Thursday, February 26, 2009

A Closer Look at India

By David Hylton, Public Relations Specialist

With the recent box office success and Oscar winnings of the movie “Slumdog Millionaire,” there’s a lot of attention on India these days.

The movie focuses on a Mumbai teen who grew up in the slums and becomes a contestant on the Indian version of "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?" He is suspected of cheating, however. While being interrogated, events from his life are shown that explain why he knows the answers.

The story of “Slumdog Millionaire” reveals only a small portion of how poverty impacts that country. At least 300 million people in India live below the poverty line, with children accounting for nearly one-third of this group.

Christian Children’s Fund has been working in India for more than five decades, currently assisting more than 600,000 children and family members. CCF’s programs in India include education, early childhood development, sustainable livelihoods and health and nutrition.

In recent years, CCF, with support from the government, launched a Reading Skills Improvement program to enhance the reading abilities of students in rural areas. CCF India has assisted more than 18,000 children from 900 government schools in India through this program.

CCF also had a major role in India’s recovery following the 2004 tsunami. CCF India constructed 12 new schools in Balwadis in Cuddalore and Nagapattinam districts for the government following the devastation. In some cases the new buildings were constructed on higher ground to avoid being damaged by future disasters.

For more information on our programs in India, click here to visit India’s page on our Web site.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Read All About Our CEO in Boomer Life

By David Hylton, Public Relations Specialist

“When she gets around the children, the light comes on.” This is what Christian Children’s Fund Board Chairman Charles Caravati says about CCF President and CEO Anne Goddard in the latest edition of Richmond’s Boomer Life magazine.

Goddard is featured in the February/March 2009 edition, along with three other Richmond women who hold top positions in their fields. The article details her career path to Richmond and CCF.

“If you could do anything for an hour, you can do it for a day. And if you can do if for a day, you can do it for a week, for a month, for a year,” Goddard tells the magazine about her work with non-government organizations.

Boomer Life is available free throughout Richmond, including at Ukrop’s, Kroger, CVS, Wawa, Blockbuster and various shopping centers.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Our 10k Goals

By David Hylton, Public Relations Specialist

From supporting cancer research to being a part of the community to simply being healthy, about 20 percent of Christian Children’s Fund staff has signed up to run or walk the Ukrop’s Monument Avenue 10k in Richmond on March 28.

The Monument Avenue 10k is one of the largest road races in the country and we’re eager to hit the pavement for those 6.2 miles. Last year the 10k had more than 35,000 entries and according to the Richmond Sports Backers, signups are at record pace this year with maximum entries once again at 35,000. Here’s a look at what some of our staff has to say about taking part in this event.

Betty Baatz, marketing administrative assistant
“I’m not a runner or sports type, but have been involved in dance and fitness since I was young. I had participated in a four-mile walk/run in St. Louis in the past, but this will be my first participation in a 10k. I’m looking forward to being part of a team in supporting our organization, CCF! Even though I’m fairly fit for my age, I’m sure I’ll be a little sore after the 10k.”

Jeanette Duncan, data administrator
“The purpose of the 10k is to raise money for the VCU Massey Cancer Center, and I have a grandmother with three types of cancer. I have also lost several close friends due to cancer. I would like to honor them by walking in this. Also, I have lost a total of 87 pounds, and I would like to lose 13 more. Walking every day will help me achieve my goals and keep me motivated.”

Dawn Durrett, staff accountant
“For me it is nice to know that not only are you doing something to benefit yourself you are benefiting an unlimited amount of others as they work on cancer research. Every year as I get to the sixth mile and see all of the others who have finished before me sticking around to cheer for me makes me emotional. It is nice to see that in this hectic world that we live in others can come together on one day for a cause we all need to fight.”

Jessi Hanson, education associate
“I like running as a hobby, not only because it is a great way to stay in shape but also because it offers 30 minutes to an hour a day of just ‘me’ time: time to reflect, breath, and get re-centered. I used to be a middle school long distance coach, and I loved getting kids to develop a passion for running for fun. It is my first time doing a 10k on the East Coast, so I am very excited to get to run in Richmond and represent CCF!”

Melissa P. Joseph, Grants Compliance coordinator
“This is my first time to do the 10k and I will be walking. My New Year’s resolution is to lose weight and be healthier so I figure this was a perfect opportunity to do just that. My goal is to get through the walk in an hour and half and feel good doing it. I am walking now to prepare so that I won’t be exhausted half way through.”

Shakita Macklin, Financial Systems analyst
“This is my first year participating in the 10k. Even though I have never walked nor ran a race of this magnitude, I did not hesitate to sign up. I don’t make New Year’s resolutions but instead take the time to think of ways to better myself in the upcoming year. During this self-evaluation, I decided to become more active and pay closer attention to the foods I consume. The 10k was a perfect way for me to stay focused on this personal goal as well as walk for a good cause. Several members of my family have battled cancer, so I’m walking in honor of them.”

Sean Mullins, Child Sponsorhip
“This will be my fifth year taking part in the 10k. Five years ago, a friend of mine came to me at the last minute since the guitar player in his band had gotten ill and asked me to fill in the next morning at the 10k. I went out there and played the same seven songs over and over as people ran by. While I had a great time playing, I had an even better time people watching and my wife loved all the people that were dressed up. We have done it every year since then as a way to kick off spring time and to start getting in better shape for summer.”

Diane Willis, vice president of Global Human Resource
“I'm planning to walk because it's a community activity that brings people together, and because I find walking very relaxing. Not to mention the health benefits. My goal is to spend time enjoying the (hopefully) spring sunshine and to reach the end without aches, pains or blisters.”

For more information on the 10k, visit the Richmond Sports Backers Web site here. For more information CCF, click here to visit our Web site, here to follow us on Twitter and here to become a fan on Facebook.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Children's Champion Comes to CCF

By David Hylton, Public Relations Specialist
(updated Feb. 11 with video link)

You may know him for his wrestling fame, but Mick Foley wants everyone to know his story as a Champion for Children. Mick – now an executive shareholder in the newly formed Total Nonstop Action (TNA) Wrestling on Spike TV – has been involved with Christian Children's Fund since 1992, donating more than $290,000 for early childhood development centers and health clinics in the Philippines and Mexico, and for new schools in war-torn Sierra Leone. He also sponsors seven children through CCF.

Mick dropped by CCF today on his way to a TNA wrestling event in Charlottesville where he is scheduled to make an appearance. He had a chance to catch up with CCF staff and had an exclusive interview with CBS 6. (Click here to view the story. Thanks to CBS 6 for the clip.)

“I want people to stop me because they know I’m a Christian Children’s Fund sponsor,” Mick says.

Mick recently visited Sierra Leone, where his name adorns a newly built school.

“It’s about letting children with very little in their lives, through no fault of their own, know that someone out there cares,” he says of his involvement with CCF.