Tag Archives: opportunity

Overcoming Personal Challenges in D.C.

Washington D.C. boasts some of the highest rents in the country and is home to many wealthy Americans. Yet, for many families, food security and affordable housing are constant issues. In areas where our affiliated project is located, there are often more convenience stores than grocery stores with healthy food items. In terms of housing, rent in D.C. tends to be higher than the national average. A family is considered rent overburdened when they pay more than 30% of their gross income on rent, and 46% of the households that rent are overburdened in Washington. For these reasons, support from Children Incorporated, and our sponsors, is crucial to children living in poverty.

Our partner in D.C.

In Washington, D.C., Children Incorporated is affiliated with an outstanding implementing partner, Communities In Schools (CIS).

“CIS is a national organization whose focus is building relationships that empower at-risk students to stay in school and become achievers, not just academically but also in life,” explains our Director of U.S. Programs, Renée Kube.

“CIS is a national organization whose focus is building relationships that empower at-risk students to stay in school and become achievers, not just academically but also in life,” explains our Director of U.S. Programs, Renée Kube.

“The Communities In School’s mission is complementary to our mission, and our collaboration has been a natural and successful fit. The CIS site coordinators around the United States serve as Children Incorporated’s volunteer coordinators.”

“Our coordinators in D.C. often tell me about how the support is greatly needed and valued by the students and administrators, and in fact, all of our programs — sponsorship, Hope In Action, and our Higher Education Fund — are making a difference in the lives of the children and their families in our nation’s capital,” said Renée.

“Starting in the 2019-2020 School Year, Communities In Schools of our Nation’s Capital has worked with D.C. Public Schools in an initiative called ‘Connected Schools.’ This is based on an effective program in Philadelphia. The goal is to accelerate better outcomes for students who are furthest from opportunities. Ten schools were identified to become Resource Hubs in their communities to meet the students’ and families’ needs both inside and outside the classroom.”

“There is better recognition by DCPS that academic success and student well-being do not happen in a vacuum. Students who are homeless and hungry will not spend much time studying their spelling words or times tables. This is obviously what Children Incorporated is all about, too, and our partnership is truly appreciated in this new, greater effort,” said Renée.

Visiting Cardozo

As a part of their yearly visits to meet with our volunteer coordinators, Renée, along with U.S. Sponsorship Specialist Shelley Oxenham, visited the Cardozo Education Campus — one of four of our affiliated projects in Washington D.C.

Monique show Renée and Shelley her supply closet where she keeps items for our sponsored children.

“We were warmly escorted to the school by the Communities In Schools Director of Programs & Data, Sully Washington. Sully told us how much she values the partnership with Children Incorporated, which has meant so much to the students,” said Renée.

“Cardozo is located in the Columbia Heights neighborhood of Ward 1. The building is an old, historic high school building. It houses a regular 6th — 12th-grade school and a parallel International Academy for the large population of English language learners.”

“This school is the most diverse of our D.C. sites. Its 746 students are 51% Hispanic/Latino, 46% black, 2% Asian, and 1% white. A very high 44% are English language learners. A sobering 100% come from economically disadvantaged households. It’s also interesting that only 37% come from within the neighborhood. The other 63% come from outside the boundary,” explained Renée.

As they continued their meeting, Renée could tell that through Sully’s description of his work, the school’s officials were committed to helping the children in any way they could. Sully explained to Renée and Shelley that in addition to the International Academy, there is also a 9th Grade Academy to aid the transition to high school, and a STEM Academy. The school offers AP classes, a night school for credit recovery, Air Force JROTC, indoor and outdoor sports, and numerous arts and cultural clubs.

Meeting our coordinators

After their meeting, Sully introduced Shelley and Renee to the Communities in Schools Team, who all work together to support our sponsored children in D.C.: Monique, Diogenes, and Fabi.

“We had a great conversation with the CIS coordinators. They shared that a lot of the kids need help with their education. Nearby Howard University has provided tutors for after-school efforts. They also told us that the mix of students’ backgrounds has sometimes collided into misunderstandings, tensions, arguments, and fights. Due to this, Cardozo’s principal instituted a unity program called “One Cardozo,” with a variety of activities and mediations to help. Our coordinators said things have gotten much better in this regard,” said Renée.

“For all of our sponsored children, homeless or not, Children Incorporated’s goal is to provide funds to help with materials and supplies that support their health, well-being, and education, so they stay in school, achieve their diplomas, and have hope for a brighter future,” said Renée.

“Monique, Dio, and Fabi shared that the students have many personal challenges that often mean their studies get put on the back burner. There is a high percentage of homeless students. They bounce from sleeping at shelters, to couch surfing at friends’ houses, to staying for a night here and there with a relative. Some have slept in cars for weeks at a time. Some are with a parent, and some, sadly, are all by themselves. It is hard for them to keep up with their clothes and meager personal possessions, which they must usually store in trash bags. They cannot leave these items behind at the shelter.”

“For all of our sponsored children, homeless or not, Children Incorporated’s goal is to provide funds to help with materials and supplies that support their health, well-being, and education, so they stay in school, achieve their diplomas, and have hope for a brighter future,” said Renée.

“Sponsorship and Hope In Action Program funds that our organization provides goes towards providing food, hygiene supplies, air mattresses and bedding, and laundry detergent. The kids are very embarrassed when their uniforms are no longer clean, and the laundry aid helps them feel neat and proud of their appearance and supports their regular attendance in school.”

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How do I sponsor a child in Washington, D.C.? 

You can sponsor a child in Washington, D.C. 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 Washington D.C. that is available for sponsorship.

Taking Care of Families in Honduras

In Honduras, where lack of adequate funding has led to inadequacies within the healthcare system, COVID-19 is a massive threat. For those Hondurans living in poverty, who rely on earning money daily to provide for their families, they often can’t stay home to protect themselves.

For those Hondurans living in poverty, who rely on earning money daily to provide for their families, they often can’t stay home to protect themselves.

Thankfully, our COVID-19 Response Fund and our incredible sponsors offer support to sponsored children, which relieves their parents from some of the enormous burdens they feel as they struggle to provide for their kids during a global pandemic. Our volunteer coordinators at our affiliated projects in Honduras report to us that thanks to donations from Children Incorporated, they have provided hygiene items and food bags to families every week, which is helping to keep them safe and healthy during these unprecedented times.

About Honduras

Nestled in northern Central America, Honduras was once home to several Mesoamerican peoples – most notably the Maya. This ecologically diverse land – with its rainforests, cloud forests, savannas, mountain ranges, and barrier reef system off the northern coast – teems with life. Its wealth of natural resources is equally impressive, including a variety of minable minerals and agricultural exports such as coffee, tropical fruit, sugar cane, and lumber. Moreover, its growing textiles industry serves an international market. The nation’s wealth of natural beauty and resources, however, belies the dire poverty in which its people live. In fact, Honduras holds the unfortunate distinction of being one of the poorest nations in Latin America. This is due in part to its longstanding political instability, social strife, and economic issues, including fluctuating export prices, rising inflation, and unemployment. Other contributing factors include frequent natural disasters, widespread poverty, disease, and inadequate education, which results in a high rate of illiteracy.

Our affiliated projects

Siguatepeque Primary School 
Siguatepeque, Honduras

Offering families in need food and hygiene items has been critical to their survival during COVID-19.

In the small, rural town of Siguatepeque, unskilled workers receive only a few dollars a day, a tragically typical wage. The poorest residents subsist on a daily diet of beans and corn, which only propagates the widespread malnutrition among area children. In 1970, a local church group recognized the dire need for education among the town’s most impoverished children and established Siguatepeque Primary School. Today, the school serves as a beacon of hope, not only providing for these deserving children’s most basic immediate needs, but also offering them the tools with which to build a promising future.

Maria Reyna Home
San Pedro Sula, Honduras

Founded in 1942 as a girls’ orphanage, the Maria Reyna Home cares for the area’s orphaned, abandoned or neglected children. The home serves as a safe haven, away from the slum housing, hunger, disease, crime, and pollution that are all-too-tragic realities in this region. Through education and moral support, these deserving girls receive the opportunity to rise above the difficult socio-economic circumstances from which they have come.

El Refugio Welfare Center
El Progreso, Honduras

El Refugio Welfare Center was established here in response to the devastation inflicted by Hurricane Mitch in 1998. This natural disaster claimed thousands of lives, causing catastrophic flooding and landslides. The damage was so extensive, in fact, that the Honduran president estimated that the storm set the nation’s economic development back a full 50 years. The progress of rebuilding homes and schools has been very slow, and residents here still grapple with the aftershocks of homelessness, disease, and heightened poverty. For this reason, El Refugio Welfare Center is a place where many of the town’s impoverished and abandoned children come to receive food, clothing, and educational assistance.

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HOW DO I SPONSOR A CHILD IN Honduras?

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

SPONSOR A CHILD

Leaving a Legacy Behind

Our sponsors are incredibly important to us, and we consider each and every one of them to be a part of the Children Incorporated family. We cherish what these caring individuals are able to do for their sponsored children not only during their lifetimes, but after as well.

Today we share stories of two of our very special sponsors who passed away this year and were able to continue to help children in need through legacy giving with our organization.

Today we share stories of two of our very special sponsors who passed away this year and were able to continue to help children in need through legacy giving with our organization.

Strong loyalty and commitment to helping

Ms. Norma J. Henkle, of Rhinelander, Wisconsin, passed away in March. Ms. Henkle had been a sponsor since January 1995. She had sponsored twenty-two children in the 25 years she was a sponsor. She was very loyal to the children she sponsored, always sending them birthday and holiday gifts.

Ms. Henkle was born and raised on a small family farm south of Rhinelander, WI, where she lived her entire life. She never married and never had children. She lived a frugal lifestyle and invested her money wisely. As a result, she was able to accumulate a sizable estate. At her death, her life savings was divided among ten charitable organizations that she loved and supported over the years. Children Incorporated was one of them. Ms. Henkle’s gift was a little over $200,000 which will go towards support for some of the most impoverished children in the world for decades to come.

Continuing to help Sarah

Pauline Brooks was from Richmond, Virginia. Although she had only been sponsoring with Children Incorporated for four years, she loved our organization as much as any sponsor.

Since she became a sponsor, Ms. Brooks had been sponsoring the same little girl, Sarah*, from Kentucky, and she adored the child. Ms. Brooks always sent extra gifts for Sarah, as well as supported our Warm Clothing Fund, Shoes and Socks Fund, and International Feeding Program as her way of helping other children in need in our program.

Upon her passing over the summer, Ms. Brooks’ daughter decided to have monetary gifts in her memory sent to Children Incorporated to be used to continue Sarah’s sponsorship. So far, the memorial fund has raised over $1000, which will cover Sarah’s sponsorship for an additional three years — three years beyond Ms.Brooks’ life — and will carry her through her middle school years.

*Name changed to protect the child.

The power of legacy giving

No donation is too big or too small when it comes to determining how to leave a legacy with Children Incorporated. We are humbled that our dear sponsors are so passionate about our work that they would take the time to plan how they want to continue giving beyond their lifetime, knowing that they can rest assured that we will continue our work providing for children living in poverty in their name.

How can you leave a legacy gift with Children Incorporated?

Consider a legacy gift to Children Incorporated when you are evaluating your personal, family, and financial needs, as well as your long-term charitable giving.

There are different options for legacy gifts, and they may provide significant tax benefits. People choose to make legacy gifts for many different reasons. For some, it is a way to ensure that their memory lives on. For others, it is a way to ensure that Children Incorporated is able to continue its important work. By creating a legacy, you are making a significant contribution to the future sustainability of the work that is most meaningful to you.

Contact us today to find out more about leaving a legacy gift with Children Incorporated.

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Themes From Childhood

We are pleased to invite you to a very special fundraising event to be held virtually on September 12, 2020 at 3:30 p.m. EST.

Themes from Childhood: A Classic Concert for All Ages will feature Children Incorporated Board Member Theresa P. Steward along with special guests and will benefit our COVID-19 Response Fund.

JOIN THE CONCERT

We hear from Children Incorporated President and CEO, Ronald H. Carter, who discusses more about the event:

“Theresa P. Steward is a member of the Children Incorporated Board of Directors.  She is a classically trained musician; she holds a Ph.D. in Musicology from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland.

Theresa also serves as pianist and organist at Grace (American) Baptist Church in Richmond, Virginia, which is also the church that I attend.

Grace Baptist has been a loyal supporter of Children Incorporated for more than a decade, supporting our work each December with funds raised from their mission market. They have also partnered with us on our work to support families in need in Puerto Rico.

Theresa and various other musicians have staged four previous concerts at Grace Baptist for charitable purposes. Those concerts, which were held in person, have been great successes, raising thousands of dollars in support of various missions and ministries. Themes from Childhood is the first of these concerts to be held virtually, and Theresa has designated that all profits from it will be donated to Children Incorporated in support of our COVID-19 Response Fund.

I have had the pleasure of attending all of Theresa’s concerts at Grace Baptist Church, and I have been astounded by the talent she and the other musician’s display. I have been blown away by what Theresa shares. She chooses music that is familiar, fun, and uplifting, and her performances are warm and welcoming. I encourage all fans of good music, whatever their tastes may be, to tune in and share in this event.”

Please plan on tuning in on Saturday, September 12th at what will surely be an unforgettable event!

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How to attend the event

Please visit either the following Facebook or YouTube link on Saturday, September 12th to watch live:

https://www.facebook.com/gbcrichmond

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChAd9AwM8gzX7Tc6_oT6jCw

Children Incorporated Fall 2020 Newsletter

We are pleased to share with you our 2020 Fall Newsletter! Thank you for support children in need around the world during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Amidst school closures across the U.S. this past spring due to COVID-19 lockdowns, our concern turned to how to best help children who are already living in vulnerable situations.

Fighting Against Hunger During the Pandemic 

Amidst school closures across the U.S. this past spring due to COVID-19 lockdowns, our concern turned to how to best help children who are already living in vulnerable situations. 

Many children in our program rely on school lunches and on our Backpack Feeding Program to ensure they are receiving adequate meals throughout the day and on the weekends. Without the support they receive at school, they risk facing hunger at home.

Children in Guatemala have been receiving food thanks to donations from our amazing donors.

Thankfully, because of our sponsors and donors, and the hard work of our volunteer coordinators in the U.S., students continued to receive food through the spring and into the summer and fall. 

Thank you for all that you do to help children in need! 

Our Response to COVID-19 in Guatemala 

We are grateful for the support that our sponsors and donors are providing to families in Guatemala — and all over the world — through donations to our COVID-19 Response Fund.

Thanks to you, our affiliated projects in Guatemala have been able to purchase food, hygiene items, and other necessities for children and their families during the pandemic. This help is crucial for Guatemalans at this time, as our Director of International Programs, Luis Bourdet, explains: 

“Almost half of the population in Guatemala are low-income earners, and the percentage of people receiving aid is minimal. No one having an income above the minimum wage of about US $220 a month has received any government support.”

We are grateful for your vital support during the COVID-19 crisis — we couldn’t provide life-changing support to children in need without your help. 

Alleviated Suffering in Bolivia During a Difficult Time

We heard from our volunteer coordinator at our affiliated project, Cristo de Rey in Bolivia, about the support our donors are providing to children and their families during the COVID-19 outbreak:

Protective and hygiene items have been just some of the supplies children have received during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Good afternoon! I want to inform you that the Children Incorporated program is supporting children with the distribution of food and hygiene items. 

The situation of the pandemic in Bolivia is very complicated. Families suffer a lot because they are people with very low resources. They generally live on what they earned from what little they sell. Now it is forbidden to go out to sell and they have nothing to subsist on. As you can imagine, the families are very grateful for the help and support they received. Thank you for your help!”

Children Incorporated Happenings

*The Children Incorporated family mourns the loss of George Saunders, a long-time employee who passed away on June 6, 2020. Mr. Saunders served as our accountant and bookkeeper for a period of 27 years, prior to his retirement in 2009. He maintained close contact with Children Incorporated in the years that followed, often attending employee functions, as well as sponsoring children. He will be greatly missed.

*Our Board of Directors welcomed three new members in May. Mr. Wayne Huggins, Ms. Salley Mountcastle, and Dr. Theresa Steward will now work alongside our seven existing members in supporting the work of our organization as we strive to improve the lives of children and families, both in the U.S. and abroad. 

*Children Incorporated has once again been awarded 4 Out of 4 Stars by Charity Navigator. This is the fifth consecutive time that our organization has received this honor. 

Children Incorporated has once again been awarded 4 Out of 4 Stars by Charity Navigator. This is the fifth consecutive time that our organization has received this honor.

*We would like to send congratulations to our long-time sponsor, Rosanne Cash, who has been selected to receive the prestigious 61st Annual Edward McDowell Medal. The award, which has previously gone to such luminaries as Aaron Copeland, Stephen Sondheim, Leonard Berstein, and Georgia O-Keefe, honors artists who have made outstanding contributions to American culture, as Rosanne surely has through her music and compositions. We thank Rosanne for sponsoring children and changing lives through her support of our organization, now for thirty years and counting.

*Children Incorporated continues to work towards expanding our sponsorship program to include projects in Puerto Rico, but due to the COVID-19 outbreak, plans have been postponed. We remain committed to getting the program off the ground as soon as possible and continuing our work on the island, which has been hard hit by natural disasters. If you would like to be added to our waiting list of those who wish to sponsor a Puerto Rican child, please contact us today. We will share further details about our work in Puerto Rico as it becomes available.

READ THE FULL NEWSLETTER

Isolated but Not Forgotten

Although much of the world is living in some type of isolation for the foreseeable future, the support from our sponsors helps our sponsored children and their families feel loved and taken care of in these uncertain times.

Our volunteer coordinator at our affiliated project, the Recanto Esperança Center in Brazil, writes to us about how the support of our donors is making an impact on children in need.

Although much of the world is still living in some type of isolation for the foreseeable future, the support from our sponsors helps our sponsored children and their families feel loved and taken care of in these uncertain times.

“We are fine, still in isolation. Thanks to you and the sponsors, we can buy food basket items and hygiene products for children. Many families are without income and are very grateful for this help.

Last week we launched a milk campaign, and we have already achieved a lot. We will continue to provide as much as we can for the families, as we probably need to help them for a long time to come.

Thank you so much for everything you are doing to help children in our program at this time.”

About Brazil  

Brazil is the fifth-largest country in the world – both geographically and in terms of population. It is truly massive, sharing borders with every other country in South America except for Ecuador and Chile. The Amazon rain forest — recognized for having the greatest biological diversity on the planet — sprawls over the country’s northern half, with rugged mountains to the south.  Despite its wealth of natural resources and beauty, Brazil suffers from staggering poverty, rising inflation, unemployment, and lack of social development.  

About our affiliated projects

Recanto Esperança
Curitiba-Paraná, Brazil

Located in the Urebaba District of Curitiba, where many families lack the resources to provide for their children’s education and basic needs, Recanto Esperança is a non-profit organization whose mission is to support children and their families to rise above the difficult socio-economic circumstances from which they come.

CARITAS-Novo Milênio Center
Lages – Santa Catarina, Brazil

Thanks to donations to our COVID-19 Response Fund, sponsored children in Brazil are receiving food and hygiene items regularly.

In the city of Lages, located in the south of Brazil, many families are forced to live in urban developments like Novo Milênio, which lack electricity, drinking water, and even sewage service.  Job opportunities here are extremely limited, and area public schools are ill-equipped to provide a quality education to the ever-increasing number of students. Children here roam the streets, sad, neglected, and vulnerable to the threats of crime, drug abuse, and worse. The plight of these children aroused the compassion of CARITAS, a non-profit organization run by the Catholic Church. As a result, the CARITAS Center in Novo Milênio was established to help these children and community members.

Casas Lares–ACRIDAS
Curitiba, Brazil

Curitiba’s city slum neighborhoods inspired ACRIDAS (Christian Association of Social Assistance), a non-profit organization of business and civic leaders, to establish several orphanages to assist these deserving young ones. Many children are placed in Casas Lares–ACRIDAS by court order, to protect them from the threats of abuse, drugs, violence, and malnutrition.  Casas Lares–ACRIDAS serves as a safe haven, offering underprivileged and vulnerable children the opportunity to live in a safe home environment.

Nossa Senhora Das Graças
Lagas, Brazil

The plight of children living in Lagas aroused the compassion of a charitable civic organization called Nossa Senhora Das Graças (Our Lady of the Graces) who founded the Nossa Senhora Das Graças daycare center to provide assistance, support, and hope to the needy children in this region of Brazil.

CADI CENTER
Fazenda Rio Grande – Curitiba, Brazil

In Fazenda Rio Grande, a town on the outskirts of Curitiba in southern Brazil, many families struggle to afford even the most basic of needs, let alone education-related expenses for their children. What began in 1994 as a soccer school to motivate and assist the children of these low-income families has now become CADI (Centro de Assistência e Desenvolvimento Integral) – a national nonprofit that maintains a center of holistic development in Fazenda Rio Grande. The CADI center’s mission is to motivate and equip these deserving children with an education and the opportunity to break the cycle of poverty.

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HOW DO I SPONSOR A CHILD IN BRAZIL?

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

SPONSOR A CHILD