Tag Archives: hope

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. 

***

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

We love receiving letters from our volunteer coordinators because they offer such amazing insight into how our sponsors are helping children in need around the world. Today, we share a letter from Jessica at Piney Creek Elementary School about how she is able to help her students, all thanks to our supporters.

“Without Children Incorporated, our students face low confidence, shame, and embarrassment from not having the items that they need.”

Jessica’s Letter

“The 2022-2023 school year has been a grateful return to normal after the uncertainties and changes presented by the global pandemic. We have seen tremendous growth and success in our students as they settle back into a routine. Piney Creek School strives to provide fun and engaging learning experiences for our students to cultivate a passion for continued learning and to give students an opportunity to be empowered, successful, and self-directed learners. The funds provided by Children Incorporated assist us in helping students to reach their fullest potential so that they are successful in high school, college and beyond.”

“This year, Piney Creek School has served 39 students through Children Incorporated. While this is a decrease since last year, our small school and community continues to grow and prosper as we focus on providing our students and their families’ needs. The total of 39 breaks down further to 18 males and 21 females. Several of our Children Incorporated students come from single parent homes, are raised by grandparents, or are in foster care. We are excited to share that this school year, Children Incorporated has allowed these 39 students to receive book fair books, school pictures, food, clothing, hygiene items, and so much more!”

Our Director of U.S. Programs, Renée Kube, is pictured with one of our sponsored children at Piney Creek Elementary School.

“Piney Creek School is proud to recognize students for their academic achievements throughout the school year through BETA club for seventh and eighth grade students. This year, the BETA Club induction included new Children Incorporated student Suzanne*, who is a phenomenal student and a great addition to our small school. Our BETA coordinator also submitted poems written by several of our Children Incorporated students to a national contest, and their poems were selected to be published. Two other Children Incorporated students, Sarah and Becka*, were also part of the Battle of the Books team that won the Battle of Books competition, reclaiming the trophy this year.”

“Middle school students at Piney Creek look forward to learning about our environment and ecosystem each year. Through Piney Creek Schools’ science classes, the Soil and Water Conservation District provided students with the opportunity to compete at the county level through essays, posters, and speeches to display their knowledge and understanding of our environment compared to other schools in the area. Students are judged at the school level and then move on to the county level to compete against other schools in the same district before moving on to regionals. Children Incorporated student Sarah placed 3rd in the local Soil and Water Conservation contest this year. She was also a Patriot’s Pen Essay Winner for her essay entitled ‘How are you inspired by America?’.”

“The staff, students, and community here at Piney Creek School are truly grateful for Children Incorporated and the numerous opportunities provided each year.”

“While we are so proud of our Children Incorporated students at Piney Creek School for their academic accomplishments, we are also tremendously touched by the opportunities that some of our students received through the Children Incorporated program. This year we have also added a new program at Piney Creek School titled ‘PCS Care Kits.’ Every month, we send home an order form with our Children Incorporated students that lists various hygienic supplies the students may need. Upon their return, we pack bags with essentials like hairbrushes, toothpaste, feminine products, shampoo and much more based on their selections. The first month of the program, we packed 31 bags to send home with students.”

“Without the funds provided by Children Incorporated and their sponsors, our small school would not have the means to bestow these resources to our Children Incorporated families. The mother of Children Incorporated students Whitney and Layla* expressed to me how much receiving the hygienic products each month means to her family. We are able to spread a sense of hope, comfort and confidence through the program. None of this could be accomplished without the donations of Children Incorporated sponsors.”

“Without Children Incorporated, our students face low confidence, shame, and embarrassment from not having the items that they need. Some children would be unable to wear clean, new, and well-fitting clothes to school, have a new book bag packed with supplies to start the year, lack proper hygiene, and even be without food or snacks. The staff, students, and community here at Piney Creek School are truly grateful for Children Incorporated and the numerous opportunities provided each year.”

Sincerely,
Jessica

*Names have been changed to protect the children.

***

HOW DO I SPONSOR A CHILD WITH CHILDREN INCORPORATED?

 You can sponsor a child with 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 sponsorship@children-inc.org; or go online to our donation portal, create an account, and search for a child that is available for sponsorship.

SPONSOR A CHILD

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 225 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

For nearly two decades, our former volunteer coordinator at Menifee 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 Service 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 them 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! 

***

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.

In Asia, we work in India, Sri Lanka, and the Philippines. We affiliate with twelve sites in India, three in Sri Lanka, and five in the Philippines. Your support of children in these countries helps to provide them with food, clothing, school supplies, and hygiene items. We also fund feeding programs, the construction of schools and dormitories, as well as help children through our Higher Education Fund; and we support unsponsored children through our Shared Hope Fund.

Information about the countries in Asia where we work

Asia is full of beauty, but it also has its fair share of political, social, and economic issues that are keeping children from obtaining the basic needs they deserve, and from receiving a good education. As such, we want to highlight information about each of the Asian countries in which we work, to show you not only what the countries have to offer with regard to culture, landscape, and a rich history, but also what they lack in infrastructure – the reasons for which we affiliate with projects in each of these nations, in order to support their children in need.

Your support of children in these countries helps to provide them with food, clothing, school supplies, and hygiene items.

About India

From the snowcapped Himalayas to tropical beaches, India is truly a nation of contrasts. It boasts a rich history spanning tens of thousands of years; the earliest known civilization in South Asia once called its fertile Indus Valley home. Today, with the world’s second-largest population, India comprises a staggering variety of ethnicities, languages, religions, and cultures. Its wealth of natural resources and vibrant culture, however, belie the abject poverty in which so many of its citizens live.

About Sri Lanka

The island nation of Sri Lanka is located just east of India’s southern tip. It has been known by many names over the centuries, but it fittingly derives its current name from the Sinhalese words meaning “resplendent island.” Indeed, amidst its tropical rainforests, coastal plains, and Central Highlands in the south, Sri Lanka boasts the highest biodiversity density in Asia, with roughly a quarter of its thousands of species of plant and animal life existing nowhere else on the planet. Prehistoric settlements suggest that humans have called this land home for thousands of years. Its strategic location and deep ports made it an important part of the ancient Silk Road, and it served as a significant tactical ground during World War II.

Today, even in the wake of Portuguese, Dutch, and British colonization, Sri Lanka maintains its rich and ancient cultural heritage, comprising diverse ethnic groups, languages, and religions. Despite its many advancements, internal ethnic tensions remain active in Sri Lanka. In 1983, they culminated into twenty-six years of insurgencies and civil war, which, along with reports of widespread abuse of civil rights and corruption – not to mention the devastating tsunami of 2004 – left the nation reeling. Despite a recovering economy, Sri Lanka is still plagued by widespread poverty and its devastating effects.

About the Philippines

The Philippines comprise a vast island nation in Southeast Asia. This archipelago of more than 7,000 islands boasts sandy beaches, towering mountains and volcanoes, tropical rainforests, and an incredible wealth of natural resources and biodiversity. Humans have called these islands home for thousands of years, predating historic records. Today, the Philippines incorporate a staggering number of languages, ethnic groups, religions, and cultures. Despite its status as an emerging market, however, nearly half of all Filipinos still earn less than $2 a day. Adequate sanitation, access to potable water, and access to healthcare are daily challenges in this widely underdeveloped country, which is also prone to typhoons, earthquakes, and volcanic activity.

Most Frequently-asked Questions About Sponsoring a Child in Asia

Here at Children Incorporated, we know that sponsoring a child in need is extraordinarily rewarding, so we want to provide you with a guide to walk you through the process.

In order to make your decision as easy as possible, here you will find the answers to sixteen of the most common questions we receive about sponsoring a child in Asia.

If you still have questions after reading the following, please feel to contact us, and we will be happy to help.

  1. What is sponsorship?

The sponsorship relationship enables an individual sponsor to help support a child in need by means of monthly contributions. Monthly sponsorship donations go towards providing basic necessities such as school supplies and tuition fees, food, clothing, and access to healthcare, among other services, so that a child living in poverty has the opportunity to overcome the barriers that keep them from attending school, getting an education, and succeeding in life.

  1. What is the role of a sponsor?

A sponsor’s friendship and encouragement are priceless to a child in such circumstances. Indeed, many children value the relationships they establish with their sponsors as much as they value the financial support they receive from them. There is an opportunity to build a relationship between sponsor and child that can be quite profound.

  1. How long can I sponsor a child in Asia?

Many children value the relationships they establish with their sponsors as much as they value the financial support they receive from them. There is an opportunity to build a relationship between sponsor and child that can be quite profound.

Typically, sponsorship lasts until a child turns eighteen years old, graduates from high school, or moves out of our service area. Due to the transient state of many families and the difficult circumstances of the regions where they reside, we cannot predict or guarantee how long a child will remain in our sponsorship program, though every effort is made to provide services to children for as long as possible.

When a child leaves the sponsorship program, another child is selected for you to sponsor that is equally in need, in the hope that you will accept the new sponsorship.

  1. Who implements or administers the child sponsorship program?

Our program is implemented by on-site volunteer coordinators who are typically administrators at the sites with which we affiliate. Our coordinators have direct access to the children they serve at their schools, homes, orphanages, or community centers — and sometimes even on a daily basis. As such, they are familiar with the immediate needs and family circumstances of each individual child in their care.

  1. Who most directly benefits from my financial support?

When you sponsor a child, the beneficiary of your support is your individually sponsored child. The families of children in our sponsorship program receive additional or indirect benefits from their child’s sponsorship, but our focus is the one child. Sponsorship is intended to address the unique and individual needs of each child.

The child-focused approach to fighting poverty is distinctly different from the broader community development approach. By changing the life of one child, you are giving him or her the opportunity to break the cycle of poverty, which can eventually lead to the transformation of an entire community — and even a nation.

  1. Will I receive updated information about my sponsored child in Asia?

Yes. You will receive updated information and updated photos, though the frequency may vary depending upon the child’s location. The typical progress report includes information about the child’s grade level in school, hobbies, and interests.

  1. May I send packages to my sponsored child in Asia?

Due to high customs duties and the likelihood of loss, it is not recommended that you send packages to sites outside of the United States, as their receipt cannot be guaranteed. If you would like to send an additional gift, it is recommended that you send a monetary gift to our headquarters in North Chesterfield, Virginia.

  1. May I write to the child I sponsor?

Yes! Corresponding with your sponsored child can be a delightful experience. Your sponsored child is encouraged to write to you as well.

  1. What should I write about?

The children enjoy learning about the lives of their sponsors. Writing about your own family (children, grandchildren, brothers, sisters, etc.) is always a good place to start. The children also like to learn about your part of the world, what you do for a living, your hobbies and interests, and about any pets you may have.

  1. Is it possible to visit my sponsored child in Asia?

It is possible to visit sponsored children; however, it is not guaranteed that all of the sites with which we affiliate are open to sponsor visits. Circumstances vary from area to area.

  1. Are there reviews of child sponsorship organizations?

Yes. Before you choose an organization with which to sponsor a child, we highly recommend that you visit these websites to gain a better understanding of charity backgrounds and performances: Charity Navigator, GuideStar, Give.org and Charity Watch.

Children Incorporated is very proud of our reputation and reviews that recognize the work we are doing for children. Visit the following links to see our ratings:

  1. What are the best child sponsorship organizations for sponsoring a child in Asia?

Well, we are obviously a little biased about this question; but as we mentioned above, we highly recommend that you visit the various websites that provide assessments and ratings of nonprofit organizations before you make any donations.

  1. What are the pros and cons of sponsoring a child?

The pros: you get to make a fundamental difference in the life of a child in need, and the effects of your sponsorship can last a lifetime. There are no real cons to sponsoring a child, but as you follow the progress of your sponsored child, you may at times feel that you wish could do more.

  1. How much does child sponsorship cost?

Our sponsorship rate is $35 per month, and may be paid monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, or annually.

  1. Will my sponsorship help a child go to school?

Yes – absolutely! We pride ourselves on our focus on providing educational resources for children.

  1. Are there non-religious sponsorship organizations?

Yes, there are many great charitable organizations, both religious and non-religious, that provide assistance to children in Asia. Children Incorporated is a non-religious charitable organization.

If you are interested in sponsoring a child in Asia or elsewhere, please click here to get started.

SPONSOR A CHILD

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 225 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

After a few days in Sucre, Bolivia, I was really starting to understand just how and why this city was so special. Since having the chance to visit a few of our affiliated sites, I could see why we would partner with so many schools in a small concentrated area — the focus on education for this community was high, but the need for support was also great, which is a perfect fit for Children Incorporated to really make a difference for children in need.

 

Behind each of those smiles I knew there was a parent who was just as happy with our work as Luis and I, as well as Claudia, were.

Meeting with Claudia

Luis and I were scheduled to meet with our volunteer coordinator, Claudia, on our fourth day in Sucre. She had invited us to a presentation before taking a tour of the Sagrada Corazon School, where she managed our sponsorship program. When we arrived at the school, Claudia escorted us to a small office with a projector set up, and after only a few minutes of waiting, other school administrators started to arrive, introducing themselves and taking a seat in preparation for Claudia to begin speaking.

As Claudia began talking about the history of this 110 year old school, I flipped through a packet she had created for us, in which she had a list of all of our sponsored children, the items she had purchased for them over the years, and then, to my surprise, a survey given to the parents of the children in our program. Claudia had taken the time to ask each parent what they thought of our program and the support our sponsors were giving to the children.

Satisfied all around

After years of working with Children Incorporated, reading their answers didn’t surprise me at all — the parents talked about how the emotional support is just as helpful as the financial support for their children, and that knowing they have a sponsor had changed many of the children’s attitudes about school and made them want to be better students.

Knowing they have a sponsor had changed many of the children’s attitudes about school and made them want to be better students.

These answers are ones I have heard from coordinators all over the world, and I loved seeing Claudia bring the same sentiments out of these parents as well, who also acknowledged just how powerful sponsorship is for children’s physical and psychological well-being. At the end of the survey, Claudia asked each parent to rate their satisfaction with our program, and the approval rating was an unsurprising 100%.

After Claudia finished her presentation, she took Luis and I on a tour of the school, and then we had the chance to meet all of our sponsored children in the auditorium, where Luis briefly spoke with them about the importance of doing well in school and working hard towards graduation. It was great to see all the children’s enthusiastic faces, beaming because visitors came specifically to meet with them. Behind each of those smiles I knew there was a parent who was just as happy with our work as Luis and I, as well as Claudia, were.

***

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

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

For many families of children in our program, holidays can be a time of stress instead of celebration because money for food or gifts just isn’t available to make Thanksgiving or Christmas special.

Today we hear from our volunteer coordinator, Anne Marie, at Alleghany High School in North Carolina, about how our sponsors are helping to ensure that families have a reason to celebrate Thanksgiving together, all thanks to donations to our Feeding Programs Fund.

“Thank you so much for all that your organization does to feed familes during Thanksgiving!”

A letter from Anne Marie

“Dear Children Incorporated,

I have always been amazed at how much the Children Incorporated sponsors help and support our students. Alleghany County is located in the northwest corner of North Carolina and is very rural. Christmas trees are grown here and shipped all over the world. Alleghany High School has approximately 19.5% of the student body enrolled in the Children Incorporated sponsorship program – over 70 students in total!”

Thanks to our donors, families are receiving full Thanksgiving dinners this holiday season!

“All of our sponsored children have their instructional fees paid and school pictures and yearbooks purchased for them to help out their families. Each year, a few weeks after school starts, each student is allowed to pick out and purchase $100 worth of school gear such as shirts, sweatshirts, pants and hats, and all of our seniors have their cap and gowns paid for with Children Incorporated funds.”

Countless thanks from families in need

“Several years ago, our school noticed a need for the holidays for our families. The last day of school before Thanksgiving break, each staff member signed up to personally deliver meals to our Children Incorporated families. The school also partnered with Food Lion and Lowe’s Hardware. Lowe’s donated cooler bags and Food Lion prepared the bags for us to pick up and deliver. The meals consisted of turkey, ham, green beans, mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, rolls and an apple pie. Over the years, we have received countless thank-yous and even tears from our families when they receive the meals. Some families have told us that they did not know what they would have to eat over the holidays otherwise.”

“Thank you so much for all that your organization does to feed families during Thanksgiving!”

Sincerely,
Anne Marie

***

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