Tag Archives: hope

Leaving a Legacy Behind

Our sponsors are incredibly important to us, and we consider each and every one of them to be a part of the Children Incorporated family. We cherish what these caring individuals are able to do for their sponsored children not only during their lifetimes, but after as well.

Today we share stories of two of our very special sponsors who passed away this year and were able to continue to help children in need through legacy giving with our organization.

Today we share stories of two of our very special sponsors who passed away this year and were able to continue to help children in need through legacy giving with our organization.

Strong loyalty and commitment to helping

Ms. Norma J. Henkle, of Rhinelander, Wisconsin, passed away in March. Ms. Henkle had been a sponsor since January 1995. She had sponsored twenty-two children in the 25 years she was a sponsor. She was very loyal to the children she sponsored, always sending them birthday and holiday gifts.

Ms. Henkle was born and raised on a small family farm south of Rhinelander, WI, where she lived her entire life. She never married and never had children. She lived a frugal lifestyle and invested her money wisely. As a result, she was able to accumulate a sizable estate. At her death, her life savings was divided among ten charitable organizations that she loved and supported over the years. Children Incorporated was one of them. Ms. Henkle’s gift was a little over $200,000 which will go towards support for some of the most impoverished children in the world for decades to come.

Continuing to help Sarah

Pauline Brooks was from Richmond, Virginia. Although she had only been sponsoring with Children Incorporated for four years, she loved our organization as much as any sponsor.

Since she became a sponsor, Ms. Brooks had been sponsoring the same little girl, Sarah*, from Kentucky, and she adored the child. Ms. Brooks always sent extra gifts for Sarah, as well as supported our Warm Clothing Fund, Shoes and Socks Fund, and International Feeding Program as her way of helping other children in need in our program.

Upon her passing over the summer, Ms. Brooks’ daughter decided to have monetary gifts in her memory sent to Children Incorporated to be used to continue Sarah’s sponsorship. So far, the memorial fund has raised over $1000, which will cover Sarah’s sponsorship for an additional three years — three years beyond Ms.Brooks’ life — and will carry her through her middle school years.

*Name changed to protect the child.

The power of legacy giving

No donation is too big or too small when it comes to determining how to leave a legacy with Children Incorporated. We are humbled that our dear sponsors are so passionate about our work that they would take the time to plan how they want to continue giving beyond their lifetime, knowing that they can rest assured that we will continue our work providing for children living in poverty in their name.

How can you leave a legacy gift with Children Incorporated?

Consider a legacy gift to Children Incorporated when you are evaluating your personal, family, and financial needs, as well as your long-term charitable giving.

There are different options for legacy gifts, and they may provide significant tax benefits. People choose to make legacy gifts for many different reasons. For some, it is a way to ensure that their memory lives on. For others, it is a way to ensure that Children Incorporated is able to continue its important work. By creating a legacy, you are making a significant contribution to the future sustainability of the work that is most meaningful to you.

Contact us today to find out more about leaving a legacy gift with Children Incorporated.

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Themes From Childhood

We are pleased to invite you to a very special fundraising event to be held virtually on September 12, 2020 at 3:30 p.m. EST.

Themes from Childhood: A Classic Concert for All Ages will feature Children Incorporated Board Member Theresa P. Steward along with special guests and will benefit our COVID-19 Response Fund.

JOIN THE CONCERT

We hear from Children Incorporated President and CEO, Ronald H. Carter, who discusses more about the event:

“Theresa P. Steward is a member of the Children Incorporated Board of Directors.  She is a classically trained musician; she holds a Ph.D. in Musicology from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland.

Theresa also serves as pianist and organist at Grace (American) Baptist Church in Richmond, Virginia, which is also the church that I attend.

Grace Baptist has been a loyal supporter of Children Incorporated for more than a decade, supporting our work each December with funds raised from their mission market. They have also partnered with us on our work to support families in need in Puerto Rico.

Theresa and various other musicians have staged four previous concerts at Grace Baptist for charitable purposes. Those concerts, which were held in person, have been great successes, raising thousands of dollars in support of various missions and ministries. Themes from Childhood is the first of these concerts to be held virtually, and Theresa has designated that all profits from it will be donated to Children Incorporated in support of our COVID-19 Response Fund.

I have had the pleasure of attending all of Theresa’s concerts at Grace Baptist Church, and I have been astounded by the talent she and the other musician’s display. I have been blown away by what Theresa shares. She chooses music that is familiar, fun, and uplifting, and her performances are warm and welcoming. I encourage all fans of good music, whatever their tastes may be, to tune in and share in this event.”

Please plan on tuning in on Saturday, September 12th at what will surely be an unforgettable event!

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How to attend the event

Please visit either the following Facebook or YouTube link on Saturday, September 12th to watch live:

https://www.facebook.com/gbcrichmond

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChAd9AwM8gzX7Tc6_oT6jCw

Children Incorporated Fall 2020 Newsletter

We are pleased to share with you our 2020 Fall Newsletter! Thank you for support children in need around the world during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Amidst school closures across the U.S. this past spring due to COVID-19 lockdowns, our concern turned to how to best help children who are already living in vulnerable situations.

Fighting Against Hunger During the Pandemic 

Amidst school closures across the U.S. this past spring due to COVID-19 lockdowns, our concern turned to how to best help children who are already living in vulnerable situations. 

Many children in our program rely on school lunches and on our Backpack Feeding Program to ensure they are receiving adequate meals throughout the day and on the weekends. Without the support they receive at school, they risk facing hunger at home.

Children in Guatemala have been receiving food thanks to donations from our amazing donors.

Thankfully, because of our sponsors and donors, and the hard work of our volunteer coordinators in the U.S., students continued to receive food through the spring and into the summer and fall. 

Thank you for all that you do to help children in need! 

Our Response to COVID-19 in Guatemala 

We are grateful for the support that our sponsors and donors are providing to families in Guatemala — and all over the world — through donations to our COVID-19 Response Fund.

Thanks to you, our affiliated projects in Guatemala have been able to purchase food, hygiene items, and other necessities for children and their families during the pandemic. This help is crucial for Guatemalans at this time, as our Director of International Programs, Luis Bourdet, explains: 

“Almost half of the population in Guatemala are low-income earners, and the percentage of people receiving aid is minimal. No one having an income above the minimum wage of about US $220 a month has received any government support.”

We are grateful for your vital support during the COVID-19 crisis — we couldn’t provide life-changing support to children in need without your help. 

Alleviated Suffering in Bolivia During a Difficult Time

We heard from our volunteer coordinator at our affiliated project, Cristo de Rey in Bolivia, about the support our donors are providing to children and their families during the COVID-19 outbreak:

Protective and hygiene items have been just some of the supplies children have received during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Good afternoon! I want to inform you that the Children Incorporated program is supporting children with the distribution of food and hygiene items. 

The situation of the pandemic in Bolivia is very complicated. Families suffer a lot because they are people with very low resources. They generally live on what they earned from what little they sell. Now it is forbidden to go out to sell and they have nothing to subsist on. As you can imagine, the families are very grateful for the help and support they received. Thank you for your help!”

Children Incorporated Happenings

*The Children Incorporated family mourns the loss of George Saunders, a long-time employee who passed away on June 6, 2020. Mr. Saunders served as our accountant and bookkeeper for a period of 27 years, prior to his retirement in 2009. He maintained close contact with Children Incorporated in the years that followed, often attending employee functions, as well as sponsoring children. He will be greatly missed.

*Our Board of Directors welcomed three new members in May. Mr. Wayne Huggins, Ms. Salley Mountcastle, and Dr. Theresa Steward will now work alongside our seven existing members in supporting the work of our organization as we strive to improve the lives of children and families, both in the U.S. and abroad. 

*Children Incorporated has once again been awarded 4 Out of 4 Stars by Charity Navigator. This is the fifth consecutive time that our organization has received this honor. 

Children Incorporated has once again been awarded 4 Out of 4 Stars by Charity Navigator. This is the fifth consecutive time that our organization has received this honor.

*We would like to send congratulations to our long-time sponsor, Rosanne Cash, who has been selected to receive the prestigious 61st Annual Edward McDowell Medal. The award, which has previously gone to such luminaries as Aaron Copeland, Stephen Sondheim, Leonard Berstein, and Georgia O-Keefe, honors artists who have made outstanding contributions to American culture, as Rosanne surely has through her music and compositions. We thank Rosanne for sponsoring children and changing lives through her support of our organization, now for thirty years and counting.

*Children Incorporated continues to work towards expanding our sponsorship program to include projects in Puerto Rico, but due to the COVID-19 outbreak, plans have been postponed. We remain committed to getting the program off the ground as soon as possible and continuing our work on the island, which has been hard hit by natural disasters. If you would like to be added to our waiting list of those who wish to sponsor a Puerto Rican child, please contact us today. We will share further details about our work in Puerto Rico as it becomes available.

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How Do I Sponsor a Child in Asia?

We work in India, Sri Lanka, South Korea, and the Philippines. We affiliate with twelve projects in India, five in Sri Lanka, three in the Philippines, and seventeen in South Korea. 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 South Korea

Comprising the lower half of a mountainous peninsula in East Asia, South Korea is truly a nation of contrasts. Although it emerged as an autonomous country in the aftermath of World War II, its rich culture and heritage reach back thousands of years. Today, this populous nation, with a population density ten times higher than the global average, is renowned for its advancements in technology. However, more than half a century after the Korean Armistice Agreement, South Korea is still haunted by ghosts of its turbulent past. The Korean War (1950-1953) devastated South Korea, claiming hundreds of thousands of lives – both military and civilian – and leaving thousands of children orphaned.

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 projects 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 individual 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 so that his or her specific needs are addressed.

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 projects 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 projects 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 $30 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

Updated July 2020

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Reflecting on High School at Graduation

As you know, COVID-19 has disrupted family events worldwide, from births and weddings, and sadly to funerals.

School closures have also disrupted activities for the Class of 2020. The high school students in our program were looking forward to attending senior prom, having their friends sign their yearbooks, saying goodbye to their teachers, and finally getting to walking across a stage in an auditorium packed with family and getting a handshake from the principal and their high school diploma.

“Your support has helped me in so many ways — with clothes, books, school trips, and presents for my birthday and Christmas.”

Needless to say, they are tremendously disappointed, but they are also keeping things in perspective. In many cases, coping with poverty and extra responsibilities has made many of them mature beyond their years, and they have been looking at all their ways their glasses are half full, not half empty.

A different graduation for Landon

Meet Landon.*  Landon is in 12th grade. He attends Hazard High School in Kentucky. Landon lives with his single mother, a brother, and two sisters. The mom has a low-wage job and has really struggled. Our sponsorship program has meant the world to her, and both she and Landon are very grateful.

Landon has benefited greatly from his sponsor during his high school years.

Since the students were sheltering at home through the end of this school year, our volunteer coordinator, Helen, telephoned the students and dictated letters for their sponsors. Landon said:

“Dear Sponsor, I want to thank you for all the support you have given me. I am excited to be graduating from high school, even though it’s not how I thought it would be. After graduation, I will be moving to Louisville, Kentucky. I want to be an airplane mechanic, and there is a college program with UPS to help pay the tuition. After I finish, I will be working for UPS and will have a good job.

Your support has helped me in so many ways — with clothes, books, school trips, and presents for my birthday and Christmas.

I will miss my school, principal, teachers, and Ms. Helen so much. All of you helped me to learn and to succeed.

Again, thank you. What you did was important to me, and I love you.”

*Name changed to protect the child. 

ABOUT HAZARD HIGH SCHOOL

Nestled along the Kentucky River’s North Fork amid the majestic Appalachian mountains of eastern Kentucky, the town of Hazard (with a population of a little less than 5,000) serves as the county seat of Perry County. Both town and county are named in honor of American naval hero Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry. Until the arrival of the railroad in 1912, the town’s idyllic yet remote and forbidding setting had long isolated it from the outside world. With this change, the town enjoyed an economic boom, which, unfortunately, the Great Depression expunged just as quickly.

“I will miss my school, principal, teachers, and Ms. Helen so much. ALL of you helped me to learn and to succeed.”

Moreover, since the decline of the coal industry in the early 1900s, unemployment in the area has skyrocketed, contributing to a rapid increase in drug use, crime, and alcoholism. Many residents here have no choice but to rely upon government assistance to meet day-to-day needs. Indeed, in July 1999, Hazard was the first stop on President Bill Clinton’s tour of poverty-stricken communities that had failed to share in the economic boom of the 1990s. Amid this crippling poverty, however, Hazard High School serves as a beacon of hope. With ten percent of its student population struggling daily with homelessness, the school offers students a safe haven, a welcome escape from the despair of poverty, complete with warm meals, a caring staff, and a well-rounded education — the key to breaking the chain of poverty and the opportunity to rise above the difficult circumstances from which they come.

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HOW DO I SPONSOR A CHILD IN KENTUCKY?

You can sponsor a child in Kentucky in one of two ways: call our office at 1-800-538-5381 and speak with one of our staff members, or email us at sponsorship@children-inc.org.

SPONSOR A CHILD

Caring for a Generation of Students

Marie Roberts Elementary School is located in the small community of Lost Creek, Kentucky, in Breathitt County.

In a part of the country where 48.3% of children are living in poverty, the Family Resource Center at the school, and our volunteer coordinator, Jackie, are able to offer children the critical support they need to survive in difficult circumstances.

“Jackie is the original coordinator who brought our sponsorship program to the school many years ago. She has been a loving and stable presence for easily a generation of students,” explained Director of U.S. Programs, Renée Kube.

“With her students, Jackie is very warm, and they feel comforted and loved in her presence.”

Good news for children in need

While visiting with Jackie at Marie Roberts, Renée had a chance to hear more about how Jackie, and our sponsors, are helping some of the most vulnerable kids in Lost Creek.

“Jackie said her job is about removing as many barriers as she can to her students’ academic potential and well-being. The barriers are all related, in one way or another, to the high child poverty rate,” said Renée.

“Jackie shared with me information from studies that show when children grow up in impoverished households, they tend to have worse health than children in better economic situations. Their education is also negatively impacted. Poverty can even affect their income attainment into adulthood as well.”

An exterior photo of Marie Roberts Elementary School

But it wasn’t all bad news that Jackie had for Renée. During their meeting, they discussed the heartening news that recent research has supported the theory that positive sustained relationships with caring adults can buffer childhood trauma and the toxic stress they feel from growing up in a difficult environment.

“Not only are school staff like Jackie able to be that caring adult for children, so are Children Incorporated sponsor[s]. Having someone in their lives who cares for them and provides some financial support, but also some emotional support through correspondence – often over a period of years – is powerful,” said Renée.

Helping kids with their stress

Related to the trauma and stress many of the children endure, Jackie shared the school is now very fortunate to have two counselors from Mountain Comprehensive Care Centers which is part of the Kentucky Department for Behavioral Health, Developmental, and Intellectual Disabilities. They began working at Marie Roberts Elementary during the 2018-2019 School Year and have had a huge impact on the children. They provide assessment, counseling, and referrals in a convenient and familiar location — the school. This also helps with access barriers, as so many families lack reliable transportation.

Before she left, Renée and Jackie discussed the Family Resource Center’s needs, and right away Jackie said shoes.

“She explained that the kids grow so quickly, and shoes are so expensive. Many families can afford only the cheapest flip flops or slides from the Dollar Store, and Jackie is always looking for deals on name-brand, sturdy shoes,” said Renée.

“Thankfully, our sponsors and our Shoes and Socks Fund have also been able to provide funds for Jackie to purchase quality shoes for kids that will last.”

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How do I sponsor a child in Kentucky?

You can sponsor a child in Kentucky in one of two ways: call our office at 1-800-538-5381 and speak with one of our staff members or email us at sponsorship@children-inc.org.