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2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit

SOS Children's Villages - USA, Inc.

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Children & Youth, Children & Youth Services, Family Services, Group Homes, Human Services, International, International Development

Mission: We build families for children in need, we help them shape their own futures, and we share in the development of their communities.

Target demographics: orphaned and abandoned children

Direct beneficiaries per year: 80,000 children in over 500 Villages and over 1 million people through our community programs

Geographic areas served: 134 countries

Programs: homes, a loving family, quality healthcare, education and all the support needed for children to thrive. We work in

Community Stories

23 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

5

Donor

Rating: 5

There are thousdands of charities out there, but SOS Children's Villages is really special. I sponsor two children - one in Africa and one in Nicaragua, and I sponsor a village in Russia. Each sponsorship is $35 a month, which is nothing, that's practically $1 a day. So, with three sponsorships, I spend $3 a day to literally change lives of children who were orphaned or abandoned. I am giving these children a real home with brothers and sisters, an education, and the chance to live happy, healthy and productive lives. I am giving these children a childhood. I am grateful to SOS Children's Villages for the opportunity to be part of their work around the world. Check out their website and their YouTube channel and you will see what an amazing job they do raising these children. Google "SOS Children's Village Rwanda Happy video" and you will see the children dancing to Pharrell Williams Happy song. Their happiness is genuine. As a sponsor, I help make that possible. Thank you SOS. You are awesome!

4 Shirley26

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

This non-profit organization is very helpful to vulnerable children. I am personally associated with them and first hand can testify to the wonderful work they are doing for these children. These children are been help to be self sufficient, better person for society; by the care, interest taking and provided by each and every member of this organization. The children are shown love just like they are the care persons own biological family, they make it a loving family environment.

4

Donor

Rating: 5

A friend from Sri Lanka told me about SOS Children's Villages. I'd wanted to make some kind of contribution to the world's needy children and this organization seemed to be one of the best. Last year my husband and I signed up and requested to help a deserving female child in Africa. We were assigned a four year old from Mozambique. She appeared shy in her photo and I can't wait to see how a year at one of the villages has changed her. Her birthday is in October, and we will again make a special contribution to a fund which is kept just for her, so that when she is ready to leave SOS Children's Villages she can go to college or start a business or some other good purpose. We hope to follow her for many years, and although we'll probably never meet her photo is displayed with our family's. It's simple, and not expensive to help change a life....just do it. Eileen Crivelli

Comments ( 1 )

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SOS USA 07/25/2014

Thank you so much for your beautiful review! We are so happy you are enjoying your sponsorship and can't wait for you to receive the next update from her! You are changing her life with your support and she will have you to thank once she's grown up for being a key part of her life. At SOS-USA, we love our sponsors! A huge and heartfelt thank you to you and your husband from the SOS Team!

5 Kiara D.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I worked at SOS Herman Gmeiner International College (HGIC) in Tema, Ghana for one year. I taught English to students who came from all over the African continent to study at the school. The SOS mission drove the educational system and the students were SO PROUD to be a part of the program.

While teaching at HGIC, I also lived in the SOS Village. I loved the joyful and protective environment that gave each child a place to grow and thrive.

I continue to donate monthly to the organization, and I keep in touch with many of my former students from HGIC who are now attending universities in three different countries.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My name is Jenna. I have had the privilege of helping sponsor a villiage in Gambia. I have been overjoyed getting letters and emails with pictures and updates on the villiage. I searched and found one lady on facebook. I am not quite sure how often, or regular she is on the internet. I could see how the community incorporates arts and education, and had water and food. I could not be more thankful for the opportunity to be apart of this growing and evolving community. I always wanted to have a purposeful path. And I have in turn received a feeling of being part of a burgeoning world and being part a family in another country far away from South Texas. I have spoken on the phone to the people in DC involved in SOS and they could not be nicer. And the people in the community are full of such love and strength and commitment to a larger purpose.
Looking forward to seeing the SOS grow and continue help our children grow.
XOXO

Comments ( 1 )

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SOS USA 06/24/2014

Thank you so much for your support and your beautiful review. We couldn't be happier to have you as one of our AMAZING sponsors. You are changing lives every day with your support and we are honored to have you as part of our #SOSFamily. Have a beautiful day!

Client Served

Rating: 4

I helped SOS Children's Villages India (Kolkata) spread the word about their work and efforts toward helping children without a family find safety, security, home, family, joy and a future!
Their work is remarkable and I truly believe in their model where a child is able to grow up in a family unit, and is able to receive care and affection in addition to basic necessities of life. I vote for SOS!

Comments ( 1 )

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SOS USA 06/24/2014

Thank you Paromita for your work in Kolkata! We couldn't do it without passionate people like you. Thank you for your kindness!

4

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have been a an SOS Child in Bethlehem - West Bank. SOS provided me with everything necessary to grow and build up my future. Now I am a Lawyer who tries to defend children in my country.

1 Abina C.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

SOS is the best home for the child who have noone in this world. It provides such a good home for a child, let him feel a family, educates him and take care of their needs. It does all the things which is necessary for a child to rise in his life. It had changed life of thousands of childs. It is the best. I have no words to describe how much effort it has done to help a child in need.

Comments ( 1 )

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SOS USA 06/24/2014

Thank you Abina for your nice words! Your support has made the world of a difference. Thank you for supporting us and we hope to continue having you by our side in supporting children and youth!

2

Donor

Rating: 5

SOS family based child care is a unique way of supporting children who are in need for care and protection. I have worked with SOS India, 23 long years (1989 to 2012) to testify and guarantee its output. I am still a sponsor with SOS India and I am happy with the sponsor communication system of the organisation. Be part of an international quality Child Care Programme. Best wishes - Santhiraj Kolengaden

1

Donor

Rating: 5

I was introduced to this charity in my childhood in Germany, and have continued my support wherever I lived (UK & USA). The SOS idea of providing a home with a mother and siblings is unique, as SOS is very culturally aware, relationship based, and does not stipulate any religious affiliation. These factors have become very important to me as I entered the child care field and gained a better understanding of what makes children thrive. Once married, we decided to sponsor a child. That was more than 25 years ago. We were provided with details of a 10 year old Tibetan boy living in India. We saw him grow into a young man and succeed in gaining a college education until he aged out of the system in his twenties. We formed a bond through letters back and forth and considered him part of our family. We continued our sponsorship with a new child from Kenya and added another from Bolivia. We have come to the conclusion that taking an interest in children who are disadvantaged by the economic circumstances of their country of birth, and being able to play a small part in providing a loving home and an education for them, is a rewarding experience without equal. Being able to meet some of these children in the future, would be the icing on the cake.

Flor Y.

Donor

Rating: 5

Help children's in all aspects will help to all of us live in a better planet

Donor

Rating: 1

I gave a donation to SOS Children's Villages four years ago. The next year my financial situation had changed and I didn't continue. I received a notice later thanking me very much for my on going donations! I called several times before I could speak to the person that was in charge of my account, and told them that I had not authorized use of my credit card! Needless to say, I was unhappy with this and told them to remove my information from their data base, which they said that they had.
I have never stopped getting mailings from them and just received a letter thanking me for my 2013 donation and asking me to donate again. I DID NOT DONATE LAST YEAR AND IF THEY TOOK IT OUT ON MY CREDIT CARD I AM MOST ANGRY. Their contact phone # has too many numbers in it and of course does not connect to anything . Forgive me if I sound suspicious , but this smells of Fraud or at best very bad management . i am continuing to try to make contact in person!
Patrick Williams

Comments ( 1 )

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SOS USA 01/27/2014

Thank you Mr. Williams for giving us the opportunity to address your concerns. This past week, we were able to speak with Mr. Williams to help clear up and resolve this issue and confirmed that, in fact, no additional charges have been made after his cancellation request. We take the trust given to us by our donors and the community very seriously and appreciate the opportunity to address any concerns. Our phone number is 1-888-SOS-4543 should anyone like to contact us.

1

Donor

Rating: 5


“ In 1984 I was getting my Bachelors in Early Childhood Education. That summer I visited my bio- father in Vienna. He took me to visit a nearby SOS Children's Village where I got to see SOS Kinderdorf in action. I was immediately impressed with the sense of joy, caring, cleanliness and stability that I saw and felt in the SOS homes. I will always remember my father telling me that it was required that SOS mothers come from large families themselves so they would be comfortable with the energy of a big family. That seemed very wise to me. I bought and read a copy of "The Hermann Gmeiner Book:The Story of SOS. It's on my shelf to this day.
My father was a staunch supporter of SOS having himself experienced the losses of wartime Austria. He traveled to Bosnia when the first SOS home opened there and he remained impressed with the SOS system to the very end of his life. With other organizations there were times when he became frustrated about some element of their operation. I never heard him say anything negative about SOS.
In my father's final years he reconnected strongly to one of his favorite places in the world - Haiti and adamantly followed the difficulties and restoration efforts of SOS Haiti. Margie Bruszer, the Major Gifts Officer established a warm meaningful communication with my father making sure that he got as much news as possible about his beloved Haiti. This meant a lot to him and to me as well. I am very thankful for all that SOS Children's Villages accomplishes.”

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am currently heading up a volunteer committee for SOS Children's Villages USA, but have personally benefited tremendously from this organization. I grew up in an SOS Children's Village in Germany (from the age of 2 to 18) and had an amazing childhood in the care of my SOS mother and the village at large. I did not realize until my adulthood how lucky I had been for having been placed in an SOS village vs. conventional foster care. I will be a supporter and volunteer for SOS as long as I live and truly believe that this organization has saved my life. Now it's time for me to give back and help make a difference for other kids in need.

2

Donor

Rating: 5

I support SOS Children's Village USA. They do an amazing job caring for orphaned and abandoned children throughout the world. There are many organizations that support children, but I think what sets SOS apart is the specialized care they provide each child - it's so much more than a roof over a child's head or a warm meal. The trauma caused by losing a parent, or even worse being abandoned by a parent, must be immense. SOS provides a child who has lost everything, the stability and support of a constant and dependable home, a new loving family and a new SOS mom who will be there on good days and bad to surround that child with the support and love they need to grow up the best they can be. It’s a great organization and if you’re wondering if you should support them – I say yes!

3

Donor

Rating: 5

I traveled all over the world for a former employer, and as it is part of my personal interests, visited many orphanages along the way. In one of those travels, I spent a morning at the SOS Village in the Go Vap District of HCMC Vietnam. I have rarely seen kids so happy and doing so well, from any home, let alone an orphanage. These children are "loved", and not just well fed, clothed and educated. SOS has great training for the "mom's"; everything seems to be done very thoughtfully. The administrative staff were also loving and very professional. I did not know about SOS prior to this visit (though I had heard about SOS from some Vietnamese Buddhist monks who also took care of orphans and raved about SOS), but since that visit I have become an SOS donor, and am happy to be one and recommend SOS to others.

2

Donor

Rating: 5

I sponsored a little girl in Botswana who wrote me letters about her family and her dreams. It was a wonderful experience that I wish I could have continued with. I still make donations to SOS when I can, and have no complaints about their organization.

Review from CharityNavigator

3

Donor

Rating: 1

Hi,

Very bad experiences I had with SOS just like cheated. I visited SOS Faridabad village and decided to donate for a children. But before my donation I have been told lot many promises like you will get a children details for who your money is being donated, you will receive kid exams results, you will get kid photo and other details which kid you have adapted.

Before my donation I receive almost a call everyday but soon I submitted the form money is being started deducted from my a/c every month and I didn't received a single call or notification or details of kid and payment deducted since last 6 month without any payment receipt even.

Donor ID DEL/56090

~Prateek Singhal

Review from CharityNavigator

5

Donor

Rating: 5

I recently visited the S.O.S. Village in the Go Vap district of HCMC in Vietnam. The purpose of my visit was to meet the child I sponsor . To be honest I was looking for an excuse to end my sponsorship of this child as I had just spent some time with another fine organization and I wanted to give the moneys to them. After all, I reasoned, this child would be where he was with or without my donation. I've always thought of an orphanage as an institution. That picture was completely changed after my visit. This village was much more like a home and community than an institution. The grounds were well kept and beautiful. The children were housed and fed in small cottages taken care of by a house mom. All of the children I met were clean, healthy, and happy. They even had a puppy dog to love and to love them. I thought that was a great touch. They go to school with the other city children which I think is very important for their development. The village far exceeded my expectations. I could find absolutely no reason to end my sponsorship. In fact I have resolved to continue my sponsorship all of my days and beyond if possible. SOS Villages are doing an outstanding job! They deserve all the help they can get.

3 Andrea Z.

Donor

Rating: 5

My husband and I have sponsored a little girl in Lithuania for almost 2 years now. We receive regular updates and new photos from her village. We send packages regularly and always receive thank you notes from her and the coordinator on-site. Last year we were lucky enough to be able to visit her in her home. Her mother was very welcoming and there was a small gathering to introduce us to our sponsored child. We spent almost 4 hours eating cake, drinking a wonderful homemade fruit tea, and getting to know each other. We left with lots of photos and even a framed picture drawn by our sponsored child. It was an incredible afternoon - one we won't soon forget!
SOS is an amazing organization and my only regret is that we did not learn of it sooner. Although right now we are not financially able to sponsor another child, we plan to do so eventually. SOS makes the lives of many children better and we are so happy to be a part of it!