Tag Archives: poverty

Praise from Our Coordinators

Without a doubt, our volunteer coordinators are the backbone of our organization. Without help from these special teachers, guidance counselors, and resource center coordinators at our affiliated schools, we couldn’t reach thousands of children living in poverty every year, helping them to receive the basic needs they require in order to focus on getting an education.

We have found that our volunteer coordinators are just as grateful for our programs as we are for their service to the children we help to support. Over the years, our Director of U.S. Programs, Renée Kube, has received many letters from our coordinators expressing just how important Children Incorporated is to them, to the schools, and most especially to children and their families.

“We would like to thank the sponsors for their support. All children want to know they’re cared about, and I can tell you that you have provided these children with lots of smiles.”

Removing barriers

“Children Incorporated remains a crucial part of our center’s mission of removing non-cognitive barriers to our students’ education. One of the highlights of working with your organization is that volunteer coordinators are given the liberty of using the Children Incorporated funds to best meet the needs of the individual children and their families. This past school year, one of my greatest blessings was to give food assistance to my families. Our winter was one of the coldest, snowiest winters that we have had in many years. School was dismissed for multiple days at a time, meaning our students were not receiving the free breakfast and lunch meals that families had counted on as they prepared their monthly budgets. Many told me that they simply ran out of funds budgeted for food because of the repeated school cancellations. Children Incorporated allowed the center to purchase food for our families. I had never had the opportunity to work with families that were more grateful in my many years as coordinator. I, too, am incredibly grateful.”

– Vanessa, Kentucky

Mrs. Wood’s vision


“From my experience over the last thirteen years with Children Incorporated, I have learned that the monetary help with clothing and immediate needs is really secondary to the emotional support that these children get from corresponding with their sponsors. They finally feel like someone cares and they are not alone in this world. The most gratifying thing that I have seen from the children being helped by this program is that a large number of them say that when they grow up and get a job, they want to sponsor a child themselves. We have actually had a few parents of children that were in the Children Incorporated program have their circumstances greatly improve, and so requested to have their children removed from the program so that needier children could benefit. Then, to our amazement, they proceeded to ask how they could become sponsors themselves. That in and of itself shows me the worth of this program, and what is being achieved is exactly what Mrs. Wood envisioned at its inception.

“Thank you, Children Incorporated and all of our sponsors, for the unbelievable difference you make in the lives of our children.”

– Alisa, Kentucky

Bringing smiles to kids’ faces

“Children Incorporated is truly a blessing to my community. It has brought so many smiles to the children’s faces. There are so many kids that benefit from this organization. Without the help from Children Incorporated programs, so many of our kids would do without.

“I am truly amazed with all the things that the sponsors from Children Incorporated do. To see these kids get a package from a ‘stranger’ that loves them is beyond them. It is breathtaking to see what just a note or card can do. I will never forget when one of my new students got a care package from their new sponsor. This girl was very hesitant to open the box. I explained to her that it was a gift from her sponsor and told her they wanted her to have what was inside. This girl, with a tear in her eye, said, ‘Why would anyone buy me something?’ My heart broke. I wanted to break down and cry. As she opened the box, she looked inside it with the biggest eyes. It was filled with clothes, art supplies, toys and snacks. She leaned over into the box and grabbed a box of snacks and said, ‘Wow! I finally got a snack for school. I can’t wait to show my daddy. He will be so excited.’

“As she went through her box of goodies, she showed me each piece and kept smiling and hopping around with excitement the entire time. She had to lay all her clothes out and look them over. She rubbed a soft footie to her face, and I truly cherished every moment she pulled something new out of her box.

“So many children are impacted in such positive ways by the sponsors in their lives. I cannot overstate the tremendous impact of Children Incorporated on our work, and most importantly on our students.”

“Putting a smile on a child’s face is a miracle in itself. A helping hand makes more of a difference than anyone can ever imagine. This program means the difference between a child being able to have their basic needs met for school and that same child doing without. We would like to say thank you for everything that you do for our kids. With your help, our kids can have a brighter future.”

– Alice, Kentucky

True heroes

“I truly believe Children Incorporated has made an impact on my students’ lives. I have seen their smiles, felt their hugs and their appreciation for gifts and letters of encouragement from their sponsors.”

– Deborah, Kentucky

“As I’ve said for years, the sponsors are the true heroes of the Children Incorporated program. It is amazing to think that strangers care enough about a child – a child they have never, and most likely will never, meet – to send help. I hope sponsors realize that the friendships and bonds that they create with these children are just as valuable as their monetary donations. Children Incorporated and its sponsors are changing the world one child at a time.”

– Stacy, West Virginia

“We would like to thank the sponsors for their support. All children want to know they’re cared about, and I can tell you that you have provided these children with lots of smiles. The Children Incorporated program has given our students a huge sense of pride as well as the knowledge that someone cares. Parents come in and say, ‘I appreciate the sponsorship so much.’… I’m surprised at how much people are willing to give, especially to children they’ve never seen in person. My words of thanks fall way short of conveying how important sponsors are in these kids’ lives.”

– Wally, North Carolina

A tremendous impact

“Thanks to the remarkable network of sponsors, we were able to provide required school uniforms, socks, underclothes, and winter coats, hats and gloves. We also provided a countless number of school supplies, personal care items, emergency food and more. In addition, through the Hope In Action Fund, with which Children Incorporated provides additional help in education and health matters, we were able to do three very different and significant things:

“At Lucy Ellen Moten Elementary School, where the neighborhood streets are not deemed safe enough for trick-or-treating, the coordinator was able to provide an in-school Halloween celebration, featuring a visit from a clown, and a pumpkin for every student. At Charles Hart Middle School, a family lost their medical coverage during a government shutdown, and one child could not receive her life-saving kidney medication. Children Incorporated stepped in and made it possible, and after several sleepless nights from worry, her mother wept with relief, knowing Callie* would be alright.

“At Cardozo Education Campus, a bright student could not read the board, and her grades were suffering. Her mother was struggling to make sense of the system that would allow her to get eyeglasses. The coordinator worked with the teacher and nurse to clarify the extent of the vision impairment, and through Children Incorporated, the coordinator was able to get Maxine* a proper eye exam and a pair of glasses.

“So many children are impacted in such positive ways by the sponsors in their lives. I cannot overstate the tremendous impact of Children Incorporated on our work, and most importantly on our students. Thank you so much, to the amazing sponsors and donors who make this possible!”

– Jennifer, Washington, D.C.

*Names changed for children’s protection.

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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 donation portal, create an account, and search for a child that is available for sponsorship.

“Good Nights Are Good Days”

At Children Incorporated, we think a lot about the basic needs that children living in poverty are going without. Providing kids with items like food, shoes, school supplies, toiletries, and clothing are at the forefront of our mission as a child sponsorship organization. Sometimes, however, when we think about ensuring that children have appropriate clothes to wear, we don’t think about how important pajamas are for kids while growing up.

“Every child has the right to a good night. Yet, thousands of children across the United States will go to sleep tonight and their bedtime will be missing something.”

Introducing the Pajama Program

The Pajama Program was founded in 2001 by Genevieve Pitturro, who discovered while volunteering to read to children at a shelter that the kids there were going to bed wearing the same clothes that they had been wearing all day, and that they didn’t have comfortable pajamas to change into. This discovery prompted Genevieve to return to the shelter with bags of new pajamas and storybooks to share with the children so that she could help ensure that they would enjoy a good night with a caring adult to tuck them in. After that, Genevieve decided to expand her project to reach children all over the United States, because she strongly believes that loving bedtimes lead to good days for children.

According to the Pajama Program website, “Every child has the right to a good night. Yet, thousands of children across the United States will go to sleep tonight and their bedtime will be missing something. They may be feeling alone and afraid, in a bed that isn’t theirs, in a shelter that isn’t a home or with families who wish they could give them more. Nightly bedtime rituals like fresh pajamas and a storybook offer a consistent, reassuring ‘comfort zone’ at the end of each day.”

Offering comfort to our kids 

Children Incorporated is honored to be a distribution partner for the Pajama Program, because their mission and goal to help children obtain basic needs align perfectly with ours. What’s more, because we are a pajama distributor, we are able to work with amazing community members who want help children as well!

This past year, during the holiday season, the Richmond, Virginia Chapter of the Women’s Association of Verizon Employees (WAVE) held a pajama and book drive in conjunction with the Pajama Program; and as a result of their generous efforts, we were able to provide new pajamas to both sponsored and unsponsored children enrolled in our program in Richmond, Virginia. We are so grateful for all those involved in helping provide kids with pajamas so that they can have a good, comfortable night’s sleep – every night.

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HOW DO I SPONSOR A CHILD IN RICHMOND, VIRGINIA?

You can sponsor a child in Richmond 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.

 

Understanding Child Poverty: Facts and Statistics

Poverty can be described as “the state of one who has insufficient resources”. Poverty not only includes a lack of income, but also a lack of resources to ensure sustainable livelihood, such as food, clothing, clean water, and proper shelter. Poverty has many detrimental outcomes for children – hunger and malnutrition, ill health, limited or a lack of access to education and other basic services, just to name a few.

Of the 2.2 billion children in the world, 1 billion are living in poverty

Poverty can cause children permanent damage, both physically and mentally, and in both the short and long term. A lack of essentials can stunt their growth, cause them to fall behind in school, and lead to health problems for them. It also affects their roles within their families, communities, and in society as a whole. Poverty denies children their human rights, and it leads to a vicious cycle of deprivation, which is difficult to break without proper support or assistance.

Global poverty facts

– Of the 2.2 billion children in the world, 1 billion are living in poverty

– According to UNICEF, 22,000 children die each day due to poverty

– Every year, 3.1 million children die (8,500 children per day) due to poor nutrition

– 1 in 4 children is living in poverty in the world’s richest countries

– 805 million people worldwide do not have enough food to eat

– 80% of the world’s population lives on the equivalent of less than $10 a day

– Almost half the world — over three billion people — lives on less than $2.50 a day

National poverty facts

 – About 15 million children in the United States, or 21%, live in families with incomes below the federal poverty threshold

– There are 72.4 million children in the United States; 41% of them live in low-income families

– Almost 40% of American kids spends at least 1 year in poverty before they turn 18

There are 72.4 million children in the United States; 41% of them live in low-income families

– The estimated percentage of U.S. households that were food insecure in 2015 is 12.7% (15.8 million households, or approximately 1 in 8 households)

– Children living in poverty have a higher rate of absenteeism or leave school altogether because they are more likely to have to work or care for family members

– Students who come from low-income families are 7 times more likely to drop out of school than those from families with higher incomes 

What Children Incorporated does to help alleviate childhood poverty

Children Incorporated provides basic necessities such as food, clothing, healthcare, and educational support to children living in poverty in the U.S. and abroad. These essentials, so often taken for granted, are vital to a child’s growth and success in school. Each year, we give thousands of impoverished children all over the world a chance at a better life.

How you can help

You can help a child living in poverty in a few different ways. One is through our child sponsorship program. Our sponsorship program does more than just feed or clothe a child; for $30 a month, you not only help meet the basic and critical needs of a child, but you also make an investment in their future.

Our policy has always been to consider the needs of each sponsored child on an individual basis. We work closely with our volunteer coordinators at our project sites, who are familiar with each individual circumstance, and the needs of every child in their care. Sponsorship donations are sent to our projects – orphanages, homes, community centers, and schools – at the beginning of each month in the form of subsidy stipends. Our on-site volunteer coordinators use these funds to purchase basic and education-related items for children in our program, to ensure that they have what they need to do their very best and succeed in school.

For $30 a month, you not only help meet the basic and critical needs of a child, but you also make an investment in their future.

You can also help children in need by donating to one of our special funds. Our special funds offer a variety of giving options for sponsors who wish to further their support, as well as for donors who wish to make a difference without making a commitment.

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References:

http://nccp.org/topics/childpoverty.html

http://nccp.org/publications/pub_1194.html

United Nations Inter-agency Group for Child Mortality Estimation (UN IGME). “UNICEF: Committing to Child Survival: A promise renewed.” UNICEF, 2014. Accessed February 25, 2015.

https://www.urban.org/sites/default/files/publication/65766/2000369-Child-Poverty-and-Adult-Success.pdf

http://www.feedingamerica.org/assets/pdfs/fact-sheets/child-hunger-fact-sheet.pdf

https://www.dosomething.org/us/facts/11-facts-about-education-and-poverty-america

https://borgenproject.org/10-facts-children-living-poverty/

https://www.unicef.org/sowc05/english/povertypossible.html

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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 donation portal, create an account, and search for a child that is available for sponsorship.

Growing Vegetables at Home in 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 rainforest – recognized for having the greatest biological diversity on the planet – sprawls over the country’s northern half, and there are rugged mountains to the south. Despite its wealth of natural resources and beauty, Brazil suffers from staggering poverty, rising inflation, unemployment, and a lack of social development.

These issues are especially pronounced in cities like Lages, located in southern Brazil. Lages’ population – about 150,000 – has been increasing steadily as poor families from the countryside move to the city in search of employment and better lives. Their situations, however, usually do not improve; many families are forced to live in urban developments like Novo Milênio, which lack electricity, drinking water, and even sewage services. Job opportunities there are extremely limited, and area public schools are ill-equipped to provide a quality education to the ever-increasing number of students. Children roam the streets – sad, neglected, and vulnerable to threats of crime, drug abuse, and worse.

A center helping families

The families eat, share, and trade the vegetables with other families – and sometimes they sell them at a low cost to make a small profit.

The plight of these children aroused the compassion of the CARITAS – Novo Milênio Center, a nonprofit organization run by the Catholic Church. One of our affiliated projects in Brazil, CARITAS, was established to help these children and community members rise above the difficult socioeconomic circumstances from which they come.

One of the ways in which the center is helping children and their families, thanks to the support they receive from Children Incorporated, is by establishing vegetable gardens at the children’s houses in nearby neighborhoods! The families, along with their children, tend to the gardens, which teaches them all gardening skills, and helps the parents become more self-sufficient when it comes to feeding their family. The families eat, share, and trade the vegetables with other families – and sometimes they sell them at a low cost to make a small profit!

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HOW DO I SPONSOR A CHILD IN BRAZIL?

You can sponsor a child in Brazil in one of two ways: call our office at 1-800-538-5381 and speak with one of our staff members; or go online to our donation portal, create an account, and search for a child in Brazil that is available for sponsorship.

An Invitation of a Lifetime

Not long ago, we receive a letter from our volunteer coordinator at our affiliated project CADI (Centro de Assistência e Desenvolvimento Integral) in Brazil about one of our sponsored children, Celia*. Celia, an avid rugby player at her high school, was invited to play professionally, and was in need of support to purchase a new uniform, proper shoes, and to cover her travel expenses to and from matches. Her coordinator asked Children Incorporated if we could help, and we were happy to do so, knowing that this was the opportunity of a lifetime for Celia to pursue her dreams.

Getting to know CADI

Celia has been playing rugby since 2014.

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 rainforest – recognized for having the greatest biological diversity on the planet – sprawls over the country’s northern half, and there are rugged mountains to the south. Despite its wealth of natural resources and beauty, Brazil suffers from staggering poverty, rising inflation, unemployment, and a lack of social development. These issues are especially pronounced in Fazenda Rio Grande, a town in the outskirts of Curitiba in southern Brazil.

There, many families struggle to afford even the most basic necessities – including their children’s education-related expenses. What began in 1994 as a soccer school to motivate and assist the children of these low-income families has now become CADI – a national nonprofit organization that maintains a center for holistic development in Fazenda Rio Grande. CADI’s mission is to motivate and equip these deserving children to rise above the difficult socioeconomic circumstances from which they come, thus helping them to break the cycle of poverty. Thanks to CADI’s support, as well as that of her sponsor, Celia has been able to attend school, and to find her passion for the sport of rugby.

A letter to her sponsor

We are very proud of Celia for her accomplishments, and we wish her all the best as she continues to work hard both in school and on the rugby field.

Upon finding out that she had been asked to play on a professional rugby team, Celia wrote a letter to her sponsor explaining how she first got started playing the sport years ago.

“Dear Sponsor,

“It’s been six years since I started attending CADI, and during these years, I have participated in various activities and classes. I started playing rugby in 2014. I started playing just for fun with a friend of mine, even when many people say that it is a sport for boys. Who would have guessed that two tough girls would make history for our team? Our team keeps winning at festivals and in competitions.”

We are very proud of Celia for her accomplishments, and we wish her all the best as she continues to work hard both in school and on the rugby field.

*Name changed for child’s protection.

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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.

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.