Helping Children in Crisis Quarterly Report
Winter 2014, Kay Alden, Chair
HCIC is a committee of volunteers that operates under the General Church Office of Outreach. Our committees was formed to create a standard of practice for distributing charitable funds and establish an avenue for financial support to children in situations of need. Our mission is as follows:
HCIC Mission Statement: “The General Church Helping Children in Crisis committee facilitates the care of children in crisis by creating an organization to connect those in need with the resources and people that can help.”
Our current mission is to support 66 New Church children at the General Church Sacred Care (GCSC) orphanage in Etora, Kenya. The orphanage is run by the Rev. Samson Abuga under the direction of an elected board that answers to the General Church Board in Kenya.
This is money we can use to provide food, clothing, tuition, medicine, rent, and childcare
Capital Funds $4,694.60
These are funds are specifically allocated toward purchasing land, building dormitories, an eating pavilion and other smaller items such as beds, stoves, pots and pans, etc.
Operating Funds 5% of all collected funds
HCIC reserves the right to use up to 5% of all donated funds towards operating costs
The month of December is a holiday month in Kenya. The academic year is completed by the beginning of the month and the children go on holiday until the New Year. The GCSC board wanted to provide the children with the experience of living with a family so the Etora congregation stepped up and invited the children to live in their homes for the month. The children got to choose which home they wanted to go to. Samson provided their food and regularly checked on the children’s welfare. They returned to the church several times a week during the holiday for religious instruction as well. They gathered together on Christmas day and had a special meal and received individual presents. The money for this celebration came from the fund raising efforts of the students from the Glenview New Church School. Thank you GNCS! There is something very touching about seeing children reaching across the miles to help other children.
We currently have 43 out of 66 children fully sponsored and 6 who are partially sponsored. Several of the people who sponsored children in 2013 only committed to sponsoring for a year so we are still focusing on finding sponsors. During the month prior to their sponsorships expiring our Sponsorship Director, Brittany Price, contacts the sponsors via mail and asks current sponsors if they would like to renew their sponsorship. We already have received several renewals and one person even took on an additional child!
Long Term Sponsorship Plan
As we complete our first year of providing support to the GCSC orphanage it has become clear to the HCIC committee, and to Samson as well, that sustaining the number of 66 children may not be reasonable in the long run. Samson and his congregation would very much like to have an on-going orphanage that will lovingly raise children in the sphere of New Church teachings. We believe that caring for 40-45 is a more sustainable number. Our plan is to see the children we currently have through two years of vocational school and then they will matriculate out of our care. When the numbers get down to the lower 40s we will start welcoming in new children as the older ones leave. One of our older children, after she completed her high school exams in December, decided not to take advantage of vocational training and chose to leave the orphanage. This brought our number of children down to 66.
Great News! Thanks to several generous donations in the month of December, HCIC was able to raise the funds to purchase a parcel of land adjacent to the church in Etora, Kenya. This land will be the future location of two dormitories, an eating pavilion, and will provide space for the children to play. A special thank you to everyone who pitched in this year to the capital fund to help us reach this goal and give this wonderful Christmas gift to Samson, his staff, and especially the children. When the land is registered in the name of the General Church Sacred Care orphanage we will be legally recognized by the Kenyan government as an orphanage and can start receiving written reports from the government on the state and care of the children.
Sadly, an overload of personal responsibilities necessitated that Elise Genzlinger step down from her responsibilities as Sponsorship Director and leave the executive committee. We are grateful for all that Elise did during her short stint with us. One of the major things she did was organize a notebook that clearly identifies all the children who still need to be sponsored. Brittany Price has stepped forward and offered to take over as Sponsorship Director.
Alison Cole has joined our committee as Volunteer Coordinator and Roger Schrock has joined our committee as Building Consultant. As we enter into our building phase Roger’s expertise will be particularly needed.
What we have accomplished since the Fall 2013 Quarterly Report (October 14, 2013)
1) Land purchase
2) 9 more children have been sponsored
3) Word about our work is really spreading thanks to successful fundraisers. We celebrated our one-year anniversary with a second annual fundraiser at Be Well Bakery
4) Soup Bowl event was very successful and sold out in 24 hours. The presentation at this event sparked interest in both sponsorships and involvement on the committee
5) Participated in the Bryn Athyn craft sale where we sold Paperwhites and received donations
6) Kay and Wade did a presentation about HCIC to the Mitchellville Society
7) Stewart Farmer completed a You Tube video where it can be found on Facebook and our You Tube Chanel.
8) Taryn Frazier did a presentation in Kempton
9) Christmas cards sent to children
10) Christmas cards sent to donors and sponsors
11) Residents of Glenview, Illinois provided a holiday dinner and gifts
12) Conversation has started with Bryn Athyn College about getting them involved
13) We have a You Tube Channel! http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtJiw-Swf0VTbYqweZ1SXcA
Where we will be putting our efforts in the coming months
1) Continue to match sponsors to children
2) Give a presentation to the Academy of the New Church secondary schools on Feb 8th
3) Look into giving a presentation at the Ivyland New Church community
4) Identify cost of building dormitories and eating pavilion and begin focused capital fundraising efforts
5) Continue to get word out about our organization and the role it plays in the General Church of the New Jerusalem.
6) Continue to mentor Kenyan board and staff on responsible and transparent fiscal practices
7) Continue to provide updated pictures of the children
8) Create a relationship with the Academy of the New Church Secondary Schools and Bryn Athyn College
9) Create a logo
10) Move our communications to Constant Contact
11) Create a mailing list
12) Make a poster for permanent display at cathedral
13) Offer an internship through Bryn Athyn College
14) Give another presentation at Cairnwood Village Retirement Community in Bryn Athyn, PA
15) Decide on this year’s June 19th family event will be and find volunteers for it
16) Improve communication between the US and Kenya
17) Kay and a team of volunteers will be going to Kenya in July for an on-site visit in Etora, Kenya. Establish what we hope to accomplish while she is there.
Again, thank you to all who have contributed to our efforts. Please feel free to contact us at GCHelpingChildren@gmail.com.
Kay R. Alden
Helping Children In Crisis
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