Tag Archives: new mexico

Blankets for the Cold Southwestern Nights

Every year, Children Incorporated provides thousands of coats, gloves, boots, hats, and mittens to children in need in Kentucky, Arizona, New Mexico, and Michigan during the winter months, thanks to our Warm Clothing Fund. Without this special fund, many children would go without the warm clothes that they need in order to attend school properly dressed when the weather is very cold. This is essential in keeping them healthy, and from missing class and falling behind.

This past winter, Children Incorporated was able to go above and beyond just providing warm clothes to our sponsored and unsponsored children at the Hanaadli Community School/Huerfano Dormitory in New Mexico – we were also able to allocate funds for extra warm blankets for the children there. Homes in the Huerfano community are very small, but the zone serves a population that is spread out across a very wide area. The distance is so great that some families who enroll their children in the Hanaadli Community School also enroll them at the Huerfano Dormitory on the school’s campus. These children go home on weekends and on holiday breaks from school.

Cozy all winter long

Every year, Children Incorporated provides thousands of coats, gloves, boots, hats, and mittens to children in need.

In October, during a visit to the school by our Director of U.S. Programs, Renée Kube, our Volunteer Coordinator Elsie asked Renée if we would provide the children in her care with warm blankets so that they could be comfortable sleeping in the dorms at night. Since Huerfano is at an elevation of 6,194 feet above sea level, and is located in the high desert country, the winter temperatures there plummet much below freezing. Renée gladly sent funds to Elsie, thanks to our sponsors and donors who have contributed to our Warm Clothing Fund – and now the children stay warm and cozy all winter long!

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HOW DO I DONATE TO THE WARM CLOTHING FUND?

You can contribute to our Warm Clothing Fund in one of three ways: call our office at 1-800-538-5381 and speak with one of our staff members; email us at sponsorship@children-inc.org; or go online to our donation portal, create an account, and donate to our Warm Clothing Fund.

The History of Our U.S. Programs

We are very proud of our U.S. Programs, which support children not only in rural areas of the United States, but in urban areas as well. Just as all organizations do, we started out small, with only a few affiliated projects; and we gradually added more over time.

When Children Incorporated began in 1964, our focus was on one country in particular: Guatemala. Soon, we started to offer assistance in the United States, too. By the late 1960s, our U.S. Programs Division consisted of one site in Menifee, Kentucky, one site in Rutledge, Tennessee, and a few sites near Farmington, New Mexico. Just twenty years later, we encompassed two divisions in four states: an Appalachian Division in North Carolina; and a Native American Division in Arizona, New Mexico, and North Dakota. The organization lost its connections with sites in Kentucky, Tennessee, and North Dakota after a while. By the late 1980s, we had expanded to 32 projects total in North Carolina, Arizona, and New Mexico.

Growing fast

During the mid to late 1990s, our U.S. Programs Division experienced its greatest growth period. Appalachian affiliations were initiated in West Virginia and southwestern Virginia. The organization began to focus on the state of Kentucky again, and we developed a partnership with Family Resource and Youth Services Centers (FRYSC). By partnering with these centers, Children Incorporated was able to expand our program throughout many counties in Eastern Kentucky. Our Native American Division simultaneously began making affiliations in South Dakota and Utah.

Today, we affiliate with 147 projects in New Mexico, Arizona, West Virginia, Virginia, Michigan, North Carolina, Louisiana, Kentucky, and in Washington, D.C. to help thousands of children in the United States every day.

Addressing urban and rural poverty

By the early 2000s, the need for our program in urban areas became apparent; so Children Incorporated decided to tackle the issue head-on. After focusing on rural poverty during much of our history, we felt the need to address and respond to urban poverty. By partnering with Communities In Schools (CIS), a school dropout prevention program that works in public school systems in the United States, we were able to expand our outreach even further, and assist children in Washington, D.C.; Detroit; Richmond, Virginia; and New Orleans.

Today, we affiliate with 147 projects in New Mexico, Arizona, West Virginia, Virginia, Michigan, North Carolina, Louisiana, Kentucky, and in Washington, D.C. to help thousands of children in the United States every day, by providing them with basic needs so they can attend school, obtain an education, and have the opportunities they deserve and need to succeed in life.

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HOW DO I SPONSOR A CHILD IN THE UNITED STATES?

You can sponsor a child in the United States in one of three ways: call our office at 1-800-538-5381 and speak with one of our staff members; email us at sponsorship@children-inc.org; or go online to our donation portal, create an account, and search for a child in the United States who is available for sponsorship.

Following the Harvest

While spending a few weeks visiting our affiliated projects in New Mexico last year, our Director of U.S. Programs, Renée Kube, and U.S. Projects Specialist, Shelley Oxenham, heard over and over that because there were so few job opportunities in the communities in and around the Navajo Nation, the parents of our sponsored and unsponsored children there often have no choice but to travel outside of town – and sometimes even to other states as far away as Colorado – to find work on farms during the harvest season.

It is not easy for parents to be away from their children; they are forced to rely on other family members, like grandparents, to help out, and to ensure that their kids get to school and are cared for. In many cases, when parents must leave town for work, their kids’ school year is interrupted by the need for them to switch to a school that has a dormitory in which they can stay during the school week. While meeting with our volunteer coordinators at two of the schools that our sponsored children attend, the Ojo Encino Day School and the Pueblo Pintado Boarding School, Renée found that they were no exception.

While visiting the school, our Volunteer Coordinator Nora told Renée that there are hardly any jobs in the community, aside from very few school administrator and school staff positions.

The Ojo Encino Day School

The Ojo Encino Day School is located in a remote area of north central New Mexico; even the nearest post office in Cuba, New Mexico is almost forty miles away. Though situated outside of the Navajo Nation’s boundaries, this area is still very much considered to be “Navajo Country”. While visiting the school, our Volunteer Coordinator Nora told Renée that there are hardly any jobs in the community, aside from very few school administrator and school staff positions. Many parents travel a few hours away, either to Farmington or Bloomington, for temporary work – or even farther away, to Durango, Colorado, if it’s the only option.

After they met one-on-one, Nora introduced Renée to two sponsored children in our program. First, Renée met Eleanor*, who loves having a sponsor. She is a hard-working student in the fourth grade, and Nora said that Eleanor is responsible and polite. Eleanor lives with her parents and five siblings; both parents are unemployed, and struggle to provide for their family on a limited amount of assistance. Eleanor loves school, and wants to be a teacher when she grows up.

Next, Renée met Rachel*, who is also in the fourth grade. She is a little shy, but Nora said that she pushes herself to be a good leader and peer motivator for the other students. Rachel lives with her parents and little brother; her father has a low-paying job, and her mother is a homemaker. Their small house has no electricity or running water. Nora told Renée that both girls, like all of our sponsored children at the school, are very appreciative of their sponsors. The clothing and school supplies they receive mean so much to their health and education.

The Pueblo Pintado Boarding School

Our Volunteer Coordinator Cindra with two of our sponsored children at Pueblo Pintado

After visiting the Ojo Encino Day School, Renée traveled to the Pueblo Pintado Boarding School, which is 55 miles from Cuba. The school is one of Children Incorporated’s larger affiliated projects in New Mexico, with 263 children in attendance. While at the school, our Volunteer Coordinator Cindra told Renée that the harvest season affects the number of students enrolled in the school. It increases in the fall, during the potato season, when parents are away at work, because the students can stay in the dorm there during the week.

Cindra told Renée that one of her favorite aspects of our program is seeing the joy on the kids’ faces. She mentioned a little girl named Isabel*, who is in the second grade, and who loves shoes. Every time Isabel gets a new pair, thanks to her sponsor, she is overwhelmed with happiness.

Like all the children in our program, sponsored and unsponsored kids living in New Mexico face a great deal of adversity living in poverty; and it is even more challenging when parents have to travel for work during the harvest season, which creates a whole new set of obstacles for families. Thankfully, these children have their sponsors and our volunteer coordinators to offer them support throughout the year.

*Names changed for children’s protection.

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HOW DO I SPONSOR A CHILD IN NEW MEXICO?

You can sponsor a child in New Mexico 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.

The Mesa that Turns

Dzilth Community Grant School is located in Bloomfield, New Mexico near one of the four sacred mountains of the Navajo Nation. The school was built in the late 1960s by the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and then it was converted to community grant status in 2005. The Navajo name of the school, Dzilth-Na-O-Hle, translates to “The Mesa that Turns” in English; it refers to a nearby mesa – an isolated flat-topped hill with steep sides – which seems to turn as the observer walks around it. The campus has a dormitory for the kids who live too far away to go home every afternoon. About half of the students who attend the school, which serves grades kindergarten through eighth, board there each week.

Dzilth Community Grant School is one of our most successful projects in New Mexico, and has been for quite some time now. Dzilth is blessed with two outstanding coordinators, Phyllis and Karen.

Unlike many of the areas in New Mexico in which our affiliated schools are located, this region of the state has more work opportunities for parents who have an education, certain skills, and transportation to get to and from jobs. Some commute to work in farms around Bloomfield, or at an oil field project in nearby Bisti. Other parents make and sell beaded jewelry during the summer tourist season, and then pick potatoes in Durango, Colorado during the harvest season.

Although there are job opportunities, many of our sponsored and unsponsored children’s parents lack the education or skills needed to successfully compete in the job market. There are also many older grandparents who are raising their grandchildren. For these reasons, many of the families of children enrolled in our program are living in poverty, and struggle every day to make ends meet – so support from the Children Incorporated program means so much to them.

A successful project

Dzilth Community Grant School is one of our most successful projects in New Mexico, and has been for quite some time now. Dzilth is blessed with two outstanding coordinators, Phyllis and Karen. They are managing 87 children in our sponsorship program, and the school comprises one of our largest projects in the state. When our Director of U.S. Programs, Renée Kube, and U.S. Projects Specialist, Shelley Oxenham, arrived at the school, Phyllis and Karen told them that the principal had said that they could meet with all the children enrolled in the Children Incorporated program in the library. A rare occurrence at projects in our U.S. Division, due to strict rules in school systems, Renée and Shelley were very grateful for the principal’s permission to pull the students out of class for a brief gathering.

Children at Dzilth Community Grant School are fortunate to have two wonderful volunteer coordinators to support them.

Renée addressed the group of children by thanking them for cooperating with their coordinators for updated pictures and progress reports, and especially for writing letters to their sponsors. She stressed how much the letters mean to sponsors, and asked the children to keep up their good work.

After meeting with the kids, Renée and Shelley had a meeting with Phyllis and Karen. Phyllis is an administrative assistant, and Karen is a data technician. They told Renée and Shelley that sponsorship funds are primarily utilized for the purchase of shoes and clothing, and then school supplies and hygiene items. They are also used to purchase food, when needed.

Phyllis and Karen also expressed a need for eyeglasses for children at the school. Dzilth Community Grant School used to have a partnership with the Helen Keller Foundation, which provided occasional mini grants for eyeglasses; but that partnership is no longer what it used to be. Renée said that she would look into seeing if our Hope In Action Fund could provide some assistance for this special need.

High hopes for Michelle

After the school visit, Phyllis and Karen took Renée and Shelley to the home of one of Children Incorporated’s sponsored children. They traveled quite a few miles away from the school, until they arrived at a muddy lane on which Michelle* lives, in a small neat and tidy house with her mother and grandmother. The mom works as an office assistant; the grandmother was once employed, but is now older and retired. Both women expressed their appreciation for Children Incorporated and Michelle’s sponsor.

While they chatted in the kitchen, Michelle’s mother and grandmother talked about how proud they are of her. She is an excellent student whose favorite subject is math. Michelle is also athletic; she loves basketball, and is very good at playing it.

They have high hopes for Michelle and her future. They dream that she will graduate from high school, and go on to college. Michelle has a special fondness for animals, and says she wants to be a veterinarian. Her mother and grandmother believe this dream can come true; and here at Children Incorporated, we believe it can, too.

*Name changed for child’s protection.

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HOW DO I SPONSOR A CHILD IN New MExico?

You can sponsor a child in New Mexico 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.

A New Home for a Family in Need

The town of Newcomb is situated in the Navajo Nation, amid the incredible desert background of northwestern New Mexico. For many of the small number of residents that live in the town – less than 400, according to the U.S. Census Bureau – there is little opportunity for steady employment. A trading post, which includes an impressive Navajo artifact museum, and a fish hatchery are some of the only options for work. Due to a lack of jobs, many families are living in poverty, and struggle to provide for their children.

A special donor offers his support

sponsor a child in need in New Mexico

Students recieve basic needs they would otherwise go without, thanks to their sponsors.

Funded by the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs, Tohaali’ – which means “where the water flows out” in Navajo, named for a nearby creek – has approximately 130 students in kindergarten through the eighth grade. Thirty of those students live in a dormitory on campus during the school week. Since the school is not close to any of its surrounding communities, many families have to travel quite a distance to take their kids there. On a recent trip to visit the Tohaali’ Community School, U.S. Projects Specialist, Shelley Oxenham, met with our Volunteer Coordinator Cecelia. Cecelia told Shelley that one of the schools’ families doesn’t have a vehicle; so after every weekend, the parents walk with their kids for the four miles it takes to get to the dormitory.

Cecelia explained to Shelley that the Children Incorporated program is very important for students, because it helps to provide them with food, warm clothing, shoes, school supplies, and hygiene items – things that their parents can’t afford to purchase for them. Beyond helping our sponsored children on a monthly basis, Cecelia was also able to rely on Children Incorporated when an emergency arose a few years ago.

Our Sponsorship Manager Steven Mitchell acted quickly, and contacted a very special donor who contributed $5,000 to purchase a trailer for the family.

She recalled a special circumstance in which a family suddenly became homeless. Cecelia called our office to see if we might be able to help. Our Sponsorship Manager Steven Mitchell acted quickly, and contacted a very special donor who contributed $5,000 to purchase a trailer for the family. When the family saw the trailer, they couldn’t believe their eyes; they felt so overwhelmed to find that they did have a home after all – after having gone through such a terrible ordeal in losing their previous residence, and having had nowhere to go.

Shopping is the hardest part

Before Shelley left the school, Cecelia explained that the hardest part for her is doing the shopping, because the closest town with a decent store is Farmington, which is a little over an hour away. Our sponsored children’s parents try to meet Cecelia at the mall to spend two to three hours shopping there, making sure to get exactly what their children need in the correct sizes; but transportation is a barrier for many families, so there are many times when Cecelia does the shopping herself. Regardless, Cecelia is incredibly grateful for the support the children get from their sponsors, and she knows that without it, they would often go without basic essentials in their lives.

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HOW DO I SPONSOR A CHILD IN NEW MEXICO?

You can sponsor a child in New Mexico 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.

Isolated from the World

The Na’ Neelzhiin Ji Olta’ Community School is located outside of the vast Navajo Nation in New Mexico, in a remote area of the state. The nearest post office, in Cuba, New Mexico, is thirty miles away. As a result, the school, which serves children from kindergarten through the eighth grade, is incredibly important for the families that live in the nearby communities – families who otherwise might not have a way to get their children to and from a school even farther away. Having actually been constructed by the people of the community with materials supplied by the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the school stands as a testimony to the determination of these Navajo families to see their children receive a good education.

Transferring schools is not ideal

Our Volunteer Coorindator Twilia with one of our sponsored children

Many of the residents in this region of New Mexico, where the unemployment rate is high, are living in poverty. Nearly all of the children enrolled at Na’ Neelzhiin Ji Olta’ Community School come from families too poor to afford even the most basic essentials, such as food and clothing, for their young ones. On a trip to visit the school, U.S. Programs Director, Renée Kube, met with our Volunteer Coordinator Twilia. Twilia’s background is in business management, and she is naturally meticulous in her work with the Children Incorporated program. When Renée me her, Twilia was warm and welcoming, and eager to discuss the community.

Twilia explained to Renée that there are often transfers of students between the Na’ Neelzhiin Ji Olta’ Community School and Pueblo Pintado Boarding School during the school year. Both schools are in the vicinity of Cuba, but they’re many miles away from it. The reason for the transfers is that Pueblo Pintado, which is also one of our affiliated projects in New Mexico, has a dormitory where the students can stay during the week; but the Na’ Neelzhiin Ji Olta’ Community School does not. When the annual potato harvest season comes around, parents withdrawal their kids from the Na’ Neelzhiin Ji Olta’ Community School, and enroll them at Pueblo Pintado Boarding School, so that they can go work in fields away from home, and at the same time, know that their kids are taken care of. Their kids stay at the dorms during the week, and go home on the weekends, when the parents have a break from farming.

When working with children who come from impoverished households, and who may also have the added challenge of changing schools every year, it is difficult to ensure that they are getting everything they need to succeed academically.

The only option

Transferring schools is not ideal, but it is the only option for many kids in poor families. In Cuba, employment opportunities are very limited. The next closest town is Bernalillo; and the closest city is Rio Rancho, but it’s quite a distance away – and many students’ parents have unreliable or no transportation. Many don’t have high school diplomas, either, so they can’t compete for better jobs.

Twilia told Renée that she has four volunteers who help her with shopping for our sponsored kids. All of the volunteers are teachers’ aides at the school. Twilia also says she has a great relationship with the school social worker. The social worker there is very proactive, and she is deeply concerned about the children’s welfare. She coordinates clothing drives and works with kids who come to school in need of hygiene items – and she even lets them use the showers there before classes start. She works in conjunction with Twilia to seek food donations, which is a great help.

It is wonderful that Twilia has so much support from other school staff members to help take care of the kids, both those that are enrolled in our program and those who are not. When working with children who come from impoverished households, and who may also have the added challenge of changing schools every year, it is difficult to ensure that they are getting everything they need to succeed academically.

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HOW DO I SPONSOR A CHILD IN NEW MEXICO?

You can sponsor a child in New Mexico 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.