Tag Archives: children

Meeting Girls’ Needs in India and Kenya

When we consider the needs of our sponsored children, we especially need to consider the particular needs of young girls who might not have access to feminine hygiene products while living in poverty — most likely because their families can’t afford them. When young ladies don’t have access to sanitary napkins, they often skip school to stay home which can be detrimental to their education.

“As we know, girls face a great number of difficulties when it comes to sanitation and hygiene. We really appreciate your contribution to help and support our children during these hard times.”

Throughout the 2021 year, we focused on providing supplies of sanitary napkins to girls at our affiliated projects in Kenya and India on a continuous basis — in large part thanks to our long-time partner, Altar’d State — so that they may remain in attendance at school throughout the year.

According to their website, “Altar’d State is a rapidly growing women’s fashion brand with more than 100 boutiques in 30 states. They offer a place of respite and a distinctive shopping experience with the latest fashion finds, the most sought-after accessories, charming home decor and gifts.”

Additionally, the company seeks to “inspire through action and supports a mission of standing out for good in the world” — which they have done by donating to Children Incorporated with a focus on providing feminine hygiene items to hundreds of girls around the world.

A letter from India

Upon receiving funding from Altar’d State to purchase hygiene items for sponsored children at the St. Mary’s School for Girls in India, our volunteer coordinator writes:

Girls at the Dandora Centre in Kenya pose with their feminine hygiene kits

“Thank you very much for allowing us to be able to purchase 103 sanitary napkin packets which can be used for up to six months. As we know, girls face a great number of difficulties when it comes to sanitation and hygiene. We really appreciate your contribution to help and support our children during these hard times. Also, all our children have conveyed their highest regards to the concerned donors and once again thank you so much for your kindness.

Sincerely,

Superintendent Rao”

Stats about Girls and Feminine Hygiene

Why is it so important to support girls and their healthy menstrual hygiene? According to the Days for Girls website, “period poverty is a term used to describe the lack of access to adequate menstrual health management supplies and education for women and girls. Many families are unable to afford feminine hygiene products because of how expensive they are. This lack of resources and supplies for menstrual health can have negative consequences on girls.”

Additionally, poor menstrual hygiene can cause physical health risks and has been linked to reproductive and urinary tract infections (UNICEF). It also inhibits girls from reaching their full potential — young girls who do not receive an education are more likely to enter child marriages and experience an early pregnancy, malnourishment, domestic violence, and pregnancy complications as a result.

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How do I sponsor a child with Children Incorporated?

You can sponsor a child with Children Incorporated 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.

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With Immense Gratitude During These Past Few Years

When the COVID-19 pandemic initially hit in early 2020, I admit that I was greatly concerned about the negative impact it might have on our ability to raise the funds so badly needed to provide services to the thousands upon thousands of children and families that rely on us for help. I was fearful that our donors might be overwhelmed by their individual burdens and concerns and find themselves unable to continue to support our work.

Thank you, all, for your continued support of Children Incorporated’s work. Together, we can change and improve our world, one child at a time.

But…I was wrong. Very wrong! Our donors, contributors, and sponsors not only continued to fund our relief efforts; they upped their contributions and shared even more generously than before. They recognized that those who were already struggling prior to the pandemic were among the most vulnerable during it, and they – our loyal supporters – came through like never before.

Humbled by generosity

Our sponsored children had an especially wonderful Christmas, thanks to their sponsors!

I have been especially humbled by the generosity shown to Children Incorporated during the last two trying years. While the pandemic has certainly shown us the dark side of humanity at times, it has mostly revealed to us how kind and caring people truly are. My faith in humankind has been restored as I have witnessed compassion in action in so many wondrous ways. As donations came into our office in support of our COVID-19 Relief Fund, and we were able to provide masks, medication, hand sanitizers, and food, I saw the goodness of human hearts on full display. As the funds that we received allowed us to purchase laptop computers and personal tablets so that children could continue their studies remotely during school shutdowns, I witnessed hope for the future. As sponsors inquired about the individual children they sponsor and sent specialized gifts for them, I witnessed love, even across the miles and among relative strangers.

Remaining hopeful in the New Year

As I write these words, the COVID-19 pandemic rages on. The Omicron variant has now made its ugly presence known, and our society – once so hopeful that an end was in sight – is experiencing déjà vu and moments of concern, confusion, and conflict. I feel those things as well, but I remain hopeful, optimistic, and filled with a sense of expectation and wonder, for I have seen what we can do together. I know that good still exists among us, and with love and kindness, we will not only survive, but thrive.

Thank you, all, for your continued support of Children Incorporated’s work. Together, we can change and improve our world, one child at a time.

Ronald H. Carter
President and Chief Executive Officer

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HOW DO I SPONSOR A CHILD with Children incorporated?

You can sponsor a child in 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.

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Making the Year Extraordinary for Children in Need

Today, we want to share a letter from our volunteer coordinators in Letcher County, Kentucky, who want to express their gratitude for everything that our sponsors have done for the children in our program over the last year.

Children Incorporated has made a big impact in the lives of these students.

A note from Jennifer

“Dear Staff and Sponsors,

Letcher County Central High School, our Youth Services Center, and our students would like to thank Children Incorporated and its sponsors for all they have done for our students throughout the 2020-2021 school year. The program has been a great asset.

The unprecedented COVID event of the past year and a half has been difficult for all of us, especially our children. Their daily struggles with life took on new meaning as students coped with isolation, spotty internet service for virtual instruction, lack of personal contact with teachers, and no social interactions with peers. The support from Children Incorporated enabled us to purchase clothing, shoes, and hygiene items. Our Children Incorporated families were provided with Thanksgiving dinner in their own homes. The Christmas holiday was merrier due to the generosity of the sponsors, enabling us to purchase for each student gifts of new shoes or boots and a Christmas stocking filled with candy, gloves, and hygiene items. Some sponsors sent additional gifts for their students as well.

Our sponsors have helped change the lives of many students who live in Letcher County, Kentucky and attend the local public schools

Two seniors graduated from the program this spring. They had wonderful sponsors throughout their high school years. One sponsor sent the student a gift card and fleece blanket for graduation. The other sponsor sent money, with which we purchased three sets of nursing scrubs for the student’s nursing program.

Children Incorporated has made a big impact in the lives of these students. Our families struggle daily with unmet needs, but through your organization some of those needs can be met and our students benefit emotionally, physically, and socially. We look forward to working with Children Incorporated in the coming school year.”

Sincerely,
Jennifer

A sweet story from Genevieve

“Dear Children Incorporated,

This is such a cute story that I had to share it with you.

Taylor* and his family happen to live 52 miles from Jackson, the little town where our school is located. They live way up in a hollow, and to reach their home, you have to drive to the end of a pavement drive, then to the end of gravel, then drive through the creek, jump on an old 4-wheeler and cross a hill.

The mother was explaining how badly Taylor wanted Hot Rod magazines – and you had sent exactly enough to purchase one this month with your thoughtful additional gift funds. Usually with your extra gifts I get him laundry soap, coloring books, art supplies, or ear buds.

It worked out great! Taylor was floored when he came to pick up items Tuesday with his mom. They only get to come out to town once a month to grocery shop. He was so excited.  He said, “How did my sponsor know?” So, I made him sit down and write that thank you letter on the spot and ask you. He said, “Is she psychic?” I am encouraging his interest in these magazines, as it builds his reading skills.

Thank you so much for your help, and especially during this extraordinary school year.”

Sincerely,
Genevieve

*Name changed to protect the child.

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.

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A Letter from Lindsay

In today’s edition of On the Road, our volunteer coordinator, Lindsay, at Westover Hills Elementary School in Richmond, Virginia, shares her story of the impact that sponsorship has on the children at her school over the last year:

Experiencing the impact

“Dear Children Incorporated Staff and Sponsors,

I have only been at Westover Hills (and with Communities in Schools) for two months, but I have already experienced the impact that Children Incorporated has on our community and families.

Thank you for allowing us to provide immediate support to a family who was experiencing lots of uncertainty, change, and loss.

My first week in Richmond, we had a family at our school who was displaced due to a rat infestation at their house. Children Incorporated was able to provide immediate support to allow me to purchase new clothes, socks, underwear, shoes and hygiene items for the children in this family who were now living in a motel. Most of their belongings and clothes had been ruined by the rats. Thank you for allowing us to provide immediate support to a family who was experiencing lots of uncertainty, change, and loss.

Special items for Jessica

One of the students in the Children Incorporated sponsorship program, Jessica*, at my school has had perfect attendance all year! This is quite an achievement, especially during a virtual school year. Jessica lives in a motel but did not let wi-fi issues keep her from logging on and trying her best every single day this school year!

I was able to provide Jessica with some special items to keep her entertained this summer at the motel. These included a swimsuit, flips flops, goggles and towel to use at the pool, as well as several other games and craft kits.

Helping Jonathan and his family

Jonathan is a 5th grader who loves to draw. I was able to provide a special summer kit for Jonathan that included Telestrations (a fun drawing game for his whole family) as well as swim gear. His mom is eager to teach him and his siblings how to swim this summer!

Westover Hills Elementary School teachers in front of the school in Richmond, Virginia (photo courtesy of Twitter)

As we finished out the school year this past spring, Children Incorporated provided funding to put together summer kits for 25 kids at Westover Hills Elementary. These kits include things to help make their summer fun, educational, and a little more normal. They also have a personalized drawstring bag for each child filled with sunglasses, bubbles, books, a water bottle, Mad Libs, educational games, and outside summer toys. I can’t wait to see their faces when I deliver the summer kits next week.

Thanks to Children Incorporated, I was also able to provide cleaning supplies and a gift card to Wal-Mart for groceries for all the families on my Children Incorporated caseload. These families were so grateful for the products that we sometimes take for granted. One mom was in tears of appreciation as she unloaded the cleaning supplies, hygiene items, and toilet paper. A small gift can make a huge difference for these families!

Thank you for all that you do to support our students and families.

We appreciate you!
Lindsay”

*Names changed to protect the children.

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.

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Thanksgiving Meals for Kids and Their Families

Thanksgiving is a special time of year for many families in the United States, but for those living in poverty, the expense of purchasing food for the holiday can be something they just can’t afford.

Thankfully, for many of our sponsored children, we were able to provide funding from our Hope In Action Fund and our U.S. Feeding Program Fund to purchase meals to send home before Thanksgiving break.

Thankfully, for many of our sponsored children, we were able to provide funding from our Hope In Action Fund and our U.S. Feeding Program Fund to purchase meals to send home before Thanksgiving break. At the request of our volunteer coordinator at John M. Stumbo Elementary School, kids in our program received Thanksgiving meals including turkeys –totaling nearly $1800 in special food items. At Sparta Elementary School in North Carolina, our volunteer coordinator, Mandy, wrote:

“All of our Children Incorporated sponsored students are receiving a Holiday Meal Bag before the weekend. Each bag includes a country ham, a 10-lb bag of dried pinto beans, biscuit mix, cobbler mix, jam or jelly, fresh fruit – and a little bit of candy.  We are scheduling pick-ups now, and our parents and guardians have repeatedly expressed their gratitude to their children’s sponsors. Best wishes for a blessed, safe, and very Happy Thanksgiving to everyone at Children Incorporated from all of us at Sparta Elementary School!”

From all of us at Children Incorporated, thanks to all of our sponsors and donors who helped make Thanksgiving a special holiday for children in need this year!

Pictured is a sponsored child in New Mexico receiving a Thanksgiving food box, thanks to his sponsor. Our amazing coordinator made home deliveries, as this project is still on fully remote instruction.

About John M. Stumbo

Nestled in eastern Kentucky’s coalfields region, Floyd County has one of the state’s highest populations – but also the state’s highest unemployment rate. Though situated on the beautiful Cumberland Plateau, where coal mining used to thrive and where rich coal veins still exist, the war on coal has devastated the local economy, causing many jobs and families to leave the area. Those who remain here face limited job opportunities, rampant poverty, and the devastating effects of the region’s drug epidemic. The small, close-knit community of Grethel is no exception to this grievous reality. In fact, it is estimated that a staggering 90% of area students have lost at least one family member to addiction.

For this reason, John M. Stumbo Elementary School serves as a safe haven where students not only receive a well-rounded education, but also encouragement from caring staff and the only warm, nutritious meals they may receive each day.

About Sparta Elementary

Just south of the Virginia-North Carolina state border, Alleghany County is nestled amid idyllic mountains, only a few miles from the only roadway to be designated part of a U.S. national park –  the Blue Ridge Parkway. Thousands of tourists pass through Alleghany County each year to glimpse its spectacular vistas. Despite Alleghany County’s natural beauty and rich cultural heritage, the vast majority of its residents live well below the federal poverty line. Many local industries have closed in the past decade, and with a general lack of new employment opportunities, unemployment is escalating in Alleghany County.

This overwhelming poverty has debilitating effects on children of the region, affecting their self-esteem, health, and overall wellbeing. For this reason, Sparta Elementary School serves as a beacon of hope to its surrounding community. Students know Sparta Elementary as a place where they can count on receiving a hot meal, as well as respect, care, and a quality education — the key to breaking the cycle of poverty.

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How do I sponsor a child in the United States?  

You can sponsor a child in the United States in one of three ways: call our office at 1-800-538-5381 and speak with one of our staff members; email us at sponsorship@children-inc.org; or go online to our sponsorship portal, create an account, and search for a child in the United States that is available for sponsorship.

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Working Against Generational Poverty

Often called the Bluegrass County of the Mountains, Morgan County is situated amid Kentucky’s picturesque, mountainous Eastern Coal Fields region. The county itself was first settled by Scotch and Irish immigrants during the eighteenth century and derives its name from an homage to Revolutionary War hero General Daniel Morgan.

“The East Valley community is generally more in need than other communities in the area, as many families are struggling with generational poverty that they just can’t get out of.”

Despite its natural beauty and rich history, Morgan County suffers the socioeconomic issues associated with the widespread, debilitating poverty, illiteracy, and unemployment so tragically typical of Appalachia. There are few economic opportunities in the small rural town of Crockett today, where our affiliated project, East Valley Elementary School, is located. Thankfully, students and their parents can rely on the dedicated staff at the school that serves children in this area, offering them a safe environment and the chance to obtain a well-rounded education — which can provide them a path out of the poverty that their families have faced for decades.

A community in need

East Valley Elementary School educates around 144 children in grades Pre-K through 5th grade — many of whom come from impoverished households.

“The school is located in an older building but is very well maintained. The Family Resource Center Coordinator, Angela, who is also our volunteer coordinator, is very experienced at her job,” explains Children Incorporated’s Director of U.S. Programs, Renée Kube.

“On my last visit to the school, in late 2019, Angie told me that the East Valley community is generally more in need than other communities in the area, as many families are struggling with generational poverty that they just can’t get out of.”

An article published by the North Carolina Community Action Association defines generational poverty and describes it effects:

Parents were poor, their kids are now poor, and their grandkids kids will grow up poor. Like genetics, families in this situation seem to pass down poverty from one generation to the next. These families tend to be stuck in the cycle of poverty which means they and their children will continue to live in poverty until an external influence can help them escape. 

Thanks to Angie, children in our program received much-needed resources throughout the year.

Generational poverty only requires that a family lives in poverty for at least two generations. Generational poverty persists mostly because of internal psychological factors, although financial issues are the external force that create these psychological barriers. It’s a combination of hopelessness, scarcity mindset and toxic stress.

Almost all of the psychological issues with generational poverty are centered around finances. Many parents work multiple jobs just to make ends meet. This lack of a fundamental resource — money — creates a “scarcity mindset”. The people trapped in poverty struggle to think of the future because they are so focused on surviving for the next few days or weeks. In this mindset, neither adult nor child are thinking about college, careers or higher achievements. Even if they are, they often feel that these dreams are unattainable to them, and their lot in life is to just try to survive. 

Living in constant worry about money can also cause toxic stress which can damage the learning, behavior and health of people living with it. For children, the effects span their lifespan.”

Keeping kids interested in learning

According to Angie, many parents of her students place a low value on education, because they are preoccupied with trying to survive day-to-day, and don’t often have time to consider much for the future — both because they never imagine one for themselves and because they can’t imagine offering a different future for their children.

Living in constant worry about money can also cause toxic stress which can damage the learning, behavior and health of people living with it. For children, the effects span their lifespan.”

“Angie is incredibly grateful for our sponsorship program because it gives her the chance to offer children food, clothing and school supplies which will hopefully keep students in school and interested in learning — and it gives her access to them so she can encourage them to stay in school and consider higher education,” said Renée.

“Fortunately for Angie, the loving teachers at East Valley Elementary School keep a close eye on the children and serve as Angie’s ‘eyes and ears.’ Some report the kids come to school on Monday mornings dirty and ravenously hungry — when she hears this, she makes sure to focus on those children who are really struggling so they know they cared for and that someone is looking out for them.”

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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