Tag Archives: On the Road

With Immense Gratitude During These Past Few Years

When the COVID-19 pandemic initially hit in early 2020, I admit that I was greatly concerned about the negative impact it might have on our ability to raise the funds so badly needed to provide services to the thousands upon thousands of children and families that rely on us for help. I was fearful that our donors might be overwhelmed by their individual burdens and concerns and find themselves unable to continue to support our work.

Thank you, all, for your continued support of Children Incorporated’s work. Together, we can change and improve our world, one child at a time.

But…I was wrong. Very wrong! Our donors, contributors, and sponsors not only continued to fund our relief efforts; they upped their contributions and shared even more generously than before. They recognized that those who were already struggling prior to the pandemic were among the most vulnerable during it, and they – our loyal supporters – came through like never before.

Humbled by generosity

Our sponsored children had an especially wonderful Christmas, thanks to their sponsors!

I have been especially humbled by the generosity shown to Children Incorporated during the last two trying years. While the pandemic has certainly shown us the dark side of humanity at times, it has mostly revealed to us how kind and caring people truly are. My faith in humankind has been restored as I have witnessed compassion in action in so many wondrous ways. As donations came into our office in support of our COVID-19 Relief Fund, and we were able to provide masks, medication, hand sanitizers, and food, I saw the goodness of human hearts on full display. As the funds that we received allowed us to purchase laptop computers and personal tablets so that children could continue their studies remotely during school shutdowns, I witnessed hope for the future. As sponsors inquired about the individual children they sponsor and sent specialized gifts for them, I witnessed love, even across the miles and among relative strangers.

Remaining hopeful in the New Year

As I write these words, the COVID-19 pandemic rages on. The Omicron variant has now made its ugly presence known, and our society – once so hopeful that an end was in sight – is experiencing déjà vu and moments of concern, confusion, and conflict. I feel those things as well, but I remain hopeful, optimistic, and filled with a sense of expectation and wonder, for I have seen what we can do together. I know that good still exists among us, and with love and kindness, we will not only survive, but thrive.

Thank you, all, for your continued support of Children Incorporated’s work. Together, we can change and improve our world, one child at a time.

Ronald H. Carter
President and Chief Executive Officer

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HOW DO I SPONSOR A CHILD with Children incorporated?

You can sponsor a child in 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.

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An Overwhelming Positive Change

Today, we want to share a letter of hope and inspiration from one of our many incredible volunteer coordinators from around the world. If there was ever any doubt of the power of sponsorship, Teresa, at Floyd Central High School in Kentucky, confirms with a sweet letter just how much sponsors mean to children in our program:

If there was ever any doubt of the power of sponsorship, Teresa, at Floyd Central High School in Kentucky, confirms with a sweet letter just how much sponsors mean to children in our program.

“Dear Children Incorporated Staff and Sponsors,

First of all, I want to say thank you for everything that your organization does for our students. Your sponsorship program has been such a blessing. I am not a big fan of shopping; however, I love seeing the students’ faces when they are given new clothes and shoes. They especially enjoy receiving items for their birthdays and Christmas. Because of their sponsors’ generosity, all of my Children Incorporated-enrolled kids receive new clothing and shoes at back-to-school, Christmas, and springtime. In addition, each receives a Thanksgiving and Christmas food basket.

Our school was also fortunate to receive two grants from your Hope In Action Fund. I collaborated with the other schools in our county, as well as local partners, such as our Health Department and Extension Office, for these initiatives. The first was a New/Expectant Parents Fair. Each participant received a bag filled with important information, as well as a new book for the baby, diapers, wipes, and more.

Teresa sent photos of packed supplies waiting to go out to students, thanks to a donation from our Hope In Action Fund.

To encourage participation, there were also door prizes, such as baby monitors, car seats, play yards, and developmental toys. These babies will be our kindergarteners in just a few short years. The second initiative was a Family Fun Night. Our schools’ coordinators shopped for and provided good old fashioned board games (like Hi Ho Cherry-O, Jenga, Monopoly, UNO, etc.), pizza kits, and snacks to promote family bonding and less screen time. Both initiatives were handled via socially distanced “Drive Thru & Pick Ups” during the pandemic.

Finally, I would like to show how the sponsors are making such a huge difference in the lives of our students by sharing a story. I have one young man about whom I was approached by two of his teachers. They had concerns in regards to his appearance and hygiene. They said something had been off with him since we returned to school.

“Our principal spoke of this young man and what an amazing difference she has seen in just a short amount of time. None of this would have been possible without the generosity of his sponsor.”

I met with this young man, and of course he said everything was fine. He kept his head down for most of our meeting. I noticed this young man had severe acne, and I was sure this was a part of his low self-esteem. I tried to make contact with his mom via phone and then again on a home visit, but with no luck. This student missed an excessive amount of school. Then I noticed the student seemed to be making a connection with our new JROTC officer, so the officer and I worked together, coming up with a plan to help this young man and to gain his trust.

With the generosity of his sponsor, I was able to purchase him new clothing, shoes, hygiene items – and now acne medicine, too. Slowly, this young man started coming around and being more involved with school and the JROTC program. There has been just an overwhelming positive change in this student’s life. He had never participated in anything and never had many friends. This year he came to and even danced at the Military Ball. At our end of the year staff dinner, our principal spoke of this young man and what an amazing difference she has seen in just a short amount of time. None of this would have been possible without the generosity of his sponsor.

With sincere thanks,

Teresa”

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How do I sponsor a child in Kentucky?

You can sponsor a child in Kentucky 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 in Kentucky that is available for sponsorship.

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Meeting Girls’ Needs in India and Kenya

When we consider the needs of our sponsored children, we especially need to consider the particular needs of young girls who might not have access to feminine hygiene products while living in poverty — most likely because their families can’t afford them. When young ladies don’t have access to sanitary napkins, they often skip school to stay home which can be detrimental to their education.

“As we know, girls face a great number of difficulties when it comes to sanitation and hygiene. We really appreciate your contribution to help and support our children during these hard times.”

Throughout the 2021 year, we focused on providing supplies of sanitary napkins to girls at our affiliated projects in Kenya and India on a continuous basis — in large part thanks to our long-time partner, Altar’d State — so that they may remain in attendance at school throughout the year.

According to their website, “Altar’d State is a rapidly growing women’s fashion brand with more than 100 boutiques in 30 states. They offer a place of respite and a distinctive shopping experience with the latest fashion finds, the most sought-after accessories, charming home decor and gifts.”

Additionally, the company seeks to “inspire through action and supports a mission of standing out for good in the world” — which they have done by donating to Children Incorporated with a focus on providing feminine hygiene items to hundreds of girls around the world.

A letter from India

Upon receiving funding from Altar’d State to purchase hygiene items for sponsored children at the St. Mary’s School for Girls in India, our volunteer coordinator writes:

Girls at the Dandora Centre in Kenya pose with their feminine hygiene kits

“Thank you very much for allowing us to be able to purchase 103 sanitary napkin packets which can be used for up to six months. As we know, girls face a great number of difficulties when it comes to sanitation and hygiene. We really appreciate your contribution to help and support our children during these hard times. Also, all our children have conveyed their highest regards to the concerned donors and once again thank you so much for your kindness.

Sincerely,

Superintendent Rao”

Stats about Girls and Feminine Hygiene

Why is it so important to support girls and their healthy menstrual hygiene? According to the Days for Girls website, “period poverty is a term used to describe the lack of access to adequate menstrual health management supplies and education for women and girls. Many families are unable to afford feminine hygiene products because of how expensive they are. This lack of resources and supplies for menstrual health can have negative consequences on girls.”

Additionally, poor menstrual hygiene can cause physical health risks and has been linked to reproductive and urinary tract infections (UNICEF). It also inhibits girls from reaching their full potential — young girls who do not receive an education are more likely to enter child marriages and experience an early pregnancy, malnourishment, domestic violence, and pregnancy complications as a result.

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How do I sponsor a child with Children Incorporated?

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

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Making the Year Extraordinary for Children in Need

Today, we want to share a letter from our volunteer coordinators in Letcher County, Kentucky, who want to express their gratitude for everything that our sponsors have done for the children in our program over the last year.

Children Incorporated has made a big impact in the lives of these students.

A note from Jennifer

“Dear Staff and Sponsors,

Letcher County Central High School, our Youth Services Center, and our students would like to thank Children Incorporated and its sponsors for all they have done for our students throughout the 2020-2021 school year. The program has been a great asset.

The unprecedented COVID event of the past year and a half has been difficult for all of us, especially our children. Their daily struggles with life took on new meaning as students coped with isolation, spotty internet service for virtual instruction, lack of personal contact with teachers, and no social interactions with peers. The support from Children Incorporated enabled us to purchase clothing, shoes, and hygiene items. Our Children Incorporated families were provided with Thanksgiving dinner in their own homes. The Christmas holiday was merrier due to the generosity of the sponsors, enabling us to purchase for each student gifts of new shoes or boots and a Christmas stocking filled with candy, gloves, and hygiene items. Some sponsors sent additional gifts for their students as well.

Our sponsors have helped change the lives of many students who live in Letcher County, Kentucky and attend the local public schools

Two seniors graduated from the program this spring. They had wonderful sponsors throughout their high school years. One sponsor sent the student a gift card and fleece blanket for graduation. The other sponsor sent money, with which we purchased three sets of nursing scrubs for the student’s nursing program.

Children Incorporated has made a big impact in the lives of these students. Our families struggle daily with unmet needs, but through your organization some of those needs can be met and our students benefit emotionally, physically, and socially. We look forward to working with Children Incorporated in the coming school year.”

Sincerely,
Jennifer

A sweet story from Genevieve

“Dear Children Incorporated,

This is such a cute story that I had to share it with you.

Taylor* and his family happen to live 52 miles from Jackson, the little town where our school is located. They live way up in a hollow, and to reach their home, you have to drive to the end of a pavement drive, then to the end of gravel, then drive through the creek, jump on an old 4-wheeler and cross a hill.

The mother was explaining how badly Taylor wanted Hot Rod magazines – and you had sent exactly enough to purchase one this month with your thoughtful additional gift funds. Usually with your extra gifts I get him laundry soap, coloring books, art supplies, or ear buds.

It worked out great! Taylor was floored when he came to pick up items Tuesday with his mom. They only get to come out to town once a month to grocery shop. He was so excited.  He said, “How did my sponsor know?” So, I made him sit down and write that thank you letter on the spot and ask you. He said, “Is she psychic?” I am encouraging his interest in these magazines, as it builds his reading skills.

Thank you so much for your help, and especially during this extraordinary school year.”

Sincerely,
Genevieve

*Name changed to protect the child.

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.

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A Letter from Lindsay

In today’s edition of On the Road, our volunteer coordinator, Lindsay, at Westover Hills Elementary School in Richmond, Virginia, shares her story of the impact that sponsorship has on the children at her school over the last year:

Experiencing the impact

“Dear Children Incorporated Staff and Sponsors,

I have only been at Westover Hills (and with Communities in Schools) for two months, but I have already experienced the impact that Children Incorporated has on our community and families.

Thank you for allowing us to provide immediate support to a family who was experiencing lots of uncertainty, change, and loss.

My first week in Richmond, we had a family at our school who was displaced due to a rat infestation at their house. Children Incorporated was able to provide immediate support to allow me to purchase new clothes, socks, underwear, shoes and hygiene items for the children in this family who were now living in a motel. Most of their belongings and clothes had been ruined by the rats. Thank you for allowing us to provide immediate support to a family who was experiencing lots of uncertainty, change, and loss.

Special items for Jessica

One of the students in the Children Incorporated sponsorship program, Jessica*, at my school has had perfect attendance all year! This is quite an achievement, especially during a virtual school year. Jessica lives in a motel but did not let wi-fi issues keep her from logging on and trying her best every single day this school year!

I was able to provide Jessica with some special items to keep her entertained this summer at the motel. These included a swimsuit, flips flops, goggles and towel to use at the pool, as well as several other games and craft kits.

Helping Jonathan and his family

Jonathan is a 5th grader who loves to draw. I was able to provide a special summer kit for Jonathan that included Telestrations (a fun drawing game for his whole family) as well as swim gear. His mom is eager to teach him and his siblings how to swim this summer!

Westover Hills Elementary School teachers in front of the school in Richmond, Virginia (photo courtesy of Twitter)

As we finished out the school year this past spring, Children Incorporated provided funding to put together summer kits for 25 kids at Westover Hills Elementary. These kits include things to help make their summer fun, educational, and a little more normal. They also have a personalized drawstring bag for each child filled with sunglasses, bubbles, books, a water bottle, Mad Libs, educational games, and outside summer toys. I can’t wait to see their faces when I deliver the summer kits next week.

Thanks to Children Incorporated, I was also able to provide cleaning supplies and a gift card to Wal-Mart for groceries for all the families on my Children Incorporated caseload. These families were so grateful for the products that we sometimes take for granted. One mom was in tears of appreciation as she unloaded the cleaning supplies, hygiene items, and toilet paper. A small gift can make a huge difference for these families!

Thank you for all that you do to support our students and families.

We appreciate you!
Lindsay”

*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.

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Recycling to Support Families in Need

When Richard Graff became a donor with Children Incorporated this past summer, he had an interest in providing support to the Philippines — and came up with a creative way to raise funds through his work to do just that.

“What motivated me to donate to the Philippines is I have friends from the Philippines whom I have met through the fishing industry and learned of the struggles that occurred with COVID-19 occurring, so it seemed to be a good place to donate to,” said Mr. Graff.

We are incredibly grateful to Mr. Graff for this passion to improve the lives of impoverished children. These efforts have gone a long way to show the power of what one person can do to help others around the world.

Based out of Naknek, Alaska, Mr. Graff works for a landfill company in Bristol Bay Borough, which not only disposes of waste but helps residents recycle as much as possible. Mr. Graff came up with the idea of asking permission from his company to collect recyclable items as they came into the landfill – mostly copper and wire from older buildings or construction sites – and sell them to a company that could recuse or recycle them for a profit, then donate the proceeds to Children Incorporated.

“I found out about Children Incorporated through simply using Google to find out where I could donate to the Philippines,” explained Graff.

His employer agreed, and before he knew it, Mr. Graff had raised $3,000 to help children in need at the Visayans Community Center at Bliss in the Philippines. Thanks to Mr. Graff’s efforts, the Center has been able to provide emergency food, hygiene items and other resources to families who continue to struggle because of COVID-19. Rations of rice and clothes have been purchased, which has helped parents who have been unemployed or struggling to make money since the start of the pandemic.

We are incredibly grateful to Mr. Graff for this passion to improve the lives of impoverished children. These efforts have gone a long way to show the power of what one person can do to help others around the world.

About the Visayans Center

Thanks to Mr. Graff, children in the Philippines have already received food and other schools supplies to help them through the pandemic.

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 healthcare and access to potable water are still daily challenges in this widely underdeveloped country, which is also prone to typhoons, earthquakes and volcanic activity.

The large port city of Tacloban is no exception to these maladies. In the Bliss Housing Project in Sagkahan — a community established by the Filipino government for Tacloban’s poor — only fifteen percent of residents actually own the land on which they live. Most inhabit concrete dwellings, but many others live in shacks fashioned from nipa palm shingles, bamboo and castoff boards. Amid this devastating poverty and its socioeconomic effects, the Visayans Community Center at Bliss serves as a beacon of hope. Founded by the local group, Volunteer for the Visayans, the Center is dedicated to facilitating community development, providing healthcare and promoting education. Especially in the wake of the devastation inflicted by Typhoon Haiyan in November 2013 — one of the worst storms to hit the area in a hundred years — Children Incorporated plays a vital role in this mission.

How Do I sponsor a child in the Philippines?

You can sponsor a child in the Philippines 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 in the Philippines that is available for sponsorship.

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