Tag Archives: sponsor

Excited About What the World Has to Offer

One of our favorite aspects of what we do at Children Incorporated is pairing special individual sponsors with children to create lasting relationships, where each benefits from the other – the sponsor from knowing that they are helping a child in need, and the child from knowing that someone cares about them and their well-being, and is willing to support them so that they may obtain an education.

“I want to thank you for helping me with everything. It helped me get this far, and it has been a huge help to my parents that you are in my life. I hope that one day I can return the favor or pass it on.”
– Josh

We recently received a beautiful letter written by a sponsored child, Josh*, to his long-time sponsor, Mr. Edwards*, where Josh expresses his deep gratitude for the support he received over the years. Josh began in our program at Glade Creek Elementary School in western North Carolina, and then continued to our affiliated school Alleghany High School, where he was provided with consistent monthly support and regular additional gifts, thanks to Mr. Edwards. For Josh, the support that he received through our sponsorship program has made all the difference in the world.

Introducing Glade Creek Elementary School and Alleghany High School

Just south of the Virginia-North Carolina boundary, Alleghany County is nestled amid idyllic mountains, only a few miles from the only roadway to be designated a U.S. national park: the Blue Ridge Parkway. Thousands of tourists pass through Alleghany County each year to glimpse its spectacular vistas. For many there, however, it is a struggle to earn enough of an income to get by.

Josh has had a sponsor since he was young.

Today, there are a few textile mills that provide employment, and there are some small businesses and service industry jobs in which Children Incorporated kids’ parents work – but they are often only part-time jobs. The largest employers in Alleghany County are the Board of Education, the county government, a yarn mill, a nursing home, and a hospital.

Out of town, in the countryside, there are some small timber operations and a growing number of Christmas tree farms. As tourism in the area has increased, many have purchased land and built vacation cabins on it. There are some gated communities there, too – and a growing gap between the “haves” and the “have nots”.

Many whose families had farmed for generations cannot make a living anymore by working the land alone. It is not uncommon for someone to hold a minimum wage service job in town while trying to maintain a small family farm. Many commute quite a distance to work, even across state lines into Virginia. For these reasons, Glade Creek Elementary School and Alleghany High School are incredibly important to the surrounding community, providing a nurturing environment for and a well-rounded education to students.

 On the path to success

 Upon graduating, Josh wrote to Mr. Edwards:

“Dear Sponsor,

I want to say thank you for all your help. I am not sure that I would have been OK without your help. You put food on our table. My mother would pay all the bills, and then we wouldn’t have any money for food to cook. I was able to use the money to buy enough groceries for the week. That really put a smile on my mother’s face. I can never thank you enough for that.

I will be attending Appalachian State University in the fall. I want to major in pre-medical studies. I am super excited, and my family is super proud. I am the first in my family to ever attend college. I am very happy about it.

I want to thank you for helping me with everything. It helped me get this far, and it has been a huge help to my parents that you are in my life. I hope that one day I can return the favor or pass it on.

I am very excited to graduate in a few weeks. I am excited to see what the world has to offer. This is the biggest opportunity I have had in my life. I am glad to say that you played a part in this opportunity. Thank you again for all the help you have given me.

Sincerely,

Josh”

Sponsorship provides tangible assistance, and also intangible support through dreaming and planning for a better life. This hope is what Children Incorporated is all about.

*Names changed for individuals’ protection.

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HOW DO I SPONSOR A CHILD IN NORTH CAROLINA?

You can sponsor a child in North Carolina in one of two ways: call our office at 1-800-538-5381 and speak with one of our staff members, or email us at sponsorship@children-inc.org.

The Impact of Generosity

When we received a very significant donation from our partner International Student Exchange (ISE) last year, our Director of U.S. Programs, Renée Kube, wasted no time in working to ensure that the donated funds would make a positive impact on the lives of as many children as possible in the United States. Thanks to this important partnership with ISE and to Renee’s wonderful efforts in working with our domestic affiliated projects to support children in need, we were able to do the following:

– At the Hanaadli Community School Dormitory in New Mexico, eight laptop computers were purchased for the children there to check out and use. It is vital for youth on the remote Navajo Reservation to have access to technology and a window to our global community.

Students at the Pinon School work on their the area where grape vines will be planted.

– At the Pinon Community School in New Mexico, funds went towards labor and materials for the installation of flooring in the new outdoor reading pergola, where native canyon grape vines were planted. Students use the fruits from those vines make grape jelly. The school was also provided with supplies and materials to start up a student-run equestrian feed and supply store in collaboration with the agriculture and math teachers.

– At the St. Michaels Association for Special Education in Arizona, donations went towards labor and materials for a well that provides clean, good-tasting water for physically and mentally handicapped children. The water that comes out of all the taps there is usually either yellow, brown, or black, and it smells and tastes bad. Funds also went to hardscaping the area in compliance with Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements, which included materials for that work, like concrete and wire mesh; and labor costs for installing a sidewalk from the main building to the playground for wheelchair-bound students. This outdoor access has heightened their spirits and increased their activity.

– At Warfield Elementary School in Kentucky, funds from ISE went towards the purchase of hand tools for the school garden, soil for the greenhouse, and plants and seeds for both.

At the Francis L. Cardozo Education Campus in Washington, D.C., funds went to providing nutritious food for the weekend backpack feeding program there. This school has a high percentage of impoverished students, many of whom are homeless.

– At Glade Creek Elementary School in North Carolina, funds paid half a semester’s worth of tuition for most children enrolled in our program – entire tuition costs for those whose parents couldn’t afford to pay half – for an after-school program put on by the Junior Appalachian Musicians. The program is run by recognized experts, and the children who participate in it take lessons in playing a traditional instrument, like the banjo, dulcimer, guitar, or mandolin; and they take a course in an area of Appalachian cultural enrichment as well.

– At Broad Rock Elementary School in Richmond, Virginia, funds went towards purchasing LEGO base plates and LEGOS for the library for the installation of a LEGO wall. The librarian and math teachers collaborate in using the wall for lessons on coding for classification purposes, logistical and higher-level thinking, artistic expression, and cross-curricular work.

– At the Francis L. Cardozo Education Campus in Washington, D.C., funds went to providing nutritious food for the weekend backpack feeding program there. This school has a high percentage of impoverished students, many of whom are homeless.

– At Charles Hart Middle School in Washington, D.C., donations from ISE went towards providing nutritious food for the weekend backpack feeding program there, and for fresh fruits and vegetables for the school’s monthly market. Ward 8, where Charles Hart Middle School is located, is a food desert, with mostly just convenience stores nearby, which sell junk food and a small selection of boxed and canned foods; there is only one full-service grocery store in close proximity. There are barriers to transportation there as well, so many children have very limited access to fresh produce otherwise.

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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 who is available for sponsorship.

A Quality Education for Children in Bolivia

The small landlocked nation of Bolivia comprises the rugged Andes Mountains and vast high-altitude plateaus to the west, including a portion of Lake Titicaca – the largest high-altitude lake in the world. To the east are the lush lowland plains of the Amazon Jungle. Despite its wealth of natural beauty and resources, Bolivia bears the scars of centuries of conflict, beginning with the Spanish conquistadors, and followed by almost 200 years of wars and internal military coups. Political and economic instability have brought about considerable poverty there, resulting in widespread malnutrition, crime, and disease.

Yotala, an agricultural suburb of Sucre, is no exception to these hardships. The area is prone to drought, which not only diminishes crop yield, but it also forces families to purchase water for drinking and bathing. Many people in this community are very poor; they rarely manage to grow enough food to feed their families, much less to sell at the market. The Santa Rosa School was founded to assist the children of Yotala’s subsistence farming families. The school teaches core academic subjects, and it has received recognition in Bolivia with high honors for its biology and geography classes.

Children need to attend school to succeed; but more critically, they must attend schools where they are being taught by trained professionals – which is just the case at the Santa Rosa School.

A great institution

Children need to attend school to succeed; but more critically, they must attend schools where they are being taught by trained professionals – which is just the case at the Santa Rosa School. There are sixteen professors at the school – a large number compared to many schools – which means that the children there are attending a great institution where they learn daily and are prepared for moving on to receive a higher education.

Not only is the Santa Rosa School acclaimed for its academics, but it also offers skills training in such areas as weaving, agronomy, dressmaking, carpentry, computer literacy, and hairdressing. The school encourages parental involvement. Since many parents of students there are illiterate or only speak Quechua, the school offers them educational courses, along with general courses on parenting skills and nutrition – all of which afford them the opportunity to obtain better jobs and earn a greater income, which is helpful for their entire families.

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HOW DO I SPONSOR A CHILD IN BOLIVIA?

 

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

Understanding Bolivia

The small landlocked nation of Bolivia comprises the rugged Andes Mountains and vast high-altitude plateaus to the west, including a portion of Lake Titicaca – the largest high-altitude lake in the world. The lush lowland plains of the Amazon Jungle are found to the east. Despite its wealth of natural beauty and resources, Bolivia bears the scars of centuries of conflict, beginning with the Spanish conquistadors and followed by almost 200 years of wars and internal military coups.

Political and economic instability have brought about considerable poverty there, resulting in widespread malnutrition, crime, and disease. For these reasons, Children Incorporated supports hundreds of children in Bolivia each year, providing them with basic necessities so that they have the opportunity to go to school and succeed.

Facts about Bolivia

– Population: 10.1 million (UN, 2011)

– Capital: Sucre (official), La Paz (administrative)

– Largest city: Santa Cruz

– Area: 1.1 million square kilometers, or 424,164 square miles

60% of Bolivians live below the poverty line. In rural areas, the numbers are even more dramatic. 3 out of every 4 people living in these areas suffer from poverty.

– Major languages: Spanish, Quechua, Aymara, Guarani

– Major religion: Christianity

– Life expectancy: 65 years for men, 69 years for women (UN)

– Monetary unit: the boliviano

– Main exports: soybeans, natural gas, zinc, gold, silver, lead, tin, antimony, wood, sugar

Facts about child poverty in Bolivia

 It is estimated that 2.5 million children live in conditions of poverty. The causes of mortality in children under the age of 5, according to the Ministry of Health, are directly associated with poverty. 36% of these deaths occur as a result of diarrheal diseases, and an estimated 28%, as a result of malnutrition.

 – According to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the poverty in Bolivia is among the worst in South America. Economic growth and opportunities to make a living are most commonly found in urban areas, making it difficult for indigenous farmers, inhabitants of more remote areas with fewer people, to market their products and provide for their families.

– 60% of Bolivians live below the poverty line. In rural areas, the numbers are even more dramatic. 3 out of every 4 people living in these areas suffer from poverty.

– One reason for the extreme poverty lies in Bolivia’s geography: many of the country’s roads are undeveloped, so farmers have difficulty transporting their products to sell them in markets outside of town – which, in turn, negatively impacts their families and the communities in which they live.

– It is estimated that 70% of the rural population and 30% of the urban population are illiterate.

– The incomes of nearly two-thirds of households are too low to afford the minimum amount of food necessary for healthy living.

-12% of school-age children in Bolivia are not attending school.

Where we work

In Bolivia, we affiliate with fourteen projects in three major cities and their surrounding areas: Santa Cruz, La Paz, and Sucre. Santa Cruz is Bolivia’s largest city. Sucre, Bolivia’s constitutional capital, retains much of the flavor of Spanish colonialism, including many buildings erected by the conquistadors, and the second-oldest university in Latin America. At 12,000 feet above sea level, La Paz is the highest capital city in the world.

How you can help in Bolivia

You can help a child living in poverty to receive an education in a few different ways. One way is through our child sponsorship program. Sponsorship provides an underprivileged child with basic and education-related necessities such as food, clothing, healthcare, school supplies, and school tuition payments. This vital support allows impoverished, vulnerable children to develop to their full potential – physically, emotionally, and socially. Sponsors positively impact the lives of the children they sponsor through the simple knowledge that someone cares about their well-being. This gives children in need hope, which is powerful.

Sponsorship provides an underprivileged child with basic and education-related necessities such as food, clothing, healthcare, school supplies, and school tuition payments.

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 those funds to purchase items for children in our program, to ensure that they have what they need to do their very best and succeed in school.

You can also help children in Bolivia 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. In the past, thanks to donations to our Hope In Action Fund, we have been able to build classrooms, as well as homes for people living in poverty in Bolivia, greatly changing their lives for the better, and giving them the opportunity to become financially stable.

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HOW DO I SPONSOR A CHILD IN BOLIVIA?

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

 References:

 https://www.unicef.org/bolivia/children_1540.htm

 https://borgenproject.org/poverty-in-bolivia/

 https://www.unicef.org/bolivia/children_1538.htm

A Unique School in New Orleans

Revolutionizing the traditional public education paradigm, the Morris Jeff Community School emphasizes language and the arts – not just test scores – fostering its students’ development into well-rounded, productive members of society. Not only that, but according to Donneisha, our volunteer coordinator at the school, Morris Jeff is also special in that the parents of students who attend have a say in how inclusive and diverse the school is.

The Morris Jeff Community School is a charter school. While students from all around the city are in attendance, the majority of them live in the surrounding neighborhoods. Opened in 2009, the school serves preschool through eighth-grade students. As Donneisha told our Director of U.S. Programs, Renée Kube, on her recent trip to visit the school, Morris Jeff has a high number of very actively-involved parents, as well a great deal of community support – which make it unique. It is also one of the most racially-diverse charter schools in the city. The students of Morris Jeff come from a variety of socio-economic classes. Enrollment numbers are high for both special needs and high-performing academic achievers, and the ethnic breakdown of the student body is quite diverse.

Every child deserves support

Morris Jeff has a high number of very actively-involved parents, as well a great deal of community support – which make it unique.

The parents of students at the Morris Jeff Community School believe that the school should meet as many of the kids’ needs as possible. The faculty spends a great deal of time with at-risk students as well as with those with learning disabilities. They also provide a challenging education for the higher-performing students. Donneisha added that social and emotional development are crucial, so there is much programming in place for that as well. The Justice Center at the school focuses on fostering healthy relationships. There is a reading program there, too, and a Children’s Advocacy Center that teaches sex education. The school celebrates a Kindness Week, with bullying prevention as the focal point.

Donneisha loves that Children Incorporated helps to directly provide for our sponsored and unsponsored children’s basic needs. She is grateful to have the autonomy to choose what each child needs – whereas other organizations may have limits as to what may be provided to the kids in their programs. Donneisha told Renée that the greatest need that she encounters is for basic items like clothes and food. The required school uniforms are expensive, too, and parents struggle to afford them.

Kids adore having sponsors

It’s not just Donneisha who loves the school and our sponsorship program; the students love their school, too. While there, Renée met with one of our sponsored children, Lori*, who is in the sixth grade. She told Renée, “This school supports you. Even if someone isn’t your teacher, they want to help you. They really care about you. We have students from all over the world. One student is from Uganda, and he didn’t speak any English when he started – and everyone helped him learn.”

Renée knew that Lori’s sponsor had visited her a few years ago, and she wanted to know what Lori thought about having a sponsor. Lori replied, “It helps me, and they tell me nice things. They had lunch with me one time, and they brought me a pink bag of stuff, like coloring books and gummies. I loved it.”

*Name changed for child’s protection.

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HOW DO I SPONSOR A CHILD IN NEW ORLEANS?

You can sponsor a child in New Orleans 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.

Ordinary People Making an Extraordinary Difference

Seniors in high school have a lot to think about: leaving their school and friends behind following graduation, what their next step in life will be, and how they will make it on their own once they leave the comfort of their parents’ homes. For one small independent school in Virginia, giving back is also a part of senior class activities.

Each year, Brunswick Academy in Lawrenceville, Virginia celebrates their last year of high school by taking a trip to a destination of their choice. This year, they decided to go to the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida. As each senior class there does, these young adults raise funds for their trip. They held six fundraisers this year, and were able to collect $1,500. This was more than they needed, so they decided to give one-third of their earnings to charity, true to the academy’s founding principle: “We believe it is our responsibility to provide students with an environment where they can become good citizens who can make positive contributions to society.” The Brunswick Academy Class of 2018 chose to donate to Children Incorporated.

This generous gift from the Brunswick Academy was used for the purchase of food, bedding, clothing, and toiletries for a family in New Orleans, Louisiana, as well as to assist four families in Inez, Kentucky that had lost their homes and belongings to fire.

The Value of our work

Logan*, the Senior Class President at Brunswick Academy, called our office back in March to let us know about his class’ decision to contribute to our organization. He invited our President and Chief Executive Officer, Ron Carter, to attend the last assembly of the school year in May to speak to the student body of kindergarteners through twelfth-graders about the work of Children Incorporated. At that assembly, Mr. Carter gratefully accepted a check for our organization in the amount of $500.

Mr. Carter had the pleasure of meeting with Logan, and asked him how and why his class had chosen Children Incorporated to be the beneficiary of their hard work. Logan explained that the senior class advisor, Ms. Roberts, had suggested Children Incorporated. She was well-acquainted with our organization due to the fact that one of her close friends once served on our Board of Directors. It was through that connection that Ms. Roberts learned of our life-changing work, and as a result, she told Ben about it.

Ms. Roberts saw the value in recommending an organization whose mission the students could really get behind: Children Incorporated provides resources to children in need in the United States and abroad because we passionately believe that children everywhere deserve education, hope, and opportunity. Logan was moved when he heard about us, for he has a personal connection to children. Throughout his high school years, he worked as a childcare counselor after school and on weekends. Logan recognized that our work is important, for we, just like him, strive to improve children’s lives.

Kids in New Orleans and in Kentucky are being supported thanks to a donation from students at Brunswick Academy.

The Brunswick Academy Senior Class contribution was used in support of our Hope In Action Fund, which addresses the pressing needs of children enrolled in our program and their families in times of emergencies and natural disasters. Donations to our Hope In Action Fund allow us to offer assistance beyond sponsorship support when it is needed.

Taking part in giving

This generous gift from the Brunswick Academy was used for the purchase of food, bedding, clothing, and toiletries for a family in New Orleans, Louisiana, as well as to assist four families in Inez, Kentucky that had lost their homes and belongings to fire. As a result of Ms. Roberts having shared our work with her students, ordinary high school seniors made an extraordinary difference in the lives of five families in need. Those five families’ well-being was improved as a result, and they were given hope in the wake of devastation.

When adolescents take part in giving, they start to understand early in life the impact that they can potentially have on the lives of others. Involving children and youth in the giving process – and supporting causes that speak to them – can teach them about the importance of helping others, as well as give them a sense of meaning and purpose.

Not only do contributions create change, but so does telling our story – and our story is one that everyone can understand. All children deserve the chance to have a bright future; they deserve the chance to break the cycle of poverty. Young people helping young people is a beautiful testament to the fact that anyone can be part of someone else’s story through giving – and from giving comes a gratitude that thrives and makes us want to give even more.

*Named changed to protect the individual.

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How do I sponsor a child with Children Incorporated?

You can sponsor a child with Children Incorporated at one of our affiliated projects 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 who is available for sponsorship.