Tag Archives: opportunity

Aiding Ricardo in El Salvador

One reason Children Incorporated is so special is because of our ability to help children around the world with their particular needs – largely due to the closeness that our volunteer coordinators have with children in our program.

One reason Children Incorporated is so special is because of our ability to help children around the world with their particular needs.

Last year, we received sponsorship enrollment information for a little boy named Ricardo at the Laboure School in El Salvador. In the comment section of his forms, our volunteer coordinator at the school indicated that Ricardo is deaf in his left ear, is partially deaf in his right ear, and that he needed hearing aids.

Our international programs department contacted our volunteer coordinator at Ricardo’s school immediately upon finding out about Ricardo’s situation to see if Children Incorporated could help. Soon after, we sent Hope In Action Funds to get Ricardo the hearing aids he needed — and shortly after that, Ricardo was matched with sponsor!

About El Salvador

Ricardo is pictured with his new hearing aids.

Abundant in rivers, lakes, and fertile, tropical farmland, El Salvador’s wealth of natural beauty traverses a vast central plateau bordered by Pacific coastal plains to the south and rugged mountains to the north. For centuries, several Mesoamerican nations called this land home, including the Lenca, Olmec, Maya, and Pipil/Cutcatlec. However, this smallest and most densely populated Central American nation is particularly susceptible to natural disasters like earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, and it has been plagued by chronic political and economic instability for more than a century. High unemployment rates, rising inflation, organized crime, and a soaring birthrate leave many Salvadorans to live in abject poverty. The nation’s capital, San Salvador, is no exception to these maladies.

About the Laboure School

The Laboure School serves as a beacon of hope to this impoverished community. Although originally founded in 1934 as an orphanage for girls, today it operates solely as a school, providing a well-rounded education and moral support to both boys and girls of the city of San Salvador. The school offers children here an opportunity to break the cycle of poverty and to rise above the difficult socioeconomic circumstances from which they come.

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How do I sponsor a child in El Salvador?

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

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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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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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Improving Nutrition in Morgan County

Often called the Bluegrass County of the Mountains, Morgan County is situated amid Kentucky’s picturesque, mountainous Eastern Coal Fields region. The county itself was first settled by Scotch and Irish immigrants during the eighteenth century and derives its name from an homage to Revolutionary War hero General Daniel Morgan.

Despite its natural beauty and rich history, Morgan County suffers the socioeconomic issues associated with the widespread, debilitating poverty, illiteracy, and unemployment so tragically typical of Appalachia. There are few economic opportunities in the rural, small farming town of West Liberty today, and as a result, families who once relied upon farming and selling tobacco are now forced to find other means of employment to support themselves.

For students in this area, Morgan Central Elementary School serves as a beacon of hope, offering children a safe environment, a caring staff, and the chance to obtain a well-rounded education — things that we consider essential for success.

The idea is to improve students’ nutrition by exposing them to and encouraging them to eat a fresh fruit or vegetable snack at least three days each week,” said Renée.

Stretching her budget

“This school has around 300 children in grades Pre-K through 5th — our sponsorship program is run by our volunteer coordinator, Brittany,” explained Renée Kube, our Director of U.S. Programs.

“During my last visit to the school in 2019, Brittany told me that she prefers to shop for the children at the local Walmart because she can really stretch out her budget that way. She added that the kids are not picky or particular about designer brands and are happy to receive sturdy, decent, school clothes which Walmart can offer at a low price.”

A variety of fresh food

“Brittany was very excited to tell me about a grant the school had been awarded through the United States Department of Agriculture. The grant is called the FFVP, which stands for the ‘Fresh Fruits & Vegetables Program.’ The idea is to improve students’ nutrition by exposing them to and encouraging them to eat a fresh fruit or vegetable snack at least three days each week,” said Renée.

Our volunteer coordinoator, Brittany (left), is pictured with one of our sponsored children and Morgan Central Elementary School’s guidance counselor

“Because so many of the children have been minimally exposed to fresh fruit at home, often times they have never tried some of the fruits or vegetables offered. They are encouraged to try it, but students may choose not to partake if they don’t like what’s being served. The school is allowed to buy the produce at local grocery stores, or even to buy from farmers’ markets, if any exist in the area, which also helps small business.”

Going above and beyond to feed kids

Brittany explained that this program has been so helpful because food insecurity is a big problem in the county. To help even more, she has been running the ‘Pack A Snack’ food bag program every Friday. She uses large Ziploc bags and stuffs them with granola bars, ramen noodles, packaged peanut butter crackers, and micro-wavable mac and cheese. Brittany said her main food partner is Lacey Creek Church of Christ, but she would love to have more funds so that she could put more food in the bags,” said Renée.

“I was delighted to tell her about our U.S. Feeding Program that helps our affiliated projects with programs just like this, and that I would be happy for her to apply for additional assistance to ensure students are getting food to take home on the weekends in addition to what they are already receiving at school.”

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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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