Tag Archives: hope

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.

  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

Puerto Rico has had a special place in my heart ever since I first visited the island in 2018 to help rebuild homes after the devastation of Hurricane Maria. Since then, we at Children Incorporated have been working hard to establish our first affiliated site in Puerto Rico, partnering with Iglesia Bautista de Metrópolis to help support children and families for the long-term. This past April, I was able to return to Puerto Rico for the first time in five years to visit with our volunteer coordinators and hear more about how our sponsors and donors are changing the lives of those in need.

The urgent need to help with building repairs was the reason I first made a trip to Puerto Rico.

In this edition of Stories of Hope, I want to dive into the history of Puerto Rico and talk about the current situation that citizens face in order to give our supporters a better understanding of why I felt affiliating with Iglesia Bautista de Metrópolis was so fitting for Children Incorporated’s mission and values, and why your donations are important to this vulnerable territory.

A Visual of Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico has a rich history that spans hundreds of years, which is memorialized throughout the capital of San Juan.

Puerto Rico is an archipelago between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean. It is located approximately 1,000 miles southeast of Miami, Florida. It is east of the Dominican Republic and west of the Virgin Islands.

Puerto Rico is presently a territory of the United States with Commonwealth status, and includes the main island and several smaller islands. The main island is almost rectangular in shape. It is about 110 miles long and 35 ½ miles wide, making it larger than Rhode Island and smaller than Connecticut. It would take about three hours to drive from the east end of the island to the west end.

Puerto Rico is about 60% mountainous terrain with the exception of its coastal areas. The main island has a beautiful and incredibly varied landscape consisting of beaches, caves, deserts, rain forests, rivers, and the sea and ocean. The central mountains and rivers carry water throughout the island. The north coast tends to get more rain and is thus more fertile. The south coast is drier.

Puerto Rico is located along the Mona Passage, a strait that separates Puerto Rico and the island of Hispaniola (comprising the countries of the Dominican Republic and Haiti). The passage is a key shipping lane to the Panama Canal. Puerto Rico’s capital, San Juan, also has one of the best natural harbors in the Caribbean.

The history of the commonwealth of Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico has a complicated colonial history and political status. As it is a U.S. territory, its residents are U.S. citizens. But while subject to U.S. laws, residents of the island cannot vote in U.S. presidential elections, and the island lacks voting representation in Congress. Its status as a territory means it is neither a U.S. state nor an independent country.

When Christopher Columbus landed on the island in 1493, native Tainos inhabited the land. Columbus claimed the island for Spain, and for 400 years, Puerto Rico was under Spanish colonial rule. In 1517, the Spanish crown authorized the importation of enslaved Africans. During the time of Spanish colonial rule, the people of Puerto Rico experienced extreme poverty, repression, and taxation. In 1868, a revolt and uprising were attempted, and this was a turning point in relations between the native and enslaved people and the Spanish crown. Spain began to grant the natives some autonomy, and political parties were born. In 1873, slavery was finally abolished.

The political reforms had scarcely any time to develop. In 1898, just thirty years after the attempted uprising, the United States declared war on Spain. U.S. troops invaded Puerto Rico and occupied it during the remainder of the Spanish-American War. When the treaty was signed, Spain ceded Puerto Rico to the U.S.

In addition to its manufacturing sector, the island’s beautiful beaches and tropical climate contribute to a robust tourism industry.

For literally hundreds of years, the people of Puerto Rico have worked to decolonize their home. But there has been a long disagreement on how best to resolve this. Then, in November of 2020, Puerto Ricans voted in a nonbinding referendum on statehood. About 53% favored it, while 47% rejected it. However, the larger problem was that only 55% of Puerto Ricans voted in the referendum at all. Thus, while statehood proponents viewed the results as proof most citizens wanted statehood, opponents questioned the validity of the votes, citing their belief that their referendum was promoted by the pro-statehood group and the fact that it was non-binding anyway.

Economy and Poverty in Puerto Rico

For hundreds of years during its colonial period, Puerto Rico had an agricultural economy based on coffee, sugar, and tobacco. With industrialization, the economy changed. Today, Puerto Rico is known for the manufacturing of medical and pharmaceutical products. Agricultural biotechnology is growing. Much of the workforce is highly educated. The island has a university system that, as noted by its Department of Economic Development, “generates a steady stream of new talent.”

In addition to its manufacturing sector, the island’s beautiful beaches and tropical climate contribute to a robust tourism industry.

So — why is there so much poverty in Puerto Rico? There are several contributing factors which include:

  • Puerto Rico’s relatively small size as an island and the fact there are few natural resources to
    produce highly profitable raw materials (e.g. oil, coal, natural gas, or metals) for sale/trade
    over very long periods of time).
  • A federal funding shortfall means that Puerto Rico doesn’t always get the support
    it needs to build its economy.
  • The island’s shrinking population of young working people due to outmigration.
    This means its population is aging more rapidly than most other countries.
  • Natural disasters and the COVID-19 pandemic, which have caused further economic
    blows to the economy in more recent years. The impact of Hurricane
    Maria in 2018 was devastating, and its impact is still being felt today.


Rebuilding after Hurricane Maria

Hurricane Irma had struck Puerto Rico less than two weeks before Maria, and 80,000 people were still without power as Hurricane Maria approached. Disaster supplies had been distributed for Hurricane Irma, but there was no time to replenish them before Hurricane Maria struck. The damages and outages caused by Hurricane Maria overwhelmed the island’s aging infrastructure and annihilated the power grid.

The capital of San Juan is home to many beautiful buildings, which showcases Puerto Rico’s diverse and artistic influences.

Sadly, it is estimated that 3,000 people lost their lives. Almost immediately, Puerto Rico was declared a federal disaster zone. In the week after the hurricane, 95% of the island had no electricity or cell phone service, and less than half of the island had potable water. Debris-clogged roads added to logistical problems. One month after the hurricane, all hospitals were running, but were still relying on backup generators with limited power. Almost one year after the hurricane, there were still numerous areas without electricity. To date, it is the longest blackout in U.S. history at eleven months.

The urgent need to help with building repairs was the reason I first made a trip to Puerto Rico. It was the connection through Grace Baptist (long time donors to Children Incorporated) that gave me an opportunity to serve the children on this beautiful island.

To this day, five and a half years after Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico is still considered in recovery due to the billions of dollars of damage and destruction that were sustained. The Federal Emergency Management Agency [FEMA] has dedicated billions for infrastructure resilience efforts, but much has still not been spent.

More difficulty for a small island

To further cause strife to its residents, starting on December 28, 2019 and progressing into early 2020, Puerto Rico was struck by an “earthquake swarm,” consisting of hundreds of very small quakes. However, eleven were magnitude five or greater. The most damaging was an earthquake measured at 6.4 on January 7th. Power was lost island-wide. The southern part of the island suffered the most damage, especially the city of Ponce, the closest city to the earthquake’s epicenter. Lives were lost, businesses and homes were damaged and families were displaced.

At first, the island’s relative isolation helped slow the transmission of COVID-19, but eventually Puerto Rico was overwhelmed just like the rest of the world. COVID-19 reached its first peak in Puerto Rico in November 2020. There was another surge from mid-March to mid- April 2021 which was attributed to people returning to in-person work, as well as to dining and shopping indoors. Families had also gathered to celebrate Holy Week. Another surge struck around January 2022, when the omicron variant reached the island.

Pandemic restrictions had a significant negative impact on the island’s economy. The loss of jobs within Puerto Rico’s tourism industry, which comprises almost 30% of its gross domestic product, resulted in a significant increase in unemployment.

Although tourism has rebounded in the past year, the impact of the pandemic can still be felt as families attempt to recover from months of job losses, increased food insecurity and rising debt.

Next week, I look forward to sharing with you all about my visit to Iglesia Bautista de Metrópolis from April 2023.

When Hurricane Fiona struck Puerto Rico in September of 2022, it was a Category 1 storm. But it caused additional damage to an already vulnerable island that was still recovering from damage caused five years prior by Hurricanes Irma and Maria. The hurricane struck hardest in the southwestern part of the island. In the remote areas, it made life even harder.

While Fiona did not have winds as strong as Maria, it had more rain. Torrential rains caused severe flooding across the island (30” in some areas of the south), and the flooding was actually more widespread than during Maria. Roads that had finally been repaired after Maria were swept away again.

Experts say hurricanes cannot be studied as unique events. Instead, to properly assess long term economic impacts, one must study the compounding effects of multiple storm events. While not to the same degree as Maria’s damage, Fiona was still a multi-billion-dollar damage event that added to Puerto Rico’s economic burden.

Next week, I look forward to sharing with you all about my visit to Iglesia Bautista de Metrópolis in April 2023, when I had a chance to meet with our volunteer coordinators and hear more about the ways in which our sponsors and donors are helping children and their families in the community in Puerto Rico.

***

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

As our Director of U.S. Programs, Renée Kube, continues her visit to our affiliated sites in Arizona, we find out more about Shonto Preparatory School and how our Hope in Action Fund is helping children, often in dire circumstances, at the school.

Home of the Bears

“Shonto Preparatory School is located in the small community of Shonto. It’s about 64 miles southeast of Page, Arizona and about 51 miles northeast of Tuba City. Shonto Preparatory School consists of an elementary division with approximately 300 students in grades kindergarten through eighth and a secondary division with approximately 80 students in grades ninth through twelfth. There are a total of 64 children across both divisions in our sponsorship program,” said Renée.

“Marlita is also deeply appreciative of the many projects that have hugely benefited the children, thanks to our Hope In Action Program.”

“The high school division placed in the top 50% of all schools in Arizona for math and reading test scores during the 2018-2019 school year. Then came the pandemic, and scores fell. Nonetheless, the students do well here, and the school takes pride in providing an excellent educational experience. The graduation rate is over 80%.”

Visiting with Marlita

“Upon my arrival to the school last fall, I had a good meeting with our coordinator, Orleta, and the elementary principal, Marlita. Marlita is actually our former and very long-term coordinator. She was formerly the librarian. She is a huge believer in Children Incorporated. Her mother was a sponsor until her death. When Marlita was promoted to the elementary principal, she appointed Orleta as our new volunteer coordinator, and she too is seeing the incredible value of our program,” explained Renée.

“First, we discussed shopping for the sponsored children. Marlita and Orleta have found that ordering some things from Amazon works best because it saves time driving to stores. In those cases, the children and parents give their shopping lists to Orleta, who gives them to Marlita for placing the orders. For other things, they go to Walmart and buy gift cards. Then they have the parents and children meet them at the store. After the items are chosen, Marlita or Orleta hands a gift card to the cashier. So far, it’s working well, and everyone is happy with the arrangement.”

Hope in Action to the Rescue

Renée is pictured with one of our sponsored children in the school’s library.

“Marlita and I urged Orleta to let us know of any larger needs that may require consideration for Hope In Action Program aid. Marlita said she is so grateful for our sponsorship program. But she is also deeply appreciative of the many projects that have hugely benefited the children, thanks to our Hope In Action Program. The original school building was constructed in 1963 without central air conditioning. Marlita said it got bad in May, and it was often unbearable in August. Everyone felt so uncomfortable, and some children felt sick. Several years ago, when she was the coordinator, Marlita applied and was approved for a Hope In Action grant to purchase and install ceiling fans. She said these made a profound impact on the children’s comfort and ability to focus on their studies,” said Renée.

“Marlita also praised another Hope In Action Program grant in which she had requested audio books with accompanying paperback books. The children listened to the stories and followed along in the books, and this helped with their comprehension and vocabulary.”

***

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

Our Hope In Action Fund is designed to allow our volunteer coordinators to request funding for a variety of different reasons, from emergency food to field trips to construction projects. Today we hear from our Director of U.S. Programs, Renée Kube, about how our volunteer coordinator, Linda, at Tonalea Day School in Arizona has been able to support children — and parents — at her school, thanks to the flexibility that this special fund offers.

Visting Tonalea

“Linda has also applied for extra assistance from our Hope In Action Program, and she sang its praises.”

“Tonalea Day School is located in the very small community of Tonalea, about 24 miles north-northeast of Tuba City, Arizona. About 52% of the residents live below the poverty line, with most of the rest hovering at or barely above it,” said Renée.

“The school is the heart of the community. It serves about 137 students in grades kindergarten through eighth. Over the past five years, the number of teachers has declined by 23%; there are now just ten teachers. In 2019, the number of enrolled students was approaching 250. There was a big decline during the pandemic. Both the reading and math standardized test scores are at a low 15%-19% proficient, as compared to an Arizona state average of 45%. The free lunch rate is 100%.”

Getting to meet sponsored children

During her visit, Renée had the pleasure of meeting every one of our sponsored children at Tonalea Day School.

“Upon my arrival, I was warmly greeted by our long-term volunteer coordinator, Linda. She escorted me down a hallway into an unused classroom, and then she went to the teachers’ rooms and pulled every single Children Incorporated sponsored child out of class. That does not often happen, and I was touched and gratified by her efforts,” said Renée.

“The children were super excited because Linda had promised them a lunch as a part of our meeting. Sure enough, a staff member had driven all the way to Tuba City and came back with sandwiches, chips, and bottled water. You would have thought it was Christmas. The children got in line and picked up their food and little packets of mayo and mustard. Linda and I went around and helped the youngest with their packets and napkins. First, there was silence as we ate, and they stared at me. But then Linda invited me to stand and speak to them. I greeted the children and thanked them for cooperating with Linda on her requests for their thank-you letters, pictures, and progress reports. And I told them that the updates and their letters are important and so appreciated. There were some giggles and wiggles during this talk. Then Linda let them chat quietly amongst themselves while I went around to each child, took a picture for their sponsor, and asked a few questions about their likes and hobbies. They were so sweet.”

Thankful for our support

“After the children returned to their classrooms, Linda and I talked. She is so grateful for our sponsorship program and the positive impact it has on the children. Linda has also applied for extra assistance from our Hope In Action Program, and she sang its praises. Linda said one of the most significant ways the fund has helped kids is by allowing her to purchase eyeglasses. She and the principal also started a Parent Engagement Initiative, and our organization helped with materials and supplies. This was deeply appreciated, and Linda feels the initiative succeeded in its goals and demonstrated increased parent involvement at the school,” said Renée.

***

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