The winter season is winding down, but the need for children to have warm clothing continues. For several years now, Richmond-based Children Incorporated has been raising funds to help provide warm clothing for kids in Richmond and throughout the United States
It raises money for both its sponsorship program, which is the heart of the organization, and Hope in Action, a comprehensive program that provides funds for emergencies and disasters as well as additional educational and health initiatives.
“We raise fifty to sixty thousand dollars a year that can be used to help provide coats, jackets, hats, scarves, mittens, warm shirts and pants and shoes and snow boots to kids in need through our Warm Clothing Fund, part of Hope in Action,” says CEO Ron Carter, adding, “We raise money for the sponsorship program and Hope in Action constantly.”
Children enrolled in the Warm Clothing Fund project in the following Richmond schools receive support from the program: Huguenot High School, T.C. Boushall Middle School, Elkhardt-Thompson Middle School, and the following elementary schools: Blackwell, Broad Rock, Oak Grove–Bellemeade, G.H. Reid, Swansboro, Westover Hills, and Greene.
The organization partners with about 150 schools in the United States and an equal number of schools, community centers, and orphanages internationally. The support provided by Hope in Action is “not the same for each school. It’s flexible. It can be used for a variety of needs,” says Renee Kube, director of U.S. programs. “We try to meet the children where they are instead of a cookie-cutter approach. We meet children’s individual needs.”
Jeanne Clarke Wood founded the organization in 1964 after working with her father at a larger children’s organization. “She wanted to provide the most basic needs for children living in poverty, things children can’t do without,” Carter says.
The organization’s first project was in Guatemala. Today it is in twenty-three countries around the world. In the United States, the organization works with Navajo reservations in Arizona and New Mexico. “We are looking to expand that,” says Kube.
Children Incorporated began working in the rural Appalachian region in the early 1970s and has been working in Richmond since 2005. “That was the birth of our urban outreach,” Kube says of the Richmond program. “We branched out to Detroit, New Orleans, and Washington, D.C. When we are looking to expand, we try to find areas where there is a strong need.”
The organization has helped 300,000 children or more through its sponsorship program since its inception. More than a million children have benefited through Hope in Action and other aide programs. It takes $30 a month to sponsor a child.
“One of the things I have loved so much about this is there are wonderful organizations out that are doing good with your contribution, but to me this is a very personal way to make a difference in the life of a child. You know how your contributions are used,” Kube says. “There is a child out there whose life is made more secure and meaningful thanks to our sponsors and donors.”
For more information, visit childrenincoporated.org.