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In late July of this year, we reported on the massive flooding that occurred in Eastern Kentucky, which devastated many of the communities in which we work. Storms followed by rising water damaged homes and schools, leaving families of our sponsored children without a place a live — and in dire need of emergency relief.

In the first week after the flooding, our Director of U.S. Programs, Renée Kube, sent $1000 to each of the 43 Family Resource Centers at our affiliated schools in the countries and cities with the worst flood damage, all thanks to previous donations to our Hope In Action Fund.

By early August, further contributions to our Emergency Flood Relief Fund totaled more than $22,000.

Helping families through an emergency

By early August, further contributions to our Emergency Flood Relief Fund totaled more than $22,000 as our donors generously supported our efforts to get aid to Kentucky as quickly as possible. We were able to disburse these funds to communities to support clean up and recovery efforts and replace destroyed items that children will need for the upcoming fall and winter months.

Many of our affiliated sites in Eastern Kentucky have been devastated by flooding in July.

We are just now starting to receive thank you letters from our volunteer coordinators, as they have been working around the clock, tirelessly helping rebuild their schools and communities, all while helping to ensure children in our program, who are already living in poverty, are receiving basic needs through this disaster.

A letter from Kelli

Today, we want to share a letter of gratitude from Kelli at Breathitt County Jr.-Sr. High School, who wrote to our donors to say thank you for the support:

“I want to say thank you so much for the Flood Relief Funds. My students, families and county as a whole have suffered so much from this flood. I was able to go to Walmart and buy brand new items for the students. Girls asked for underwear and bras and comfortable clothes. The boys also asked for underwear, as well as socks and hoodies to stay warm.”

“While we had an outpouring of donations after the floods, a lot of items were used and were not always the right sizes for my students. The new items were taken to the students and families that were displaced and living in the homeless shelters. Thanks again for your generosity. You don’t know how much it was appreciated.” 

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How Can I Support Families in Eastern Kentucky?

You can help families in Eastern Kentucky by donation to our Hope In Action Fund. You can make a donation 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 click the link below to be directed to our online donation portal.

DONATE

As a part of our 2022 “Virtual Visit” series, our Director of U.S. Programs, Renée Kube, takes us to Duff-Allen Central Elementary in Floyd County, Kentucky where she “meets” with Scott, our volunteer coordinator, at the school.

“Duff-Allen Central Elementary is a large elementary school also located in the community of Eastern. It serves about 626 students from pre-kindergarten to 8th grade. It was formerly two separate schools on the same campus – James A. Duff Elementary and Allen Central Middle – but the Board of Education voted to consolidate and have just one set of administrators.”

“Scott closed by saying his favorite part of our sponsorship program is the simple, ordinary things, like meeting a family in need in Walmart, which might feel mundane to us. But the kids in our program are over the moon with excitement to be there!”

“The Family Resource Youth Services Center has always been a combined center for both the elementary and middle students. Its coordinator, Scott, is our volunteer coordinator.”

“Many students at the school struggle academically and financially, and the situation became worse during the pandemic. At present, the Algebra 1 participation rate is just 11%, and the pass rate is less than 1%. The rate of children living in poverty is 77%.”

“When we met virtually, Scott expressed how happy he is now that the school has returned to fully in-person instruction over the last semester. Parents and guardians still have the choice to enroll their children into the county-wide Virtual Academy due to medical conditions or other vulnerabilities if they prefer. In fact, Scott’s wife is the principal of the Virtual Academy! Scott made a point to mention that regardless of the virtual option, all administrators, faculty, and staff at Duff-Allen believe strongly that in-person instruction is best for the students and their education and well-being.”

Scott did express to me that he has had some struggles during the pandemic. In the beginning, with school on fully remote instruction, students and parents were less responsive. It was hard to coordinate services, but things are starting to turn around. He is now very busy making home visits and taking stock of his office and resources. He is extremely grateful for the extra support provided by Children Incorporated during the pandemic, as well as during last year’s severe spring flooding in the area. He mentioned that now, he could really use help with his clothes closet, as he is totally out of important items like leggings and socks and underwear.”

“Scott closed by saying his favorite part of our sponsorship program is the simple, ordinary things, like meeting a family in need in Walmart, which might feel mundane to us. But the kids in our program are over the moon with excitement to be there! Scott remembers one of his former families consisted of two sets of twins, and their family experienced extreme poverty. He will always remember the twins for their enthusiasm and great appreciation for their sponsors, because their support allowed them to pick out clothing that was new and fit them — something they had never gotten to do before in their lives.”

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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.

SPONSOR A CHILD

written by Kristen Walthall

Kristen is our U.S. Program Specialist 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