Tag Archives: help poor kids

Letters from our volunteer coordinators around the world are one of our favorite ways to show the impact that our sponsors have on children in our program. Today, we hear from Traci about how our sponsors help children throughout the school year at Valle Crucis Elementary School in North Carolina.

A warm thank you from Traci

“This year, Children Incorporated helped our school give extra support to the special children who are a part of this wonderful program. Last winter, we were able to send specific winter clothing, shoes, and holiday wish items to their homes.”

A sponsored child poses with a box of food he received thanks to his sponsor.

“Each child also received a holiday reusable bag of stocking stuffers which included a Valle Crucis School t-shirt, a water bottle, socks, toothpaste and toothbrushes, hats, scarves, gloves, candy, gum, Band-Aids, hair ties, body wash, wrapping paper and scotch tape.”

A trip to remember

“Their families were ecstatic to pick up these extra stocking stuffers at the school that were already bought and ready to go for their children. It made their holiday so much brighter. Our two 8th grade students who graduated this spring each received a Valle Crucis School yearbook with a slip inside that told them that Children Incorporated provided the book and wished them well as they transition to high school.”

“Children Incorporated also paid the cost of their 8th grade field trip to a whitewater center. They had never gotten to whitewater raft before so it made for an experience they will never forget!”

Ready for the summer break

“This spring, we also did a round of spring and summer clothing orders, shoes, swimsuits and a few outside summer toys that were sent to their homes. We also were able to purchase for each child a plastic tote they can reuse and filled it with summer fun and hygiene items that included a beach towel, hypoallergenic sunscreen and lip balm, a hairbrush, laundry detergent, flossers, Clorox wipes, granola bars, water balloons, sidewalk chalk, bubbles, board games and craft sets depending on their ages. It was a really nice gift to send off with them the last week of school to get them ready and excited for summer break!”

“The families are always so appreciative of everything Children Incorporated is able to help with for their children.”

“The families are always so appreciative of everything Children Incorporated is able to help with for their children. During this time when the cost of everything is rising, this program is becoming even more important and valuable for everyone. They grow out of clothes so quickly; I have seen that the most requested items from our families are clothing and shoes because it’s hard to keep them in the right sizes.”

“Thank you so much to all the sponsors who make this program possible! You make an incredible difference in our children’s lives!”

Best,
Traci

***

How do I sponsor a child in North Carolina?

You can sponsor a child in North Carolina 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 North Carolina that is available for sponsorship.

SPONSOR A CHILD

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 just 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?

SC: 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 for (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.

To this day, I still have contact with my sponsor;  I consider her as my secondary parent and her children as my own siblings.

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.

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, or around the holidays or my birthday when my parents could not afford to buy me a gift. I was shy and timid as a child, until I got 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.

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.

SC: What do you currently do for work?

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

In my younger adult hood, I worked for Wendy’s Restaurant in Gallup, N. M., thereafter I applied with 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 lifelong 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 in Arizona?

You can sponsor a child in Arizona 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 Arizona that is available for sponsorship.

SPONSOR A CHILD