Tag Archives: children

For Our 55th Anniversary, Help Us Reach Our Goal of Raising $55,000

55 years ago, our founder Jeanne Clarke Wood, aided by her father J. Calvitt Clarke, started Children Incorporated.

In honor of Mrs. Wood and the work she started 55 years ago, our desire now is to raise $55,000 for our Annual Appeal.

By writing hand-scripted letters and making personal phone calls, Mrs. Wood located sponsors for an initial enrollment of just 95 children. Support for these young people was so generous and effective that many more boys and girls were added in the years that followed.

Today, Children Incorporated stands in honor to Mrs. Wood. What she started 55 years ago continues to provide life-changing resources to children in 21 countries, including the United States. Basic needs assistance — food, clothing, school supplies and much more — has been provided to hundreds of thousands of children, and many lives have been improved both by our child sponsorship program and other avenues of support.

Amazed by the generosity

It amazes me, as I reflect on the scope of work undertaken by Children Incorporated, just how a few dollars can change a child’s life. I’ve seen it first-hand as I have visited schools and daycare centers and orphanages both in the United States and abroad. I recall one little girl whose only means of true self-expression was drawing, yet her family couldn’t afford paper and art supplies for her. She was linked to a caring sponsor who sent her sketch pads and pens and markers, and the child, who had struggled to keep up with her school work, suddenly began to excel. Another child — a young boy — was extremely shy. He was unable to look anyone in the eye, and he had no self-esteem, yet when he was provided with new clothing and a decent pair of shoes, all that changed. His confidence grew, and he became a model student. A third child suffered from extreme pain in her back, to the degree that she could barely walk. Her parents were unable to afford a simple lift shoe to help balance the uneven pressure on her spine. Children Incorporated stepped in, purchased the elevated shoe, and the girl’s pain ceased.

A determined organization

There are so many stories like this, and some of a grander scale — such as the one where an entire village built below sea level was washed away during a monsoon, and Children Incorporated raised funds and contracted with builders to put up a solid housing complex on higher ground – that exemplify the value of Children Incorporated and the proven record of good work over the decades.

We appreciate you — our sponsors and donors —for traveling this journey with us. Together, we are making the world a little brighter, child by child.

In an ideal world, there would be no need for an organization like ours to exist, yet we all know that isn’t the reality of the situation. The needs are sometimes overwhelming. There is no way we can meet them all, but we are determined to meet as many as we possibly can because we believe wholeheartedly that all children deserve a chance to grow and learn and prosper.

Meeting the needs of children around the world

55 Years ago, our founder Jeanne Clarke Wood started Children Incorporated. Her goal then was to improve the lives of as many children and families as she could possibly reach, and that remains our goal today. In honor of Mrs. Wood and the work she started 55 years ago, our desire now is to raise $55,000 for our Annual Appeal. This money will allow us to meet several needs on our waiting list including the completion of an unfinished classroom at a school in Argentina, the establishment of a sponsorship program in storm-damaged US territory Puerto Rico and the further distribution of life-saving mosquito nets in Latin America, Africa and Asia.

We appreciate you — our sponsors and donors —for traveling this journey with us. Together, we are making the world a little brighter, child by child.

Please consider donating to our 55th Anniversary Fund today!

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Attending, Learning and Graduating

Students in attendance at Boyd County High School in the small rural town of Cannonsburg, Kentucky are fortunate to have their resource center volunteer, Vickie, in their lives.

Thanks in large part to Vickie’s efforts, the school has a high success rate — much higher than many other schools in Eastern Kentucky. As of last year, 93% of students at the school graduate within four years, and 65% enroll in some type of higher education.

A committed coordinator

Renee with one of our sponsored children at Boyd County High School.

Renée with one of our sponsored children at Boyd County High School

While meeting with Vickie in the Resource Center at Boyd County High School, our Director of U.S. Programs, Renée Kube noted that Vickie had a deep commitment to her students.

“Vickie is always working on new initiatives to keep high school kids attending school and learning with a focus on graduating and going on to college or trade school,” said Renée.

Renée recognized that Vickie has an extremely tough job — she explained to Renée that the economy of the region had declined over the past ten years, and it has hit families hard.

A loss of jobs

Vickie cited the steel mill as an example, which, due to imports, cut its workers from 5000 to 2500 over the last decade. Because of these job losses the overall poverty rate in Boyd County is an astounding 20%.

“Vicki is always working on new initiatives to keep high school kids attending school and learning with a focus on graduating and going on to college or trade school,” said Renée.

In addition, 34% of households are headed by a single parent — in large part due to issues with drug abuse in the county. Because of these problems, Boyd County High School administrators have a lot to handle when it comes to supporting students. Many children lack adult supervision and the support they need at home to do well and focus on their futures after high school.

Overcoming every obstacle

Yet all of these obstacles don’t get in the way of Vickie helping kids and making sure they get the encouragement they need to succeed and to go on to higher education.

Vickie (right) is an incredibly dedicated volunteer coordinator.

According to Renée, Vickie is an incredibly dedicated Children Incorporated volunteer coordinator. She makes sure to check in with sponsored students weekly to find out precisely what they need. She also encourages them to write letters to their sponsors so they can feel connected to a caring adult in their lives.

That communication is so essential for kids because outside of the school environment, sponsors are often the only ones showing the kids they are worthwhile and capable of succeeding in life.

Excelling academically

With quite a few students raising themselves and their younger siblings because their parents are absent or unable to care for them, it isn’t surprising that they struggle to do well in school.

With so many distractions, they don’t have the time and energy to focus on their future. But thanks to Vickie and these students’ sponsors, kids at Boyd County High School not only are getting the attention they need every day, but they are excelling academically.

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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.

Embracing All the Possibilities Ahead

Each year — usually sometime in early September — I start listening to Christmas music.

Friends and family members scold me and make fun of me for it. They say it is way too early. As I walk into the Children Incorporated office many mornings singing the words to the most recent carol I listened to in my car, Renée Kube, our Director of U.S. Programs, is quick to jokingly remind me that there should be no Christmas music and no Christmas decorations until at least after Thanksgiving or the start of the Advent Season.

Christmas music — and the entire Christmas season for that matter — encourages me to look forward, to dream and to embrace all the possibilities that lie ahead.

A sense of hope and promise

The fact is that I listen to Christmas music because it brings me incredible joy. I just love it! It lifts my spirit and fills me with a sense of hope, promise and anticipation of things to come. It challenges me to look beyond all of the negativity that is so prevalent in our world and to recognize the many ways I am blessed.

Christmas music — and the entire Christmas season for that matter — encourages me to look forward, to dream and to embrace all the possibilities that lie ahead.

Sadly, I am very aware that this is not the case for many children around the holidays. For young children, there is often the sad reality that a jolly old Santa will not visit their homes. For older children, the sense of wonder that is so associated with the Yuletide is sometimes replaced by cynicism and resentment as society celebrates all that they do not have.

Helping make Christmas wishes come true  

Children Incorporated can help sponsored and unsponsored children during the holiday season. Your generosity fulfills many dreams and meets many needs that otherwise would go unattended.

Funds from our child sponsorship program allow our dedicated volunteer coordinators to shop for items that are given to impoverished children, not only at Christmas but all year round. Sponsors also give special money gifts for the children they assist that enable our coordinators to obtain items that children both want and need.

Packages containing books, clothing and toys arrive at our various operating centers, and children’s eyes light up when they realize that someone outside of their family members and friends actually does care about them.

In this way, our organization allows children to experience the magic and joy of Christmas.

May our kindness offer them a sense of encouragement and a recognition of the world of possibilities before them. May we help them replace some of the sadness in their lives with celebration.

Sharing our blessing with children in need

Together, may we work to offer the children we serve a sense of hope, promise, and anticipation of things to come! May we fill this holiday season with songs for the precious boys and girls whose lives we strive to improve with our generosity and caring.

May our kindness offer them a sense of encouragement and a recognition of the world of possibilities before them. May we help them replace some of the sadness in their lives with celebration.

It doesn’t require a great deal on our parts — just hearts that care and a willingness to share our blessings with them.

With a song in my heart,

Ronald H. Carter
President and Chief Executive Officer

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Escaping a Poor Education

In the town of Santa Tecla, located six miles west of El Salvador’s capital, San Salvador, our affiliated project, the Marillac School is providing children with the opportunity to receive an education — and a quality one at that.

Communities and schools around the world face barriers in providing children with a quality education.

Founded in 1940 by the Sisters of the Order of St. Vincent de Paul, the school serves as not only an escape from the harsh realities local students face growing up in poverty but an escape from poor public education or no education at all.

Considered a semi-private institution, the administrators of the Marillac School — with sponsorship support from the Children Incorporated program — work hard to ensure that kids are receiving basic needs and the best education that they can provide. This gives our sponsored and unsponsored children the opportunity to succeed.

What constitutes poor education?

Children at the Marillac School

Communities and schools around the world face barriers to providing children with a quality education. Lack of adequate funding to educational institutions can lead to overcrowded classrooms with little or no resources for students. Untrained teachers, lack of proper food and improper classroom facilities can also significantly affect children’s ability to learn.

The consequences of an inadequate education

What are the consequences of an inadequate education? Poor education can lead to illiteracy. It also inhibits children from qualifying for higher education or being prepared to join the workforce later in life. Children who aren’t properly education tend to be less healthy than those who do and are susceptible to turning towards crime and remaining in poverty in adulthood.

A better chance at a future

For impoverished children around the world, like those at the Marallic School, the benefits of quality education are tremendous.

Higher quality of education are associated with positive outcomes such as better health and well-being and a greater interest in politics and social issues. Students who attend quality schools gain a competitive advantage at getting jobs upon graduation, which can lead to a higher income and the chance for a family to break the cycle of poverty. Quality education also can discourage crime because when educated, children feel a sense of hope and opportunity for a brighter future for themselves and their loved ones.

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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.

Welfare in the Wake of Disaster

Built in response to the devastation of Hurricane Mitch in Honduras more than twenty years ago, our affiliated project El Refugio Welfare Center continues to support children in the rural town of El Progreso to this day.

Yet despite the difficulties, local children who attend the El Refugio Welfare Center can rely on support from administrators — as well as their Children Incorporated sponsors — for a consistent supply of food, clothing and educational materials.

In 1998, Hurricane Mitch claimed thousands of lives, causing catastrophic flooding and landslides. It remains the second deadliest Atlantic hurricane on record, causing over 11,000 fatalities in Central America — 7,000 of those being in Honduras alone. The damage was so extensive that the Honduran president estimated that the storm set the nation’s economic development back 50 years.

Recovering after devastation

Over the last two decades, the progress of rebuilding homes and schools in El Progreso has been very slow. Residents still grapple with the aftershocks of homelessness, disease and heightened poverty.

Yet despite the difficulties, local children who attend the El Refugio Welfare Center can rely on support from administrators — as well as their Children Incorporated sponsors — for a consistent supply of food, clothing and educational materials.

A special thank-you

At our office in Richmond, Virginia, we often receive pictures and video updates from our volunteer coordinators about the impact that sponsorship has on children in our program. Sometimes, these personal communications from our affiliated projects are simply just a way to say “thank-you” to our sponsors for all that they do to help children in need.

Recently, our volunteer coordinator at El Refugio sent a short video of our sponsored children to thank us — as well our all of our supporters — for twenty-years of changing the lives of kids in Honduras. We at Children Incorporated are equally grateful that, thanks to our donors and supporters, we can continue to support kids at El Refugio for the next twenty years.

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How do I sponsor a child in Honduras?

You can sponsor a child in Honduras 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 who is available for sponsorship.

Two Schools, One Volunteer Coordinator

Fairview Independent School comprises two campuses, Fairview Elementary and Fairview High Schools, located just a few blocks apart from each other in the small community of Westwood, Kentucky.

Like many communities in Eastern Kentucky, Westwood has suffered significantly from the decline of the coal and steel mining industries that used to dominate this area.

At one point, Armco Steel employed the majority of the Westwood workforce and made it a prosperous town. Today, only 1300 employees remain at Armco, and poverty, high dropout rates and unemployment are now serious problems.

A beacon of hope for kids

Fairview Elementary School

Fairview Independent School serves as a welcome escape from poverty for this rural community. Many children from Westwood’s impoverished families look forward to school, where they receive a well-rounded education, two nutritious meals and the attention of a dedicated and caring staff including our volunteer coordinator Ashley and her assistant Katrina.

Ashley and Katrina equally share the responsibilities of making sure that sponsored and unsponsored kids in our program are receiving the support they need from their sponsors.

“Ashley and Katrina work at both schools to support a lot of children. With a total enrollment of almost 800 students, they have a large caseload and are great at handling their jobs,” stated Renée.

According to our Director of U.S. Programs, Renée Kube, who recently visited the schools, Ashley and Katrina are different in appearance and manner, but work exceptionally well together and have a mutually agreeable and cooperative relationship.

“Ashley and Katrina work at both schools to support a lot of children. With a total enrollment of almost 800 students, they have a large caseload and are great at handling their jobs,” stated Renée.

“They are constantly seeking resources to assist the children and their families, and both told me that Children Incorporated is vital in what they do.”

Finding resources in the community

During their meeting, Ashley explained to Renée about how she and Katrina operate a Weekend Snack Bag Program during the school year and offer food boxes in June and July for families in need during summer break.

Thanks to donations to the Family Resource Center, Ashley and Katrina can provide clothes to children all year long.

They also receive assistance from two community churches and a local hospital.

Ashley and Katrina expressed that they usually do well with food provisions throughout the year thanks to help from the community, but if they run low, they won’t hesitate to reach out to Children Incorporated for emergency aid through our Hope In Action Program.

Meeting Cassandra

Renée had a chance to visit both the Fairview High and the Fairview Elementary Schools during her trip. It was apparent to her that the children were significantly affected by Ashley and Katrina’s dedication to the students. Additionally, the support children in our program were receiving from their sponsors was making a huge difference in the lives of these vulnerable kids.

Before leaving the elementary school, Ashley and Katrina introduced Renée to Cassandra*. Cassandra is one of three children in her family. Their single mother who works for low-wages at a restaurant is raising them. She often struggles to pay the bills. Ashley told Renée that Cassandra’s sponsor keeps clothes on her back and shoes on her feet.

*Name changed to protect the child.

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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.