Tag Archives: help children in the united states

Ensuring the children are able to stay in our sponsorship program from their earliest days in school until graduation is something that our Director of U.S. Programs, Renée Kube, works hard to do. With the public school system often times having three different schools — elementary, middle and high school — for children to attend, it’s crucial that we partner with each school to ensure sponsorship support is not interrupted — especially for children who need it the most.

Today we hear from a former sponsored child, Susan*, who grew up in our sponsorship program and attended Menifee High School in Kentucky, and writes to us to describe how her experience having a sponsor was formative to helping her become the adult she is today.

SUSAN’S STORY

Dear Children Incorporated,

Students hold many memories from their school days, and one memory that I hold dear is having the privilege of being a Children Incorporated student starting in middle school until I graduated in 2011.

 Like many children in Menifee, my family was not privileged. My family owned a small farm, and both my parents worked; however, having three growing children, money was always tight for our family. Shortly after I started the 6th grade, our Resource Center Coordinator sent home paperwork to my parents asking permission to allow me to participate in the Children Incorporated program.

“I truly say that being a Children Incorporated participant helped shape the person I am today.”

I was unaware of what all the Children Incorporated program entailed in the beginning but was very thankful for the opportunity that was given to me. Like many within my county, I grew up wearing hand-me-downs, that were far from perfect, but I knew my parents were doing their best to keep us kids clothed, and fed. Middle school years are hard years for any student, but it was tough for the children that come from poor families. Often, I was made fun of because my clothes were not like others; they may have had stains, or may have even been a little bit too big, but that’s all I had. Because of the comments I received, my self-confidence slowly began to dwindle. I was too proud of my parents to ever let them know what other kids were saying about me, and I knew that my parents loved me and were trying their very best to provide us with what we needed. 

 As I began my journey as a Children Incorporated student, I was given a sponsor that was truly an angel in disguise for me. I will forever remember my first gift from my sponsor; she gifted me several outfits that were really trending at the time. I was in complete shock when I received the gift she sent me. She also sent a letter telling me all about herself and what she enjoyed doing during her free time. This letter was the first of many conversations that took place between the two of us over several years. I was so excited to send my sponsor a letter back telling her how thankful I was for the gifts she had sent for just me. Through each letter we shared our experiences with each other, and even though I never met this person face to face, it seemed as if we had known each other our whole lives . As I continued through school, I had a total of three different sponsors. Each of my sponsors and I shared many experiences together even though we may have been hundreds of miles apart. 

Being a Children Incorporated child was a blessing for me, not just for the gifts I received but the self-confidence and encouragement it gave me throughout my school years. I truly say that being a Children Incorporated participant helped shape the person I am today. Many people may think of this program as a handout for poor families, but that is far from the truth. This program is much more than that; this is life changing for those that are eligible to be a part of such a wonderful program. I will forever be thankful for the wonderful memories that I hold from each of my sponsors, and there isn’t any way that would be enough to thank them for all that they have done for me over the years. These sponsors in the Children Incorporated program are truly a gift from God.

 Now as a soon to be 30-year-old, as of March 2024, I will finally be able to say that I am the first out of my immediate family to obtain a bachelor’s degree. I have made leaps and bounds since graduating even if it was in small steps. I currently work within our local elementary school and have the pleasure of interacting and making an impact on the next generation. Because of the Children Incorporated program, I strive daily to make a positive impact on each student I serve. I am living proof that underserved children can overcome any obstacle that is thrown their way with a little encouragement and love even if it comes from a stranger that they have never met. I will forever be thankful for the Children Incorporated program.

*Name changed to protect the individual.

***

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.

Dear Friends, 

Before joining the staff of Children Incorporated in 2003, I worked for another child sponsorship organization for over a decade. During that time, I occasionally heard about Children Incorporated from my then co-workers, but no one seemed to know a great deal about the organization founded by Jeanne Clarke Wood in 1964. Children Incorporated was often downplayed and written off as being rather insignificant in comparison to the much larger organization where I was then employed.

Then, in 2002, when my position with that other firm was unceremoniously eliminated, I found myself seeking new employment. I loved nonprofit work and wanted badly to remain in the child sponsorship arena; thus when a former employee of the larger organization told me that he was then working at Children Incorporated and made arrangements for me to interview there as well, I was elated. I met with Mrs. Wood, her successor as president, Marian Cummins, and a couple of other employees, and I was hired on the spot. What I immediately discovered is that those who had tried to make Children Incorporated appear insignificant were wrong. 

Within days of my hire, I knew what thousands of loyal sponsors had been saying for 39 years: that Children Incorporated was an organization with incredible integrity, far-reaching arms, and a huge amount of personality. As I watched and listened to my co-workers interact with sponsors, donors, and a vast network of volunteer coordinators, I came to understand why so many had labeled Children Incorporated as “an organization with heart.”

All these years later, I am still impressed by what Children Incorporated accomplishes, and my hope for our future is that we will keep on meeting needs as we have for the last six decades, and that we will be able to meet many more needs as they arise. I also hope that we will be able to reach many new people with information about our work. I hope to share the message that Children Incorporated is an honest and dependable organization that matters greatly to thousands and thousands of children and their families. Cheers to 60 years and thank you for all you do to make our work possible! 

From the heart,
Ronald H. Carter
President and Chief Executive Officer 

Clean Water and Healthy Living in Kentucky

Last fall, thanks to a wonderful proposal submitted by our volunteer coordinator Kelly at Salyersville Elementary School in Kentucky, we were able to provide water bottles to students as a part of a healthy living initiative started in the school district. Kelly shared that during the pandemic, many school districts either closed/shut down or greatly reduced the number of water fountains.

Cheers to 60 years and thank you for all you do to make our work possible!

This was originally done in an effort to halt the spread of COVID-19. However, many of those districts have decided to remove the water fountains altogether and to replace them with water bottle stations. This move is seen as more hygienic, reducing possible COVID transmission, but also the common cold, flu, RSV, rotavirus, enterovirus (hand, foot and mouth disease) and more. Outbreaks cause sick children and high rates of absenteeism. Upon receiving the water bottles, Kelly wrote a note of thanks to Children Incorporated: 

“Thank you again for the special gift, which provided water bottles for all our students. The timing was perfect, as Friday was Eagle Spirit Day for the last day of Red Ribbon Week. The students, and myself, are so thankful and excited. I am also sending you some pictures taken as I passed out the bottles. Thanks so much for all you do!”

A Warm Partnership with Subaru 

In January, Children Incorporated was selected by another nonprofit organization, Operation Warm, to receive 100 new coats for our Richmond children, thanks to its partnership with Subaru of America. Our staff welcomed two employees, Rachel and Michael, from a local dealership, Hyman Bros. Subaru, who brought the coats themselves to our office to then be distributed to children at our Virginia affiliated schools! We are so grateful for the support!

Thank you, Operation Warm and Hyman Bros. Subaru! 

READ THE FULL NEWSLETTER

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 225 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

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 Suzanne*, 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 other Children Incorporated students, Sarah and Becka*, 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 Sarah placed 3rd in the local Soil and Water Conservation contest this year. She was also a Patriot’s Pen Essay Winner for her essay entitled ‘How are you inspired by America?’.”

“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 the 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 funds provided by Children Incorporated and their sponsors, our small school would not have the means to bestow these resources to our Children Incorporated families. The mother of Children Incorporated students Whitney and Layla* expressed to me 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.”

“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

*Names have been changed to protect the children.

***

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 225 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

While visiting Martin County, Kentucky last fall, I first met with Kara, our site coordinator at Martin County High School, and I was absolutely blown away by her caring nature and the extent of services she and her assistant offer the young people at her school.

Kara stated that she feels her main goal is to help the teenagers at her school look and feel good, just like everyone else, so that they will fit in and are not ostracized because of what they do not have. As such, she often provides the children with tennis shoes and assorted clothing items, and she keeps boys’ dress clothes and an assortment of prom dresses on hand for those who would otherwise not get to go to the prom or other special school functions.

Kara says her program could not exist without the financial support from Children Incorporated.

Kara also helps the children get their choir outfits (black pants and shirts) and makes sure that all the children she serves get at least one official school t-shirt, sweatshirt, or hoodie. Much of the clothing Kara shares is the result of Children Incorporated Hope In Action grant money. Kara says her program could not exist without the financial support from Children Incorporated.

MEETING OUR SPONSORED CHILDREN

While at Martin County High, I also met two students, Patrick and Kristen.* These children proudly took me for a tour of the beautiful building and grounds of the school, and it was a real pleasure to talk with them. Patrick said that his sponsor does write to him, and he has been very blessed to have her in his life. While his home situation is not good, he has an extremely positive attitude and is now making post-graduation plans to attend a local college and train to become a travel nurse. Kristen is very interested in criminal investigation work and has plans to attend Ohio State University, provided she can get enough financial support to afford it.

Martin County High School is perhaps one of the nicest and most well-maintained public school facilities that I have ever seen. It is bright and inviting, and just an overall beautiful building with very nice grounds.

GREETINGS FROM MARTIN COUNTY MIDDLE SCHOOL

Ron stands with Kara outside Martin County High School.

Next, our volunteer coordinator, Jennifer, welcomed me quite warmly to Martin County Middle School. Jennifer is extremely organized and makes master lists of all the various activities she oversees for the Family Resource Youth Service Center. For Children Incorporated, Jennifer has a spreadsheet that lists each Children Incorporated enrolled child, along with their clothing sizes, sheet and linen sizes, food preferences, and assorted other wants and needs. This makes it much easier for Jennifer to purchase items for the children in our sponsorship program.

Jennifer shared that the biggest issue facing her children is food insecurity. She said that families in Martin County are struggling like never before to make ends meet on a very limited food budget. During the COVID pandemic, the amount of food stamps a family of four received was approximately $1000 per month. Post-COVID, that amount has been reduced closer to $400 per month, a decrease of 60%, yet the cost of food has risen significantly. Jennifer said that she has called on Children Incorporated several times for money to purchase non-perishable food items for children in her program. She maintains an incredible food pantry in her office consisting of pop-top and easy-to-open non-perishable food items (mac and cheese cups, vienna sausages, canned soups, juice boxes, etc.), and she tries to always keep individually-wrapped snacks (bars, chips, small cereal boxes, candy, etc.) on hand for children who come to school without lunch or snacks.

Jennifer also maintains a very impressive clothing closet. She is a bargain shopper and purchases pants, shirts, and underwear on clearance at the local Paintsville Walmart and other stores. She also buys shoes anytime she sees them at a reduced price. Using primarily Children Incorporated funds, she recently bought 76 pairs of new shoes from the reduced price racks from a Huntington shoe store.

I was totally impressed with Jennifer’s program and how she manages it.

While I was visiting Jennifer, a young girl came in and asked for a pair of sneakers. Jennifer opened the closet and let the child choose a pair that she liked. Another young girl came in and got a light-weight jacket. Jennifer admitted that some of the money received from Children Incorporated, especially Hope In Action Funds, may also help children at the school that are not enrolled in the Children Incorporated program. I told her that that is absolutely fine as long as the needs of Children Incorporated-enrolled children are met first.

I was totally impressed with Jennifer’s program and how she manages it. She is a very organized coordinator as far as how she maintains her office, food pantry, food closet, and the services she provides to her school.

*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.

SPONSOR A CHILD

I first met Rosanne Cash in the spring of 2012. Of course, I was already aware of her artistry, having been a big fan of her hit records “Seven Year Ache,” “Blue Moon With Heartache,” and “I Don’t Know Why You Don’t Want Me,” and I was well-aware that she was the daughter of the iconic Johnny Cash.

I admit that I was initially a little star-struck to meet her, but since our initial lunch together twelve years ago, I have gotten to know Rosanne quite a bit better, and I have discovered that she is one of the nicest, most compassionate individuals one can hope to meet. She cares deeply about the state of our world, including the poverty and deprivation that bind so many children. I recently had the opportunity to chat with her about her decades-long support of Children Incorporated.

I appreciated the personal connection, the ‘family’ atmosphere, and the fact that the administrators actually knew who the sponsors and children were — it’s not a nameless and faceless enterprise where you send money and it goes into a black box.

– Rosanne Cash

A conversation with our long-time supporter

RON: Rosanne, according to our records, you started supporting Children Incorporated in September 1987, thirty-seven years ago. Do you recall how you initially discovered Children Incorporated?

ROSANNE: “It’s been a long time! I really don’t recall how I found Children Incorporated, but I remember feeling impressed with the obvious sincerity and humility of the mission. I was moved that it was founded by just one woman (Jeanne Clarke Wood), out of a singular desire to ease the suffering of children around the world.”

RON: And what led you to contact us, as opposed to one of the other, perhaps larger sponsorship organizations? What has kept you involved all these years?

ROSANNE: I appreciated the personal connection, the ‘family’ atmosphere, and the fact that the administrators actually knew who the sponsors and children were — it’s not a nameless and faceless enterprise where you send money and it goes into a black box. I like getting the letters from the children and knowing who I’m helping.

RON: You currently sponsor three children with us — two in Bolivia and a third in Mexico. You’ve sponsored many different children. What do you find most rewarding about child sponsorship?

ROSANNE: I know there is a real effect to my sponsorship. The children write and tell me what they were able to buy for themselves, how their schoolwork is going, what music they like, and more about their lives. They send pictures and I see them grow. I see, in real time, that my sponsorship matters.

RON: If you were asked to describe Children Incorporated in just a couple of sentences, what would you say?

ROSANNE: Children Incorporated is an organization with enormous heart and soul, fastidiously administrated, and has the welfare of the children they serve at the center of every decision and every dollar they spend. Their integrity as a charity is exemplary, and their service to the underprivileged children of the world reverberates through generations.

Rosanne’s latest music release is the 30th Anniversary edition of her classic album, “The Wheel,” available wherever contemporary music is sold and through her website, rosannecash.com.

Thank you, Rosanne, for all you do to help children in our program!

***

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

Many of our affiliated sites in Eastern Kentucky were greatly impacted by flooding last year, which left communities devastated and families homeless. Thanks to our Hope In Action Fund, which allows us to respond to emergency situations that arise, we were able to help many people start to rebuild their lives.

“To be confident in one’s appearance is a must, and Children Incorporated and their generous sponsors help these students break social barriers and reach their full potential.”

Today we hear from Linda at Highland Turner Elementary School, who writes to tell us about how our donors and sponsors helped children in our program during the flooding, while also offering them much-needed support throughout the year.

A Note from Linda

“As a new coordinator starting a new job and coming into the school year dealing with a historic flood and extensive loss in the county, I consider Children Incorporated to be a blessing. The ability to request assistance in the form of a mini grant and to receive Hope In Action funds helped not only sponsored children but many other students in need at our school, providing shoes and basic needs that are necessary for children to thrive emotionally and academically.”

“Sponsored students enjoy receiving gifts, cards and letters from their sponsors, but for the students at my school, it’s more than just recieving mail and packages — it’s knowing that there are people out there in the world who care about them, people who are invested in their well-being and want to see them succeed.”

Breaking Social Barriers

Sponsorship provides children with basic needs, and gives them a sense of self-esteem, which is just as important to their growth and development.

“There is no argument that education is important, but a child’s self-esteem is equally vital, and that’s where the cards, letters, special gifts, and funds provided by Children Incorporated sponsors come in. The sponsored students’ accomplishments include completion of 6th grade certificates, medals, and citizenship awards. Students who receive citizenship awards in particular have shown that they care for their fellow classmates. They are leaders. They are strong and kind. To be confident in one’s appearance is a must, and Children Incorporated and their generous sponsors help these students break social barriers and reach their full potential, whether it be in the form of new school clothes, a pair of shoes or basic hygiene needs such as deodorant, lotion, soap, or toothpaste.”

“Academic success involves educating the whole child, and Children Incorporated sponsors see that this success is possible through their kindness and generosity. Sponsors who recognize birthdays reiterate the belief that they do truly care, and I can’t stress this enough. Birthdays and holidays are extremely important to our students, and the extra cards, special funds, gifts, and letters are greatly appreciated. Those smiles and statements such as ‘I love my sponsor’ or ‘Wow, how did they know I wanted that or I needed that?,’ make it a privilege to be a part of such a great program.”

“After a shopping trip and item distribution to sponsored students, the children are so excited to look through their new items. Some will even stop by my office to show off their new outfits. These gifts remove social barriers for our students and build self-confidence that is evident in the smiles on their faces.”

“With the end of the school year at hand, the last shopping trip included necessary items needed for field trips and for summer fun like hats, sunglasses, swimsuits, and swimming trunks as well as new shorts, summer dresses, shirts, underwear, and flip flops. As a coordinator, it’s a relief to know that these students will embark on summer break with these needs met. Thank you, sponsors! Thank you, Children Incorporated! Keep up the good work.”

Sincerely,
Linda

***

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 225 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