Tag Archives: help children

As I continued my trip to visit our affiliated sites in Martin County, Kentucky, I visited Eden Elementary School, where I had the chance to reconnect with our volunteer coordinator, Marlena, after a few years. She and her assistant, Kelli, welcomed me with open arms as I arrived to the resource center.

Hearing this made me that much more grateful for our sponsors and what they do for the children in our program.

Marlena and Kelli are very appreciative of the Children Incorporated program, and I got the impression from them, as well as from the other Martin County coordinators that our organization is able to help in ways other organizations are not able to. The resource center in Martin County really depends on Children Incorporated a great deal, and all of the coordinators say they would be lost without Children Incorporated support.

During our meeting, Marlena shared that she is seeing an increase in severe poverty in her area. Many families live in literal shacks, and the number of household members in one home is sometimes astronomical. They recently learned of one child whose family consisted of sixteen people (both related and non-related), living in a small two-bedroom apartment. She also talked about the number of families living in dwellings without electricity and/or running water. Marlena stated that she thinks Martin County is about 20 years behind the rest of Kentucky in how people live. Hearing this made me that much more grateful for our sponsors and what they do for the children in our program.

Inez Elementary

Ron is pictured with one of our many sponsored children in Martin County, Kentucky.

I was warmly greeted by Andrea, the site coordinator at Inez Elementary School during my next school visit, along with a little girl named Sabrina.* Andrea brought Sabrina in at the start of our time together just so I could meet and speak with a Children Incorporated sponsored child. Sabrina was very sweet and talkative.

Andrea is very passionate about the children and families she serves, and she truly seems to care about their welfare. She stated that she believes the start of helping children to succeed is to make sure they have clean and comfortable places to sleep at home so that they may get proper rest. She said she could not even tell me the number of children who do not even have a pillow of their own. Andrea often provides beds, mattresses, pillows, and bedding to children in our sponsorship program, as well as others in the school who are in need. She said, “Ron, I can’t tell you the number of children that Children Incorporated has gotten up off of the floor!”

 Andrea talked about a program she started at Inez Elementary specifically for girls in fifth and sixth grades. She said she and others had noticed a lot of bullying and “mean girl” behavior among girls of this age, so they started a club that meets weekly to help break down barriers and teach the girls to be nicer to one another. The girls are encouraged to journal, and then during club meetings, they share their personal thoughts and insecurities. Andrea said that when the girls share openly like this, they reveal the ways they are all alike, and often it is a matter of the girls having low self-image and low self-value. She said that behaviors have improved a great deal since this program was begun.

Warfield Elementary

Next, I met with Amanda at Warfield Elementary School. She bragged quite a bit about the Planting Seeds of Love program that is implemented in all of the Martin County schools before she brought in one little girl for me to meet. Her name was Allison.* Allison was a friendly child and told me how much she has enjoyed the gardening program with her grandmother. She looks forward to spring when they can plant their garden together again.

All of the Martin County coordinators were enthusiastic about the Planting Seeds of Love program, and they all expressed extreme gratitude towards Children Incorporated sponsors and donors for help in funding that program. The coordinators said that parents and grandparents have been overwhelmingly supportive of planting and tending their own gardens and then canning their own vegetables for use in winter. Overall, the program has been a huge success, and the schools will all offer it again in the spring.  The program not only provides food for these families, but it is also a big bonding opportunity for parents and children.

As my trip came to an end, I found myself thinking just how impressed I was with all of these kind-hearted and warm people who truly care about the children they and we serve.

*Names changed to protect the children. 

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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

My trip to Bolivia had come to an end, but our Director of International Programs, Luis Bourdet, still had a few more affiliated sites to visit in Bolivia before he returned to our office in the U.S. Today, Luis recounts his visit to Guarderia El Angel, located in Santa Cruz, where our sponsors are supporting impoverished children from 1st to 12th grade.

“Without the support of their sponsors, the children would have to go to government schools, which are not very good and teach very little.”

Luis’ Visit

“El Angel is a day care facility that is located on the outskirts of the city. It is a well-cared for and well-maintained group of buildings, where about 250 students attend. They provide pre-kinder, kindergarten, 1st grade and 2nd grade education here, and there are children one through seven  years of age.  It is managed by a local Lay Congregation of Sisters.”

“Arrangements have been made so that children attending school in higher grades can continue the Children Incorporated program until graduation, and a school located next door, within the ‘Fe y Alegria’ alternative program, is now taking our students and supporting them until they graduate from high school. This school is now managed by the same congregation of sisters, but in cooperation with the local Bolivian government.”

“Our program support is used to cover school fees and to provide uniforms and school supplies. The children and parents are very grateful for the support, as they are all day vendors, homeowners, or people that have a hard time finding a permanent job. Without the support of their sponsors, the children would have to go to government schools, which are not very good and teach very little.”

Home Visits in Santa Cruz

“While visiting some homes, we noticed that the situation of the families is not encouraging. One was that of a single mother living in a rented room, in a very difficult situation and circumstances. She works as day worker. The other family was a family living in a half-finished house, with only two rooms and a small kitchen.  The father raises chickens but has only three of them to sell when it is the right time. He has day jobs, as well as the mother, and they have to sustain three children. One of them is in the Children Incorporated sponsorship program.”

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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

Of the eight affiliated sites we work with in Sucre, Bolivia, just two are located outside of the city center. On our first day in Bolivia, our Director of International Programs, Luis Bourdet, and I visited the Santa Rosa School in Yolata, where Children Incorporated is supporting families from the surrounding farming community. On our fifth day in Sucre, we once again ventured away from the city to visit Cristo Rey Mission, our affiliated site located in the community of Alto San Pedro.

Our volunteer coordinator, Lourdes, picked us up to bring us to the center, located about 30 minutes away from Sucre in a slightly mountainous area, where a thick morning fog hung in the air.

When we arrived, we were greeted by not only our sponsored children but their mothers, who all wore traditional clothing of the cholita women of Bolivia. Cholitas are the indigenous women who dress in Andean clothing and adhere to more traditional ways of living in Bolivian culture. In the past, Cholitas were marginalized citizens, considered poor and widely discriminated against. Today, Cholita women have embraced their traditions and consider the traditional dressing as a way to empower themselves and stand strong against the prejudice against them that were prevalent throughout Bolivian history.

Visiting the center

As Luis and I walked through the courtyard, waving hello to the mothers and children, we made our way into the center’s meeting area, where a few of our sponsored children played songs and sang for us. Luis then spoke to the children, thanking them for corresponding with their sponsors and participating in our sponsorship program, which requires them to attend school and do their best to keep their grades up.

Children in our sponsorship program who come to the center attend local schools and receive monthly support thanks to their sponsors.

After Luis’ short presentation, the children and mothers went outside to the entrance of a small kitchen next to the meeting room — a kitchen that feeds 90 children from the neighborhood each and every day thanks to a well-established feeding program run by Cristo Rey Mission. I was impressed to hear that this small center was able help so many students in the community, especially working with limited funding and a small staff.

Additionally, I would come to find out, the center also ran an afterschool program, a boarding program for girls who are attending local universities, and a program to support mothers who are in need of resources. Children in our sponsorship program who come to the center attend local schools and receive monthly support thanks to their sponsors, which is greatly needed.

Helping an entire community

Once the children and their mothers enjoyed a small snack from the kitchen, they all said their goodbyes and headed home, while our volunteer coordinator took us on a walking tour of the neighborhood, which included a few home visits of some of our sponsored children.

It was apparent that this small community, which was inhabited mostly by farm workers, was limited when it came to resources — the homes we visited were nothing more than single rooms with beds on the floors and hotplates used for cooking. One of the mothers we spoke with talked about how hard it was to make a living in this area where jobs were scarce, but how grateful she was for Cristo Rey Mission and all of our sponsors, who help ensure her son wasn’t going without the things he needed to attend school.

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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

Although all the schools we work with in Bolivia were large, serving hundreds of children from neighboring communities, the La Inmaculada School was by far the largest I had seen during my time in Sucre.

Our Director of International Programs, Luis Bourdet, and I were scheduled to visit the school on a Thursday morning, but come to find out, that was a day that was scheduled for a city wide teachers strike, in which schools were closed and teachers and parents blocked off sections of the city streets with banners painted with brightly colored letters spelling out the names of their respective schools.

The strike was intended to draw attention to the need for more government support for the schools in Sucre, and as we saw on that Thursday, was very calm and peaceful. It only barely interrupted the regular hustle and bustle of the town, as students stayed at home, and usual car traffic used alternate routes around the city center.

Meeting with Lucia

Luis moved our meeting with our volunteer coordinator, Lucia, to Friday afternoon, with a plan for us to return again on Saturday for a celebration with our sponsored children and their parents – all 125 children who planned on attending to welcome us to the school. We met with Lucia in the auditorium before we took a brief tour of the expansive school.

Like many of the families living in the area, parents struggle to make ends meet and any support with basic needs was really appreciated.

Lucia explained to us that our sponsorship program was really helpful to the children here because, like many of the families living in the area, parents struggle to make ends meet and any support with basic needs was really appreciated. We ended our meeting knowing we would see Lucia the next morning, and it was apparent she was very excited about what she had planned for the celebration that we would be attending.

A great celebration

When we arrived early the next day, the empty school was now bustling with hundreds of people, patiently awaiting our arrival. Students lined the walkway into the courtyard, holding balloons and signs. Chairs had been lined up for parents to sit, and students stood ready to perform songs and dance for us, all wearing their school uniforms, even though it was the weekend.

After their performances, a few students read thank you letters to their sponsors, wanting to show their heartfelt gratitude for everything they were receiving throughout the year. I too felt that same gratitude for our sponsors, knowing how much they are doing for these special children, who were receiving a well-rounded education thanks to the La Inmaculada School.

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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

I am a big believer in the idea of maintaining “an attitude of gratitude.” I have discovered over the years that I can weather crisis, hardships, trials, and difficulties much better when I remind myself of just how blessed I am. Even during my most trying days, I am aware that there are always others who perhaps struggle more, face greater challenges, and lack many things that I daily take for granted. I try very hard, even when I am frustrated, disappointed, or disillusioned to see the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel, and I constantly work to hold on firmly to my “attitude of gratitude.”

I want you to know that Children Incorporated appreciates each and every one of our sponsors and donors. Thank you for allowing us to serve those in need.

As we begin yet another year – Children Incorporated’s 60th year of assisting those living in poverty – I want to clearly express my thanks to each of you who contributes to our special funds and sponsors our beautiful children. Your generosity over the decades is what has allowed us to feed, clothe, and help educate children and youth in many varied locations around the globe.

Children Incorporated would not and could not exist without your financial support and the trust you place in us to use your gifts for good. We take this responsibility quite seriously and constantly work to make each dollar go as far as possible in meeting the huge volume of needs before us.

I am grateful – truly thankful! – for your generous support, and I want you to know that Children Incorporated appreciates each and every one of our sponsors and donors. Thank you for allowing us to serve those in need.

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

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written by Ron Carter

Ron Carter is President and CEO of Children Incorporated. He is responsible for overseeing all operations of Children Incorporated, with a specific goal of honoring the original vision and mission of our founder, Jeanne Clarke Wood, who established the organization in 1964.

» more of Ron's stories

We talk about our Hope In Action Fund a lot — and for good reason. This special fund, which provides for children and families in emergency situations, when natural disasters strike, and due to extreme hardship, allows our volunteer coordinators to support their communities beyond what sponsorship provides.

Thank you for all you have provided to children in need this year through our Hope In Action Fund. We couldn’t do our life-changing work without you.

As we get closer to the end of 2023, we would like to share with you, our amazing donors, just some of the many ways your donations to Hope In Action have helped this year, from the rural areas of Eastern Kentucky to our affiliated sites in the Philippines.

Hope in Action Internationally

Just in this past year, donations to Hope In Action have:

  • Provided funds for the purchase of projection screens for ten school classrooms
    at the La Immaculada School in Bolivia
  • Provided funds to purchase new summer uniforms for children at the Armenian
    Evangelical Secondary School — Anjar in Lebanon
  • Provided funds to support heart surgery for a sponsored child in the Philippines
    who has been diagnosed with cardiovascular disease
  • Provided funds to purchase eyeglasses for sponsored children at the Santa Rosa
    School in Bolivia
  • Provided funds to purchase band equipment for students at the Santa Rosa
    School in Bolivia
  • Provided funds to purchase shoes for children at the Escuela Santa Lisa in
    El Salvador
  • Provided funds to repair the study room used by students at the La Recoleccion
    School in Nicaragua
  • Provided funds to repair the refrigeration room in the kitchen at the La Luz Home
    in Mexico which provides daily meals to our sponsored children who live in the home

Hope in Action in the United States

Just this past year, donations to Hope In Action have: 

  • Provided reading books and arts and crafts supplies for children in the dorms at the
    Mariano Lake Community School in New Mexico
  • Provided materials and supplies for a clothes closet, field day, and field trips
    for students at Broad Rock Elementary School in Virginia
  • Provided mattresses, food and clothing for a child who had been relocated to the Children
    Incorporated affiliated school, East Valley Elementary in Kentucky, and was in need of
    emergency support
  • Provided funds to purchase backpacks and school supplies for the annual back to school
    bash at Martha Jane Potter Elementary School in Kentucky
  • Provided emergency support after a house fire for a family at Menifee Central Elementary
    School in Kentucky

Hope In Action donations allowed us to fill a vending machine full of free books for kids in Kentucky.

Additionally, just in the U.S, alone, your support has:

  • Provided funds to help a sponsored child at
    Lewis County Middle School in Kentucky
    participate in a state-wide athletic competition
  • Provided funds to buy shoes, backpacks,
    and school supplies for students at Gouge
    Elementary School in North Carolina
  • Provided funds for a Summer and Arts Camp
    at Belfry Middle School in Kentucky
  • Provided funds for students at Sparta Middle
    School in North Carolina to visit an interactive
    children’s museum and zoo
  • Provide disaster relief funds for two children
    enrolled in our program at Menifee Central
    Elementary School in Kentucky after their house
    caught on fire
  • Provided funds for students at Perry Central High School
    in Kentucky to attend a cheerleading camp

And, you have also:

  • Provided funds to purchase materials, supplies and food for a Family Literacy
    Initiative at Flat Gap Elementary School in Kentucky
  • Provided beds, bedding, pillows, blankets, and journals to children in need at Menifee Central
    Elementary School in Kentucky
  • Provide funds to stock the Family Resource Center with nutritious snacks at
    Herald Whitaker Middle School in Kentucky
  • Provided funds to purchase clothes and shoes for the Youth Services Center at Phelps High School
    in Kentucky
  • Provided three new books each to all children at Catlettsburg Elementary School in Kentucky
  • Provided funds to improve health and sanitation by providing water bottles to students at
    Salyersville Grade School in Kentucky when the school added refillable water bottle stations


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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.

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