Helping Children Worldwide

Rating: 5 stars   24 reviews

Issues: Children & Youth, Human Services

Location: 13525 Dulles Technology Drive Suite 103 Herndon VA 20171 USA

Mission: To transform the lives of impoverished children through partnerships and programs of excellence
Results: Helping Children Worldwide sees results in many ways throughout the year. The Child Rescue Centre increased the number of children supported by the program by 11% in 2011. The CRC also had 24 youth in post-secondary education programs in fields such as medicine, engineering, information technology, journalism, education, and the arts. Increasing the number of children the CRC impacts and the number of students gettting post-secondary education has a tremendous affect on Sierra Leone. In Sierra Leone 80% of the population do not have the equivalent of a high school degree. Mercy Hospital saw a 28% increase in patients admitted in 2011 over 2010, with a 57% increase for maternity patients and a 29% increase of children. There were 116 babies delivered at Mercy in 2011, a 58% increase in one year. there were 8,410 outpatients treated at Mercy, an 18% increase from last year. 240 people attended workshops to learn about HIV & AIDS, and 514 patients were given HIV counseling, testing, and treatment through the Mercy Hospital HIV/AIDS Program. Connections for Hope partner organizations developed an assessment tool to track outcomes: referrals, number of clients served and number of visits. Referrals are the number of clients that receive service from multiple organizations, in 2011 there were 116 household referrals with 255 individual referrals. The total number of household clients served (unduplicated) in 3,300 in 2011 compared to 2,100 in 2010. The total number of client visits was more than 7,500 in 2011 compared to more than 6,000 in 2010.
Target demographics: children and families
Direct beneficiaries per year: 13,500
Geographic areas served: Northern Virginia and Sierra Leone
Programs: Helping Children Worldwide has three distinct programs that meet the mission of HCW, to transform the lives of impoverished children. HCW programs impact the lives of over 13,500 people, the programs include: The Child Rescue Centre (CRC), Mercy Hospital and Connections for Hope. The CRC's is a national model for caring for at-risk children that opened in 2000 to care for street children and orphans affected by Sierra Leone’s civil war. The CRC provides a continuum of care, including Residential, Child Support Program, Foster Care, and Post-Secondary scholarship programs in Bo, Sierra Leone. The CRC is a safe place and a source of hope for nearly 300 children & youth, ranging in age from five to twenty two years old. The CRC makes a difference in the lives of children in desperate situations, allowing them to have a childhood and go to school instead of going to work. The CRC Residential Program provides children with family style living, nutritious meals, healthcare, education, and one-on-one and group counseling. The CRC Child Support Program provides children in the community with healthcare, as well as educational expenses for primary and secondary school for children in the Bo District. The CRC Foster Care Program has placed homeless children into loving homes, providing free healthcare and education for these children. The CRC Post-Secondary Education Program supports youth pursuing university level and vocational training programs. The CRC is turning a needy child into a future leader, giving them the tools they need to help pull their country out of poverty. Mercy Hospital is a 26 bed primary care hospital in Bo, Sierra Leone, with a trained and dedicated medical staff, a research laboratory, and a fully stocked pharmacy supplied with pure, reliable medications, providing care to over 10,000 a year, regardless of ability to pay. Mercy Hospital is a vital component to the community, providing emergency care, inpatient and outpatient care, and blood transfusions at the hospital, while at the same time providing community educational programs for HIV/AIDS, malaria, prenatal care, and nutrition, taking the services of Mercy out into the villages to thousands of people every year. Mercy Hospital prevents mother to child transmission of HIV and AIDS, decreased the prevalence of malaria in a community by over 40%, and was able to achieve a measurable decrease in the infant and maternal mortality rates in Bo, Sierra Leone by providing holistic, community focused care, regardless of ability to pay. Mercy Hospital is making a difference in the lives of the people of Sierra Leone HCW's collaborative nonprofit center is Connections for Hope located in Herndon, VA that served over 3,300 in 2011. Connections for Hope's mission and long term impact on the community is to address the needs of low-income neighbors, fostering self - sufficiency, good health, education, safety and full participation in community life in the Reston/Herndon/Chantilly area. The strength of Connections for Hope is the collaborative model and co-location. The ability to work cooperatively and synergistically with a range of other services enables each organization to deliver its programs more efficiently and effectively and provides easier access for the clients. By spreading operating expenses among several organizations, each non-profit can take advantage of the economics of resource sharing. Both clients and organizations benefit from having multiple services housed in one place. Connections for Hope partner organizations provide services that support the stability and self-sufficiency of families and individuals. Connections for Hope partnering organizations currently consist of Reston Interfaith: homelessness prevention and foreclosure prevention; Literacy Council of Northern Virginia: ESOL training; Vecinos Unidos Neighbors United: homework assistance; Just Neighbors: immigration legal services; Fairfax - Falls Church Community Services Board: mental health, substance abuse and prevention referrals; Jeanie Schmidt Free Clinic: healthcare to low-income children and uninsured adults; and NOVA Scripts Central, a prescription drug service for low-income individuals.

2011 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

As a volunteer researcher and donor, I have seen the drastic reduction in avaiable grants and size of individual donations in this economy. I feel that HCW, C4H and their supported nonprofits use every penny received to directly support or to develop partnerships to support their clients. Under HCW Mercy Hospital saw a 28% increase in patient admissions this year. Their maternity services and services to children expanded. 116 babies were delivered. Their community education programs reached 240 people. As the purpose and mission of the Child Rescue Centre continues to develop and expand to include child labor and victims of human trafficking, over 250 kids have been impacted by their programs. They offered residential support, community support, post secondary education and foster care to over 465 kids. They have the capacity to handle more incoming with a new prescriptive vision for their special needs.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I have talked with actual volunteers who have visited their international facilities. I was especially impressed by the enthusiasm of returning volunteers and youth. I read their newsletters completely, listen to their current updates, and respond to their fundraising campaigns. I often direct youth with community service hours requirements to one of the supported nonprofits under the C4H umbrella. I am currently spreading the word about an internship for the summer being advertised among my college age friends.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

trumpet the successes of the C4H programs and expanded services offered to the many new clients this year. They supported over 3300 households this year with volunteer tax assistance, financial management counseling and employment services. Their clients use more than one service each visit so it is hard to describe their impact here, but I do want to comment on their ability to share and to refer clients to the Neighborhood Resource Center in Herndon, when complementary. I would pay the staff more, provide more professional development and networking opportunities, and underwrite their international travel more often. I would ask grantors to support overhead costs in this economy as well as program development.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Some

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

What one change could this group make that would improve your volunteer experience?

I would like more feedback on specific tasks and information seeking deadlines.

Did your volunteer experience have an effect on you? (teaching you a new skill, or introducing new friends, etc.)

I believe that my experience has inspired others to volunteer at other nonprofits in a similar manner or to expand their volunteer hours during the week.

How did this volunteer experience make you feel?

Joyful to see all the children being supported by the numerous programs offered through HCW and C4H. As a volunteer in the public school system, I also see some of the same children served on a weekly basis so I know how much they have benefited from these programs through better health, better nutrition, more skill development, parental education and quality of life issues addressed. I am proud to be a regular donor and supporter of these nonprofits.

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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

Our family has supported HCW for many years as both donors and volunteers. We believe in their mission, have seen them meet goals successfully, watched them sustain and grow their programs, assisted with their fundraising plan, and know that almost all money received goes directly into programs. This charity is one that we ask others to donate to in our honor instead of birthday or holiday gifts as alternative giving. We believe that the Board and staff do an admirable job of sustaining and expanding their mission, recruiting new partnerships, and using their resources effectively and efficiently. Their volunteers are dedicated, highly skilled and professionally matched to the project tasks.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

We watched residents at the CRC grow up and transition to higher education or vocational training successfully. We have seen mission team members return transformed by their volunteer work experiences. We have seen a partnership formed of 11 churches to maintain and to sustain major programs. We made a personal commitment for ongoing financial support and gifts to this nonprofit knowing that our donations are appropriately invested in ways to help children in one of the poorest countries in the world.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I would celebrate more often the success stories of individual clients, volunteers, and staff efforts. I would add more fundraising efforts and share information between the partnerships on individual fundraisers being held. I would integrate more live satellite feeds into public forums for donors. I would look for ways to apply emerging technologies into the remote facilities and partners.

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

What specific problem, purpose, priority, or project prompted your gift?

We always make our annual donation during the Advent giving. We made an agreement with dear friends that we would each donate in the other's honor to our favorite charities. We continued to choose HCW, CRC, and Mercy Hospital as well as Connections For Hope (C4H). The first residents were aging out of the orphanage and transitioning into higher education or vocational training.

Why did you make your donation at this time?

After a recent bout with cancer, our family felt called to contribute to Mercy Hospital in honor of the medical personnel who treated Jane and God's healing mercy.

What would you tell others about this organization?

Trustworthy, generous, problem solving, innovative, frugal, culturally considerate.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

Excellent team help Children from Herndon, VA to Bo, Sierra Leone!

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Likely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

Was this review helpful? 
1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

The dedicated folks at Helping Children Worldwide are a pleasure to work with and they are truly dedicated to their cause.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Mission trips to Bo, Sierra Leone

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

expand its reach

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

I am currently a volunteer with HCW and was also on the Board of Directors. In addition to my service on the Board, I have traveled to Sierra Leone three times to provide oversight for HCW's projects there and to help build the capacity of the professional staff that our Sierra Leonean partners employ. I am very impressed with HCW's management and oversight of the funds it raises. I believe it is a very cost-effective non-profit and that's why my family and I are glad to donate to HCW to help support its life-saving and life-changing work.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I have traveled to Sierra Leone three tips to provide oversight for HCW's projects there and to help build the capacity of the professional staff that our Sierra Leonean partners employ.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

If I had to make changes to HCW, I would want it to grow more, in resources and staffing, to have an even greater impact in Northern Virginia and in Sierra Leone.

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Rating: 5 stars  

I've gone from a passive donor at church to an active member of the Board, and the more I learn about our work the more committed I becoming to seeing it expand and grow. The vision of a single United Methodist Church with a desire to help orphans in a country torn by civil war has grown into HCW, with its increasing network of partners and an expanding vision to help children and their families both domestically and internationally. The African Programs are doing amazing work to combat maternal and infant mortality and rescue children, limited only by resources. The Connection 4 Hope concept may someday be the model for non-profits to join together to provide services to the poor in a holistic, synergetic way. I can see the direct results of my time and financial support and know it is making a difference in the lives of children.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

The stories from the CRC and Mercy Hospital, which I will visit in March 2011; and seeing the success of Connections 4 Hope.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Continue to expand its partnerships to support all programs.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

Helping Children Worldwide is an AWESOME organization that does exactly what it says it does....help children. As a kindergarten teacher myself and as a mother and grandmother, nothing has been more importnant in my own life than children and their welfare. That is why I feel HCW is a stellar organization to carry on the work I feel is important. Their principles are sound and the investment is sure.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Donating to a cause I believe in

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

n\a

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

I am volunteer for Helping Children Worldwide and have traveled to the Child Rescue Center in Sierra Leone. I was impressed and inspired by the support this organization provides. The organization and its network of volunteers strives to bring dignity, respect, and empowerment to the people it serves. From health care to education this organization is making a difference at home and abroad. I also donate to this organization because I know my contributions are fully dedicated to the mission and people it was created to help.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

CRC missionary work with the CRC children, the staff of Mercy Hospital and HCW. I have been continually impressed with the focus and dedication of this organization. The organization is successful because of the partnership it has built through its goal of respect and empowerment!

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

encourage more mission trips to CRC because I want to go back :)

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Rating: 5 stars  

I've seen first-hand the results of HCW's work, its demonstrable value, and most importantly, the return on donors’ investments. HCW uses a balanced, holistic approach in addressing basic human needs, and in its work to relieve human pain and suffering. In a very focused manner, it helps those abandoned and hurting, whether it’s the orphan from a tragic civil war, a new born or the new mother facing one of the highest mortality rates in the world, or a child who lacks the necessary vocational skills or formal education necessary to escape from a future that promises only more poverty, pain, and suffering. From end-to-end and top to bottom, HCW as an organization is accountable, transparent, and effective in its delivery of life-saving, life-enhancing, and life-sustaining services. HCW’s organizational DNA is unique, and is what distinguishes it from other organizations. Composed of life-changing eternal values and principles, HCW’s DNA reflects the best that humankind has to offer.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Bo, Sierra Leone.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Clone it :-),... and use it as a template for other areas of the world.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

Did your volunteer experience have an effect on you? (teaching you a new skill, or introducing new friends, etc.)

I traveled to Bo, Sierra Leone, expecting to be the "giver" and the children the recipients; however, as it turned out, I was the recipient--the recipient of overwhelming love and compassion from those who have nothing else to give.

How did this volunteer experience make you feel?

Humbled, blessed, grateful

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

Helping Children Worldwide does exactly what is implied in the name. It's resources are used to share love, care and compassion to those in need stretching to the far corners of the Earth. I am a nurse and have traveled and served with this organization. I have had the opportunity to give immunizations, provide "urgent care" services as part of a medical team, and am about to see first hand the progress of their hospital, orphanage, nutrition program and other programs as I travel back to Africa. (This is my fourth trip.) I always look forward to volunteering my time and resources to such a dedicated non-profit.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Sierra Leone, Africa

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I have not personally experienced anything that needs to be changed.

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

What a great organization. They help both the local neighborhood and the world community. They focus on children and family at risk. It's an honor to serve such a wonderful organization.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

seeing basic needs met in Herndon and in Sierra Leone.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

grow the organization rapidly to meet more needs of children

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

Totally dedicated to serving others.
Totally trustworthy with all funds.
Provides the needest people in Sierra Leone with hope, compassion, and an opportunity to grow into a leader for their family, community and their country.
If you are looking for a way to serve other, to be one of those "thousand points of light" - my friend, this is an organization that deserves your time, talnet and treasure.
Peace be with you!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Seeing the life changes in the children and people in Sierra Leone.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Give them more funding.

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Review from Guidestar