Tag Archives: help kids

As a part of our ongoing Stories of Hope blog series, we want to share with you our October 2022 Impact Report as a way to say “thank you” to all our supporters who make our work possible.

Beyond what you already provide to children through our sponsorship program, your donations to our Special Funds and Special Projects allow us to help families and communities as well, often in times of crisis.

YOUR IMPACT AROUND THE WORLD

Just in this past month, your donations have:

Beyond what you already provide to children through our sponsorship program, your donations to our Special Funds and Special Projects allow us to help families and communities as well, often in times of crisis.

– Provided food for 25 children at the Dandora Community Center in Kenya

– Provided funds for backpacks for children at Martha Jane Potter Elementary School in Kentucky

– Provided funds to purchase meals for one full month for students at Kids Hope Ethiopia

– Provided funds for warm clothing for students at Fallsburg Elementary School in Kentucky

– Provided funds for meals for children for an entire month at Fortune’s Children at Parang in the Philippines

– Provided food for 25 children for a month at St. John’s Community Center in Kenya

– Provided funds for flood relief for families with children at Jones Fork Elementary School in Kentucky

– Provided funds for food, water, hygiene items and household items for children whose homes were damaged by flooding at Buckhorn Combined School in Kentucky

– Provided funds to complete a greenhouse project at St. Michaels Special Education School in Arizona

– Provided funds for menstrual hygiene items for girls at Santa Isabel Ana Seton in Guatemala

– Provided funds to help with flood relief efforts for children and their families at Hindman Elementary School in Kentucky

From all of us at Children Incorporated, thank you all for all you have done in just this month to help families living in poverty!

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HOW do I MAKE A DONATION TO CHILDREN INCORPORATED?

You can donate to 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 hello@children-inc.org and a staff member can assist you with making a donation; or online to our donation portal, create an account, and chose a particular fund in which to make a donation.

DONATE

We are happy to share with you our Fall 2022 Newsletter, highlighting our work around the world thanks to our sponsors and donors and their generosity and dedication in helping children in need. Enjoy!

Children Incorporated Responds to Major Flooding in Eastern Kentucky 

Historic thunderstorms struck southeastern Kentucky in July, producing 16 inches of rainfall within a five-day period and triggering flash flooding throughout the region. Buildings, homes, and roads were damaged due to high water, and the aftermath of the storms was devastating for both our affiliated schools and families in these communities, some of whom lost everything and were forced to live in tents on their property or move into hotels or shelters. 

We are happy to share with you our Fall 2022 Newsletter, highlighting our work around the world thanks to our sponsors and donors and their generosity and dedication in helping children in need.

In early August, our volunteer coordinators started reaching out to us requesting support, and we began sending emergency relief funding — all thanks to our amazing donors.

To date, we have sent over $65,000 to help families with immediate needs such as bottled water and nonperishable food, cleaning supplies, antibiotic ointment, band-aids, and clothes. We are so grateful for donations made to our Hope In Action Fund for our Kentucky flood relief efforts! 

Read more:

OUR DONORS TO THE RESCUE

The Spirit Airlines Charitable Foundation Supports Our Work in Costa Rica 

In June, Spirit Airlines marked fifteen years of flights to San Jose, Costa Rica, and wanted to celebrate by giving back to children, families, and communities in the area, so they contacted Children Incorporated. 

“Lanie Morgenstern, the Senior Manager of Corporate Social Responsibility & Strategic Partnerships with Spirit Airlines, was very enthusiastic about our work in Costa Rica when we spoke about a potential partnership,” explained Children Incorporated Director of Development, Shelley Callahan.

In a time of crisis, we are able to support children in Sri Lanka thanks to our donors and sponsors.

“Lanie felt that our work directly lined up with the mission and vision of the Spirit Airlines Charitable Foundation. The Foundation was interested in providing immediate educational and basic needs support to children living in poverty who attended our affiliated site, La Milagrosa, in the center of San Jose.” 

“I also felt that this partnership was ideal for the children in our program. The $10,000 donation from the Spirit Airlines Charitable Foundation allowed our volunteer coordinator to purchase food items, hygiene items, mattresses, clothes, shoes and school supplies for the children we support,” explained Callahan.

“These items were especially important considering how difficult the pandemic has been for families.”

Thank you, Spirit Airlines, for your valuable partnership with Children Incorporated! 

Read more:

INVESTING IN THE YOUTH OF COSTA RICA

Helping Children During A Crisis in Sri Lanka 

This year, Sri Lanka has faced its worst economic crisis since its independence in 1948. Fuel shortages and inflation have left millions of Sri Lankans without kerosene and food, leaving many to borrow money or sell their personal items to feed themselves and their children. 

Thankfully, our sponsors and donors are able to offer support to children at our three affiliated sites in Sri Lanka — Chrishanti Lama Sevana, Touch a Life with Hope Center, and the Wijewardane Children’s Home. Monthly funding has allowed our volunteer coordinators to purchase food, mosquito nets and other basic needs items which the children desperately need.

We have children currently on our waitlist in Sri Lanka, waiting for a special person to sponsor them. If you would like to sponsor a child in Sri Lanka, please contact us today.

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 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 Shirleen Joe first contacted Children Incorporated this past summer, she mentioned to our sponsorship department that she herself was a sponsored child growing up.

Children Incorporated Director of Development Shelley Callahan emailed Shirleen Joe to ask her more about the sponsorship experience and how being a sponsor herself has been.

“I was a Native American child sponsored through my school back in 1972. I still have contact with my sponsor today. I’ve even considered her my stepmother, which she accepted, so now I call her “Mom.” I want to become a sponsor now to pay-it-forward,” wrote Shirleen.

“I asked her how she sponsored me when I was a child and she was glad to give me the information about Children Incorporated, but said she wasn’t aware if the organization still existed. After doing research, I came to find out that you all still do exist. I was so grateful!”

After she signed up to become a new sponsor, Children Incorporated’s Director of Development Shelley Callahan emailed Shirleen Joe to ask her more about her experience growing up with a sponsor and how she feels about our sponsorship program.

Shirleen Joe as a young girl in New Mexico

SC: Tell us a little about your background with Children Incorporated.

SJ: Back in 1971, I was attending a local boarding school when I was only 8 years old. I was informed that I had a “sponsor.” Not knowing what was going on, I was given a pencil and paper and was told to write a letter to her. I later came to find out that it was through Children Incorporated that an individual had volunteered to help me with basic needs.

SC: What state was your boarding school located in?

SJ: It was located in Crownpoint, New Mexico.

SC: Can you tell US just a little bit more about what your childhood was like?

SJ: In our native tradition we are required to introduce ourselves in our native language and in the proper manner like:  “Hello, my name is Shirleen Joe, I am of (maternal clan) the Tohdicheenie Clan (Bitter Water). I am born of the (paternal clan) Ma’ii desh gish nii Clan (Coyote Pass People) also known as the Ah shii nii Clan (Salt People). My father was the late Herbert F. Martin and was employed as a Heavy Equipment Operator with the local BIA Facility Management until his passing in 1979. My mother is Etta J. Martin, a home maker.

My parents, myself and all my siblings lived in a house called a hogan, which is a one room open space area for living. The furniture was located in certain areas against the wall to sort of make sections for the kitchen and sleeping areas.

The only ones that actually had a bed to sleep on were my parents. Myself and my three sisters slept on the ground on one big mattress and my three brothers also had their own big mattress to sleep on. In the morning we would take out those mattresses and hang them on the clothes line to air out for the next night.

I was one lucky individual to have a sponsor which personally felt like I had a foster parent who cared enough to individually support me.

A lot of things that I got were hand-me-downs from my older siblings. The only new thing that I received was usually from my sponsor sending me something like a gift. I was shy and timid as a child, until I became a teenager and obtained a permanent job that got me out of my shell. Now, I can give a public speech in both the English and Navajo (Dine’) language with no problem.

SC: What do you currently do for work?

SJ: I currently work for the Navajo Nation Food Distribution in Crownpoint.

As a young adult, I worked for Wendy’s Restaurant in Gallup, New Mexico; thereafter, I applied to and got hired permanently with the City of Gallup Police Department working in the Records Department. I put in a total of twenty five years and then retired from there, then stayed at home for two years before deciding I was ready to go back to work. I then worked for the Navajo Nation Division of Aging and Long Term Care Support, the Navajo Land Commission, the Navajo Technical University, and now I am at the Navajo Nation Food Distribution which is where I will remain until I decide to retire permanently from the employment life.

SC: What are some of your memories of having a sponsor growing up?

Shirleen Joe pictured with her sponsor, Karen

SJ: I remember that out of the hundreds of children attending the boarding school, I was one of the lucky ones that got a sponsor through Children Incorporated. My sponsor would send me letters and gifts for my birthday or for Christmas.

SC:What was your biggest motivation for becoming a sponsor yourself?

SJ: My biggest motivation was having six other siblings and losing my father at a young age, which was hard for my mother. I was one lucky individual to have a sponsor which personally felt like I had a foster parent who cared enough to individually support me. In knowing that, I decided to become a sponsor myself after becoming an adult and making a living on my own. 

SC: What do you think are some of the most rewarding aspects of sponsorship?

SJ: Personally, I would say that no matter what kind of family life you’re going through, there’s always someone out there to help you financially, provide you with hope that everything will be okay no matter the circumstances, motivate you to know that you are able to face any challenges, and offer a life-long friendship. To this day, I still have contact with my sponsor. I consider her as my secondary parent and her children as my own siblings.

*** 

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

All of our sponsors are incredibly important to us and the children they support, and we are delighted every time we receive a letter from one of our volunteer coordinators about how a sponsor went above and beyond to make a difference for children in need.

Today, we hear from Rachel at Broad Rock Elementary School in Virginia, who wrote to one of our sponsors, Sharon, after she donated toys and educational games to the school.

Today, we hear from Rachel at Broad Rock Elementary School in Virginia, who wrote to one of our sponsors, Sharon, after she donated toys and educational games to the school.

Rachel’s Letter 

“Thank you for all of the wonderful donations to our school! I was surprised and so happy to hear from the Director of U.S. Programs at Children Incorporated, Renée, when she contacted me about receiving your thoughtful gifts. Renée even offered to deliver the donations herself, since the Children Incorporated office is located near our school.”

“When Renée arrived, we loaded two small handcarts with the boxes of donations and wheeled them in — and literally as soon as we crossed the threshold, a teacher spied us. She admired the items, and when I explained what they were, she asked excitedly for the three little rubber ducks to use for a special lesson she was planning, and I gave them to her on the spot.”

Putting a smile on Sherry’s face

Renée is pictured with a car full of donations for Broad Rock Elementary School students.

“It was such an incredible surprise to open up each box of items. I selected a few things that we knew your sponsored child, Sherry*, would love, and I surprised her with them the same day. She was over the moon about the Peppa Pig figurines especially. I then let her choose some toys to take home as well. She chose the tea set, puzzles, and a sleeping bag that she’s really excited to use soon when family members visit.”

“After Sherry returned to class, I was able to distribute the rest of the toys to other classrooms. The musical instrument pad went to our music teacher, and the solar robot went to our STEM teacher. A few other items, such as the hand puppets, Legos, and a few board games, I held onto to use for students during individual time or small-groups in our resource center.”

A small act of kindness going a long way

“The rest of the items will be shared with other students in the Children Incorporated program, and what’s left will be made available to parents during parent pick-up at dismissal. Thank you again for your kindness. These items really brighten the lives of children who otherwise don’t have a lot. We appreciate you!

Sincerely,

Rachel”

*Name changed to protect the child.

***

How do I sponsor a child in Virginia?

You can sponsor a child in Virginia 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 Virginia 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

Only four days into our trip to Mexico, our Director of International Programs, Luis Bourdet, and myself are already in our third city, Guadalajara. 

After visiting our affiliated sites in both Mexico City and San Miguel de Allende, I am excited to also return to the La Luz Home in Guadalajara after six years. I have fond memories of meeting the children and getting to hear about this truly incredible site and the abundance of programs that it has for children in the community, including our sponsorship program. 

I have fond memories of meeting the children and getting to hear about this truly incredible site.

Difficulty Through the Pandemic

Our volunteer coordinator, Sister Elizabeth, picks us up early in the morning along with La Luz’s driver, who spends most of his day taking the children back and forth between the Home and the local public schools that they attend. When Luis and I get in the van, there is a young boy sitting next to Sister Elizabeth that at first, I don’t recognize with his mask on.

As we drive to La Luz through the early morning traffic of Guadalajara, Luis and I catch up with Sister Elizabeth about how things have been for her during the pandemic. She admits that, like many other of our affiliated sites, it was difficult for them not knowing when the children would be able to go back to school and knowing that all the families that they support were in need of more resources than ever before.

Remember Fernando

About 20 minutes later, the driver pulls over in a residential neighborhood, and we all exit the car — including the young boy, who removes his mask and takes off running down the sidewalk to a big metal door about 30 feet away. I suddenly realize — I have been here before! We are at the home of Fernando whose family we met on our last trip to Mexico. I hadn’t recognized him, but without his mask, I can see clearly that it is the same Fernando, only taller.

We enter his home, which is occupied only by his older sister at the time — his mother is at work and his other siblings are at school. Fernando is the only child in the family young enough to still be attending La Luz — he is still too small at 10 years old to not have more supervision since his mother works long hours at a local school.

Because of his mother’s demanding work schedule, I know it’s best that Fernando is still at the La Luz Home — as long as he is there, he will be under the loving care of the Sisters and his sponsor — and it’s obvious that it has helped him a lot. He looks healthy and happy, and excitedly gives us a short tour of his small house, even though not much has changed since our last visit.

Big Help From Sponsors

Fernando is pictured in his school uniform standing on the patio of the home he shares with his mother, siblings, grandfather and aunt.

Once we have finished seeing Fernando’s home again, we say goodbye to his sister and head to the La Luz Home, only a short five-minute drive away. The children are still in school, so Sister Elizabeth gives us a tour, and we have a meeting in her office with the Home’s full-time social worker. They tell us that all twenty children at the Home are currently sponsored through the Children Incorporated program, and it’s a big help for them to have the support.

Every child at the La Luz Home, including Fernando, is there because one or both of their parents are incarcerated, so having a sponsor doesn’t just mean they are getting resources they need each month, like food and school supplies, but it means they have someone that they know cares about their well-being.

Like Fernando, some of these children have the same sponsor that they did six years ago when I first came to La Luz, and that can be life-changing for these children, who might not always feel special growing up in poverty with parents who struggle in really desperate situations.

Around the time that we wrap up our meeting, La Luz’s driver is bringing the second group of children to the Home in the van, and both the girls and boys excitedly run from the entrance through the courtyard and into their separate dorms to change out of their school uniforms and get ready for lunch. Sister Elizabeth invites us to chat with the children while they eat, and I have the chance to take some photos of them enjoying their soup and tuna salad, giddy knowing that the guests for the day came to visit with them.

I love knowing that, like Fernando, these other children who I am only just meeting for the first time are getting the chance to live long-term at La Luz as well.

Saying Goodbye for Now

I love knowing that, like Fernando, these other children who I am only just meeting for the first time are getting the chance to live long-term at La Luz as well. It’s a great relief to know that they have some consistency here that doesn’t always exist in their home lives.

As we depart for the day and say our goodbyes, I give one last wave to Fernando and the other children, myself just as giddy as the children knowing how much our sponsors are doing to help ensure that they all get to grow up at La Luz.

***

How do I sponsor a child in Mexico?

You can sponsor a child in Mexico 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 Mexico 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

 Dear Friends,

One of the most oft-asked questions for the staff of Children Incorporated is,“How can so little do so much?” People truly want to know how their dollars can change the lives of the children they sponsor.

I would like to share a few stories from our volunteer coordinators about how your donations are bringing joy to children and their families during some of the most difficult times of their lives.

For us, that answer is simple. For decades, our wonderful volunteer coordinators have shared incredible stories of how your donations can have life-changing effects on children in our programs. From offering children a pair of socks and clean underwear, or perhaps providing them with a new pair of shoes, to purchasing simple school supplies such as paper and pencils, Children Incorporated is there. From helping families have nutritious meals on their tables every day to providing them with special Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners, Children Incorporated meets a vast array of needs. More often than not, the little amounts — those that may seem insignificant to many — can make the biggest difference, for collectively, they add up and allow us to provide services that change the lives of children and families in ways they will never forget. 

I would like to share a few stories from our volunteer coordinators about how your donations are bringing joy to children and their families during some of the most difficult times of their lives. 

“Because of your financial support we have been able to purchase clothes, backpacks, supplies for the entire school year, toiletries, books for the children to take home, as well as special gifts for birthdays and different holidays throughout the year. It is so exciting and rewarding to see the students when they are called to the office to receive their items. It is also exciting to see the students with their smiling faces as they come in the school with their new outfits on, and they make sure to come by to show us. We were also able to supply families with a nice gift basket of a country ham, biscuit mix, jams and jellies, and candies for the students and their families to enjoy over the winter break. We also purchased much needed hygiene and toiletry items such as shampoo, deodorant, toothbrushes and toothpaste. As the families came by the office to pick up the baskets, they expressed their sincere gratitude. ”

Mandy
Sparta Elementary School 

“I would like to first of all say ‘Thank You’ to all of you, our sponsors. Without you, there would not be this wonderful program. This is a program that changes lives, and I am truly thankful to be a small part. The benefits that Children Incorporated brings to my small hometown is truly a huge blessing.

As you can see, small, as well as large, amounts matter. Please, will you consider contributing to our Shared Hope Fund?

The sponsors’ selfless monthly donations help to build young children with positive self-esteem and self-worth. Thank you, sponsors, for faithfully sending your generous donations for these deserving youth. You are helping build a confident child who is more prepared to face life’s challenges. Sponsor donations help provide academic resources that are necessary to a child’s learning. You provide them with school supplies to help them learn in today’s competitive curriculum. Sponsor donations also provide clothing and health items that most often take for granted. You provide warm socks and sturdy shoes, under garments and outerwear. You also provide new, stylish clothes and book bags so the child can be confident heading out to school each day. You help promote good attendance. 

As an educator, I have actually been told that a parent kept a child home from school because they didn’t have clean clothes to send the child in on that day. You provide a helping hand for struggling families. Because of your thoughtfulness, children do not have to suffer due to a family’s economic situation. All families you serve here at Dunlow Elementary are thankful and grateful for your donations.” 

Tracy
Dunlow Elementary School 

These are just two of the many stories we receive from our volunteer coordinators each year; testimonials of the effectiveness and impact of your generosity in supporting our work. As you can see, small, as well as large, amounts matter. Please, will you consider contributing to our Shared Hope Fund? Your gift will allow us to purchase much needed, often life-changing items for children who are currently enrolled and awaiting individual sponsors of their own. A few dollars can make a world of difference. 

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

DONATE

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