Tag Archives: help kids in kentucky

This week’s edition of Stories of Hope continues with our “virtual tour” of Floyd County, Kentucky. Our Director of U.S. Programs, Renée Kube, visits with our volunteer coordinator, Michelle, at James D. Adams Middle School, to tell us more about their school, community, and the power of working together to help children and their families.

Renée’s visit

“Adams Middle School is a rather small school located in Prestonsburg, Kentucky. It has the capacity to accommodate around 335 students in grades 6th through 8th. The poverty rate here is 64% — not as high as some other surrounding areas, but still significant and crushing for many families trying to make ends meet.”

Michelle is very proud of how quickly and well everyone worked together to create lesson plans and navigate continuing to communicate with the children while they were at home.

“Our Volunteer Coordinator at the school is Michelle. She is a long-serving coordinator for both the Family Resource Youth Services Center and for Children Incorporated.

Michelle told me during our virtual meeting that at the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020, the entire staff and administration of Adams Middle scrambled to figure out how to educate and to serve the children. She is very proud of how quickly and well everyone worked together to create lesson plans and navigate continuing to communicate with the children while they were at home. The school buses even transported food to students’ homes rather than them coming to the school for bagged lunches – which prevented so many children in this community from going hungry.”

challenges for students at home

“Michelle told me that most students were able to get online to do their work, and many stayed with grandparents during the day while their parents worked. But, a sizable portion of students did not have internet access at home. The Mountain Arts Center in Prestonsburg was one of the first local businesses that invited families to park in their parking lots during the day and sit in their cars to access the WIFI from inside the building, which for some students was their only means to connect and learn.”

“Additionally, as with many other schools in Eastern Kentucky, and around the United States, the 2020-2021 school year was delayed due to rising infection rates but had since started back fully in-person. Then sadly, things got bad again.”

Consistency in uncertain times

“When this new 2021-2022 school year started, and all the kids were together playing sports and having activities and club meetings, there was a quick uptick in cases. Infection rates and hospitalizations jumped in August and September and then declined slowly through December of last year. There was another surge in January and February of this year, the highest the area had seen yet. Cases have since declined again but remain high. There is without a doubt a lot of ‘COVID fatigue’ amount students, faculty, and parents.

Despite the difficulties, Michelle has been working hard to provide for the children, and she is deeply grateful for the sponsors’ support, which offered her, and the children in our program, some much-needed consistency during such uncertain times.”


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.


Historic thunderstorms struck southeastern Kentucky from the late evening of Wednesday, July 27th through Thursday, July 28th. The storms produced at least 6″ of rain within a 24-hour period. More rain fell the following Friday and Saturday, bringing the total to 14″-16″ of rainfall within a five-day period. The storms triggered both flash flooding of creeks and severe river flooding. The flooding also caused mudslides, and torrents of water and mud washed away small bridges, roads, and homes.

Donors and sponsors who wish to make extra contributions are gratefully welcomed to do so. These contributions will be put into our Hope In Action Fund for additional disaster relief and related emergencies and needs.

A devastating event

The death toll stands currently at 37 and is sadly expected to rise, as many people remain unaccounted for. Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear described it as “one of the worst and most devastating events in Kentucky’s history.”

Many of the hardest hit counties are in areas where Children Incorporated is serving. Our hearts have been very heavy as we read the articles and watched the film footage of the flooding. Our amazing volunteer coordinators in southeastern Kentucky have just begun to contact us and send their own pictures and stories.

Children Incorporated is joining the call to help and has already sent $42,000 in disaster relief funds to our affiliated sites in the greatest impacted areas. Our coordinators will use these contributions to purchase items the children and their families need most — from bottled water to nonperishable food, from bleach to detergent, from antibiotic ointment to band-aids, and more. Our caring sponsors’ regular contributions are also being sent, and our coordinators plan to buy clothing for the children.

Thanks to our Hope In Action Fund, we are able to respond immediately to disasters and emergencies.

How you can help

In the midst of the heartache, we are also hearing inspiring stories of help coming from all across our country, and stories of local residents helping one another from rooftop rescues to horseback checkups to the daunting and extensive cleanup efforts. Schools in border counties are being used as shelters or staging areas. Initial aid is being distributed from unaffected buildings and dry parking lots, and this aid will steadily expand in scope as cleanup and repair efforts continue.

Donors and sponsors who wish to make extra contributions are gratefully welcomed to do so. We will continue to support flood-related efforts through your kind and generous donations to our Hope In Action Fund. Thank you all for your support of children and families in Kentucky during this emergency and for all you do for children around the world throughout the year.



written by Kristen Walthall

Kristen is our Assistant Director of U.S. Programs who oversees Children Incorporated’s work in the United States – from the rural southeast and southwest to our urban areas in New Orleans, Washington, D.C. and Richmond, Virginia. She works closely with an outstanding network of more than 100 volunteer coordinators at each affiliated site to ensure the children in our program are receiving the support they need.

» more of Kristen's stories