Tag Archives: help poor children

For nearly two decades, our former volunteer coordinator at Menifee County Middle and High Schools, Melanie, worked closely with children in our program who struggled having very little consistency in their lives outside of the support they received from their sponsors. Today, we hear from Melanie, who retired from her position last year, about how Children Incorporated was so important for her students during her many years as the school’s resource center coordinator.

“Working with middle and high school students, I have seen first-hand how not having the basic resources others do is detrimental.”

Melanie’s Letter

I have been at Menifee County Youth Services Center for over 19 years and have had the pleasure of working with Children Incorporated for most of those years. Working with middle and high school students, I have seen first-hand how not having the basic resources others do is detrimental. It’s a huge part of that age group to want to just fit in. I am so thankful for Children Incorporated and the sponsors we have for our students here. Because of them we are truly able to provide our students with their basic needs so that they are able to come to school and focus on learning.

I have one middle school student in particular who would not even have the basic things we all take for granted without this program. He lives with a single father and two older siblings. Over the years, we have been able to provide the much-needed clothing, coats, and shoes for him. He is non-verbal, so I rely a lot on his teachers. They are wonderful with letting me know all his needs throughout the year and his wants at Christmas. 

Because of Children Incorporated, not only are his basic needs provided for, but we were able to get him a few learning and educational toys to help him with his motor skills. Children Incorporated has been a blessing for this child who unfortunately may have otherwise fallen through the cracks. With Children Incorporated’s help of Hope In Action funds we have also been able to provide this student and his family with food each week through our Meals to Grow program. I cannot say enough good things about the difference that Children Incorporated and its sponsors have made in this particular child’s life. Thank you! 

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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.

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.

SEEING EDEN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

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.

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

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.

Visiting 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.

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.

onward to 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

Dear Friends,

I recently went on my first ever cruise to the Bahamas and Mexico, and I must say I truly enjoyed the experience. The sunrises over the ocean each morning were breathtaking, and the brush of the waves against the hull of the ship lulled me to sleep each evening. The cruise personnel was wonderfully attentive, and the entertainment on the ship — including two Broadway-type shows and an incredible singer saluting the late great Aretha Franklin — was fantastic.

Will you please consider making a contribution to our Feeding Programs Fund? Whether a little or a lot, every dollar matters in the fight to feed the hungry.

But the thing I most remember from the cruise was the food. There was food everywhere! Perhaps due to my line of work, I found the vast array of delicacies and the sheer volume of food before me to be quite overwhelming, and as I filled my face time and time again, I couldn’t help but reflect on the many children and families who go hungry on a daily basis. 

Seeing the need for myself

It’s been said that nearly 44 million people, including 1 out of every 5 children, face hunger on a regular basis. Many do not have enough food to eat, and some have extremely limited access to healthy and nutritious food. Many rely on heavily processed canned goods which have virtually no nutritional value whatsoever, and they have those items in only limited amounts. 

My co-workers and I have visited homes where the cupboards and refrigerators were absolutely bare. I clearly recall one home, consisting of two parents, a grandmother, and three small children, where the only food item to be found was a half-eaten bag of potato chips. In another home, there was only a can of evaporated milk and a few day-old pastries.

At Children Incorporated, we are working to correct such heartbreaking situations. One of our greatest outreach efforts and most successful ways of meeting poverty head-on is through our Feeding Programs.

Our Feeding Programs Fund at work

Each year, we provide hundreds of thousands of dollars of food assistance to our site locations around the world. We support on-going food programs, and we aid in special as-needed situations. We regularly provide backpacks full of non-perishable food items to children who might otherwise go hungry on weekends and during breaks from school. Additionally, we provide financial assistance to programs that encourage planting home and community gardens where children learn how to cultivate and harvest their own food.

We always need your help in this very valuable work. It is on-going, steady, and persistent. Will you please consider making a contribution to our Feeding Programs Fund? Whether a little or a lot, every dollar matters in the fight to feed the hungry. As Mother Teresa said, “If you cannot feed a hundred people, then feed just one.”

From the heart, 

Ronald H. Carter
President and Chief Executive Officer
Children Incorporated

DONATE TO OUR FEEDING PROGRAMS

Dear Friends,

As the leader of Children Incorporated, one of my greatest responsibilities is finding the funds needed to meet the vast array of needs presented to us, almost on a daily basis. These needs come from our volunteer coordinators and those managing our programs in the field, and they are many and diverse.

Our child sponsorship program addresses a large number of the more common requests such as those for food, clothing, and school supplies for the children we serve, and our sponsors are incredibly generous in sending additional money gifts for the extra things their children want and need. But there is much more to what Children Incorporated provides. We are there when children and families lose their homes due to fires and natural disasters, and we have assisted a number of our sites with infrastructural projects such as funding housing developments and schools.

I am amazed at how far some of the gifts left to Children Incorporated have gone, and I am humbled as I see them keep on giving, year after year after year.

doing so much more

We also provide the money needed to implement skills training programs, and we have established community gardens, paid for after school tutoring programs, and made sure that children, who would otherwise go hungry, have backpacks full of food to tide them over on weekends when free school meals are unavailable. All of these things take money and it is my responsibility to secure the funds needed to meet as many of these needs as possible.

Over the years, one of our greatest assets and blessings has been the wealth of funds we’ve received from wills, bequests, and planned giving. This is the money that we often draw from to meet needs such as those listed above, and our sponsors and donors have been incredibly generous in sharing their resources. I am amazed at how far some of the gifts left to Children Incorporated have gone, and I am humbled as I see them keep on giving, year after year after year. 

living on through their gifts

I immediately think of Ms. Henkle, a sponsor who passed away nearly ten years ago. She planned in advance and left Children Incorporated a generous bequest that we continue to draw upon in addressing urgent and specialized needs of numerous children and families all around the world. Ms. Henkle’s generosity and kindness live on through her gift. And then there is the Dulin Fund, left to Children Incorporated over two decades ago that is still being used to provide monthly support to approximately 200 unsponsored children. Mr. Dulin’s generosity continues to change and improve lives, all these years after his passing.

As you plan for your future, please consider including Children Incorporated in your estate planning. Though our days on this planet are relatively short, we can make a difference that far outlives them. Long, long after our actual time here has ended, we can still offer education, hope, and opportunity to children living in poverty. Again, I am amazed by the generosity of those who have gone before us, and I am humbled to witness how their foresight is allowing us to address many wide-ranging needs today. 

From the heart,

Ronald H. Carter
President and CEO
Children Incorporated

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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

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.

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