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Sweet Dreams for Kids in Kentucky

Our affiliated project, Morgan County Middle School, is located in West Liberty, Kentucky, and serves 464 students in 6th through 8th grade — many of whom come from low-income households.

The school’s Family Resource Youth Services Center is run by Children Incorporated’s volunteer coordinator, Kim.

“Kim runs a lot of important programs for our kids, and she can always use help with them. Her favorites are the 8th grade career mentoring program, the weekend feeding program, and the Sweet Dreams bed program,” said Renée.

“Kim was previously at one of the elementary schools, Morgan Central, for many years, but she moved up to the middle school after its coordinator retired. Kim said it was a smooth transition, as many of the kids were her former elementary students,” explained our Director of U.S. Programs, Renée Kube.

“However, the move did refine her awareness and sensitivity to this age group — middle school children are coping with the physical and emotional challenges of puberty, and many of them are also enduring poverty and family stress. These challenges make the Family Resource Center more important than ever.”

“When I last visited with Kim in late 2019, she told me that, due to the county’s high poverty rate, they were awarded district-wide free lunch. This has made it so much less embarrassing for the kids who don’t have lunch money. Now everyone is on the same level. Her school is also one of three schools in the county that is serving an early supper on select days, which really helps families in the community as well,” said Renée.

Kim’s Programs

Kim is pictured with one of the students in our sponsorship program at Morgan County Middle School.

“Kim runs a lot of important programs for our kids, and she can always use help with them. Her favorites are the 8th grade career mentoring program, the weekend feeding program, and the Sweet Dreams bed program. She is most proud of and excited about the Sweet Dreams bed program,” exclaimed Renée.

“Kim said all Morgan County Public Schools are eligible to participate in the Build A Bed Program operated by Morehead State University. However, only 200 beds are made per year, and with so many counties and schools eligible, not all children in need can be helped.”

“So, she and the other coordinators in Morgan County started their own program. The Eastern Kentucky Correctional Center is located in West Liberty. The prison builds the beds for free for the students at the school, and the school coordinators appeal to local businesses to buy the mattresses for the kids, some of which she has been able to secure. Kim said more assistance is always needed to purchase mattresses, sheets, blankets, pillows, and comforters,” said Renée.

“Because of our Beds and Linens Fund, and thanks to our sponsors, Children Incorporated has been able to help Kim and our sponsored children with those new items so that students from the middle school can sleep comfortably at home and be prepared for school each day rested and ready to learn!”

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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

Seeking Ways to Alleviate Child Hunger Around the World

I love grocery stores!  I admit it. I really do.  I find a lot of joy in shopping for food.

Your contribution to our Feeding Programs make our work possible, and it is through your generosity that we are able to fill empty bellies and offer nutrition where there otherwise may be none.

Some of my fondest childhood memories are of trips to the grocery store or food markets with family members. When I was really small, I spent Saturdays with my Aunt Louise and Grandmother Pierce while my parents worked. Every Saturday morning, my aunt would shop for groceries, and she always took me with her. At first, I sat in the basket as she shopped, but as I grew older, I graduated to pushing the shopping cart!  I thought I was hot stuff, let me tell you!  I clearly recall pushing that buggy down the aisles of our local A&P. I recall the smell of the freshly ground coffee near the front of the store, as well as the wonderful aroma of cakes and pies just out of the oven in the bakery.

Our Feeding Programs provide food for hundreds of children each year.

In my immediate family, my father did the vast majority of food shopping, and he loved grocery stores probably as much or more than anyone I have ever met.  There were six or seven food stores in our small town, and Daddy made the rounds from one to another, looking for bargains and stocking up on deals.  Sometimes when my dad was stressed or just needed an out from the responsibilities of daily life, he would say to my mom “Peg, I think I’ll just go to Winn Dixie and look around,” and off he’d go.  Sometimes I went with him, and Daddy loved pointing out the bargains –  BOGO items (buy one, get one free) and things marked down for clearance.

My folks were not wealthy. They were hard-working folks who sometimes struggled to pay their bills, but we always, always had food to eat, and my childhood memories are of wonderful meals and abundance. Both of my parents were excellent cooks, and I can still taste some of the special dishes they made — my mom’s lemon pie and fresh coconut cake, and Daddy’s fried chicken and chili con carne immediately come to mind. So many memories are of the taste and smell of food, and for me, of course, those magical trips to the grocery store.

It is hard for me to imagine being constantly hungry, but I am painfully aware that there are millions upon millions of people who go without proper food and nutrition on a daily basis. In the United States, 1 in 6 children face food insecurity, and globally, there are over 800,000,000 people who do not know where they will get their next meal. Over 3,000,000 children die each year from hunger and malnutrition. The numbers are astounding, and they are shocking. Sadly, they are reality.

Over 3,000,000 children die each year from hunger and malnutrition. The numbers are astounding, and they are shocking. Sadly, they are reality.

Children Incorporated is working to alleviate some of the suffering that comes from food insecurity. Our international and United States child feeding programs offer nutritious food to thousands of children on a regular basis.  As needs arise in the field – whether in a remote Kenyan village or a rural school in Eastern Kentucky – Children Incorporated responds to the calls we receive and provides life-sustaining nourishment to children and families. In Central and Latin America, this may be in the form of bagged rice and beans to feed a family for a month, or in the United States, food distribution through weekend and holiday backpack feeding programs. By whatever means, we are always seeking ways to reach more and more children and to alleviate their hunger.

Your contribution to our Feeding Programs make our work possible, and it is through your generosity that we are able to fill empty bellies and offer nutrition where there otherwise may be none.

Please, consider donating to our Feeding Programs today.

DONATE TODAY

 

Our U.S. Feeding Program

Our U.S. Feeding Program provides children food to take home on the weekends and during summer break when they otherwise might not receive regular meals. We support children at our affiliated projects in Kentucky, Washington, D.C., Arizona, New Mexico, Virginia, and New Orleans.

Every year, Children Incorporated provides food for hundreds of children in the United States. Consider donating to our U.S. Feeding Programs Fund to help ensure that children get enough food to eat every day.

What is backpack feeding?

Twenty-two million children receive free or reduced-price meals through the National School Lunch Program and the National School Breakfast Program. Although free and reduced breakfast and lunch programs provide significant nutritional benefits to students during the school day, many disadvantaged children do not have access to regular meals when school is not in session. For many of these children, school meals may be the only meals they eat.

Our U.S. Feeding Program helps alleviate child hunger by discreetly providing hungry children with bags full of nutritious, non-perishable, and easy-to-prepare food on Friday afternoons, so they have food to eat throughout the weekend or over holiday breaks. Thanks to our U.S. Feeding Program, children show up on Monday morning healthy and ready to learn.

What you need to know about child hunger in the U.S.

– In America, 1 in 6 children don’t know where they will get their next meal

– Nearly 13 million kids in the U.S. face hunger

– 5 out of 6 kids who rely on free or reduced-price school meals aren’t getting free meals in the summer

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How you can help

Every year, Children Incorporated provides food for hundreds of children in the United States. Consider donating to our U.S. Feeding Program to help ensure that children get enough food to eat every day.

DONATE TODAY

A School Full of Sponsored Children

Even by Navajo reservation standards, our affiliated project, the Lake Valley Boarding School, is located in an incredibly remote area of New Mexico, which makes our partnership with the school incredibly valuable to both the children and the school’s administrators. In fact, there are a total of 32 students in attendance at Lake Valley – each of which is sponsored through our sponsorship program.

“Over the years, there has been talk of closing the school and transporting the children to the nearest little town, which is Crownpoint, where the school has its post office box,” explained Children Incorporated Director of U.S. Programs, Renée Kube.

“Since that time, we have been able to provide the items they requested as well as support students during the COVID-19 outbreak with food to take home while they moved to remote learning in 2020 and the spring of 2021,” said Renée.

“However, the school’s isolation makes the prospect of consolidation doubtful. The high desert region is arid, but it is not without rain. When the rains come, transportation in some areas comes to a virtual standstill. The mud is deep and thick, and many of the roads are in bad shape. Therefore, the school is quite essential for the few families that send their children there and our sponsors help these students more than they can imagine.”

Meeting Veronica and Jeannette

“Our volunteer co-coordinators at Lake Valley are Veronica and Jeanette. Both work in the school dormitory, as many of the children live on the outskirts of the districts, and the roads are sometimes too bad for a daily commute. The children stay in the dorm until Friday afternoon, and they return to the dorm on Sunday afternoon, except during summer, winter breaks and holidays. The ladies are a great and supportive team, and it’s obvious they’re devoted to every child,” said Renée.

Our co-volunteer coordinators, Jeanette and Veronica

“During my last visit to the school in 2019, we began our tour outside the main office when several boys ran up to show Veronica and Jeanette their team’s sports trophies. Of the 36 students from the area who competed in the track event, five were from Lake Valley. Jeanette and Veronica introduced me to George and Douglas* who live with their parents and one sister. Their mom works as a clerical assistant, and their father has erratic work as a laborer. His pay is good when he can find work, but he goes for long periods without. Their combined pay is below poverty level.”

“This is the situation for most of our sponsored kids at Lake Valley. Work is inconsistent, and daily commutes are grueling,” said Renée.

Supporting special needs and beyond

“After meeting the children, we then went on to the dorm and discussed our program. The ladies do all of their shopping at the Walmart in Farmington because they feel the funds stretch farthest when they drive further to get less expensive items. During my visit, they requested Hope In Action Funding for eyeglasses for two of the students who have vision issues due to their albinism. Veronica and Jeanette also requested to be considered if any funds become available for their playground, books in the dorm, tablets for the dorm, arts and crafts supplies for the dorm, and seeds and soil for the school greenhouse.”

“Since that time, we have been able to provide the items they requested as well as support students during the COVID-19 outbreak with food to take home while they moved to remote learning in 2020 and the spring of 2021,” said Renée.

*Names changed to protect the children.

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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 United States that is available for sponsorship.

SPONSOR A CHILD

 

Helping Parents Become Teachers

We recently received a letter from our volunteer coordinator at the Father Andeweg Institute for the Deaf (FAID) in Lebanon that we wanted to share with our sponsors and donors. Amidst all that has happened since 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic, we are thankful to hear that there have been some good things to come out of the harder times for children in our program — and their families:

Parents being involved more in the education of their children enhanced family bonds, which stimulated the children’s development even more.

Greetings from the FAID Family

“Dear Friends and Supporters,

Thank you on behalf of the FAID family for all the support we have received from you over the years, especially during the last two years. Running our school in an economic crisis in the middle of a pandemic has been highly challenging.

A school cannot be run without staff. With your help and support, we have held onto our team and continued paying wages. However, the hyperinflation in Lebanon has reduced the buying power of the wages by a lot. One Lebanese pound is now worth less than one-tenth of what it was two years ago. But your support has enabled us to provide food parcels on three occasions for everyone – students, families, and staff – connected to the school.

Students are back in the classroom at FAID after an 18-month period at home during the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 also offered a blessing by helping parents in Lebanon become teachers of their deaf children. Several lockdowns reduced our face to face teaching time severely. So, we needed to find another way to help our children and their parents develop their educational skills. Our staff made several videos on a particular topic each week. The video “OPPOSITES,” for example, explained all about up and down, in and out, high and low, etc. These videos, made for WhatsApp, were easy for parents to use.

Parents being involved more in the education of their children enhanced family bonds, which stimulated the children’s development even more, and most of all, reduced the emotional trauma that exists in families having children with special needs.

The value of continued support

Furthermore, providing audiology support, hearing aid maintenance and batteries during COVID is very challenging. Again, because of the help of Children Incorporated and their sponsors, we could put in the safeguards and precautions to make it possible.

We would heartily appreciate your keeping us in your thoughts and prayers.

Our political and economic situation is extremely worrying. There is a shortage of medicine, fuel, electricity and sometimes food, and the prices are going up on a daily basis. We know we can depend on your continued support, and for that, we are tremendously grateful.”

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How do I sponsor a child in Lebanon?

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

SPONSOR A CHILD

Keeping Kids Active at Mariano Lake

The remote town of Crown Point is located in northwestern New Mexico, near the Arizona border and the vast Navajo Indian Reservation. Many of the American Indian families in this area generate income by making and selling jewelry and pottery. A few families maintain small herds of livestock. Unemployment is high, and many parents rely upon public assistance as their only means to afford the cost of feeding and clothing their children.

Because of the remoteness of the area in which the school sits, Mariano Lake has a dormitory for students to board during the week and return home on weekends and during holidays.

Our affiliated project, the Mariano Lake Community School, is located about 24 miles southwest of Crown Point. The school educates 130 children from Kindergarten to 6th grade — 98% of the students at the school are from low income families. Because of the remoteness of the area in which the school sits, Mariano Lake has a dormitory for students to board during the week and return home on weekends and during holidays.

A long-time volunteer coordinator

“Our volunteer coordinator at Mariano Lake is Barbara. She has worked at the school for many years. Her title at the school is Home Living Specialist since she manages the school’s dormitory, and the kids keep her hopping,” explained our Director of U.S. Programs, Renée Kube.

“The dorm is currently caring for sixteen children, eleven girls and five boys. Barbara is big on keeping the kids occupied. They do a lot of reading and sight words to improve their literacy. She has one dorm aide, Ann, who helps her with our sponsorship program.”

The dorms at Mariano Lake offer children who often don’t have the support of their parents a safe place to sleep and learn.

“When I visited Barbara in 2019, she gave me a big envelope of progress reports, letters, and pictures of the kids getting school supplies, thanks to their sponsors,” said Renée.

Helping kids stay active

“Barbara said many of the children’s parents are working in Colorado or Texas, are deceased, or simply gone. Those kids without parents stay with relatives on weekends, holidays, and breaks. Due to unstable home environments, poverty, and emotional issues, some of the children have a difficult time with good behavior in the dorm. They get upset and act out. Barbara and Ann work hard to help the kids feel cared for and try to keep them busy so they don’t become bored and frustrated.”

“Barbara would like to do more activities for them, but funding is always a problem. She would like to be considered for Hope In Action funds for materials and supplies for the boys’ and girls’ dorms. Not just practical needs, but fun things too. I told her we would be happy to help when she submitted requests for funding. We at Children Incorporated understand the detrimental effects that poverty has on children, especially those living without their parents, and we want to do what we can to help keep children’s minds active so they can always be learning whether in school, at home, or in their dorms.”

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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 that is available for sponsorship.

SPONSOR A CHILD