half of all the country’s children and teenagers live on less than US $1.25 per day
  • Almost 25% of school-aged children do not attend school, and roughly 10% work as child laborers
  • Almost 20% of males and 25 % of females aged 15 or above cannot read or write
  • El Salvador has one of the highest rates of crime and murder in the world, and gang violence and extortion disturb the economy, leading to widespread poverty


Our Work in El Salvador

Thanks to caring people like you, Children Incorporated has helped thousands of impoverished children in El Salvador 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 El Salvador.

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How do I sponsor a child in El Salvador?

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

SPONSOR A CHILD

Sources:

https://databank.worldbank.org/data/download/poverty/987B9C90-CB9F-4D93-AE8C-750588BF00QA/AM2020/Global_POVEQ_SLV.pdf

https://www.statista.com/statistics/790764/poverty-rate-el-salvador/

Only four days into our trip to Mexico, our Director of International Programs, Luis Bourdet, and myself are already in our third city, Guadalajara. 

After visiting our affiliated sites in both Mexico City and San Miguel de Allende, I am excited to also return to the La Luz Home in Guadalajara after six years. I have fond memories of meeting the children and getting to hear about this truly incredible site and the abundance of programs that it has for children in the community, including our sponsorship program. 

I have fond memories of meeting the children and getting to hear about this truly incredible site.

Difficulty Through the Pandemic

Our volunteer coordinator, Sister Elizabeth, picks us up early in the morning along with La Luz’s driver, who spends most of his day taking the children back and forth between the Home and the local public schools that they attend. When Luis and I get in the van, there is a young boy sitting next to Sister Elizabeth that at first, I don’t recognize with his mask on.

As we drive to La Luz through the early morning traffic of Guadalajara, Luis and I catch up with Sister Elizabeth about how things have been for her during the pandemic. She admits that, like many other of our affiliated sites, it was difficult for them not knowing when the children would be able to go back to school and knowing that all the families that they support were in need of more resources than ever before.

Remember Fernando

About 20 minutes later, the driver pulls over in a residential neighborhood, and we all exit the car — including the young boy, who removes his mask and takes off running down the sidewalk to a big metal door about 30 feet away. I suddenly realize — I have been here before! We are at the home of Fernando whose family we met on our last trip to Mexico. I hadn’t recognized him, but without his mask, I can see clearly that it is the same Fernando, only taller.

We enter his home, which is occupied only by his older sister at the time — his mother is at work and his other siblings are at school. Fernando is the only child in the family young enough to still be attending La Luz — he is still too small at 10 years old to not have more supervision since his mother works long hours at a local school.

Because of his mother’s demanding work schedule, I know it’s best that Fernando is still at the La Luz Home — as long as he is there, he will be under the loving care of the Sisters and his sponsor — and it’s obvious that it has helped him a lot. He looks healthy and happy, and excitedly gives us a short tour of his small house, even though not much has changed since our last visit.

Big Help From Sponsors

Fernando is pictured in his school uniform standing on the patio of the home he shares with his mother, siblings, grandfather and aunt.

Once we have finished seeing Fernando’s home again, we say goodbye to his sister and head to the La Luz Home, only a short five-minute drive away. The children are still in school, so Sister Elizabeth gives us a tour, and we have a meeting in her office with the Home’s full-time social worker. They tell us that all twenty children at the Home are currently sponsored through the Children Incorporated program, and it’s a big help for them to have the support.

Every child at the La Luz Home, including Fernando, is there because one or both of their parents are incarcerated, so having a sponsor doesn’t just mean they are getting resources they need each month, like food and school supplies, but it means they have someone that they know cares about their well-being.

Like Fernando, some of these children have the same sponsor that they did six years ago when I first came to La Luz, and that can be life-changing for these children, who might not always feel special growing up in poverty with parents who struggle in really desperate situations.

Around the time that we wrap up our meeting, La Luz’s driver is bringing the second group of children to the Home in the van, and both the girls and boys excitedly run from the entrance through the courtyard and into their separate dorms to change out of their school uniforms and get ready for lunch. Sister Elizabeth invites us to chat with the children while they eat, and I have the chance to take some photos of them enjoying their soup and tuna salad, giddy knowing that the guests for the day came to visit with them.

I love knowing that, like Fernando, these other children who I am only just meeting for the first time are getting the chance to live long-term at La Luz as well.

Saying Goodbye for Now

I love knowing that, like Fernando, these other children who I am only just meeting for the first time are getting the chance to live long-term at La Luz as well. It’s a great relief to know that they have some consistency here that doesn’t always exist in their home lives.

As we depart for the day and say our goodbyes, I give one last wave to Fernando and the other children, myself just as giddy as the children knowing how much our sponsors are doing to help ensure that they all get to grow up at La Luz.

***

How do I sponsor a child in Mexico?

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

SPONSOR A CHILD

 Dear Friends,

I grew up in a pretty average family. My parents were down-to-earth, hard-working people who sometimes struggled to make ends meet. There was seldom extra money, yet there were always unexpected medical costs, auto repairs, and other expenses that seemed to pop up. I know my folks sometimes worried about how they were going to pay all the bills, and there were periods where their finances were not very good. Even so, we never went without food, and in fact, many of my most-cherished childhood memories center around my parents’ delicious cooking and shared family meals. There was always an abundance of quality food on our dinner table, and holidays and larger family gatherings, often held at my grandparents’ homes, were the site of absolute feasts.

When I read statements like this one — nearly 13 million children in the United States live in homes that do not have enough food to feed all of the family members — I find myself in a state of shock.

I cannot imagine being truly hungry! 

So when I read statements like this one — nearly 13 million children in the United States live in homes that do not have enough food to feed all of the family members — I find myself in a state of shock. I do not want to believe that children of any age, in the United States or any place else in our world, are starving, yet they are. According to a United Nations report, globally, approximately 25,000 children die daily from malnutrition and hunger. These deaths are all largely preventable, if we will just work together to avert this crisis.

A key component of Children Incorporated’s work is providing food to those who need it. We do this through not only child sponsorship, but also through our international and United States feeding programs. For as long as our organization has been around — 58 years and counting! — we have made sure that children and families’ food needs are met. We do this through the generosity and support of our loyal donors, people like you, who give so that others may receive. We are asking for your help once again. 

I cannot imagine being truly hungry, yet I know many are. I am thankful for reputable and honest organizations like Children Incorporated that are working to feed, as well as clothe and educate, thousands of children each day. The knowledge that so many people care and are working together for the common good gives me hope for the future!

Today, I am asking you to help us provide for hungry children. Our Feeding Program Fund buys daily meals for children, as well as fills back packs full of food items for children to take home on the weekends. Without our support, these special children will go without the nutrients they need to survive and thrive — so please, our loyal supporters, I am asking that you contribute to this fund today. Without you, our work cannot be done. 

From the heart, 

Ronald H. Carter

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Over the years, our supporters have heard numerous accounts of families we work with needing emergency support when natural disasters strike. From flooding to earthquakes to hurricanes to volcanic eruptions, those living in impoverished areas of the world are more affected in negative ways than those not living in poverty.

“When families are living in old houses or in areas that are not protected from natural disasters, many types of hazards can increase their risk of damaged property or harm to themselves.”

“At its most basic level, poverty increases vulnerably,” says Children Incorporated’s Director of Development, Shelley Callahan.

“When families are living in old houses or in areas that are not protected from natural disasters, many types of hazards can increase their risk of damaged property or harm to themselves.”

“Additionally, when families are suffering from poverty, they might not have a lot of insurance to cover damage to their homes or property — because they often have to make hard decisions about how to spend their meager incomes. In other instances, countries don’t offer insurance at all so families that lose their homes can be completely devastated and without support other than the local community and from organizations like Children Incorporated,” explains Callahan.

“It is our goal to help families who are suffering during or after a natural disaster so they may recover more quickly — each and every day without being able to go work because you are trying to clean water damage in your home or clean up after a storm creates more problems for low-income familes. Furthermore, the expenses associated with recovery are usually enormous, and something many families can’t afford.”

“We are endlessly thankful for donations to our Hope In Action Fund which allows us to directly respond to the immediate needs of families after a natural disaster,” states Callahan.

Below, you can read more stories of how donations have helped families during emergencies in the past few years — something we could not do without you!

Hope After Haiyan

The Philippines comprise a vast island nation in Southeast Asia. This archipelago of more than 7,000 islands boasts sandy beaches, towering mountains and volcanoes, tropical rainforests, and an incredible wealth of natural resources and biodiversity. Humans have called these islands home for thousands of years, predating historic records.

Today, the Philippines incorporate a staggering number of languages, ethnic groups, religions, and cultures. Despite its status as an emerging market, however, nearly half of all Filipinos still earn less than $2 a day. Adequate sanitation and access to healthcare and potable water are still daily challenges in this widely underdeveloped country, which is also prone to typhoons, earthquakes, and volcanic activity. The large port city of Tacloban, where the Visayans Community Center at Bliss is located, is no exception to these maladies.

Sending Relief After Flash Floods

Wayne County lies nestled amid the vast natural beauty of the Allegheny Mountains, which still conceal deposits of the coal that once made this a rich and populous area of the Mountaineer State. Automation of mines and the ecological stigmas attached to coal as a fuel source have seriously damaged Wayne County’s economy. With coal mining almost shut down, all businesses that once depended on mining – and the buying power of the miners — have closed. Unemployment continues to rise, and industry development remains at a crawl.

When flash floods hit West Virginia a few years ago, none of the families of our sponsored and unsponsored children could have prepared for what was going to happen.

Like many small towns in this rural part of West Virginia, Dunlow is remote, located far from any sizeable town or city. A few strip mines still produce coal, and there are some sawmills that cut lumber. Overall, however, Dunlow’s economy is struggling, with high unemployment and a lack of industry development. Many residents in this region live well below the poverty line, plagued by all the socioeconomic struggles that accompany poverty. One of our affiliated schools in the area, Dunlow Elementary School, offers a place where children can count on support, encouragement, and a nutritious warm meal not only every day, but also in cases of emergency, such as flash flooding — thanks to the help they received from our Hope In Action Fund.

As soon as we heard news of the volcanic eruption, Children Incorporated asked our amazing supporters to donate emergency relief funds that we could send directly to Sagrada Familia.

Emergency Relief After a Volcanic Eruption

 In early June, the eruption of the Volcano of Fire near Antigua, Guatemala caught residents living nearby by surprise. By the time the eruption was over, more than one million people had been affected; approximately 3,000 people had been displaced from their homes, and about 250 people were missing. The eruption caused direct damage to five villages in the area surrounding the volcano, including the town of Antigua, where our affiliated project Sagrada Familia is located. The aftermath of the eruption engulfed the neighboring towns not only in thick smoke, but also in heavy ash and hot gases. In addition, huge rocks tumbled down the volcano, blocking roads and destroying homes along their paths.

The Coordinadora Nacional para la Reducción de Desastres (CONRED), a Guatemalan government agency for disaster reduction, quickly set up fifteen shelters after the catastrophe to help displaced residents who were in need of food, cleaning supplies, hygiene items, and bedding during this time of crisis. As soon as we heard news of the volcanic eruption, Children Incorporated asked our amazing supporters to donate emergency relief funds that we could send directly to Sagrada Familia, where our volunteer coordinators were working hard to provide daily support for families who had lost their homes and were living in shelters.

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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