News Roundup, February 24, 2016

Relief for Flint

In the wake of the Flint water crisis, Feed the Children has been mobilizing quickly and effectively, bringing together a variety of partners to provide immediate help to the area.

In April 2014, Flint’s water supply was diverted from Detroit to the Flint River. This led to the highly corrosive Flint River causing aged water pipes to leach lead into the public water supply, creating a health danger. In January 2016, Flint was declared to be in a state of emergency by Governor Rick Snyder.

Thanks to corporations, congregations, non-profits, and numerous individuals working together with Feed the Children, residents of Flint are receiving provisions to provide relief in the wake of this tragedy. A few recent examples:

Nature Made (Pharmavite) has donated and transported supplies of Vitamelts from Ontario, CA to Flint. The Children’s Dream Center received this donation and is working to distribute it to residents. The Vitamelts contain Vitamin C, which helps reduce the absortion rate of lead in the body. Medical experts estimate that some 12,000 children may have been exposed to lead poisoning in the town.

12654477_10153854083818798_2261554385516104918_nNiagara Bottling, LLC has been an invaluable partner to help alleviate the urgent crisis in Flint. The company has generously donated 28.5 semitruck loads of 0.5-liter bottled drinking water for relief efforts. This equates to 30,780 cases, 738,720 bottles, and more than 369 tons of water. The water donated by Niagara Bottling, LLC is being delivered to a warehouse in Flint during the next few weeks, where it will be distributed to the general public.

A number of organizations are working to get donated water delivered to Flint. Crossings Community Church and Acts 2 United Methodist Church in Oklahoma City are sponsoring transportation costs for five semitrucks full of water. This water is being delivered to community-outreach centers in Flint thanks to the generosity of these congregations.

“At Crossings we are committed to resolving the deadly water crisis in the third world. It would only stand to reason that we would follow the example of Jesus by extending fresh, clean water to our neighbors in Michigan as well,” said Pam Milligan, Pastor of Missions and Outreach Ministries at Crossings Community Church.

“Acts 2 has been providing clean drinking water around the world in places like El Salvador and Guatemala by putting in water wells for years. We never dreamed our own brothers and sisters in the United States would need it, too,” said Dr. Mark Foster, Founding Pastor, Acts 2 UMC. “We are glad we can help. Our hearts our broken that we would need to provide clean water for citizens of one of the wealthiest countries in the world. Pray for good government.”

Living Faith Christian Center in Baton Rouge, LA has also joined forces with Feed the Children by sponsoring the costs of transporting water, donated by Niagara Bottling, LLC. Thanks to Living Faith, one semitruck of water will roll into Flint in the coming days.

“In life, we can take for granted the bare necessities that we need to live our everyday lives. It’s not until we are confronted with a crisis that we realize just how important these things are. The needs of the people of Flint, Michigan must be met, and another life cannot be lost to such a tragic event,” said Bishop Raymond W. Johnson of Living Faith Christian Center.

Dray Technologies Inc. is also working with Feed the Children to provide disaster relief to Flint-area families. The company is covering all transportation costs for 13 semitruck loads of six-gallon jugs of drinking water, donated by Niagara Bottling, LLC, to support Feed the Children’s relief efforts.

It will take an estimated one million bottles of water per day to fulfill the basic water needs of the Flint community. The need is great and the situation is dire—we’re thankful to be a part of the solution, and you can be too. To contribute to this cause, please contact Feed the Children at 1-800-627-4556, or Kevin Richardson, Director of Church and Volunteer Engagement of Feed the Children, at 405-945-4196.

 

Backpacks Provide a Leg Up

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Americold and Feed the Children provided 500 backpacks to students at Seaborn Lee Elementary School in Atlanta earlier this month.

About 300 of the company’s associates assembled the backpacks for distribution, containing school supplies and basic hygiene essentials. Dozens if not hundreds of similar backpack builds are happening around the country in conjunction with Feed the Children’s H.E.L.P., Homeless Education and Literacy Program. This is Americold’s second program contribution.

The backpacks will afford local Atlanta, GA, students an equal opportunity to succeed in the classroom, creating a brighter future for those who otherwise may not have had enough to continue in school.

“In our first year of partnership, we’re proud to have ‘pick ‘n’ packed’ 500 backpacks with school supplies for Atlanta children,” said Fred Boehler, Americold’s President and CEO. “We also donated more than $30,000 in food transportation services, with 20 full semitruck loads supporting the Home Front Harvest and Feed the Children summer meal programs.” Americold hopes to build on these statistics in this second year of partnership.

“We are always delighted when local organizations form partnerships with our schools to enhance student learning,” said Kenneth Zeff, Interim Superintendent for Fulton County Schools. “Not only are you providing a gift that is useful right now, you are also inspiring students to think about the future.”

“Since the launch of our H.E.L.P. program in 2006, Feed the Children has distributed more than 772,000 backpacks to homeless students in America,” said J.C. Watts, Jr., Feed the Children President and CEO. “It’s because of partners like Americold that this vital effort is possible. Together, we can help these children succeed and work toward the greater goal of breaking the cycle of poverty.”

If you’d like to help give a child a good start to school with a backpack, visit our gift catalog.

 

 

 

News Roundup, February 8, 2016

Clean Water for Flint

Many of us have followed the news coming out of Flint Michigan with growing alarm and concern for the residents there. Feed the Children has partnered with Teleperformance, Niagara Bottling, LLC, and Children’s Dream Center to put action behind those concerns. Teleperformance sponsored the transportation costs for three semitrucks full of water. The water was donated by Niagara Bottling, LLC and delivered to the Children’s Dream Center late last month.

Teleperformance and its employees are longtime supporters of Feed the Children and its ongoing disaster relief efforts. They sponsored this delivery to help aid those affected by this major public health emergency.

“On behalf of Teleperformance and our volunteers, we are very grateful to be working with Feed the Children and Children’s Dream Center to help provide relief to families touched by this recent catastrophe,” said Kerry Black, Director of Corporate Human Resources for Teleperformance, U.S.A. “It is through collaborations like this that we are able to make a tangible difference during a time of great need.”

“Because of the generosity and readiness of Teleperformance, Niagara Bottling, LLC and the Children’s Dream Center, Feed the Children is able to aid families who need help during this crisis,” said J.C. Watts, Feed the Children President and CEO. “Together we can provide assistance to the resilient residents of Flint.”

A Pat on the Back for Our Truckers

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The truck drivers who make up FTC Transportation, Inc. are the backbone of our community events around the country. They transport food and needed supplies to people who need them, when they need them. Thanks to their dedication and commitment, we’re able to serve more than ten million hungry people each year.

We’re thrilled these dedicated workers have been recognized for their excellence by Best Fleets to Drive For, an industry group. Launched in the summer of 2008 by CarriersEdge and Truckload Carriers Association, the Best Fleets initiative runs through the fall and winter each year. The program identifies trends, shares best practices, and publicly recognizes the for-hire carriers providing the best workplaces for their drivers.

Congratulations to the FTC Transportation team! Check out our video that heralds these often unsung heroes.

Whataburger—What a Partner

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One of our greatest skills is bringing together diverse partners—businesses, non-profits, governmental agencies, donors, and volunteers—to help create a world where no child goes to bed hungry. We couldn’t do a fraction of what we do without these various groups coming together. We’re grateful to Whataburger for their recent support of our work. Thank you!

Fervent Tour Partners with Feed the Children

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Speaking of partners, our artist program is one of our flagship partnership efforts. Throughout the year we work with musicians and other performers to share the good news about what Feed the Children is doing. Artists show their support from the stage.

We’re excited to partner on the Fervent Tour featuring Priscilla Shirer and Anthony Evans, now performing in venues around the country. We’re looking for volunteers to get the word out about Feed the Children at these and other events. Sign up here, and we’ll give you everything you need to help out.

H.E.L.P. for the Homeless

12628484_10153841956483798_8126958890110323566_oSucceeding in school as a homeless child is tough. Kids who are homeless are three times more likely to drop out of school than kids with homes. But we know education is the key to breaking the cycle and ensuring a better life. That’s why we created H.E.L.P.: the Homeless Education & Literacy Program.

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. Recently one of our friends who works as a Homeless/Foster Care Liaison in Texas shared this message about our work:

“I wanted to extend our heartfelt appreciation for the items you sent us for our homeless students. The students love the high quality, beautiful products. These types of products are items that our students just cannot afford as many are ‘couch surfers.’ What you do matters and makes a difference in our students’ lives.”

Want to make a difference? It’s easy and costs just $20 for a backpack and supplies. Click here.

News Roundup, January 11, 2016–Thank You Edition

One of Feed the Children’s greatest strengths is our ability to bring partners together—corporations, philanthropic organizations, non-profits, and artists—to help fight hunger here in the U.S. and around the world. Today’s blog roundup celebrates just a few of those partnerships. Thank you one and all! And be sure to let these organizations know on social media how much you appreciate their support of our work.

Steph Curry: MVP of Our Hearts

Golden State Warriors All-Star guard and NBA MVP Stephen Curry and his family once again teamed up with us to provide support to 400 local Oakland families for the holidays. (See featured photo above.) With financial backing from the Stephen Curry Foundation and the Warriors Community Foundation, the Curry family personally distributed to each family a 25-pound food box; a 10-pound box of basic essentials including shampoo, conditioner, lotion and personal-care items; and a box of assorted Avon products. The event was held at Beebe Memorial Cathedral and was the third year the Curry family and the Warriors partnered with us to provide Bay Area families in need with food and goods during the holidays.

This event is part of the Warriors’ Season of Giving community outreach initiative and the NBA Cares Season of Giving league-wide campaign, as Warriors players, coaches and community ambassadors participates in events throughout November and December to brighten the lives of Bay Area families and youth this holiday season.

Saying Hello to Hello Products

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We’re tremendously excited about our new partnership with Hello Products. They’re providing more than 50,000 tubes and bottles of much-needed toothpaste and mouthwash products to families we serve. These items have already been added to the 10-pound essentials boxes being distributed around the U.S. beginning January 2016. We’re thrilled to be working with an organization that’s dedicated to defeating hunger and making the world a better, friendlier place. Miles of smiles to you, friends!

Artists Bring the Love

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Last month’s KLOVE Christmas Tour was full of great music and great enthusiasm for Feed the Children, particularly our child sponsorship program. Pictured is Warren Barfield making his appeal for child sponsors to a large crowd at the Denver event. All told, the tour visited sixteen cities and spread the word to thousands of fans, many of whom made a commitment to sponsor a child.

We’re so thankful to the generous artists who give their talent and their hearts to help kids be kids!

PepsiCo and Frito-Lay: Helping Kids Be Kids Since 2009

We celebrate our long-standing partnership with PepsiCo and Frito-Lay. Since 2009, thousands of volunteers have joined together with us to provide more than 53,200 families with food and daily necessities.

In 2010, Detroit was home to one of the largest Feed the Children events. Sue Brewster, Frito-Lay Senior Customer Service Manager and seven-time Feed the Children event volunteer, remembers it well. “It was our first year in Detroit and we ambitiously set to serve 4,000 families,” recalled Sue.  “What was originally schedule for 4-hour event was extended many hours longer until we saw the final family served.”

In 2015 alone, our combined contributions reached 8,400 families across nine cities.  Check out the infographic for more.

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Making Dreams Come True

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During the Christmas holidays, hundreds of children and coaches came together in Oklahoma City to provide holiday gifts for the 3rd Annual Xtreme Dream Toy Drive. With more than 30 teams participating in the Dream Athletics, Inc. holiday basketball tournament, they were able to provide hundreds of toys for children. We’re so thankful to be receiving this generous donation from Dream Athletics and even more thankful for the spirit of generosity present this season.  

A Gift from the Heart

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We are immensely honored to receive this generous gift from the estate of Daisy Stacks in memory of her daughter, Nehoma Fleming. Daisy’s kindness will continue to bless children and families around the world by providing food, health, water, disaster aid and education in the communities we serve. Pictured with the check are David L. Drake, Daisy Stacks’s cousin; Bob Brown, Director of Planned Giving; and John Frick, Vice President of Church and Volunteer Engagement. To learn more about Planned Giving to Feed the Children, visit our website.

Serving Those Who Serve

We couldn’t be prouder of our work to support our servicemen and women and their families. Our Homefront Harvest program brought countless partners and sponsors together and had a huge impact. But don’t take our word for it:

Homefront Harvest Wrap Up Info Graphic

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

News Roundup, December 14, 2015

Every two weeks we share short updates on our work throughout the organization and among our many corporate and non-profit partners. Enjoy and be inspired!  

Hope at the Holidays

Feed the Children brought some holiday hope to 1,000 families in Lansing, Michigan recently, working together with a very special partner—basketball legend Earvin “Magic” Johnson.

It’s the second year for the Magic Johnson Foundation’s Holiday Hope program, which began last year in Detroit.

“This is where I’m from,” said Johnson, quoted in the Lansing State Journal. “I wanted to bless some families here, and not just families, but the kids as well. I wanted to come home and do something positive, something good.”

12289720_1174365902592732_6069625811917437429_nJohnson brought his own family members with him, along with Michigan State University’s men’s basketball team and coach Tom Izzo, who handed out toys and coats to children inside the school before helping with the food distribution.

The event took place a few weeks ago at Everett High School. Families received a 25-pound box of food; a 10-pound box of items such as shampoo, conditioner, lotion and personal care items; and a box of Avon products.

We’re thankful to the Magic Johnson Foundation, the Michigan State men’s basketball team, and all of the volunteers and partners who made this holiday hope possible.

 

Around the World with Feed the Children

Me with Daniel (edited)If you haven’t seen Tanya Roloff’s dispatches from her recent trips to Kenya, Uganda and the Philippines, you’re missing out! Tanya is Producer, Writer, and Photographer for Feed the Children and offers her perspectives while traveling #aroundtheworldin30days.

As she prepared for her trip, she reflected on her role as storyteller for the children we serve and are inspired by every day: “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.” And you won’t want to miss her account of meeting a precious little boy named Daniel. Daniel hasn’t had an easy life, but thanks to the dedication of Feed the Children staff, as well as our donors and partners, he has hope for a fresh start.

Thank you Tanya for sharing your experiences and passion with us. Check out her blogs here and here.

 

Coats for the Winter

One Warm Coat, First Book, and Feed the Children have joined forces with outerwear manufacturer Tahsin USA to distribute an estimated 20,000 coats, hats, gloves, pants, and rain gear to families across America.

With the arrival of cold weather in much of the US, these organizations are collaborating to create a supply chain that will get outerwear to families in need. Shipments are being handled by FTC Transportation and are distributed to Feed the Children partner agencies across the US. Big thanks to Tahsin, First Book and One Warm Coat! Together we are making a difference. To learn more about our partners in this effort: www.onewarmcoat.org and www.firstbook.org.

 

Kudos for H.E.L.P.

Feed the Children’s Homeless Education and Literacy ProgramFeed the Children’s Homeless Education and Literacy Program (H.E.L.P.) has received a 2015 President’s Award by the National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth (NAEHCY). During their tenure, NAEHCY Board Presidents have the opportunity to grant a national recognition award to outstanding partners who have made a positive national impact. For the last decade, the H.E.L.P. program has been benefiting students experiencing homelessness by partnering with NAEHCY to distribute backpacks, books, school supplies, non-perishable food and personal-care items.

Feed the Children connects with NAEHCY leaders, state coordinators and other McKinney-Vento leaders in all 50 states. Throughout the last 10 years, the program has donated more than $35 million dollars in supplies and more than 900,000 backpacks.

Kids all over the world need backpacks and school supplies—to help provide these essentials so kids can learn and thrive, check out our gift catalog.

 

Improving Community Sanitation

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A child from Thochi Community Based Child Care Centre in Malawi visits a latrine at his home. Through use of care group volunteers, the Feed the Children office in Malawi has trained community members on proper health and sanitation practices.

The Feed the Children office in Kenya joined stakeholders, community members and school children in Kajiado and Turkana Counties to mark World Toilet Day on November 19.

In Turkana, the event was held at Kaikor Baraza park in Kibish Sub County while in Kajiado, stakeholders gathered to mark the day at Entaretoi village.

Through the Health & Water pillar, Feed the Children implements activities geared towards improving the sanitation status of communities. One of the pillar’s key outcomes is to increase sanitation facilities coverage in institutions and households in order to reduce and eventually eliminate diarrheal diseases associated with open defecation.

For the past three years, Feed the Children has constructed and rehabilitated 149 latrines in the urban slums of Nairobi, Kajiado and Samburu counties in order to reduce the struggles some children face for lack of access to latrines.

World Toilet Day is marked annually with an aim to break the taboo around toilets and draw attention to the global sanitation challenge. It was created in 2001 to raise global awareness of the daily struggle for proper sanitation that over 2.5 billion people face.

 

Music with a Purpose

blah2GRAMMY®-nominated NewSong performed at First Baptist Church of Woodstock, Georgia this weekend as part of their Very Merry Christmas Tour. Benefiting Feed the Children, the festive night featured GRAMMY®-nominated pop/rockers Building 429 and best-selling singer/songwriter Plumb, the band Reno, as well as special guest, three-time NASCAR Cup Series Champion Darrell Waltrip.

We’re proud to partner with artists all over the country to help inspire generosity through child sponsorship. As Jeremy Willet, Artist Relations Event Manager for Feed the Children, wrote recently on our blog: “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?”

“The Christmas tour always proves to be one of the highlights of our year,” said NewSong founding member and Atlanta native Eddie Carswell. “It’s a time to celebrate the hope we’ve been given through Jesus’ birth, and it will be an honor to lead audiences in worshipping Him with our friends Building 429 and Plumb.”

To learn more about the tours happening this month, and how they benefit Feed the Children, check out Jeremy’s blog.

News Roundup

Welcome to News Roundup, a new feature on the Feed the Children blog. Every two weeks we’ll be sharing short updates on our work throughout the organization and among our many corporate and non-profit partners. Enjoy and be inspired!

 

Giving Tuesday

As we enter this season of giving and joy, you have an opportunity to support children around the world and close to home. Tuesday, December 1 is Giving Tuesday—please stand with us to help end child hunger once and for all. Visit www.crowdrise.com/feedthechildren-tower and make your donation, then share this opportunity with your friends on social media and ask them to join you.

It’s fast and easy, and each of our small actions will combine to make a big impact.

 

Young Heroes for Hunger

Young people from Henryetta Nazarene and Henryetta First Baptist Church, presenting a generous gift to Feed the Children's Travis Arnold
Young people from Henryetta Nazarene and Henryetta First Baptist Church, presenting a generous gift to Feed the Children’s Travis Arnold

Check out these heroes from Henryetta Nazarene and Henryetta First Baptist Church! They raised a staggering $12,000 this year to help feed children around the world. Leave a comment on our Facebook page giving a round of applause to these students doing their part to defeat hunger.

 

Halting Disease in Honduras

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October was the second annual deworming and Vitamin-A supplementation campaign in Honduras. Almost 350 children in communities we serve received the medication, which is given twice a year. Vitamin-A deficiency is a major contributor to mortality in children under 5. Improving the vitamin-A status through supplementation enhances their resistance to disease and can reduce mortality from all causes by 23%.

 

Hope for the Orphan

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Earlier this month was Orphan Sunday in congregations across the United States, and the official launch of Feed the Children’s Foster Hope, a program in which churches provide backpacks to children in foster care in their communities.

When children are removed from their home and placed with a foster family, they often come with nothing but the clothes they’re wearing. Congregations got involved with Foster Hope by giving both financial resources and time. It costs just $20 to sponsor each backpack, which contains a coloring book and crayons, a spiral notebook, shampoo, body wash, toothbrush, toothpaste and a teddy bear. Supplies are shipped directly to churches, so members of your congregation can roll up their sleeves and fill the backpacks, pray for the children who will receive them, and deliver them to a local foster-care agency. For an additional $5, a 50” x 60” fleece blanket is also available to be given to each child. To learn more, check out our recent blog post or check out our video.

 

Soldiers Helping Soldiers

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While most of Fort Bragg was off for Veterans Day, the Soldier Support Center was humming with activity as volunteers doled out 45,000 pounds of food to 800 military families in need. The efforts were part of Feed the Children’s Homefront Harvest Initiative, in partnership with the USO of North Carolina and Food Lion. Similar events also took place at Cherry Point IPAC and Seymour Johnson Air Force Base.

The families were identified by unit chaplains. Chaplain Maj. Colt Randles of the 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division, said Fort Bragg’s chaplains know all too well the struggles of military families.

He said he was heartened by the generosity on display Wednesday. “This is good for the heart,” Randles said. “It’s kind of a big effort.” Roughly 100 soldiers, mostly from chaplains’ offices, volunteered to help with the effort.

 

Concord Hospitality Battles the Beaches… and Child Hunger

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Concord Hospitality, a Feed the Children partner, is presenting Battle to the Beaches, a virtual race benefiting Feed the Children. It’s a friendly competition in which employees and friends of Concord will run a full marathon over the course of a week… all while raising money to help hungry kids.

The objective of the Battle to the Beaches virtual race is to engage employees in a corporate wellness program that will raise funds to support Feed the Children activities that take place on Concord Share Days, a company-wide volunteer event. Concord employees and guests are invited to walk or run their way around Concord hotels located on the beaches of Florida as they battle it out to see which hotel has the most participation and can raise the most funds.

To learn more about this initiative or to support the effort, visit https://makeyeshappen.com/battletothebeaches.