Children International

Rating: 4.47 stars   129 reviews

Issues: International

Location: 2000 E Red Bridge Rd Kansas City MO 64131 USA

Mission: Children International is a nonprofit worldwide humanitarian organization serving needy children and their families since 1936. Our mission is to help children living in dire poverty. This is accomplished through the generosity of our contributors by providing children with program benefits and services that meet basic needs, enhance their self-esteem and raise their physical and educational levels in a meaningful, lasting way. Our goal is that each child will grow into a healthy, educated and self-reliant adult.
Results: We currently aid more than 340,000 children and their families in 11 countries, including the United States.
2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

I have been sponsoring kids with Children International since 2008. My family currently sponsors 17 children through this organization. We have sponsored (and still sponsor) with other programs, but we prefer Children International because of how this organization encourages sponsors to be truly involved with their children. We visit our kids frequently, and Children International has always gone above and beyond to make the time spent with our kids an extra special experience. The organization is willing to work with sponsors to facilitate special fundraising projects that will benefit our individual children - such as paying for medical procedures, home improvements, income generation, etc. The Children International staff are friendly and qualified, both at their U.S. headquarters and in the countries they service.

By visiting my children at their homes, I have been able to see first hand all the benefits that they receive through their sponsorship and how much these benefits are appreciated by the families. Even if a sponsor is not able to visit, we are kept informed about our child's progress through regular reports, letters, and photographs.

One of the great features of Children International is their Youth Programs - which help teens make the transition into adulthood and provide them with opportunities that can assist them in breaking the cycle of poverty.

I am very impressed by this organization, and I will continue to sponsor kids through Children International until the day I die (and beyond, thanks to life insurance).

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

Encourage them to use advances in technology to make overseas communication smoother and faster.

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

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I have 4 children with this charity and am able to stay in touch with all 4. When one young man aged out I sponsored his youngest sister. I have also sent extra money to help the family during crises such as typhons The $100 dollars was well spent on repairing thier humble home and getting food and garden supply. I recieved pictures of the donation with my sponsored child His letter later confirmed he had recieved my gift thank you for doing a great job Sue W

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

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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Rating: 5 stars  

I have been sponsoring a child now for 18 mos. and recently started sponsoring his two sisters as well. I can't say how impressed I am with the amount of good this non profit does with so little. I now donate $30/mo per child, and the children receive health and dental care, help with education, clothing, school supplies, etc. And the whole community benefits as well.
In addition, I am able to send "special needs gifts" which are monetary and used for that child. The field worker takes photos of the children and of the gifts and the kids write wonderful letters. In addition, I have been able to donate what's called an "income generating" gift to help the family start a small business.

The reports I receive are detailed and business like. Whenever I phone the organization with questions, staff members are so helpful!

There's also a website where I can connect with other sponsors and learn about them and their children--we can share experiences and ideas. If I were able, I'd even be allowed to visit my sponsored kids in person.

I always wanted grandchildren but never had any--now I feel as if I have three!

I worked for 30 years as a non profit fund developer and know first hand the challenges in supporting such a program. I'm amazed at how little of the donation goes to overhead and how much to helping the children and the communities.

Years ago I donated to another child sponsorship organization and it was good, but can't compare with Children International.

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

I really can't think of any changes at the present time.

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

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I have been a donor/sponsor for over 2 decades with Children International. They have always been very good and I have not had any complains. I have sponsored kids that have graduated out of the program. Currently I have a 10 year old girl from Kolkata, India. This year on my visit to Kolkata I requested to meat my sponsored child. It was a wonderful visit. The staff in Kolkata were really wonderful. They knew the family, they were very mindful of Priyanka, my sponsored child and knew her family. We went to lunch and took Priyanka shopping. The staff were very helpful and took us to places where the family and Priyanka were comfortable at. There was no pressure to give anything more. My daughter who is also 10 became friends with Priyanka and they drew pictures and talked. I asked a lot of questions and got direct responses. On the whole it was a wonderful experience. I was really pleased about the services that were being provided to the kids and to the community. Next time I visit, we will go to Priyanka's village. The family invited us and the staff assured us that it could be easily arranged.
The staff was so dedicated to the work and it was such a pleasure and honor to meet the people that do this great work!!
Congratulations to Children International and best wishes for all your future projects.

Pushpa

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

This is a wonderful organization- keep the good work going and please don't change!!!!

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

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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Review from CharityNavigator
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I have been sponsoring children for 17 years. I am currently sponsoring 2 children, a little boy in Honduras and a young man, who recently graduated high school, in the Philippines. I will be sponsoring one of the siblings of my young man in the Philippines when he graduates from the program. I adore my sponsored children, and the letters and pictures they send me give me a lot of joy.

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

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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Review from CharityNavigator
Rating: 5 stars  

We have sponsored children through Children International for over a decade and have been very pleased with the way it is run. We get detailed letters telling specifically what our donations have purchased for our sponsored child as well as updates on our child, his family, his country, etc. Best of all, we receive hand-written notes from our child and are able to write back. It is a truly rewarding experience!

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

I cannot think of any complaints or areas where I think it needs to improve.

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

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I started sponsoring one young woman in India when she was 17 years old. When she graduated from the program at age 19 I took on a younger girl in Mexico. I also joined LiftOne - a social website for CI sponsors to share information. I discovered that I had been missing out on a lot of the sponsor experience. I now sponsor 2 young girls in Mexico, and 2 girls in Guatemala.
The things I like about Children International :
- They are not religious based - the children are not required to belong to a, or any religion in order to receive help - they get enrolled into the program based on need.
- the sponsorship experience is GREAT! You get back more then you put in. I receive letters from all my girls on a routine basis. Also I have mailed packages of gifts to the girls and gotten back thank you letters with pictures of the things I sent. I have also sent extra money for the children and their family to improve their lives - such as purchasing materials to repair a leaking roof. I received back heartfelt thank you letters along with pictures of what the money had been spent on.
- when I have contacted the service reps at the Kansas City office the staff is friendly, knowledgeable, and very helpful.
- you are allowed and encouraged to visit your sponsored children if you are able to. I am going to be doing just that in November of this year
- CI follows all the regulations of world organizations to ensure the children are protected and kept safe. Every time I interact with CI staff I have no doubt the staff believe that the children are their first priority.
- I know that I am able to impact a child's life in a positive manner - not only do they learn that someone they don't even know cares about them, but in many more tangible ways too.

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

None needed

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

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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Rating: 5 stars  

I don't have any kids but wanted to help children with few opportunities. I've traveled a lot and know that some situations are so heart breaking and hopeless.

I am so happy and gratified that Childrens International is there to help and provides a way for people like me to help.

Thank you so much.

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

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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Rating: 4 stars  

i have been a sponsor with Children International for many years. I do not have any complaints with my dealings with them. I always get a quick response to my questions. The website is very easy to use and I am able to write my sponsor children very easily.

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

I have been lucky to have visited 2 of the children during this time. The local representatives were very kind and accommodating when planning the visit. I wish we had a way to correspond with the local agents by email or through the website rather than having to call them. That was the only issue for me. In India i had a hard time getting hold someone who spoke English. So it was a little challenging. And email system would have been easier.

Was your donation impactful?

Likely

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

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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Review from CharityNavigator
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I love being a sponsor at Children International. I sponsor with several child sponsorship organizations and Children International is my favorite. I have sponsored with CI since I was in high school and there are so many good things about this organization that I don't know where to start! Here are some special things that I love about it:

1. Sponsors are able to build relationships with their children through letters, photos, visits, donations and this relationship will last a lifetime for the child and for the sponsor. CI encourages this and as a result, the children blossom under the care of a caring sponsor.

2. There are many ways to interact with other sponsors and communicate with the staff. Most of my interactions with the staff have been very pleasant and helpful. One Senior Staff member is charge of my account because I have so much go on with various sponsorships and she does her best to answer my questions and give me requested information. Sponsors are able to communicate with other sponsors on LiftOne, a wonderful community where we can share photos, letters, thoughts on blogs, message boards that are there to answer questions.

3. CI provides many opportunities for sponsors to help their sponsored children through many kinds of donations like basic things that a child gets from sponsorship like clothing, shoes, birthday gifts, Easter and Christmas gifts. Sponsors are able to send funds for special needs to help families and sponsors are also able to send packages to their children and receive thank you letters and photos.
Sponsors are also able to work together to help each other with special fundraisers for our children.

4. Communication with the sponsored child is very good as sponsors and children exchange letters. Sponsors can write letters or communicate through emails on their personal accounts and there is some cool stationery that can be used. The children love to receive letters from their sponsors and often keep them in special locations in their homes.

5. CI provides opportunities for sponsors to sponsor more than one child in a family and there are opportunities to do group sponsorships. This is where a group of sponsors may work together to sponsor a particular child and raise funds to provide for special needs.

6. CI provides opportunities for sponsors to visit their children and this is one thing that I really love about the organization. It is easy to set up a visit and the staff at the field agencies in each country are competent, caring, and work very hard to make sure that visits are a success!

7. Sponsors have the opportunity to provide for a child's further schooling when they graduate from the program if the child wants to pursue an education, and the sponsor and child can continue to maintain contact once a child graduates from CI, if the child wants to. CI offers scholarships for children and provides programs which help them develop leadership skills, personal and civit responsibility, and other skills.

8. Sponsors can receive news and updates on the CI website, Journey's magazine, newsletters from their child's field agency.

If you are looking for an organization that really makes a difference in the life of a needy child, provides good communication and accountability, is flexible and efficient, provides opportunities for sponsors to interact and share ideas, really cares about helping children, then CI is one that you will definitely want to be a part of!!

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

Maybe one day we can see photos of our kids doing various activities in their home, at school, in their community

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

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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