Tag Archives: Children Incorporated

A Meaningful Gift for Ms. Wilson

This story was originally written before the COVID-19 outbreak and has been updated for publication. 

In late February, I had the pleasure of not only attending the concert of one of our sponsors, Mary Wilson (of the legendary Supremes), but she also let me set up a table at the venue to let her fans know about Children Incorporated’s work. As concertgoers entered the building, they passed right by me, and many stopped to pick up literature about our sponsorship and special gifts programs.

Lynetta’s gift to Ms. Wilson was a testament to the value of our sponsorship program and the importance of what we, through our kind and generous sponsors, offer to children around the world.

Once the concert started, I took my seat for Ms. Wilson’s performance. Ms. Wilson, who turned 76 years old just a few days later, was at the top of her game that evening. She sang not only her classic Motown hits, but also a variety of other styles of music. She kept the crowd engaged from the first to the last note she sang, not only with her music, but also with her warmth and humor.

After the show, I returned to the table I set up prior to the show, and again, many people stopped to chat with me as they waited for Ms. Wilson to come out and sign autographs. When she did arrive, she was seated right beside me, and as people came to her for an autograph or to get a book or photo signed, she pointed to me and said repeatedly, “This is my friend, Ron. You need to talk to him. I sponsor a child with Children Incorporated, and you can too.”

I was so pleased with the way she encouraged people to talk to me, and many did. Interest in  Children Incorporated’s work was high.

Ms. Wilson pictured with Mr. Carter.

After Ms. Wilson greeted her fans, she moved across the room to take photographs with many more of them. Once the photo-taking was over, I presented her with a lovely card and handmade bracelet that her sponsored child, Lynetta*, had created just for her. When she saw the bracelet, she immediately took off her silver one and replaced it with Lynetta’s heartfelt gift. As she did, I was able to tell the guests who were still assembled about Children Incorporated and our life-changing work in the United States and in 20 additional countries.

The whole evening was perfect. Lynetta’s gift to Ms. Wilson was a testament to the value of our sponsorship program and the importance of what we, through our kind and generous sponsors, offer to children around the world. It was magical to be able to share that experience with Ms. Wilson and her fans.

*Name changed to protect the child. 

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Ms. Wilson recently created a video to share, asking that others join her in supporting children through our sponsorship program. We are incredibly grateful for her dedication to Children Incorporated.

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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

Praise from a New Coordinator

It is always nice to hear from our volunteer coordinators about the impact that our sponsors have on children in our program as they are the ones that see first-hand the power of sponsorship.

“Without your help, I would not be able to help the students and their families in this program.”

We recently received a letter from a new coordinator, Anita, from Johns Creek Elementary School about her first year working to support children in our program:

“First of all, I would like to thank Children Incorporated for sponsoring children in my school. Without your help, I would not be able to [serve] the students on the limited budget I receive from my school district.

I am a new coordinator with the Family Resource Center and Children Incorporated. The former coordinator, Mr. Smith, retired February 1st, and I began on February 12th. I am new to the Family Resource Center, but not new to our school or the children and families, as I have served as the school secretary for the past twenty years.

In the last few months, I have introduced several new resources for our students and their families. I created a school supply cart, and each morning I would take it to the front lobby of the school. As the students would come into the building, they could get any school supplies from the cart that they might need. I also created a clothing closet, a hygiene closet, and a food pantry. At any time during the day, the students can come to my office to get items privately.

Staff outside of Johns Creek Elementary School ready to provide students with items to take home during the COVID-19 outbreak (photo courtesy of Facebook)

I have also started a birthday recognition program for our students. I send a card and a sweet treat to each student on their birthday. For the students sponsored by Children Incorporated, I purchase something off the child’s wish list and provide a birthday cake for the child to enjoy with their family.

After a couple of weeks of being hired as Family Resource Coordinator, I received word that some of our families of unsponsored children didn’t have the resources to provide the child a birthday cake, so I began purchasing them a cake. As word got out about the birthday cakes, I now have school staff and parents who make or purchase the cakes for all the children. I will deliver the cake to their home on their birthday or on the day the family is having a party.

The past couple of months have been difficult for our students, but they have stayed strong. They haven’t been able to attend school since March 12th. Beginning March 13th through May 15th our students participated in non-traditional days. If the student had access to the internet, they participated in online learning with their teachers and classmates. Several of our students had internet but didn’t have a reliable computer to do the work on, so we provided them a Chromebook from the school. For students who didn’t have internet, we delivered paper packets of their work and videos of the online sessions to their homes.

During this time, we have been blessed to be able to provide weekly delivery routes using our buses to deliver food and supplies to our students. We also have had Grab N’ Go Meal pickups on Thursdays at our school. We have been able to provide children 18 and under with seven breakfasts and seven lunches free of charge during this time through our School Food Service.

During this time, we have been blessed to be able to provide weekly delivery routes using our buses to deliver food and supplies to our students.

Each week, they receive a breakfast and a lunch bag. The breakfast bag usually consists of two cereal boxes, two Pop-Tarts, two chicken biscuits, a sausage biscuit, seven assorted fruits and seven assorted juices. The lunch bag usually consisted of a hamburger, a hot dog, a ham sub, a turkey sub, a chicken sandwich, a corn dog, pizza, chips, French fries, assorted veggies, assorted fruits and a gallon of milk.

With help from Children Incorporated, we have been able to provide a snack bag each week to every sponsored child in addition to the meals. The snack bags contain packs of oatmeal, boxes of cereal, beef sticks, fruit snacks, packs of macaroni and cheese, cans of soup, cans of spaghetti, sports drinks, drink mixes, and water. We also have a tote sitting outside the front entrance to our building providing food bags for any family who may need extra food.

Our last day of school for the year was Friday, May 15th and the last day we were able to use our buses for deliveries. Our School Food Service is still able to offer the same seven breakfast and lunches to any child under 18 through Grab N’ Go Meals on Thursdays from 9:30-2:00 at our school during the summer. Our school staff has stepped up and is helping me deliver meals and snack bags to any student whose family can’t come and get the meals on Thursday, and for that I am grateful!

Anita is incredibly grateful for the support of our sponsors.

To celebrate summer, I prepared each sponsored child a summer fun bag, a basket of cleaning & hygiene supplies, and a food basket and delivered those to the homes the last week of school. For the beginning of school in the fall, I have ordered each child a backpack, lunch/snack box, school supplies, school T-shirts and shoes. Without the help from your sponsors and donors, I would not be able to provide for the students and their families.”

About Johns Creek Elementary School

Nestled in the picturesque Appalachian Mountains and steeped in a rich cultural heritage, Pike County once thrived due to its coal and lumber industries. Then, in 1994, the Eastern Division of Pittston Coal Company closed its mines. Unfortunately, the mountain passes and rugged terrain have effectively blocked other types of industry from settling in this part of Kentucky. Thus, few industries and employment options remain in the area. As a result, unrelenting poverty and unemployment have taken their toll. Moreover, their debilitating effects do not only impact adults. Hunger and cold nights in bed are no strangers to many of the children of this area, as their parents struggle to make ends meet.

For this reason, Johns Creek Elementary School — the largest P-8 educational facility in the county — serves as a beacon of hope, allowing students to learn, discover and grow in a warm and caring environment that is geared towards education — the key to breaking the cycle of poverty.

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HOW DO I SPONSOR A CHILD IN KENTUCKY?

You can sponsor a child in Kentucky in one of two ways: call our office at 1-800-538-5381 and speak with one of our staff members, or email us at sponsorship@children-inc.org.

SPONSOR A CHILD

Continuing to Feed and Educate Children in Ethiopia

We hear from our volunteer coordinator, Bisrat, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, about how they are using funds from Children Incorporated to support children in our program during this time.

Thank you to all of our sponsors and donors supporting children in our programs during the COVID-19 outbreak.

“During this COVID-19 time, we are required by law to close down the after-school programs, and schools also are closed.”

“However, we devised a remote tutoring and food distribution system. That is, we started a foodstuff distribution every month and tutorial handouts distribution every week. Our project staff is doing on-call and physical visits of the students with due care.”

Thank you to all of our sponsors and donors supporting children in our programs during the COVID-19 outbreak. Without you, we couldn’t provide this much-needed support to our affiliated projects around the world.

About Ethiopia

Bisrat prepares bags of grains for families to take home.

Located in the easternmost portion of Africa, Ethiopia is ecologically diverse, comprising desert steppes, highland plateaus, towering mountains, and tropical rainforest. Archeological evidence suggests that people have called this land home for tens of thousands of years. With one of the first known alphabet systems, Ethiopia is truly a cradle of civilization. Today, it is the world’s most populous landlocked nation. Its wealth of natural resources lends itself to Ethiopia’s primarily agriculture-based economy. Coffee is its primary export. However, in a land already susceptible to earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and droughts, the turmoil brought about by political instability, lack of adequate medical services, and a general deficiency in human rights have plunged much of the nation into abject poverty. About 610,000 Ethiopians are living with HIV/AIDS (2017 est.), and diseases such as malaria, typhoid, and dengue fever are tragically common. Lack of education is both a result of and contributing factor to the widespread poverty plaguing Ethiopia.

Kids Hope Ethiopia
Shashamane

The city of Shashamane, located about 150 miles south of the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, is no exception to these maladies.

Nearby, Kids Hope Ethiopia serves as a beacon of hope. In this small, rural village, Kids Hope Ethiopia provides impoverished children with nutritious meals, medical care, educational assistance, counseling, and even accommodations for those considered at-risk. In a country where government regulations often hamper economic growth, Kids Hope offers these deserving children the opportunity to break the cycle of poverty through education.

Rainbow “Erdata” Center
Addis Ababa

The Rainbow “Erdata” Center serves as a beacon of hope. Founded in 2000, the center’s mission is to provide much-needed assistance to children and their families living in two of the city’s most impoverished slum areas, where parents struggle to provide their children with even one or two meals a day. The Rainbow Center and Children Incorporated have joined together to provide children with not only these basic needs but also education – allowing these children to rise above the difficult socio-economic circumstances that they face.

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HOW DO I SPONSOR A CHILD IN Ethiopia?

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

Heartfelt Gratitude from India

Thanks to donations to our COVID-19 Response Fund, our affiliated projects in India are able to provide food and hygiene items to children to take home to their families.

Like many countries around the world, COVID-19 infection cases have risen in India despite a strict lockdown that began in late March and was partially lifted at the end of May. Currently, India is the fourth worst-hit nation in the world behind the United States, Brazil, and Russia — and the worst-hit Asian country to date.

In India, most of our affiliations are group homes for children, in which they live throughout the year. Due to the COVID-19 outbreak and the lockdown, the children and their families are at home and receiving food, hygiene items, clothes, and any other necessities, as they cope with the situation.

We recently heard from our volunteer coordinator at the J. Calvitt Clarke Home in Dornakal, India regarding the support we have provided to children in our program at this time.

“Dear Children Incorporated,

Thanks to donations from our supports, families in India are receiving much-needed food.

The parents of the children [in the Children Incorporated Program] were happy to receive the given items to support their daily bread in the middle of this time. We have distributed items such as rice, oil, onions, and soap to the families, among other food items, and the beneficiaries convey their heartfelt thanks to the organization for the support.”

About India

 From the snowcapped Himalayans to tropical beaches, India is truly a nation of contrasts. It boasts a rich history spanning tens of thousands of years. In fact, the earliest known civilization in South Asia once called India’s fertile Indus Valley home. Today, with the world’s second-largest population, India includes a staggering variety of ethnicities, languages, religions and cultures. Its wealth of natural resources and vibrant cultures, however, belie the abject poverty in which so many of India’s citizens live.

Our affiliated projects

Like many countries around the world, COVID-19 infection cases have risen in India despite a strict lockdown that began in late March and was lifted at the end of May.

Auxilium School
Guntur, Andhra Pradesh, India

 Founded in 1981 and run by members of the Salesian Sisters, Auxilium School provides the poorest children of the Guntur slums — as well as children from surrounding rural areas — with shelter, nutrition and education. As a caring sponsor, you are coming alongside these dedicated Sisters and providing these students with the hope, education and opportunity they need to rise above the difficult socio-economic circumstances from which they come.

Parikrma Home
Bangalore, India

The Parikma Home was founded in 2003 as an extension of the Parikrma Humanity Foundation, a local nonprofit that strives to provide education to over 1000 children from slum neighborhoods across Bangalore. This “end-to-end” program serves children from the youngest ages all the way through to higher education and job placement. The home’s four core areas of focus are Education, Nutrition, Health Care, and Family Care. Its mission is to “unleash the potential of under-served children in urban India, which will provide them with equal opportunities and make them valuable contributing members of society.” Children who stay at the home receive their education at one of the nonprofit’s four “Centers of Learning” schools.

English Medium School and Hostel
Dornakal, Andhra Pradesh, India

Situated within the Cathedral compound in Dornakal, the English Medium School is run by the Church of South India. It offers impoverished children of this region shelter, nutrition and education.

St. Mary’s Girls’ Hostel
Khamman, Telangana, India

The St. Mary’s Girls’ Hostel boarding school was open in 1980 with a mission to address the poverty facing many of the families in this community. The hostel serves as a safe haven where these deserving young women receive immediate, basic needs, a well-rounded education, and the opportunity to reach for a better future.

Lou Ann Long Girls’ Hostel
Yadagiri, Karnataka, India

The Lou Ann Long Girls’ Hostel provides boarding, nutrition, and a quality education for area girls who come from impoverished families. Here, these deserving young women receive the opportunity to break the cycle of poverty and rise above the difficult circumstances they face.

Dornakal Girls’ Hostel
Dornakal, Andhra Pradesh, India

Since its founding in the 1970s, the Dornakal Girls’ Hostel has provided countless girls from surrounding tribal settlements with education, encouragement, and a window into the outside world. Its mission remains to provide for these deserving girls’ immediate needs, while also investing in their future.

Kothagudem Girls’ Home
Kothagudem, Andhra Pradesh, India

Located in Andhra Pradesh, India, the Church of South India established the Kothagudem Girls’ Home to provide underprivileged girls basic needs along with a well-rounded education with the support of Children Incorporated sponsors.

Grace Aaron Childcare Center
Burgampahad, India

 Founded by the Church of South India, the Grace Aaron Childcare Center provides shelter, nutrition and educational support for girls from the region’s poorest families. In this way — and with your support — the  Grace Aaron Childcare Center offers these deserving young women the opportunity to break the cycle of poverty and rise above the difficult socioeconomic circumstances.

Thanks to donations to our COVID-19 Response Fund, our affiliated projects in India are able to provide food and hygiene items to children to take home to their families.

Chandrakal Boarding Home
Chandrakal, Telangana, India

Founded in 1950 by American missionary Lillian Woodbridge, the Chandrakal Boarding Home has provided education for thousands of impoverished children, many of whom have since made valuable contributions to their towns and villages in the fields of education, medicine and commerce. Due to the severe poverty in this area, most of the children’s parents are unable to pay tuition each month. Knowing that contributing to their child’s education gives the parents a great sense of pride, the home accepts whatever the parents can afford, and sponsorship helps to cover the rest, along with other basic needs.

J. Calvitt Clarke Home
Dornakal, Telangana, India

Named in honor of the father of Children Incorporated-founder Jeanne Clarke Wood, the J. Calvitt Clarke Home serves impoverished children in this region by providing for their basic, immediate needs while also investing in their futures by way of a well-rounded education.

 Durgi Home
Durgi, Andhra Pradesh, India

 Originally established by the Catholic Diocese of Guntur in 1982, the Durgi Home began as a health center; ten years later, it expanded to include a boarding home, which provides area children with a place to stay while attending local schools. In 1998, brothers and sisters of the Order of the Sacred Heart opened a school nearby to further benefit the children of this community.

Stambalagaruvu Boys’ Home
Guntur, Andhra Pradesh, India

Founded in 2010, the Stambalagaruvu Boys’ Home provides the poorest children of the Guntur slums and children from surrounding rural areas with shelter, nutrition, and education.

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A Health and Economic Crisis

With lockdown in place as of March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Lebanon saw itself quickly decline into economic collapse — further damaging the lives of residents who were already suffering from job loss and financial insecurity. Banks restricted citizens’ access to cash, and at the same time, the value of the Lebanese pound plummeted.

We hear from our volunteer coordinator, Gladys, at the Father Andeweg Institute for the Deaf (FAID),  about how they are continuing to support children, in large part thanks to our donors, through the country’s health and economic crisis.

We hear from our volunteer coordinator, Gladys, at the Father Andeweg Institute for the Deaf (FAID),  about how they are continuing to support children, in large part thanks to our donors, through the country’s health and economic crisis.

“Unfortunately, the schools in Lebanon are closed until further notice, and we do believe it will be impossible to open again soon.”

“We are still delivering courses through our Facebook and other online groups specially designed for each grade.”

“Despite the situation in Lebanon regarding the economy and the virus, we had a request for hearing aids, and we were able to take earmold impressions, as well [as hold] speech sessions and  provide parental guidance [as] part of our outreach work with the Lebanese and Syrian refugees.”

About Lebanon

Renowned for its towering cedar trees, Lebanon boasts fertile valleys, snow-capped, ore-rich mountains, and – in a region where water is scarce – sixteen rivers that flow into the glistening Mediterranean Sea along Lebanon’s western coast. This small Middle Eastern country has an incredibly rich culture, evincing the influence of Greek, Roman, Arab, Ottoman Turk, and French culture. However, Lebanon’s wealth of diversity has also contributed to its turbulent history.

Lebanon continues to suffer repercussions of a history riddled with wars – both civil and international. Poverty, unemployment, and the ever-present threat of war are tragic realities in the country which have been exacerbated in recent months due to COVID-19.

Our affiliated projects

Thanks to our COVID-19 Response Fund, we are able to provide support to our projects in Lebanon.

The Armenian Secondary School – Anjar
Anjar, Lebanon

In the 1930s, an influx of Armenians (a minority ethnic group in Lebanon) fleeing Turkey settled in Anjar, Lebanon, near the Syrian border. To this day, Armenian agricultural laborers who earn very little comprise an extensive portion of Anjar’s population. For this reason, the Armenian Secondary School serves as a beacon of hope. Serving both boys and girls of this impoverished and marginalized population, the school contains an attached boarding home for students whose parents cannot afford to send them to school. In conjunction with Children Incorporated sponsorship, the Armenian Secondary School provides these deserving children with opportunity through a well-rounded education.

Armenian Evangelical Schools
Beirut, Lebanon

The Armenian Evangelical Schools were first established in 1964 by the late Stephen Philibosian, a successful Lebanese-American businessman. In the years since their inception, these schools have enabled thousands of children in Lebanon to be educated.

The Father Andeweg Institute for the Deaf
Beirut, Lebanon

Founded in 1957, the Father Andeweg Institute for the Deaf provides deaf children with basic education and specialized training to become self-sufficient. It plays a crucial role in giving these hearing-impaired – and often destitute – children the opportunity to rise above the challenging circumstances that they face.

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Removing Barriers in Eastern Kentucky

As we continue to provide support to our affiliated projects around the world amidst COVID-19, we are hearing from our volunteer coordinators about how valuable our support is at this time. Today we hear from Sandy at Bevins Elementary School in Kentucky about how donations from our donors are helping children in her community.

“Removing barriers is what Children Incorporated does best.”

“Dear Children Incorporated,

The mission of the Family Resources and Youth Services Center (FRYSC) is to remove any barriers that prevent the education and well-being of our students. Children Incorporated, along with its many sponsors, has made this job so much easier. Removing barriers is what Children Incorporated does best. With the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus it has been a very different semester, but with Children Incorporated’s help, we have successfully supplied resources to meet our families’ needs.

Grandparents as parents

Hand sanitizer and hygiene kits are a big help in keeping children safe and healthy.

This year, with the help of Children Incorporated Hope In Action funds, the Pike County Title I program, and a variety of different organizations, we have been able to continue to facilitate a Grandparents as Parents support group. The grandparent workshops have continued to increase in participation this year. The program has been such a wonderful success! The grandparents were given much needed educational resources, counseling, and a lot of extra support in different areas. They were served refreshments and received hygiene items, basic need supplies, and door prizes. They feel they are so much more prepared to help educate their grandchildren thanks to this wonderful program! I can’t express enough gratitude for the help. We hope to continue to provide this wonderful program for our grandparents who have been placed in the role of parenting their grandchildren.

Thanks again to the Children Incorporated Hope In Action program and help from other community partners, we were able to facilitate our first Annual Community Baby Shower, hosted by the Belfry area FRYSC. There were different agencies on hand to give new expecting parents resources and information to help better prepare them for their new baby. Food was served, and door prizes and baby supplies were given to the expecting parents in attendance. This was a wonderful resource for the families, and we had good attendance.

Readifest and Back to School bash

Another wonderful program that wouldn’t be possible without Children Incorporated is our annual Readifest also known as our Back to School Bash. Children Incorporated has always helped with this project. Students every year are given school supplies, hygiene products, and have access to a host of different organizations that will help them to be better prepared for the new upcoming school year. Many students would not have the much-needed resources to exceed in school without this program.

This year, due to the COVID-19 virus, we were given additional Hope In Action funds to help purchase hygiene products and items to help protect our families and students.

This year, we were so pleased to once again receive Hope In Action Funds to facilitate a wonderful reading program during Read Across America Week. Well-known author Leigh Anne Florence and her dogs, Chloe and Woody, were able to visit our school. Many families have little or no resources to provide adequate reading materials for the students. Parents sometimes feel discouraged by the lack of self-confidence and motivational skills needed to help their children succeed. Through this program, parents and children were brought together to read and share an evening of fun-filled opportunities to become more engaged in their children’s academic needs. Writing classes were provided to third through fifth graders. These classes will play an important role in encouraging and preparing them for state assessment testing and real-world connections.

This year, due to the COVID-19 virus, we were given additional Hope In Action funds to help purchase hygiene products and items to help protect our families and students. With the funds, Bevins Elementary School FRYSC has purchased hand sanitizer and COVID-19 safety prevention kits. The kits include safety instruction for proper prevention techniques and face masks as well.

Throughout the year, many of our students would not have many of the resources that they need to be successful in school if it wasn’t for Children Incorporated. Thanks to your sponsors, these students can excel in their education along with their classmates.

It has been a joy to work another school year with Children Incorporated with your amazing staff and wonderful supporters.

Thank you all and I look forward to working with you again this next school year!

Sandy”

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HOW DO I SPONSOR A CHILD IN KENTUCKY?

You can sponsor a child in Kentucky in one of two ways: call our office at 1-800-538-5381 and speak with one of our staff members, or email us at sponsorship@children-inc.org.

SPONSOR A CHILD