donate nowYou may be aware that the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation is home to the Oglala Lakota (Sioux) Tribe in South Dakota. What you may not know is that the unemployment rate on Pine Ridge is 70%, and the average household annual income is only $3,800.

Emergency HeatWinters on the Great Plains can be extremely harsh— actual sub-zero temperatures for days at a time with the wind chill even much lower — and those frigid temperatures make life very dangerous, particularly for children and the elderly, especially when there is no money to pay for the propane truck to fill up their tank.

In our mission to provide a “hand up,” not a handout, our emergency Heat Match program matches, dollar for dollar, to help ensure families have electricity and propane to protect them from the bitter cold.

We still need your help.

Every year since 1997, we have helped thousands of Oglala families to be able to provide life-saving warmth for their children and themselves, and with your help we can again this year.  The time is now to make your contribution.

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Safe Places

In Fairfax County, Virginia, where Safe Places is located, over 400 victims fleeing domestic violence had to be turned away from shelter last year because they were full.

donate nowSafe Places provides an alternative — safe, affordable housing in confidential scattered sites for up two years to help survivors find safety from their abuser, work to recover from the trauma they have endured and begin rebuilding their lives. Advocates work with survivors on a variety of individual needs to include safety planning, court advocacy, employment/vocational training, crisis counseling, budgeting, housing counseling, and connecting them with vital community resources. Nearly 90% of our families secure permanent housing by the time they leave our program.

Everyone has a right to live in a home free of violence and your gift today will provide a lifesaving stepping stone for someone in need.

Merry Christmas from Lewa Children's Home

Christmas is a joyful time for the children at our Lewa Children’s Home in Kenya – the children look forward to a celebration of treats and singing and dancing.

As the mother to over 100 orphans, it is my job to make sure that they have a gift and take part in our Christmas Services so they don’t feel alone and unwanted.

Thanks to you and other good people who support our school and orphanage, these 100 children have something to be thankful for during the Christmas Holiday.

But for many of their brothers and sisters across the African continent, there are no Christmas meals and treats.

Millions of children instead spend Christmas with very little to eat and no clean water to drink.  The sad truth is that children are always the first victims claimed by the consequences of droughts, floods, and man-made disasters such as war.

Donate Now

Please give what you can to help our brothers and sisters in need in Africa.

If a child lacks proper nutrition in their early childhood, it is impossible to compensate for the losses in their growth and health in later years.

Malnutrition not only means an increased vulnerability to diseases, stunted growth and poor learning ability, but it also leads to long-term complications for both the child’s individual well-being and the stability of their community, and even their country.

Many people are aware of the droughts that regularly plague East Africa, especially Ethiopia. Indeed, droughts and floods weaken the fragile livelihood of these already vulnerable communities. However, malnutrition is another tragedy occurring silently in Ethiopia, in Sierra Leone, in Zambia, in Zimbabwe and Kenya. It doesn’t kill as abruptly as natural disaster or receive as much attention in the news, but it is deadly just the same.

Half of the children in Ethiopia are malnourished.

Deprived of vital nutrients, they grow stunted, sickly and weak for the rest of their lives. This fate is especially cruel in a country that is still dependent on manual labor – where the agricultural sector still comprises the bulk of Ethiopia’s production and income – and where the only jobs are.

A deficient nutritional intake at this crucial stage means children are afflicted with an irreversible handicap they will have to bear for the rest of their lives.

The interaction between malnutrition and poverty is apparent throughout one’s life. Maternal malnutrition – as reflected in low weight gains during pregnancy and poor health – are related to low birth weights.

Subsequently, a baby’s development may be harmed if his or her mother’s breast milk is insufficient due to her own malnourishment.

Improving the mother’s health brings double benefits: not only does it contribute to the increased well-being and productivity of the mother, but it also contributes to providing the baby with a better chance of being healthy and making a positive contribution to Africa’s future.

This is why Bread and Water for Africa® is involved in several nutrition and food-related projects across the continent. For instance:

  • In Rokel, Sierra Leone, our local partner clinic provides mothers with nourishing food after they have given birth so that they can nurse their babies longer, thereby giving them a better chance at life. In the Afar region of Ethiopia we work with our local partner, YETEEM Children and Destitute Mothers Fund, on agro-pastoral projects to improve the nutrition and health of vulnerable communities through sustainable food.
  • In Eldoret, Kenya, I am especially proud of the work accomplished at the Baraka Farm to supply the Lewa Children’s Home with fresh milk and healthy food for the orphans. With a healthy start they will have the chance of a better life that we all work so hard to provide them with.
  • In Lusaka, Zambia, we work with the Kabwata Orphanage and Transit Centre to provide shelter, nourishment, and care for over 74 children. Bread and Water for Africa also recently provided funding to develop a vegetable garden to grow and provide vegetables directly for the orphanage.

This sustainable food source is a huge help in providing accessible, nutritious food for these young and growing children.

Merry Christmas from the Lewa Children's HomeThanks to your generous support in the past, we have accomplished so much for the children of Africa, but the need for our continued efforts this Christmas are great.

Please help me save lives with a special Christmas gift. We can make a difference if we do something right now – whatever you feel you can afford! A little bit can provide small miracles this holiday season in communities where the needs are so great, but so very basic.

I hope that you and yours will have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Thank you always,

Phyllis Keino
Phyllis Keino, R.N.
Volunteer Spokesperson
Eldoret, Kenya

Providing Turkeys

Ever since the first Thanksgiving Day, newcomers and American Indians depended on each other for survival.

The Pilgrims would never have made it through that first winter without the friendship of American Indians.

Yet here we are in 2014 and this coming Thanksgiving Day will be one of great hardship, not celebration, for many Indian children and their families on reservations across the country.

Now you have the chance to help Indian children with THEIR survival.

donate nowPlease help make this the best Thanksgiving for our friends on the Pine Ridge and Cheyenne River Sioux Indian Reservations in South Dakota.

Too many Indians have not shared in the American dream of better lives for each generation.

During a recent distribution of food boxes on Cheyenne River Sioux Indian Reservation, Billie Rose – our on-site Program Coordinator commented:

“I know how much these food boxes help the families here. I used to be a single mother of eight waiting in line to receive one for my family. So I know how you have helped. Now I get to distribute the food and it is my pleasure! I’m so thankful that we have volunteer that will take the food to the outlying communities – it is so important to so many that cannot come here to receive the food box. For example, there is a family of two adults and 11 children living in a 3 bedroom double-wide trailer. The mother is disabled and the dad has a hard time finding work as they have no vehicle.

Most children attend Takini School and participate in Christian Relief Services’ backpack food program [through its project Running Strong for American Indian Youth®]. The family appreciates the food very much, both the backpack food and the food boxes. The food boxes come at the end of the month, the hardest time for these families and it is full of really healthy food!”

We have a goal of providing 752 turkeys to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation and 752 to the Cheyenne River Sioux Indian Reservation. That’s 1,504 turkeys that we must begin to plan for now in order to meet the Thanksgiving deadline!

School Supplies
Providing School Supplies in Appalachia. PLEASE HELP

Providing School Supplies in Appalachia through our project Americans Helping Americans in Appalachia. PLEASE HELP

Believe it or not, the school year will begin soon and reservation children face incredible challenges just preparing for the start of school.

Notebooks, pens, pencils, other school supplies and hygiene items are expensive and reservation families must drive long distances to buy them. Few can afford the gas or the school supplies themselves.

In addition to needing school supplies, children from these economically depressed areas are in desperate need of new clothes, shoes, socks, coats…etc.

“I will never forget the shame I felt as a little sixth grade boy having to wear my sister’s blouse to school because we just didn’t have one more piece of boys’ clothing for me. Imagine the embarrassment a little guy would endure wearing a girl’s shirt to the first day of school.”  – Billy Mills, Olympic Gold Medalist and National Spokesperson, Running Strong for American Indian Youth®

 

Providing School Supplies to Children on Indian Reservations. PLEASE HELP TODAY!

Providing School Supplies to Children on Indian Reservations through our project Running Strong for American Indian Youth. PLEASE HELP TODAY!

Please help make the 2014-15 school year a happy time, a time to learn and grow. Please provide children with the “tools” they need to help them with their lessons. 

“Not having basic school supplies, warm clothing, and hygiene items adds to the cycle of desperation and lack of self-esteem these children suffer each day.”

Our goal is to be able to provide over 5,000 school supply kits to elementary school students and over 3,000 school supply kits to Jr. High students. Our dedicated local staff and volunteers will lovingly distribute backpacks filled with school supplies just before school starts. But in order to meet our goal, we need your help!

Remember, these school supply kits and winter coats are visual reminders each day to these special kids that someone cares.

$9.22 provides an Elementary School child a new backpack filled with:

200 Ct. Filler Paper
24 Color Premium Crayons
Pencil Sharpener
12″ Plastic Ruler (English and Metric)
Eraser
1 Glue Stick
1 Pair 5″ Blunt Tip Scissors
1 70 Ct. Spiral Notebook
2 Black Pens
#2 Pencils – 12 pack

$16.29 provides a Jr. High or High School student with a new 18″ backpack is filled with:

300 Ct. Filler Paper
12 Colored Pencils
Pencil Sharpener
12″ Plastic Ruler (English and Metric)
2 Yellow Highlighters
Eraser
#2 Pencils – 12 Pack
3 Ring Pencil Pouch
2 70 Ct. Spiral Notebooks
2 pocket portfolio folders
8 Digit Pocket Size Calculator w/ Flip Cover
Semi-circle 6″ Protractor
2 Yellow Highlighters

Urgent Help Needed

IMPORTANT NEWS…EBOLA VIRUS OUTBREAK DEVASTATES SIERRA LEONE…DEATH TOLL RISING…COULD BE IN THOUSANDS IF NOT STOPPED IMMEDIATELY.

Health care workers who are frequently in close contact with victims of the virus are at most risk.

Our health care partner in Sierra Leone – Faith Healing Development Organization – has urgently requested personal protection suits and equipment for their four clinics in Rokel, Bo, Bunumbu, and Kenema.

Our project, Bread and Water for Africa® has already RUSH air freighted two pallets of 800 personal protection suits and equipment to the clinics.

We must send more…we need your urgent response to this appeal.

Please send your EMERGENCY CONTRIBUTION today!  donate now

 

Summer Camp Feeds ChildrenWhile many elementary school-aged children can’t wait for the summer months when school is out to be able to play all day, go swimming and perhaps have a nice vacation with their families, for many low-income children on free- and reduced-lunches programs, it can be a time of hunger. That’s why our project Americans Helping Americans® in Applalachia partners with numerous organizations in Georgia, Kentucky, Tennessee, and West Virginia with our Summer Food Program.

This summer alone, we are providing a total of 46,000 sandwiches to six of our partner organizations. And no, these aren’t bologna or tuna fish sandwiches served cold, but bacon, egg and cheese, southwest chicken and vegetable, creamy chicken and vegetable and even a sausage pizza sandwich served piping hot from the microwave – likely the only hot meal the child will receive that day.

Working with a vendor which specializes in developing nutritious meals for food banks and non-profits across the country, Christian Relief Services’ project Americans Helping Americans® in Appalachia is able to provide the summer food for the children in the most affordable way possible. For the kids, however, the best thing about the sandwiches is simply that they taste good.

Please help us feed children this summer!
donate-now

 

In June, 800 families living on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota received dry food boxes from our project Running Strong for American Indian Youth®! Usually we send frozen food boxes, but in the hot summer months it is difficult to unload the frozen boxes before they melt in the South Dakota sun. To solve this problem we are trying out the dry boxes this summer.

If they are successful, we are hoping to send more food boxes like them in August, with your support! Every box includes nutritious foods to feed one family, like spaghetti and meatballs, cooking oil, rice, and dry beans.

Camp Appalachia

Appalachian parents often work full-time, low-paying jobs throughout the year leaving children unsupervised in the summer months when school is out. Our summer camps provide the children with a safe environment and healthy meals they may not normally receive at home alone. Our camps often also provide the children with clothing, new shoes, and other assistance if they are in need of it.

Did you know 77% of Appalachian children go without three meals a day? When school is out in Appalachia – the free or reduced school lunches end too.

Our summer camps ensure underprivileged Appalachian children receive a nutritious meal each day at camp.

Children are also provided a safe and healthy environment, rather than being left unsupervised at home while their parents are at work. Read some stories from a summer camp we support…

“One eight-year-old boy from the low income housing apartments had some serious anger and anti-social behaviors. After spending three weeks at camp with caring adults over the summer, and receiving lots of one-on-one attention, he was finally able to trust others and even helped other children with their crafts.”

camp“A 13-year-old boy (from the same housing project) came to camp with thorns in his bag—he knew he wasn’t allowed to bring a knife, but evidently he thought he might need to protect himself, so he brought thorns. All day long he kept the bag with him. After being paired up with a counselor one-on-one, by the end of the last day he had relaxed enough to put the bag down and have fun.”

“Many of the children were very hungry—we fed them breakfast, lunch, and sometimes two snacks. After they figured out that it was okay to ask for seconds, they ate hungrily, sometimes having three helpings.”

“And then there was the pool! The children kept asking, “Will we go to the pool today?” It was such a highlight for them! There, a counselor played catch with a boy who hadn’t opened up at all, and whose parents were both in prison. Some of the older girls enjoyed watching the young ones in the shallow end (with a counselor nearby). On rainy days we constructed a slip ‘n’ slide out of tarps, using baby shampoo and baby oil for extra slickness. What a blast! These children smiled, laughed, and rested secure that there were adults in the world who cared for them and wanted their best—if only for a few weeks.”

Submitted by Cumberland Mountain Outreach in KY

 

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Housing

In addition to providing housing for the homeless and victims of domestic violence, Christian Relief Services believes that people, regardless of income, should have the opportunity to live in affordable, safe facilities close to where they work. As a result, we offer great affordable housing units in greater Phoenix, AZ area. We own and operate ten 2-bedroom units, two of which are for people making less than 65% Area Medium Income (AMI) and two of which are for people making less than 50% AMI.