What do we mean when we talk about special projects at Children Incorporated? Our special projects come from a variety of requests from our volunteer coordinators at our affiliated sites, but they all mean one thing — crucial support for children, families and communities.
“Furthermore, our special projects allow our donors to help more than just one child or one family – often the projects we support help hundreds of children or members of a community by creating jobs and improving the overall structure of a place or location.”
“We consider three different types of support when we talk about the ways that our donors can help some of the most vulnerable people in the world,” explains Children Incorporated’s Director of Development, Shelley Callahan.
“First, our sponsorship program partners sponsors with individual children. Secondly, our special funds focus on certain aspects of helping children and families with, for example, warm clothes or emergency assistance — necessities that are beyond sponsorship.”
“Thirdly, our special projects range from infrastructure to renovations to building projects that are vital to us having access to the children we support, making sure they have a safe place to live and learn and that even more of their basic needs are meet,” Shelley continued.
“Furthermore, our special projects allow our donors to help more than just one child or one family – often the projects we support, such as building a dorm or an agricultural school or renovating an old kitchen in a group home, help hundreds of children or members of a community by creating jobs and improving the overall structure of a place or location.”
“Over the years, donations to our special projects have allowed us to hire teams of engineers to build greenhouses, playgrounds, and additions on schools. On a smaller scale, our special projects offer things such as art supplies for summer camps or reading materials for libraries — items that fill in the gaps that our coordinators are missing in making their programs that support our children successful,” expressed Shelley.
Read more about our special projects around the world from past years and find out how you can support future projects through your generous donations!
A Place to Call Home
In partnering with our nearly 300 affiliated sites around the world, including Casa Central, it is our goal at Children Incorporated to work with our volunteer coordinators to provide everything that we can for children in our program so they can receive an education – including offering them a safe and stable place to live.
“Casa Central is a social service center located in the center of the city but serves and supports children from the peripheral, struggling areas of Guatemala City,” explained Children Incorporated Director of International Programs, Luis Bourdet.
“Many of our sponsored children live in shacks, and the support through our sponsorship program has given them food, clothing, and educational supplies. Yet our volunteer coordinator, Sister Estefania, recognized that some of the children, despite the resources we offered, are still struggling due to the terrible housing conditions they live in. Through her immense efforts, she was able to secure titles for land in different areas of the city, and Children Incorporated was able to fund the construction of eight houses which have offered stable homes for eight children in our program,” said Luis.
“The houses are simple, but of permanent nature, made of cinder block, metal trusses and metal roof, two metal exterior doors, and protected from the weather. The families selected are so grateful and thankful for this support.”
Children Incorporated was able to fund the construction of eight houses which have offered stable homes for eight children in our program.
A New Playground and New Supplies for Students in Richmond
Children Incorporated staff members Renée Kube, Shelley Oxenham, and Chuck Smith helped rebuild a playground at G.H. Reid Elementary School in Richmond, Virginia, where we partner with Communities in Schools of Richmond (CIS) to support sponsored children in the Richmond area, near our headquarters.
Just a few months prior, over summer break, the old playground was set on fire, and it spread around the equipment, melting and disfiguring most of it, and leaving the 750 Richmond public school children with few options for outdoor play.
Renée, our Director of U.S. Programs, explained that the playground rebuild project was able to happen thanks to KaBOOM, a national nonprofit that builds playgrounds, especially in low-income areas.
The CarMax Foundation also stepped up to contribute funds and materials for the build, and Renée attended the volunteer workday, along with her Children Incorporated coworkers Shelley, U.S. Programs Specialist, and Chuck, U.S. Sponsorship Manager.
About 250 volunteers built the playground from the ground up in just one day. One of the jobs Renée, Shelley, and Chuck were assigned was painting maps and game boards onto the playground surface.
By the end of May, we had $1,000 to donate to G.H. Reid, and we couldn’t wait to present the check to them, as well as contribute some supplies to get them started.
A New Kitchen for the Lou Ann Long Girls’ Hostel in India
In many developing countries, food is often cooked over open fires in poorly ventilated kitchens. It is estimated that 3 billion people worldwide cook over an open flame, which releases toxic smoke that is dangerous to health and safety.
At one of our affiliated sites, the Lou Ann Long Girls’ Hostel in India, the cooks prepared meals for the students in a small, dark one-room kitchen with only one small window that was continuously filled with thick smoke. The kitchen was badly in need of updating, but the administration did not have the necessary funds.
Thanks to our donors – just like you – Children Incorporated was able to renovate Lou Ann Long’s kitchen. New gas stoves with proper ventilation systems were installed, and modern sinks and updated windows and floors now provide more space, a cleaner environment, and natural light for the kitchen staff.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org; or go online to our sponsorship portal, create an account, and search for a child that is available for sponsorship.