Tag Archives: children

Each year, our volunteer coordinators write letters to our office to let us know their first-hand experiences with just how powerful sponsorship is for children at their schools.

Today we hear from Monica at Gouge Elementary School in North Carolina about how our program has helped children this past year, all thanks to our caring sponsors.

A letter from Monica

“I can’t believe it is that time of year again. I have been thinking for a while on a story to share that has stuck out in my mind. As usual, Children Incorporated always comes through and it always is when someone needs it the most.”

“The Children Incorporated sponsored children, just like children anywhere, are rough on what they have. But the book bags were tough, and lasted all year, which I was happy with.”

“We had a child enrolled at our school not long ago. This child and her parent had to walk to school just to enroll her. Right away, my first thought was that Children Incorporated will help make what this family is going through a little easier. She will be able to be taken care of while she is at the school and have all the things she needs. She will be able to go on field trips and be dressed how she needs.”

“It is times like this when I wish our sponsors could be a fly on the wall. To physically see and be able to feel and know how much their sponsorship and dedication really does for so many would really be stunning for them. And it is not just for the child. It also impacts their family, the school, and me. The sponsors have even made a change in my own children, who are not even enrolled in the sponsorship program. My own children see what I buy and keep at the house during the summer to make sure that all of the items go to the sponsored children as soon as school starts in the fall. This has shown them how you are supposed to treat those that are in the most need. So Children Incorporated does much more than just give money to a child. They change the lives of so many around them.”

Thankful for our sponsorship program 

Thanks to our sponsors, children at Gouge Elementary School are receiving much-needed support.

“I am privileged to be part of this wonderful program. I am grateful that I can see how happy these children are, especially when I get to see them wear their new clothes. Last year, I was also able to buy all of them brand new, good quality backpacks which they carried with them all year long. The Children Incorporated sponsored children, just like children anywhere, are rough on what they have. But the book bags were tough, and lasted all year, which I was happy with.”

“At the end of this past school year, though, I realized I would not have enough funds to buy the newer bookbags for the next school year. At first, I thought about buying cheaper ones, but I didn’t want to and was so frustrated about how outrageously expensive things are in the stores and how it takes a lot to stretch out funds just to get children the basic things they need. I hated that inflation meant children would have less.”

“But like I said, Children Incorporated always comes through right on time. I talked with Renée, who is the Director of U.S. Programs, and she was able to designate Hope In Action Funds for me to buy the wonderful bookbags. I will also be able to buy shoes and clothes for the new year, thanks to the Back to School Fund!”

“Thank you all for what you do for each of us! You inspire us to become better!”

Sincerely,
Monica

***

How do I sponsor a child with Children Incorporated?

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

SPONSOR A CHILD

written by Children Incorporated

We provide children living in poverty with education, hope and opportunity so they have the chance for a brighter future. Thanks to past and current supporters around the globe, we work with 235 affiliated sites in 20 countries to offer basic needs, emergency relief, and community support to thousands of children and their families each year.

» more of Children's stories

When our Director of International Programs, Luis Bourdet, and I discussed traveling to Bolivia in March of 2023, he was most excited about getting to visit the Montero School outside of Santa Cruz.

The support they receive from Children Incorporated sponsors goes a long way to help supplement food items, school supplies and hygiene items for children in our program.

Not only had Children Incorporated donors funded the construction of seven classrooms at the school seven years ago, for which Luis and I were invited to attend the community inaugural event, but more recently, we have supported the school’s efforts to build an agricultural school that had been completed just last year.

Luis is passionate about agriculture. As a young university student in Guatemala, he majored in agriculture before moving to the United States and becoming a teacher, and eventually working with Children Incorporated. He understands the importance of learning a trade and more specifically, a trade that generates an income while really helping the local economy.

Visiting the Montero School

When we arrived in Santa Cruz in early March, we visited our affiliated site, Villa Emilia, before making the trip to Montero, which was about two hours away from the city. Our volunteer coordinators picked us up early in the morning of our scheduled visit, and we headed almost directly north for roughly 60 kilometers, arriving to the school with a warm welcome from our sponsored children and their parents, who had prepared a full morning of presentations for us, that included speeches, poem readings and traditional dances.

The Montero School itself is located on a beautiful, large piece of property, where school-aged children attend throughout the day, and classes for older children and adults are held in the evenings. The support they receive from Children Incorporated sponsors goes a long way to help supplement food items, school supplies and hygiene items for children in our program — things they need to make sure they can attend school fully prepared and ready to learn.

A site that continues to grow

After the presentations were over, the children enjoyed a snack from the school’s kitchen and then headed home for the day. Luis and I enjoyed a nice lunch with our volunteer coordinators, and took a quick tour of the school, revisiting the additional classrooms Children Incorporated had built, which now showed signs of many wonderful days of use, as teachers had decorated with lessons, written on the chalkboards, and arranged desks to best fit their students’ learning styles and needs.

In next week’s edition of Stories of Hope, we will visit the agricultural school along with some of the students and teachers who are involved with this new program on a daily basis — another great reminder of just how much our donors help children around the world receive an education.

***

How do I sponsor a child with Children Incorporated?

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

SPONSOR A CHILD

written by Shelley Callahan

Shelley is the Director of Development for Children Incorporated. She is also the lead social correspondent, regularly contributing insights through the Stories of Hope blog series. Sign up for Stories of Hope to receive weekly email updates about how your donations are changing the lives of children in need.

» more of Shelley's stories

After many years of planning, our first affiliated site in Puerto Rico was established and is called Iglesia Bautista de Metrópolis. Iglesia Bautista de Metrópolis is located in Carolina, and the church was created from an older congregation called Bautista Cristo Restaura, which is located in Levittown. Our sponsorship program currently serves children who live in the areas surrounding both Iglesia Bautista de Metrópolis and Bautista Cristo Restaura, but is operated under just one name.

Children have been enrolled in our sponsorship program who come mostly from the congregation’s most vulnerable families.

It all began thanks to a wonderful man named Jesus Garcia. In February 2020, I began conversations with Jesus, who at the time was the pastor of Iglesia Bautista de Metrópolis, about the possibility of an affiliation with Children Incorporated. But the start of the pandemic lockdown in March 2020 put the plan on hold. In the winter of 2020-2021, Jesus and I talked further. At that time, Jesus identified two volunteer coordinators, Marilyn and Carleen, who he felt would be great to run our sponsorship program.

Getting the program off the ground

In early 2021, the development of the coronavirus vaccine was a hopeful sign that things would get back to normal for many of us around the globe. In February of the same year, Children Incorporated sent a Hope In Action Program grant for media equipment to Iglesia Bautista de Metrópolis so that Jesus and the coordinators could reach families with information on needed resources, infection control, wellness checks, and much more. In May 2021, Children Incorporated received from the coordinators, Marilyn and Carleen, the first 20 children’s applications for enrollment. Our organization sent another Hope In Action Fund program grant to buy clothing for the children while they waited to be matched over time with sponsors.

The first year went very smoothly. The children were assigned, communication was regular, and financial reporting was received. Then, in August 2022, we learned that Jesus, who was the impetus for our affiliation, had accepted a call to move and to serve a congregation in Connecticut effective immediately. Our coordinators continued to provide for the children while the search committee reviewed and interviewed candidates. During this period, I asked the coordinators if they would be able to accommodate a visit from Children Incorporated in the spring of 2023, and they expressed pleasure at the prospect.

Getting to know Children Incorporated

Eventually the church’s search committee found the right people in its own backyard. Congregation members and married couple Ricartel and Luz Omayra were selected and hired in December 2022 as the new pastoral leadership team. They went through an orientation process to learn their new responsibilities, and Jesus told them about Children Incorporated.

In March 2023 we held a Zoom meeting with the former pastor and the new pastoral team as well as one of our coordinators, Carleen. A visit was scheduled for April 2023 with Renée Kube and Kristen Walthall, the two Children Incorporated staff members who run our U.S. Programs Department, and me. We looked forward to this visit very much.

When we arrived in April, Ricartel and Omayra picked us up at the airport in San Juan, and we started our time together with a driving tour of the area. They showed us Residencial Luis Llorens Torres, which is the largest public housing project in Puerto Rico. It opened in 1953, and it is badly showing its age. The complex goes on for block after block and is believed to be home to about 3,000 people. (There are about 325 public housing projects on the island, but this one is by far the largest.) Like virtually all public housing projects, this one is mired in generational poverty and social problems.

Ethan, Valeria and heir mother were happy to get to meet the Children Incorporated team during their visit.

Our sponsorship program in Puerto Rico is helping families who are struggling to make ends meet.

There are two schools within this public housing project, and while neither is presently affiliated with Children Incorporated, there may be an opportunity to do so in the future as our outreach grows.

After the driving tour, Ricartel and Omayra took us to a restaurant for a dinner meeting with our coordinator, Carleen, who had just gotten off work and had driven to meet us. We had previously learned the other coordinator, Marilyn, could no longer continue serving. We had discussed finding a replacement for Marilyn so that Carleen would have some coverage and support.

There is truly nothing like a face-to-face meeting. Ricartel, Omayra, and Carleen are dedicated to making lives better, and they have a passion for serving. All three asked questions and developed a better understanding of our organization (especially Ricartel and Omayra, who are new to Children Incorporated).

Seeing our affiliated site

After dinner, we drove to the Carolina area where Iglesia Bautista de Metrópolis is located. It was dusk, almost full dark, and as we entered the surrounding neighborhood, Ricartel and Omayra explained it can be dangerous at night, especially for strangers. They showed us a few streets where some of our sponsored children live, but we did not get out and walk around.

Both explained they want the church to do even more outreach in the community than it has already been doing. To start, children have been enrolled in our sponsorship program who come mostly from the congregation’s most vulnerable families. This gave staff (including the pastor, the coordinator, and the bookkeeper) the chance to assess whether Children Incorporated is a reliable partner. They have been highly satisfied. Ricartel and Omayra said their inaugural outreach as pastors was a holiday visitation in the neighborhood around the church. They, along with the congregation’s families and children, strolled around, approached people, and gave the children small gifts and invitations to come to the church. They and Carleen want to enroll the children in this neighborhood without regard to whether their parents join the church, but they have to get the parents to trust them and to come to them for help. Continuing dialog is a high priority.

Then we arrived at the church where Carleen, who had driven ahead, joined us. We received a full tour of the grounds, including rooms where they’d like to hold after-school and summer programs for children. Next, we went into the building, and we were proudly taken to the area where they keep the equipment purchased with the first Hope In Action Program grant. The equipment is deeply appreciated and is used every week.

Meeting our sponsored children

Finally we got to the best part – meeting some of the children and their families. They had come to meet us, to say thank you, and to hand deliver letters for their sponsors.

Ethan, the first child we met, is five years old and will turn six in July. He was just enrolled in our sponsorship program in March, and at this time he has still not been matched with a sponsor. (However, we will be assigning him as a substitute in place of one of our 12th grade graduates.)  At the time of our visit, Ethan was in kindergarten and was doing very well. He loves cartoon characters (especially Mario) and superheroes (especially Spider-Man). Ethan lives with his parents and older sister in a small house with a cement floor, cement walls, and a cement roof. His parents are responsible and loving, but their combined low wages in a bakery and a hospital do not adequately cover their expenses or provide for their children. Having a sponsor’s help with school clothing, shoes, and classroom supplies will mean a lot to Ethan.

Valeria is Ethan’s older sister. She is 12 years old, and she’s looking forward to becoming a teenager in July. She is in the seventh grade, and her favorite subject in school is family life. In her free time, she loves to draw. Valeria is excited to have a sponsor and is hopeful her little brother will be matched with a sponsor soon.

Jayden, another one of the sponsored children, is just finishing fourth grade. He loves science, drawing, and cartoons. He and his little brother, Nathan, live with their mother, a homemaker and father, a door-to-door salesman. The parents are struggling to make ends meet, and having Jayden matched with a sponsor has been a blessing.

A special moment was when I got to meet one of my sponsored children, Esteban. Esteban is 18 years old and is preparing to graduate from high school. He likes computers and loves basketball. He and his younger sister live with their single mom in a small apartment. The mom works as a nanny for very low wages. Esteban is thinking about becoming a chef but is not sure yet.

I feel Ricartel and Omayra have a good sense of our organization’s mission, and they are grateful that our sponsors and donors can provide much needed support to the children, families, and communities.

The last child we visited, George, was 10 years old at the time of our visit, and he has now turned 11. He is finishing fourth grade, where his best subject is math. George’s mom works in an accounting office, and his dad is in the U.S. Army. He is an enlisted soldier, not an officer, and his pay is low. The parents are ambitious for a better life, and they hope that soon they will no longer need outside assistance of any kind. But for now, they are glad there’s help for their son with his basic and educational needs. [NOTE: Using basic pay as the measure of military compensation, about 4.5 percent of enlisted personnel earn less than the poverty thresholds, according to the Center for Naval Analysis. Many more hover at the threshold or just above it.]

We said our goodbyes to the children and their mothers and left the church. Afterwards, we went to an administration building and had a business meeting. I went over the Specific Assistance Report, which shows all of the financial support provided by Children Incorporated from both our Hope In Action and Sponsorship Programs. Ricartel and Omayra were impressed and touched to see the impact.

Overall, this was a very successful trip. We went into the visit feeling cautiously optimistic about the new leadership, but we left enthusiastic. I feel Ricartel and Omayra have a good sense of our organization’s mission, and they are grateful that our sponsors and donors can provide much needed support to the children, families, and communities. We all also feel there is real room to grow. 

***

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 in that is available for sponsorship.

SPONSOR A CHILD

For a number of years, Children Incorporated longed to provide assistance to children and families in Puerto Rico, yet due to various situations and circumstances, our progress in getting started there was slow. Through a connection with a Richmond, Virginia-based church, we finally started providing aid to the island a few years after the ravages of Hurricane Maria.

We at Children Incorporated want to provide as many of these resources as possible, and your help is desperately needed.

Initially, we helped replace furniture, bedding, clothing, and assorted other household items that were lost in the storm, as well as helped repair some homes that were damaged by high water and heavy winds. Just last year, Children Incorporated established our first two child sponsorship sites through a partnership with Iglesia Bautista De Metropolis, a ministry located in the city of Carolina, just outside of San Juan.

This past year, two of my co-workers and I were honored to travel to the “island of enchantment,” as Puerto Rico is called, and meet with the staff of Iglesia Bautista. Their hospitality and welcome were in abundance, and we were quite impressed by the passion they displayed for the children and families they serve.

They treated us to a delicious meal of traditional Puerto Rican fare including mofongo, empanadillas, and tostones, among other delicacies, and then, with a number of the children enrolled in our program and their parents present, hosted a gathering in our honor. I was blessed to actually meet two of the three children I sponsor in Puerto Rico, and they were an absolute joy. One of those young men, Esteban, has since graduated from high school with honors.

READ THE FULL APPEAL

The needs of children and families in Puerto Rico are many and diverse. In addition to the constant need for food, clothing, and hygiene items, our partner, Iglesia Bautista, wants to establish before-and-after-school care for children in the vicinity of the church, to provide these precious children with a safe place and to keep them off of the dangerous streets. They are also looking to update the bathrooms in their center, construct a stormproof storage area where supplies can be kept dry, and to provide child-size work tables and benches where the children can do their homework and create crafts. Sports and audiovisual equipment are always in demand, and a big dream is for a van to transport the children and their families to and from the center and within their community.

We at Children Incorporated want to provide as many of these resources as possible, and your help is desperately needed. Will you please consider a gift to support our expanding work in Puerto Rico? We can make a difference if we all work together.

From the heart,

Ronald H. Carter
President and Chief Executive Officer

DONATE

Puerto Rico has had a special place in my heart ever since I first visited the island in 2018 to help rebuild homes after the devastation of Hurricane Maria. Since then, we at Children Incorporated have been working hard to establish our first affiliated site in Puerto Rico, partnering with Iglesia Bautista de Metrópolis to help support children and families for the long-term. This past April, I was able to return to Puerto Rico for the first time in five years to visit with our volunteer coordinators and hear more about how our sponsors and donors are changing the lives of those in need.

The urgent need to help with building repairs was the reason I first made a trip to Puerto Rico.

In this edition of Stories of Hope, I want to dive into the history of Puerto Rico and talk about the current situation that citizens face in order to give our supporters a better understanding of why I felt affiliating with Iglesia Bautista de Metrópolis was so fitting for Children Incorporated’s mission and values, and why your donations are important to this vulnerable territory.

A Visual of Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico has a rich history that spans hundreds of years, which is memorialized throughout the capital of San Juan.

Puerto Rico is an archipelago between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean. It is located approximately 1,000 miles southeast of Miami, Florida. It is east of the Dominican Republic and west of the Virgin Islands.

Puerto Rico is presently a territory of the United States with Commonwealth status, and includes the main island and several smaller islands. The main island is almost rectangular in shape. It is about 110 miles long and 35 ½ miles wide, making it larger than Rhode Island and smaller than Connecticut. It would take about three hours to drive from the east end of the island to the west end.

Puerto Rico is about 60% mountainous terrain with the exception of its coastal areas. The main island has a beautiful and incredibly varied landscape consisting of beaches, caves, deserts, rain forests, rivers, and the sea and ocean. The central mountains and rivers carry water throughout the island. The north coast tends to get more rain and is thus more fertile. The south coast is drier.

Puerto Rico is located along the Mona Passage, a strait that separates Puerto Rico and the island of Hispaniola (comprising the countries of the Dominican Republic and Haiti). The passage is a key shipping lane to the Panama Canal. Puerto Rico’s capital, San Juan, also has one of the best natural harbors in the Caribbean.

The history of the commonwealth of Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico has a complicated colonial history and political status. As it is a U.S. territory, its residents are U.S. citizens. But while subject to U.S. laws, residents of the island cannot vote in U.S. presidential elections, and the island lacks voting representation in Congress. Its status as a territory means it is neither a U.S. state nor an independent country.

When Christopher Columbus landed on the island in 1493, native Tainos inhabited the land. Columbus claimed the island for Spain, and for 400 years, Puerto Rico was under Spanish colonial rule. In 1517, the Spanish crown authorized the importation of enslaved Africans. During the time of Spanish colonial rule, the people of Puerto Rico experienced extreme poverty, repression, and taxation. In 1868, a revolt and uprising were attempted, and this was a turning point in relations between the native and enslaved people and the Spanish crown. Spain began to grant the natives some autonomy, and political parties were born. In 1873, slavery was finally abolished.

The political reforms had scarcely any time to develop. In 1898, just thirty years after the attempted uprising, the United States declared war on Spain. U.S. troops invaded Puerto Rico and occupied it during the remainder of the Spanish-American War. When the treaty was signed, Spain ceded Puerto Rico to the U.S.

In addition to its manufacturing sector, the island’s beautiful beaches and tropical climate contribute to a robust tourism industry.

For literally hundreds of years, the people of Puerto Rico have worked to decolonize their home. But there has been a long disagreement on how best to resolve this. Then, in November of 2020, Puerto Ricans voted in a nonbinding referendum on statehood. About 53% favored it, while 47% rejected it. However, the larger problem was that only 55% of Puerto Ricans voted in the referendum at all. Thus, while statehood proponents viewed the results as proof most citizens wanted statehood, opponents questioned the validity of the votes, citing their belief that their referendum was promoted by the pro-statehood group and the fact that it was non-binding anyway.

Economy and Poverty in Puerto Rico

For hundreds of years during its colonial period, Puerto Rico had an agricultural economy based on coffee, sugar, and tobacco. With industrialization, the economy changed. Today, Puerto Rico is known for the manufacturing of medical and pharmaceutical products. Agricultural biotechnology is growing. Much of the workforce is highly educated. The island has a university system that, as noted by its Department of Economic Development, “generates a steady stream of new talent.”

In addition to its manufacturing sector, the island’s beautiful beaches and tropical climate contribute to a robust tourism industry.

So — why is there so much poverty in Puerto Rico? There are several contributing factors which include:

  • Puerto Rico’s relatively small size as an island and the fact there are few natural resources to
    produce highly profitable raw materials (e.g. oil, coal, natural gas, or metals) for sale/trade
    over very long periods of time).
  • A federal funding shortfall means that Puerto Rico doesn’t always get the support
    it needs to build its economy.
  • The island’s shrinking population of young working people due to outmigration.
    This means its population is aging more rapidly than most other countries.
  • Natural disasters and the COVID-19 pandemic, which have caused further economic
    blows to the economy in more recent years. The impact of Hurricane
    Maria in 2018 was devastating, and its impact is still being felt today.


Rebuilding after Hurricane Maria

Hurricane Irma had struck Puerto Rico less than two weeks before Maria, and 80,000 people were still without power as Hurricane Maria approached. Disaster supplies had been distributed for Hurricane Irma, but there was no time to replenish them before Hurricane Maria struck. The damages and outages caused by Hurricane Maria overwhelmed the island’s aging infrastructure and annihilated the power grid.

The capital of San Juan is home to many beautiful buildings, which showcases Puerto Rico’s diverse and artistic influences.

Sadly, it is estimated that 3,000 people lost their lives. Almost immediately, Puerto Rico was declared a federal disaster zone. In the week after the hurricane, 95% of the island had no electricity or cell phone service, and less than half of the island had potable water. Debris-clogged roads added to logistical problems. One month after the hurricane, all hospitals were running, but were still relying on backup generators with limited power. Almost one year after the hurricane, there were still numerous areas without electricity. To date, it is the longest blackout in U.S. history at eleven months.

The urgent need to help with building repairs was the reason I first made a trip to Puerto Rico. It was the connection through Grace Baptist (long time donors to Children Incorporated) that gave me an opportunity to serve the children on this beautiful island.

To this day, five and a half years after Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico is still considered in recovery due to the billions of dollars of damage and destruction that were sustained. The Federal Emergency Management Agency [FEMA] has dedicated billions for infrastructure resilience efforts, but much has still not been spent.

More difficulty for a small island

To further cause strife to its residents, starting on December 28, 2019 and progressing into early 2020, Puerto Rico was struck by an “earthquake swarm,” consisting of hundreds of very small quakes. However, eleven were magnitude five or greater. The most damaging was an earthquake measured at 6.4 on January 7th. Power was lost island-wide. The southern part of the island suffered the most damage, especially the city of Ponce, the closest city to the earthquake’s epicenter. Lives were lost, businesses and homes were damaged and families were displaced.

At first, the island’s relative isolation helped slow the transmission of COVID-19, but eventually Puerto Rico was overwhelmed just like the rest of the world. COVID-19 reached its first peak in Puerto Rico in November 2020. There was another surge from mid-March to mid- April 2021 which was attributed to people returning to in-person work, as well as to dining and shopping indoors. Families had also gathered to celebrate Holy Week. Another surge struck around January 2022, when the omicron variant reached the island.

Pandemic restrictions had a significant negative impact on the island’s economy. The loss of jobs within Puerto Rico’s tourism industry, which comprises almost 30% of its gross domestic product, resulted in a significant increase in unemployment.

Although tourism has rebounded in the past year, the impact of the pandemic can still be felt as families attempt to recover from months of job losses, increased food insecurity and rising debt.

Next week, I look forward to sharing with you all about my visit to Iglesia Bautista de Metrópolis from April 2023.

When Hurricane Fiona struck Puerto Rico in September of 2022, it was a Category 1 storm. But it caused additional damage to an already vulnerable island that was still recovering from damage caused five years prior by Hurricanes Irma and Maria. The hurricane struck hardest in the southwestern part of the island. In the remote areas, it made life even harder.

While Fiona did not have winds as strong as Maria, it had more rain. Torrential rains caused severe flooding across the island (30” in some areas of the south), and the flooding was actually more widespread than during Maria. Roads that had finally been repaired after Maria were swept away again.

Experts say hurricanes cannot be studied as unique events. Instead, to properly assess long term economic impacts, one must study the compounding effects of multiple storm events. While not to the same degree as Maria’s damage, Fiona was still a multi-billion-dollar damage event that added to Puerto Rico’s economic burden.

Next week, I look forward to sharing with you all about my visit to Iglesia Bautista de Metrópolis in April 2023, when I had a chance to meet with our volunteer coordinators and hear more about the ways in which our sponsors and donors are helping children and their families in the community in Puerto Rico.

***

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

We love receiving letters from our volunteer coordinators because they offer such amazing insight into how our sponsors are helping children in need around the world. Today, we share a letter from Jessica at Piney Creek Elementary School, about how she is able to help her students, all thanks to our supporters.

“Without Children Incorporated, our students face low confidence, shame, and embarrassment from not having the items that they need.”

Jessica’s Letter

“The 2022-2023 school year has been a grateful return to normal after the uncertainties and changes presented by the global pandemic. We have seen tremendous growth and success in our students as they settle back into a routine. Piney Creek School strives to provide fun and engaging learning experiences for our students to cultivate a passion for continued learning and to give students an opportunity to be empowered, successful, and self-directed learners. The funds provided by Children Incorporated assist us in helping students to reach their fullest potential so that they are successful in high school, college and beyond.”

“This year, Piney Creek School has served 39 students through Children Incorporated. While this is a decrease since last year, our small school and community continues to grow and prosper as we focus on providing our students and their families’ needs. The total of 39 breaks down further to 18 males and  21 females. Several of our Children Incorporated students come from single parent homes, are raised by grandparents, or are in foster care. We are excited to share that this school year, Children Incorporated has allowed these 39 students to receive book fair books, school pictures, food, clothing, hygiene items, and so much more!”

Our Director of U.S. Programs, Renée Kube, is pictured with one of our sponsored children at Piney Creek Elementary School.

“Piney Creek School is proud to recognize students for their academic achievements throughout the school year through BETA club for seventh and eighth grade students. This year, the BETA Club induction included new Children Incorporated student Tesla, who is a phenomenal student and a great addition to our small school. Our BETA coordinator also submitted poems written by several of our Children Incorporated students to a national contest, and their poems were selected to be published. Two Children Incorporated students, Andrea and Jayda, were also part of the Battle of the Books team that won the Battle of Books competition, reclaiming the trophy this year.”

“Middle school students at Piney Creek look forward to learning about our environment and ecosystem each year. Through Piney Creek Schools’ science classes, the Soil and Water Conservation District provided students with the opportunity to compete at the county level through essays, posters, and speeches to display their knowledge and understanding of our environment compared to other schools in the area. Students are judged at the school level and then move on to the county level to compete against other schools in the same district before moving on to regionals. Children Incorporated student Andrea placed 3rd in the local Soil and Water Conservation contest this year. Andrea was also a Patriot’s Pen Essay Winner for her essay entitled ‘How are you inspired by America?’ Children Incorporated student Savannah R. was part of the Envirothon team that placed 2nd in the Northwest Envirothon competition this year as well.”

“The staff, students, and community here at Piney Creek School are truly grateful for Children Incorporated and the numerous opportunities provided each year.”

“While we are so proud of our Children Incorporated students at Piney Creek School for their academic accomplishments, we are also tremendously touched by the opportunities that some of our students received through their Children Incorporated program. This year we have also added a new program at Piney Creek School titled ‘PCS Care Kits.’ Every month, we send home an order form with our Children Incorporated students that lists various hygienic supplies the students may need. Upon their return, we pack bags with essentials like hairbrushes, toothpaste, feminine products, shampoo and much more based on their selections. The first month of the program, we packed 31 bags to send home with students.”

“Without the monies provided by Children Incorporated and their sponsors, our small school would not have the funds to bestow this much needed resource to our Children Incorporated families. The mother of Children Incorporated students Madelyn and Layla has expressed how much receiving the hygienic products each month means to her family. We are able to spread a sense of hope, comfort and confidence through the program. None of this could be accomplished without the donations of Children Incorporated sponsors.”

“Children Incorporated has provided our students this year with clothes, shoes, books, food, shampoo, hairbrushes, deodorant, soap, electric toothbrushes, school supplies, and hope. Without Children Incorporated, our students face low confidence, shame, and embarrassment from not having the items that they need. Some children would be unable to wear clean, new, and well-fitting clothes to school, have a new book bag packed with supplies to start the year, lack proper hygiene, and even be without food or snacks. The staff, students, and community here at Piney Creek School are truly grateful for Children Incorporated and the numerous opportunities provided each year.”

Sincerely,
Jessica

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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 donation portal, create an account, and search for a child that is available for sponsorship.

SPONSOR A CHILD

written by Children Incorporated

We provide children living in poverty with education, hope and opportunity so they have the chance for a brighter future. Thanks to past and current supporters around the globe, we work with 235 affiliated sites in 20 countries to offer basic needs, emergency relief, and community support to thousands of children and their families each year.

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