What to Give the Loved One Who Has Everything

It’s four days before Christmas—are you ready?

Chances are good you’re still stressing over that handful of people on your gift list. What do you do for the relative who has everything?

Or maybe you’ve been so busy going through your holiday to-do list that you feel disconnected from the “reason for the season.”

We have a solution—our gift catalog.

Feed the Children is helping to create a season of hope for children and families in need at home and around the world with its annual Holiday Gift Catalog. This special edition catalog offers one-of-a-kind gifts that will send a message of hope – and life – to those without life’s essentials. These gifts are a great way to honor special people in your life—people who don’t need another Christmas necktie or pair of socks.

This year’s catalog is filled with Feed the Children’s most popular gifts to help children and families in need just in time for the holidays. These gifts don’t just help improve peoples’ well-being, health and livelihoods. They also bring great joy. They help them know they’re not forgotten. 

No child should have to suffer the pain of hunger and poverty, so the Holiday Gift Catalog features items that will help children and families fill their pantries, restore their lives and begin the holiday season with renewed hope for the future.

You can check out the full catalog here, or let us do the work for you—here are our top seven gifts that can provide life-changing hope, all under $100.

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1. Provide one chicken for $14.

A chicken means fresh eggs and meat for international families to eat. The eggs and meat can also be sold to neighbors or in markets throughout each country. Purchase here.

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2. Provide one goat for $79.

Goats are a source of meat and milk for families globally, providing much-needed nourishment, and their offspring can be sold to generate income to help a family overcome poverty. Purchase here.

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3. Help feed school children in Kenya with a traditional meal of Githeri (corn and beans) for $22.

Feed the Children serves meals to 137,410 school-aged children in more than 170 schools. Your gift will help children thrive physically and mentally. Purchase here.

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4. Provide water purification tablets for two families for one year for $29.

Even clean water can become contaminated while being carried home or stored for later use. These tablets are one of the most cost-effective ways to prevent diarrhea and other waterborne health issues greatly affecting international countries. Purchase here.

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5. Provide one food box, one essential box, and one holiday turkey for $57.

Families in the U.S. will receive a 25-pound food box, a 10-pound box of basic essentials and a 10- to 12-pound frozen turkey to help them celebrate the holidays. Purchase here.

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6. Equip a child with a backpack and school supplies for $20.

Some children in America don’t have the basic items they need to succeed in school. Each backpack is filled with school supplies, children’s books, hygiene items, and healthy snack food. Purchase here.

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7. Provide one food box and one essentials box for $38.

This gift will help fight childhood hunger in America by providing much-needed food and other essentials like laundry detergent and shampoo for families in need. Each box supplements a family of four for up to a week. Purchase here.

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“We believe that no child should go to bed hungry in a world where there is plenty of food,” said Travis Arnold, Feed the Children Interim CEO/President and COO. “But the reality is, millions of boys and girls across the globe face this hardship every day. With this catalog, our donors and supporters are able to bring help and hope to families during the holiday season.”

Get that gift list done so you can enjoy the rest of the holiday! Check our catalog today.

Hunger and the Holidays: Help Feed Our Neighbors

Editor’s Note: The following article was originally posted on the IF:Gathering website. We are thankful for the partnership with IF:Gathering, which has been highlighting the work of Feed the Children on their blog for the last several months.

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year,” croons the voice over the sound system at the mall. It’s also one of the busiest times of year for many people. We’re looking for just the right gifts for the people we love most. We’re cooking for the neighborhood potluck, or testing out recipes for the cookie exchange, or attending kids’ holiday concerts—and the list goes on.

The hustle and bustle of this season can feel overwhelming. But few of us reading this probably have to deal with piecing together a plan for getting our kids enough food on top of everything else.

Sadly, that’s a reality for too many families, such as Shawntaneice, a single mother of two sweet boys in a small Appalachian town.

Shawntaneice had a comfortable and stable childhood, supported by her chef father and a nurturing mother. She’s brought that same stability to her own children, eight year old Ah’Johreyan and seven year old Ah’Darian. They didn’t have a lot of frills, but she was able to provide a comfortable home, three square meals, and the occasional treat— a fast-food meal or small toy.

All that changed when she was let go from her job at a food processing plant. Shawntaneice has a strong work ethic. She’s worked from the time she was old enough to do so-so this job loss was a personal blow. She’s been on lots of interviews and is trying to find temp work, but she hasn’t had much luck.

As a single mother, the job loss is a major economic blow. These days, putting food on the table means cobbling together a plan using all kinds of sources. Food stamps only do part of the job; by mid-month they’re starting to run out. So Shawnteneice has to ask her family for help, or wrangle a dinner invitation from a friend. She’s been to food pantries, she says. The school lunch program is a Godsend for her boys. She’s considered asking people she knows for a loan, but how could she ever pay it back? The hole keeps getting bigger.

There have been a couple of times that she’s had to put the kids to bed hungry. In those cases, she gives them something to drink, so they’ll have something in their bellies. Then she tries to keep them entertained until they fall asleep, their minds distracted from the pangs.

Holidays can be the hardest time for families like Shawntaneice’s. Food is hard enough to cobble together; a Christmas tree and gifts seem impossible. “You know, a child waking up on Christmas morning and not having gifts… they’re not going to understand that.”

As we go about our preparations for Christmas, let’s also remember Shawntaneice and her family—and so many people facing similar struggles. Say a prayer. Give to your local food pantry. And for that person on your list who already “has everything,” consider a donation in their name to Feed the Children. Jesus asked us to feed the hungry and care for the stranger. What better way to honor his birth than taking His words to heart?

During this season of Christmas, consider giving to Feed the Children this year — an organization fighting every day to create a world where no child goes to bed hungry. Visit Feed the Children’s Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram pages and give them a like or a follow, so you can learn more about their work.

A Big Word of Thanks

As the United States prepares to gather around Thanksgiving tables this week, many of us feel thankful for the abundance of blessings in our lives. Families will gather, tables will be set, hands will be clasped and words of gratitude shared.

Yet we know that half a world away, and right in our own communities, people still struggle to eke out a living or to put enough food on the table.
One in seven children around the world are hurt by the scourge of poverty.
Three thousand children under age 5 die every day from diseases that come from dirty water.

Sometimes the news is so bad, it’s tempting to tune out. We turn on cable news, or even our social media feeds, and the stories can assault our senses.

The challenges we face as a people can seem overwhelming, and too often it feels like progress is impossible.

It’s a privilege to work with people just like you—people who share out of their abundance, and in some cases their poverty, to make sure children around the world have a box of food, or a backpack full of fresh new school supplies, or a pair of sturdy shoes, or a nutritious hot meal at school each day. On this day of Thanksgiving, we’re grateful for you.

The needs of our neighbors around the world and around the corner seem greater than we can manage. But as Mother Theresa put it, “We can do no great things, just small things with great love.” And those small things add up—we see it happen every day. It’s in the couple who sponsors a child, or the twenty-something who rolls up her sleeves to pack food boxes, or the child who uses his allowance to buy a water purification kit for a family he’ll never even meet.

These small acts of goodness give us hope and make our work possible. But even more importantly, these gifts actually work to stem the tide of poverty and malnutrition. Internationally, in fiscal year 2014, Feed the Children distributed 20 million pounds of food, medicine, and other necessities valued at $78 million to children and families in 18 countries, benefiting over 4.9 million individuals globally. Around the world, close to 263,000 children are fully engaged in our child-focused food and nutrition programs, which regularly provide nutritious meals to children who may otherwise go an entire day without eating. Last year, Feed the Children sponsored over 11,500 children, addressing the root causes of poverty through child sponsorship and school sponsorship.

In addition to our donors, we’re thankful today to work side by side with incredible communities, families and children who dream big dreams for a life beyond poverty, and who are willing to work hard to make those dreams a reality. Consider Ashly, a five-year-old from Honduras. We’ve been partnering with her community since 2007; the partnership began with an AIDS prevention project and has grown and flourished over the years.

In 2011, Feed the Children inaugurated a Community Feeding Center and stocked it with kitchen supplies, a stove, benches and chairs, and food supplies. The Feeding Center is run by mothers in the community and it provides more than 400 children a hot meal 5 times a week. Ashly and her siblings are provided with two pairs of TOMS shoes a year, and last year the children received vitamins which helped improve their general health. Such assistance greatly alleviates the economic burden at home, but more importantly, it can help break the cycle of poverty by providing Ashly and other children a chance for a more stable and fruitful life.

Ashly and her mother.
Ashly and her mother.

Ashly’s mother is overwhelmed with gratitude: “This program has been a blessing to the whole community. Feed the Children really cares about our children’s welfare.” And Ashly says, “My mother can now buy more food for our family thanks to Feed the Children.”

On behalf of Ashly, and children around the world—thank you.

As we enter this season of giving and joy, you have an opportunity to support children just like Ashly, around the world and close to home. This Tuesday, December 1 is Giving Tuesday, and you’re invited to stand with us to help end child hunger once and for all. Each of our small actions will combine to make a big impact. Visit www.crowdrise.com/feedthechildren-tower to make your donation. And share this opportunity with your friends on social media and ask them to join you.

Gratitude upon gratitude.
Gift by gift—
We will make a difference.

Happy Thanksgiving to you all.

A Season of Celebration

As the start of another Christmas season begins, it is often welcomed with mixed emotions of reflection from the year that we are about to put behind us. For me, this Christmas will be our daughter’s first Christmas with our family following the completion of her Ethiopia adoption just a few months ago! Unfortunately, this will also be our first Christmas without my Grandmother who went to be with Jesus this past May. Joy and pain, all colliding into one season of remembrance and celebration.

 

When I think about the first Christmas, I am reminded of how Jesus’ birth was cause for amazing celebration during a time of tremendous struggle. Have you ever considered how Jesus was born into poverty while his birth family was traveling as refugees? A stark contrast to my childhood memories of running down the stairs on Christmas morning to a warm, fire-lit living room filled with presents, food, and cheerful music playing…

 

But we celebrate not because of the condition in which Jesus was born into, but because of the world that He dreamed was possible through His Church. A dream in which no child goes to bed hungry.

 

This Christmas, Feed The Children’s artist program is partnering with the biggest names in the music industry to help inspire generosity in the season of giving through child sponsorship! Our goal: Let kids be kids! We want to be a part of building a world where children are empowered to grow, learn, dream, explore, wonder, and thrive! What if this Christmas, you and your family added another “first” to your list? What if the Christmas of 2015 will be remembered as the Christmas in which you sponsored a child at one of your favorite concerts? Join us on the Newsong Christmas Tour and The K-Love Christmas Tour this December to witness some of the best Christmas tours on the road and to hear about the great work that Feed The Children is able to accomplish because of faithful givers like you.

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Newsong Christmas (Newsong, Building 429, Plumb, Reno) 

12.2 – Marietta, GA

12.3 – Charleston, SC

12.4 – Kinston, NC

12.6 – Whiteville, NC

12.6 – Warner Robbins, GA

12.8 – Marion, IL

12.10 – Panama City, FL

12.11 – Pascagoula, MS

12.12 – Tallahassee, FL

12.13 – Woodstock, GA

12.14 – Port St. Lucie, FL

12.17 – Greenville, TN

12.18 – Kernersville, NC

12.19 – Fort Mill, SC

12.20 – Lakeland, FL

 

K-Love Christmas (Tenth Avenue North, Natalie Grant, Sidewalk Prophets, Danny Gokey) 

12.3 – Indianapolis, IN

12.4 – Pittsburgh, PA

12.5 – Reading, PA

12.6 – Stamford, CT

12.8 – Charlotte, NC

12.10 – Chicago, IL

12.11 – Lexington, KY

12.12 – Kansas City, MO

12.13 – Denver, CO

12.15 – Phoenix, AZ

12.16 – Albuquerque, NM

12.17 – Oklahoma City, OK

12.18 – Baton Rouge, LA

12.19 – Little Rock, AR

12.20 – San Antonio, TX

 

*All dates / cities subject to change without notice. Please refer to the artist’s website for the most up-to-date concert and ticketing information.

 

Merry Christmas!

A World Where No Child Goes to Bed Hungry

Editor’s Note: The following article was originally posted on the IF:Gathering website. We are thankful for the partnership with IF:Gathering, which has been highlighting the work of Feed the Children on their blog for the last several months.

For too many families across our country, hunger is an ever-present reality. There’s not enough money to pay the bills. Food stamps help many people, but they often don’t bridge the gap to the next paycheck. People who never thought they’d have to ask for help find themselves appealing to family, friends, and churches for assistance to get by. And yet each morning, they get up and keep going—going to work, sometimes a double shift; caring for children, maybe with medical needs; finding the resourcefulness to make it through another day. Their persistence is amazing, but it shouldn’t happen in the richest nation in the world.

Consider Cassondra, single mother of two bright and spirited young children. Samuel is your typical rough-and-tumble three year old. And Carmen, the two year old, is Cassondra’s “miracle baby”: hospitalized at birth, on a ventilator for the first two-and-a-half weeks of her life. She’s healthy now—a little delayed in some of her milestones, but full of spirit. “They evolve into beautiful kids every single day,” Cassondra says with obvious pride. “And I love it. I love being a mom.”

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Cassondra has a steady job in a canning factory. She works the night shift, but calls it the “graveyard shift” with a laugh because she’s tired all the time. She was lucky recently to get three days of overtime. That will help with expenses, but still, the money runs out. Food stamp benefits last her about half the month. From time to time, she has to pawn her belongings to make ends meet.

When they go to Walmart, Sam asks for toys he sees in the checkout counter. What child doesn’t? But Cassondra has to tell him “no.” “There’s countless times that I’ve broken down crying because I didn’t have anything for the kids, or for myself. But I would rather them eat and me go without than me eat and them go without.”

No mother should have to make that choice.

Tosha’s story is both similar and different—hunger has common themes, but a million different faces. Tosha is the mother of four children ranging in age from 8 to 14. Like Cassondra, she bursts with love and pride when she talks about them. Like Cassondra, she worries when the money runs out, and pawns her belongings to make the dollars stretch.

“I just try to show my kids I’m strong, I can do it, we’ll figure it out,” Tosha says. “They don’t even know half the time what’s really going on, but it’s very hard. Our cabinets have been empty several times.”

For most of us reading this, an empty cabinet means life got busy and hectic—a quick trip to the grocery store and our shelves are stocked again without another thought. But for too many women like Cassondra and Tosha, empty cabinets are a sign of shame. Holidays can be excruciating. Two Christmases ago, Tosha remembers, the family wasn’t even able to afford a special meal—they ate just like any other day. The kids got a few presents, but they had to wait until January for them, when the family was on better financial footing to afford them. “A month later kind of takes the fun out of Christmas,” she said.

Tosha suffers from kidney issues, so she’s not able to work. Thankfully, her husband got a job—not a great one, but it’s something. And like Cassondra, Tosha is thankful for food stamps, but they rarely last the month.

These stories hurt our hearts. And we believe they hurt God’s heart as well.

That’s why we’re proud we’ve partnered with Feed the Children this year — an organization fighting every day to create a world where no child goes to bed hungry. Visit Feed the Children’s Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram pages and give them a like or a follow, so you can learn more about their work.

International Travel: Impressions

In our social-media, digitally-obsessed world, there’s no lack of opportunity of getting seen or heard. Countless times throughout the day we can post about every aspect of our lives and get a response. But not everyone has this opportunity.

As a Producer, Writer, and Photographer for Feed the Children, I’ve had the life-changing opportunity to travel the world and produce programs and videos, as well as photograph our work internationally. Over the years, I’ve interviewed thousands of people that we serve — from many countries, tribes, villages, slums — you name it. Sadly, many of these people are far removed from the conscience of the world. They have no electricity, no iPhones, iPads, computers — in essence, no voice in our modern culture. Yet, despite the enormous hardships and suffering they endure on a daily basis, they are truly some of the strongest people I’ve ever met.

I’m getting ready once again for a very big trip. I’ll be traveling with two other videographers/photographers to Kenya, Uganda, and the Philippines for the entire month of November – which will be the longest and farthest trip I’ve taken so far in my tenure at Feed the Children.

Tanya M. ROloff Photography
Tanya M. Roloff Photography

But despite the ENORMOUS task of preparing to be gone that long, I am driven to push through all the details — packing, dangers, exhaustion, thousands of miles of travel, and obstacles — for two main reasons. The first reason is to continue to bring help and hope to the many children and families who do not have access to food and life’s essentials. This is the mission of Feed the Children, and the heart of God as well, and is what drives me into the oftentimes dangerous places we go to get the stories that help us continue to raise awareness and support for the work Feed the Children does.

And the second reason is to give these amazing children and people a voice. I was doing a story in El Salvador a few years back and one of our security guards who accompanied us told me at the end of our trip that it was a great thing we were doing by interviewing and talking to the families. He sort of got emotional and said, “Were it not for us getting their story, they might die having never been known.”

“Die having never been known.” Those words are permanently marked on my heart. I’ll never forget them. This, to me, is one of the biggest rewards of my work — to give these resilient, beautiful, talented, incredible people a voice and a platform to share their struggles, hopes, dreams, pains, fears … a platform so many of us have at our fingertips, yet take for granted. Truth be told, they’re always the ones that help me more than I could ever imagine by allowing me to tell their stories. And despite all the jet-lag, sickness, and every other challenge we face, it’s worth it all in the end! I take a piece of them with me everywhere I go. They’ve left an indelible impression on my heart and I can’t wait for what lies ahead.

Historic amounts of rain and flooding in South Carolina

( Image courtesy of South Carolina Emergency Division )

Hurricane Joaquin was expected to make landfall Monday, October 5, 2015. The category 3 storm was erratic and strengthening as it headed toward the Bahamas. After this extremely dangerous storm left Rum Cay and San Salvador, it veered east leaving the Bahamas in distress. With 120 mph winds, its hurricane force extended outward for 35 miles producing heavy rain and flooding in the North East.

The heaviest rainfall totals in SC were 26.88 inches. This multi-day event caused severe flash flooding along with major river flooding at several locations. Moderate to major flooding will persist across the central and eastern portions of the state. Flooding is expected to continue along coastal areas as slow water recession will likely follow.

* At its peak, over 25,000 customers were reported without power

* Statewide over 270 roads are closed along with 140 bridges.

* Over 900 SC residents have been evacuated (200 in Columbia)

* 17 confirmed storm related fatalities (with the media reporting 19)

* 18 schools systems and colleges are reported closed

* 24 shelters open with over 600 occupants.

Feed the Children is responding to this event. We are currently allocating supplies to one of our community partners with operations based in Columbia, Operation Compassion. We also are supporting House of Destiny, another longtime partner in South Carolina. We are filling orders to stand ready to support the area with more supplies as the need continues to unfold.

More aid efforts are underway. Our partners, Convoy of Hope, loaded over 300 of our Feed the Children disaster relief boxes on their truck headed to South Carolina. This was product they had remaining from the response to flooding here in Oklahoma and Texas earlier this year. Plans are still being developed to support the area through FTC Transportation but we want to make sure these shipments go to the areas that need it most. We also must ensure we send the right product to the right area, to the right people at the right time. With flood waters still rising and new areas being impacted, our timing on sending trucks must coincide with water level decline and need in the community.

Feed the Children is an organization in which communities rely on during their most difficult times. Through hundreds of shipments to our international offices and partner agencies, Feed the Children has been able to provide assistance to the areas hit hardest by past disasters. By partnering with Feed the Children and making financial contributions, one can be assured together we are making a difference. Help us by keeping a “disaster” from a becoming a “total disaster” to a family or individual in need.

To receive time-sensitive updates on potential disaster relief find us on our various social media platforms or text Disaster to 51555.

John Ricketts is the Director of Domestic Programming and Disaster Services at Feed the Children.

When Grandparents Become Caregivers

Editor’s Note: The following article was originally posted on the IF:Gathering website. We are thankful for the partnership with IF:Gathering, which will be highlighting the work of Feed the Children on their blog over the next several months.

Many folks have specific images in their minds of what it will be like when they become grandparents. Rocking babies on their knee. Thanksgiving and Christmas with the entire family around the table. Kids visiting in the summer for “grandparent camp.” Sometimes grandparents will admit, “It’s all of the fun of parenting without the stress. I get to give them back to their parents!”But sometimes, tough circumstances change that vision of what grandparenting is like.

Some grandparents end up becoming caregivers for their grandchildren. After raising their own children, they now find themselves going through it all over again. Ada is one of those grandparents. She and her husband watched with increasing alarm as their grown kids, with three children of their own, got into some trouble—trouble that negatively impacted the children. Eventually, the grandparents were awarded custody of the three little ones, bringing them into their Tennessee home.

Soon after, Ada’s husband died.

It’s been three years now, and Ada has sole custody of eight-year-old Benjamin, four-year-old Nathaniel, and three-year-old Raelyn. Ada still works part-time, and that income helps pay the bills and put food on the table. But it’s often not enough.

Ada does her best to cobble together resources for the children—help from the church, food from a food pantry—but it’s a constant source of stress. “It breaks your heart sometimes,” Ada says. “It worries you, being afraid they won’t have enough. I’d like to get to where I wouldn’t have to worry about that. Those little eyes, when they look at you… you want to give them what they want.”Ada also gets by with food stamps—$343 a month. It helps, but with three growing children, it’s not much. Sometimes that money lasts all month, sometimes not.

“It hurts,” she says. Rent takes a large chunk out of her monthly paycheck, along with other bills. She’s careful to make the life insurance payments; as guardian to these kids—and not getting any younger—she has to be thinking about their long-term future.This time of year is especially tough on Ada. With the kids out of school, she has to pay for child care just so she can work. And her grocery receipts go up too—the kids receive free breakfasts and lunches during the school year, but when there’s no school, there’s no breakfast or lunch.

More and more community organizations and congregations are becoming summer feeding sites, helping bridge the gap after the school year ends. Feed the Children has been on the forefront of this movement in Oklahoma and soon to be around the country. But Ada’s little ones don’t have access to such a site. Their family needs more organizations and churches to step up and do what they can during these critical summer months.

Last month we shared Crystal’s story and called all of us pray for compassionate hearts. This month we challenge you to “pray with your eyes open.” When we think of families, we often think immediately of a father, mother and children. But that’s not always the reality. Families like Ada’s are all around us. Let’s all be on the lookout for non-traditional families like Ada’s, and consider what their struggles might be, and how we might be moved to respond.

H.E.L.P. Comes to West Virginia

August is a month in which we focus on back-to-school readiness–making sure kids have what the need to learn, grow and have success in school. Education is one of the four pillars of Feed the Children’s work, and we know kids can’t learn well if they don’t have their basic needs met. That’s why we take a multi-layered approach, providing not just food, but also school supplies and other essentials. We work closely with local organizations to make sure folks are part of a long-term effort to help them get on their feet and out of poverty for good.

Today we share a little more about our Homeless Education and Literacy Program, which provides backpacks and other vital supplies for children who are homeless. Read more about H.E.L.P. at this link.

Homelessness doesn’t just affect the big cities—it’s a problem that plagues small-town America as well. We partnered recently with a school district in West Virginia that has some 156 homeless children in 9 schools.

7-2015 CDR 3063 New HELP Backpack Photos -29-We provided a backpack and supplies for each of these young people, and staff at the schools let us know what a difference they made. On a survey evaluating the program, staff reported increases in attendance and self-esteem, and said the backpack program helped improve communication between school staff and the families.

The staff passed along their profound gratitude for the gifts H.E.L.P. provided: “The items provided in the backpacks are things that families on this level of income would never dream of being able to provide. Without your help in distributing these supplies, these children would simply go without.

Another staff member reported this: “One child couldn’t believe that she was going to have a backpack of her very own. This little girl also attends my church, and she brought the backpack to church with her the following week! She and her mother told me afterward how much they appreciated the gift. She also told me she sleeps with her backpack! Something that most of us take for granted can mean so much in the life of a child.”

During the month of August we’re inviting people to join us in providing hope for those without life’s essentials. Will you sponsor a backpack full of supplies (and a few goodies) so that a child is ready for school? It just takes a few moments. Here’s how.

H.E.L.P. for the Homeless

Summer is winding down, and children across the country are getting ready for another school year. For lots of kids, that means a new outfit for the first day, fresh unsharpened pencils and a perfect box of crayons, or a new backpack emblazoned with the latest cartoon character or superhero.

But for one population, back-to-school time can be a time of anxiety and stress for the whole family: the population of children in the United States who are homeless. Each year, 1.6 million American children go to sleep without a home of their own—and sadly, that number is rising.

Succeeding in school as a homeless child is tough. Algebra, anatomy and Animal Farm can be challenging enough without the stress of living on the street, jumping from shelter to shelter, or wondering whether your parents will be able find a job or provide for your basic needs. Unfortunately, these kids are three times more likely to drop out of school than kids with homes. Such a tragedy only feeds the cycle of illiteracy, poverty, and homelessness when these kids become parents themselves.

That’s why it’s imperative that we do everything we can to keep these kids in school. Education is the key to breaking the cycle and ensuring a better life. 

In fact, we know that if children who are homeless can remain in school, they perform as well as their peers over time. These kids will prove themselves academically and socially if given the chance. And their families want to work and contribute positively to society too.

But they need help. They need H.E.L.P.: Feed the Children’s Homeless Education & Literacy Program (H.E.L.P.).

H.E.L.P. is one of the few programs of its kind in the nation. Since its inception in 2006, the program has focused on providing children who are homeless with backpacks and basic supplies they need in order to be successful in school.

7-2015 CDR 3063 New HELP Backpack Photos -36-We stuff these backpacks with some of life’s essentials as well as a bit of fun: school supplies, ready-to-eat food, hygiene items, and of course, books. We work with homeless liaisons and schools across the country who know the face of homelessness and can help us connect and respond. These local partners deliver the backpacks to the students who need them most. They make this delivery privately to help preserve the dignity of these young people.

The homeless liaisons who hand out the backpacks tell us that children treasure these gifts. In some cases, the backpack is the only thing these kids own. The backpacks aren’t just a leg up on the school year—they’re a tangible expression of hope.

Since the beginning of H.E.L.P. almost ten years ago, we’ve distributed more than 700,000 H.E.L.P. backpacks. In 2013 alone, Feed the Children provided 65,000 backpacks to kids without homes.

Can we deliver even more in 2015? You can help by sponsoring one or more backpacks from our catalog. Click here–it’s fast and easy.