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Children's Defense Fund

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Civil Rights, Human Services

Mission: The Children's Defense Fund Leave No Child Behind® mission is to ensure every child a Healthy Start, a Head Start, a Fair Start, a Safe Start and a Moral Start in life and successful passage to adulthood with the help of caring families and communities.

Direct beneficiaries per year: Over 12,500 children and youth attended a CDF Freedom School; Over 1,500 college-age young adults trained, mobilized and deployed as Servant Leader Interns (SLIs); Over 600 high school youth receiving college preparation, leadership development and college scholarship assistance through CDF's Beat the Odds program; Landmark national and state research studies such as State of America's Children; Engaging and training 500 young people, seminarians and faith leaders in CDF's annual Samuel DeWitt Proctor Institute on Child Advocacy Ministry

Programs: The Children's Defense Fund is a child advocacy movement that fights every day for America's children, especially for those children and youth who experience the extraordinary challenges of poverty, disability and inequality. CDF's impact areas include: Freedom Schools - a nation-wide summer school and after-school education and empowerment program for children and youth. Reading score improvement and love of learning are key outcomes as children and youth are inspired that they can make a difference in their lives and in the life of their community and nation. Changing the Odds for Children: Fighting every day to educate and inform national, state and local policymakers and practitioners about effective, research-based practices that make a positive difference in a child's journey to successful adulthood. Generation Next - a 40 year commitment to developing the leaders of tomorrow through training and engagement with youth and young adults in social action, child advocacy and positive, non-violent social change.

Community Stories

30 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Client Served

Rating: 5

I've worked with CDF for the last 3 years with the Freedom Schools program. It has been a wonderful experience every year. I recommend the program and all other programs CDF offers to our communities.

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

This is a wonderful organization with a purpose that truly serves the children and future leaders of our community.

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

CDF-MN is deeply committed to improving the lives and futures of disadvantaged children.
This is accomplished by raising awareness of health and education disparities, supporting parents and care takers and continuous advocacy legislatively and in the community by a staff that is very focused, hard working and successful.

2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

My personal experience with the Children's Defense Fund has always been positive. The individuals involved in the program have all been caring, peaceful individuals.

I was first made aware of Children's Defense Fund in graduate school. We were required to read State of America's Children Handbook and support the handbook with peer reviewed research. Through this activity I was made aware of how prevalent poverty is for children who are minority, children with disabilities, and children that live in at-risk conditions. When I first became an instructor, I incorporate the CDF website and video clips into my course on Family System to bring awareness of the impact of poverty on the development and well-being of children.

A few years later when I became involved as a board member for my state affiliate professional association, I was in charge of planning the annual conference. I reached out to Janet Wolf and asked her to serve as a key note speaker for our annual conference. She spoke on Cradle to Prison Pipeline and brought with her leaders from the CDF Freedom School to speak as well. The presentation was extremely moving and unforgettable. It was also during this time that Janet mentioned she would like to begin a recycling and container gardening program at Haley Farms.

A few years later, I was asked by my director to write a Center Stage Proposal. I knew I wanted to bring Mrs. Marion Wright Edelman to our campus. Bringing her to campus provided an opportunity for the students and faculty of TTU to hear first hand from someone who has devoted her life to improve conditions and wellbeing for all children and especially for children in poverty, children with disabilities and children who are minority.

Other ways I have been involved with the CDF is taking students to visit Haley Farm and hear Kenneth Libby speak of the work of CDF at Haley Farm and learn of the programming held at the facility. While implementing the Women' s Leadership Initiative grant, colleagues and I arranged to take the students to Haley Farm for a retreat. It was also the perfect place to begin working on the advocacy project that was a requirement of the initiative. The students had a wonderful time, loved networking with Ken Libby and Janet Wolf.

This academic year we will work with CDF on a faculty research grant entitled Train the Trainer: Addressing Food Insecurity with Container Gardening. In September of 2017, we conducted the pilot study and plans are to implement the full program with Ella Baker Freedom School Leader in 2018.

To me CDF is dedicated to making a change in the lives of children. This is accomplished by awareness and by action. When you improve the lives of children, you are impacting the lives of families and improving society.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Children's Defense Fund continually works to improve the overall health and well-being of our community by concentrating on our community's future-the children. Many efforts are devoted to achieving this goal, including targeted programs designed to meet the educational, cultural, and civic needs of all children in Marlboro County.

4

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am a parent and supporter of the Children's Defense Fund Freedom Schools program. My child attended the summer program for many years. She loved the energy, the college interns, the enrichment, and THE BOOKS! I saw her love of reading improve and her confidence improve. The program is magnetic and I love it! We look forward to each summer because of the CDF Freedom Schools Programs! We still have the books she got to bring home and keep, each week of the program.

CDF is making a difference and changing lives, one child at a time. I'm a witness. My family and I will be forever indebted to CDF for how the Freedom Schools program changed my daughter's life.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I'm an MSW child advocate and rely on the Children's Defense Fund for the latest news and actions needed to support federal policy that is responsive to the needs of children and families. Their direct programming for children and spiritual resources are impactful and inspiring. CDF is an indispensable leader and stalwart in the field of child advocacy.

2 Emily M.1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Amazing organization with strong mission and social justice warriors for employees.

2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Great organization! CDF is the voice for the children in need whom struggle with a disability, discrimination, poverty, and lack of education. Many children and families benefit from this organization and the amazing and caring staff are willing to make this happen.

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The Children's Defense Fund is always willing to work with the local teachers to provide a professional place for our events. In addition, the staff is friendly and makes sure we are always well cared for. While using their facilities, they always tell us of the great things their organization does.

2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I previously worked at CDF in 2009 as a Director of Prospect Research for its development department. CDF is an amazing organization that works hard to ensure that American children have access to health care, quality education and community supports to prevent juvenile delinquency, illnesses and family breakdowns. Its president, Marian Wright Edelman, is a powerhouse who goes over and beyond her duties to save our children and bravely points out how we, Americans, have failed our children. I highly recommend this agency that has changed so many lives with its programs, advocacy efforts and leadership.

2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Children's Defense Fund is, and has been, the leading voice for all children, and especially those who live in at-risk circumstances, in the United States for over 40 years. It is founder and president, Marian Wright Edelman, leads with a prophetic and compassionate voice that calls a nation into account on behalf of the "least of these." The organization transcends partisan politics in its quest to create a better nation where children can grow into the fullness for which they were created. It is an organization that meets the highest ethical standard and is without scandal because if focuses on what is important - children and their wellbeing.

2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

For almost 50 years, Marian Edelman and Children’s Defense Fund have worked tirelessly to advance the treatment of children in and by this country. Although the strategies have evolved over the years, the goal and the commitment have been unwavering.

3

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have seen Mary Carreon from Children’s Defense Fund present and offer the most helpful information. I have learned so much from her presentation, I too tell my friends and family of the available resources. This organization is an excellent source for our community.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was lucky enough to be a read aloud guest a a local Freedom School site and had the best most inspired time. The staff was exceptional at motivating kids, moving them from activity to activity and instilling a love of reading at a young age. And the Kids were awesome. They were excited to be at Freedom Schools and excited to listen to the book I was reading. Can't recommend this program enough!

4

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Great group of individuals who are really engaged in the community and who are working to meet the needs that are brought to them with a compassionate heart.

4 Jessica Herrera R.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Thank you for being great advocates for our Texas children.

3

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My commitment to Children's Defense Fund involves from its mission embedded in Marian Wright Edelman's vision and her much needed commentary on the issues facing poor children. I also valued the moral compass she applies to our society as a whole.

4 Evelia C. C.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Children's Defense Fund is a great organization with proven record of helping Texas children and families! CDF amplifies the voices of vulnerable communities and advocates for solutions to ensure all Texas children (and around the nation) have the resources they need to succeed!

4 Shilpa J.

Client Served

Rating: 5

CDF came to our rescue a few months ago, and was an incredible host for the 5th annual Southern Leadership Jam, when our site cancelled last minute on us. CDF's warm and friendly staff, and incredible dedication, made a HUGE difference. They worked tirelessly with us to make it work -- hosting us so generously, working things out with the food and catering, helping meet our budget -- they gave us so many wonderful gifts. Thank you CDF/Haley Farm! Y'all are AMAZING!