Tag Archives: kentucky

For nearly two decades, our former volunteer coordinator at Menifee County 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 Services 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 our students 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.

Dear Friends, 

Before joining the staff of Children Incorporated in 2003, I worked for another child sponsorship organization for over a decade. During that time, I occasionally heard about Children Incorporated from my then co-workers, but no one seemed to know a great deal about the organization founded by Jeanne Clarke Wood in 1964. Children Incorporated was often downplayed and written off as being rather insignificant in comparison to the much larger organization where I was then employed.

Then, in 2002, when my position with that other firm was unceremoniously eliminated, I found myself seeking new employment. I loved nonprofit work and wanted badly to remain in the child sponsorship arena; thus when a former employee of the larger organization told me that he was then working at Children Incorporated and made arrangements for me to interview there as well, I was elated. I met with Mrs. Wood, her successor as president, Marian Cummins, and a couple of other employees, and I was hired on the spot. What I immediately discovered is that those who had tried to make Children Incorporated appear insignificant were wrong. 

Within days of my hire, I knew what thousands of loyal sponsors had been saying for 39 years: that Children Incorporated was an organization with incredible integrity, far-reaching arms, and a huge amount of personality. As I watched and listened to my co-workers interact with sponsors, donors, and a vast network of volunteer coordinators, I came to understand why so many had labeled Children Incorporated as “an organization with heart.”

All these years later, I am still impressed by what Children Incorporated accomplishes, and my hope for our future is that we will keep on meeting needs as we have for the last six decades, and that we will be able to meet many more needs as they arise. I also hope that we will be able to reach many new people with information about our work. I hope to share the message that Children Incorporated is an honest and dependable organization that matters greatly to thousands and thousands of children and their families. Cheers to 60 years and thank you for all you do to make our work possible! 

From the heart,
Ronald H. Carter
President and Chief Executive Officer 

Clean Water and Healthy Living in Kentucky

Last fall, thanks to a wonderful proposal submitted by our volunteer coordinator Kelly at Salyersville Grade School in Kentucky, we were able to provide water bottles to students as a part of a healthy living initiative started in the school district. Kelly shared that during the pandemic, many school districts either closed/shut down or greatly reduced the number of water fountains.

Cheers to 60 years and thank you for all you do to make our work possible!

This was originally done in an effort to halt the spread of COVID-19. However, many of those districts have decided to remove the water fountains altogether and to replace them with water bottle stations. This move is seen as more hygienic, reducing possible COVID transmission, but also the common cold, flu, RSV, rotavirus, enterovirus (hand, foot and mouth disease) and more. Outbreaks cause sick children and high rates of absenteeism. Upon receiving the water bottles, Kelly wrote a note of thanks to Children Incorporated: 

“Thank you again for the special gift, which provided water bottles for all our students. The timing was perfect, as Friday was Eagle Spirit Day for the last day of Red Ribbon Week. The students, and myself, are so thankful and excited. I am also sending you some pictures taken as I passed out the bottles. Thanks so much for all you do!”

A Warm Partnership with Subaru 

In January, Children Incorporated was selected by another nonprofit organization, Operation Warm, to receive 100 new coats for our Richmond sponsored children, thanks to its partnership with Subaru of America. Our staff welcomed two employees, Rachel and Michael, from a local dealership, Hyman Bros. Subaru, who brought the coats themselves to our office to then be distributed to children at our Virginia affiliated schools! We are so grateful for the support!

Thank you, Operation Warm and Hyman Bros. Subaru! 

READ THE FULL NEWSLETTER

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

While visiting Martin County, Kentucky last fall, I first met with Kara, our site coordinator at Martin County High School, and I was absolutely blown away by her caring nature and the extent of services she and her assistant offer the young people at her school.

Kara stated that she feels her main goal is to help the teenagers at her school look and feel good, just like everyone else, so that they will fit in and are not ostracized because of what they do not have. As such, she often provides the children with tennis shoes and assorted clothing items, and she keeps boys’ dress clothes and an assortment of prom dresses on hand for those who would otherwise not get to go to the prom or other special school functions.

Kara says her program could not exist without the financial support from Children Incorporated.

Kara also helps the children get their choir outfits (black pants and shirts) and makes sure that all the children she serves get at least one official school t-shirt, sweatshirt, or hoodie. Much of the clothing Kara shares is the result of Children Incorporated Hope In Action grant money. Kara says her program could not exist without the financial support from Children Incorporated.

MEETING OUR SPONSORED CHILDREN

While at Martin County High, I also met two students, Patrick and Kristen.* These children proudly took me for a tour of the beautiful building and grounds of the school, and it was a real pleasure to talk with them. Patrick said that his sponsor does write to him, and he has been very blessed to have her in his life. While his home situation is not good, he has an extremely positive attitude and is now making post-graduation plans to attend a local college and train to become a travel nurse. Kristen is very interested in criminal investigation work and has plans to attend Ohio State University, provided she can get enough financial support to afford it.

Martin County High School is perhaps one of the nicest and most well-maintained public school facilities that I have ever seen. It is bright and inviting, and just an overall beautiful building with very nice grounds.

GREETINGS FROM MARTIN COUNTY MIDDLE SCHOOL

Ron stands with Kara outside Martin County High School.

Next, our volunteer coordinator, Jennifer, welcomed me quite warmly to Martin County Middle School. Jennifer is extremely organized and makes master lists of all the various activities she oversees for the Family Resource Youth Service Center. For Children Incorporated, Jennifer has a spreadsheet that lists each Children Incorporated enrolled child, along with their clothing sizes, sheet and linen sizes, food preferences, and assorted other wants and needs. This makes it much easier for Jennifer to purchase items for the children in our sponsorship program.

Jennifer shared that the biggest issue facing her children is food insecurity. She said that families in Martin County are struggling like never before to make ends meet on a very limited food budget. During the COVID pandemic, the amount of food stamps a family of four received was approximately $1000 per month. Post-COVID, that amount has been reduced closer to $400 per month, a decrease of 60%, yet the cost of food has risen significantly. Jennifer said that she has called on Children Incorporated several times for money to purchase non-perishable food items for children in her program. She maintains an incredible food pantry in her office consisting of pop-top and easy-to-open non-perishable food items (mac and cheese cups, vienna sausages, canned soups, juice boxes, etc.), and she tries to always keep individually-wrapped snacks (bars, chips, small cereal boxes, candy, etc.) on hand for children who come to school without lunch or snacks.

Jennifer also maintains a very impressive clothing closet. She is a bargain shopper and purchases pants, shirts, and underwear on clearance at the local Paintsville Walmart and other stores. She also buys shoes anytime she sees them at a reduced price. Using primarily Children Incorporated funds, she recently bought 76 pairs of new shoes from the reduced price racks from a Huntington shoe store.

I was totally impressed with Jennifer’s program and how she manages it.

While I was visiting Jennifer, a young girl came in and asked for a pair of sneakers. Jennifer opened the closet and let the child choose a pair that she liked. Another young girl came in and got a light-weight jacket. Jennifer admitted that some of the money received from Children Incorporated, especially Hope In Action Funds, may also help children at the school that are not enrolled in the Children Incorporated program. I told her that that is absolutely fine as long as the needs of Children Incorporated-enrolled children are met first.

I was totally impressed with Jennifer’s program and how she manages it. She is a very organized coordinator as far as how she maintains her office, food pantry, food closet, and the services she provides to her school.

*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

Our volunteer coordinators, Alicia and Marlena, at Eden Elementary School in Kentucky are well aware of just how much our donors do for the children they support. Today, we hear from Alicia and Marlena about the particular projects that Children Incorporated has been able to fund at their school, and how our thoughtful donors are making big changes for families in need as a part of our December 2023 Impact Report.

“We want to give you many thanks for helping us better our community by offering support to those in need.”

An amazing amount of accomplishments

“Nestled in the hills of Appalachia is our school, Eden Elementary. Here, in our small town of Inez, our families are strong, proud and tough. In our area, when coal was king, our citizens and communities flourished. But as our country moves away from the resource that is so abundant in our area, it has left our families to struggle. We lost steady high paying jobs and coal severance tax, both which have impacted our area negatively. It is both an honor and a blessing to help our families make ends meet. Children Incorporated has allowed us to serve our families in a way we would not have been able to otherwise.”

“As we approach the end of the 2023 school year and we look back, it is amazing what we have been able to accomplish with the support of Children Incorporated. One of our pride and joy projects made possible from our Hope In Action grant is ‘Planting Seeds of Hope.’ With this project we are able to supply over 75 families with the knowledge, how-to, and supplies that allow them to grow organic food at home. Gardening increases family involvement as well as encourages self-sufficient skills in growing and home food preservation, skills that can be passed down from generation to generation.”

Alicia is pictured with one of our sponsored children, who is beaming from the gifts she received from her sponsor.

“Another project made possible by our Hope In Action grant is our outside classroom ‘Wildcat Korner.’ We purchased metal outdoor benches, umbrellas and garbage cans to match the metal tables previously purchased. This outdoor classroom supports positive student social interaction and provides a space for hands on activities like the ‘Gaga Ball Game’, which promotes inclusivity, motor skills, and self-perception skills. Our kids love getting to spend time in our Wildcat Korner. It gives them a break from the traditional classroom setting and provides an alternate learning environment.”

“The Bedder Homes Project has continued to fund our families in need with beds, washers, dryers, furniture, etc. This year we have provided a number of beds to our little community, but one family in particular sticks out. Twin boys who are being raised by their aunt were so thankful to receive beds for their room. They are in 6th grade and had been sharing a bed. As you can imagine, these growing boys were thrilled to be able to have their own place to sleep. We also were able to purchase bedding, curtains and a rug to complete their room.”

A huge impact on many lives

“In our area, we have an abundance of grandparents raising their grandkids. Hope In Action allows us to host monthly meetings to bring these grandparents together for support. We provide a meal and share it together; we also involve the grandparents in discussions and games where we give prizes as an incentive to participate. We also highlight resources made available to them that they may not know about. The Spence family in particular, has learned of resources available that truly help their family make ends meet. This is a family of six, and the grandparents are disabled. These programs have been a blessing to this family, as we also have enrolled the Spence children into the Children Incorporated sponsorship program. They have one of the most kind and generous sponsors. He regularly sends large directed funds to this family for health and general needs.”

“The grandmother tells us and writes the sponsor to let him know just how thankful she is, and she honestly does not know how they would make it without his generosity. It truly makes a huge impact in their lives. His sponsorship helps this family buy additional food, cleaning supplies, and other household items. It is so touching to see this family have a better life because of Children Incorporated and this kind sponsor.”

“As part of our Hope In Action grant, we also participate in our ‘Snack Attack’ program. This allows us to provide a consistent food pantry with food items for weekend backpacks or in case of an emergency; it also assists students with snacks during and after school, and is also used for student activities. As you can see, we are forever grateful for Children Incorporated Hope In Action grants. We put all allocated funds to good use to make an impact in our community. We want to give you many thanks for helping us better our community by offering support to those in need.”

Best wishes with appreciation,
Alicia and Marlena

***

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 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

Each year, our volunteer coordinators write letters to our office to let us know their first-hand experiences with how powerful sponsorship is for children at their schools.

Today we hear from Michele at Owingsville Elementary School in Kentucky about how our program has helped children this past year, all thanks to our caring sponsors.

“I thank you all for allowing our Resource Center to be a part of Children Incorporated. It is a true blessing to our school and families.”

Michele’s Letter

“Owingsville Elementary Family Resource Center (FRC) would like to take this opportunity to thank you for allowing our students to be a part of Children Incorporated. Our students have benefited greatly from the sponsorship program. We currently have 22 students sponsored in the program and four newly enrolled awaiting sponsorship. We appreciate all the work Children Incorporated does for these children in need.”

“We started the school year with students returning to school full time. We do offer virtual learning, and about 15-20 students were enrolled in that for the year, however, our elementary school will not offer virtual learning next school year. Our principal, Dr. Bailey, started his fifth year here at Owingsville. I started my 31st year in the FRC. Melania, the center’s clerk, applied for and was selected coordinator of the Crossroads Elementary FRC, so I spent about seven months without a clerk until February when a new clerk, Emily, was hired. Due to limited funding, she is also the clerk for the Bath County Middle School Resource Center. We came back to school without the COVID-19 restrictions in the fall of 2022. Additional teachers were added to make the teacher to student ratio smaller in first grade.”

Finding everything she needs

Our sponsors help ensure children’s needs are met throughout the year.

“Owingsville Elementary School has been at 74% free lunch for the past year, and we have an enrollment of 543 children from preschool through 5th grade. Our free lunch percentage and enrollment have both increased in the past years. We have many students in need, and we are blessed to have the Children Incorporated program at our school. Last year, to spend the Children Incorporated funds, I shopped the clearance rack at Kohl’s and was able to get some great clothing. Most of it was for fall and winter, so I saved it and was able to match sizes up with all my Children Incorporated students. In October, I went shopping for fall clothing and shoes. In November, I went shopping for Christmas items and winter clothing. It is becoming increasingly hard to find the good deals on clothes that I used to find. I work very hard to get good quality and quantity. In April, I worked on the Children Incorporated shopping list for spring and summer needs and handed those items out before school was out for the summer.”

“Our center also provides a Backpack Program, where we send home food on the weekends. I currently serve 37 students on this program, and a number of them are Children Incorporated sponsored children. Now, the Summer Feeding Program is currently available, and the Backpack Program will resume in August; however, we are always available to provide emergency food.”

Grateful for all the support

“We appreciate all of the Children Incorporated sponsors and staff! We are fortunate to have sponsors who send additional funds, cards for holidays and special occasions. For the third year in a row, one special sponsor has sent gift cards for me to purchase birthday cakes and sent gift cards for special occasion dinners such Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter for their sponsored child.”

“I thank you all for allowing our Resource Center to be a part of Children Incorporated. It is a true blessing to our school and to families that benefit from it.”

Sincerely,
Michele

***

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 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

Today, we hear from our U.S. Programs Director, Renée Kube, about how a Hope In Action Fund request from one of our volunteer coordinators is providing much-needed resources to one of the many impoverished families in Kentucky whose situation was worsened by devastating flooding to the region last year.

Renée’s letter

“Our amazing Volunteer Coordinator, Angie, at Morgan County Middle School, contacted me recently about a family who has been struggling, and she asked for some extra assistance.”

“Housing has always been difficult to find in eastern Kentucky, but the rental market has been even tighter since the terrible flooding last July.”

“The mother died last year. The father is trying to work and raise three children, but he has a limited education and few opportunities. The father had some financial setbacks, and they became homeless and were in a local shelter for about six weeks. The eldest child is enrolled at Morgan Middle School, and there are two younger children enrolled at Morgan Central Elementary School. Two of the three children are currently in the Children Incorporated sponsorship program and have sponsors.”

“Housing has always been difficult to find in eastern Kentucky, but the rental market has been even tighter since the terrible flooding last July. Families that were displaced from the counties that were hardest hit moved to the bordering counties that were not impacted as badly, including Morgan County. Rental costs have risen sharply.”

Help from the community and our donors

The two trailers are shown, one of which had no running water or a bathroom.

“Angie did a home visit to see the family, and sent a photo to accurately describe the dismal situation the family was in, as their only option was to move from a shelter to an old camper. Angie explained to me that they first moved into the smaller camper on the left of the photo, but it’s just a shell without running water, a bathroom or a bedroom. Then, the landlord moved the other camper onto his property. It’s better, with a slide-out that gives a bit more living space, but its condition is not great either. The family left the smaller trailer and is now renting the larger one.”

“Children Incorporated is providing a modest grant that will provide a couple of space heaters, blankets, some additional warm clothing, and food for this family to get through the winter, which should help them start to feel grounded again and more stable. Our amazing sponsors and donors make wonderful things just like this happen every day for families in our program and we are so grateful for their support.”

***

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