Why should I get involved?

Top 10 Reasons to Invest in COCI!

Reason #10: We have a track record. Cherish Our Children International has been in existence since 1993. We are a bona-fide 501(c)3 with a fabulous track record. Juli Hall our founder established the vision almost 20 years ago and we continue with more passion than ever to reach the most vulnerable children of the world. Check us out BBBGreat Non-profits.

Reason #9:  You haven’t forgotten where you came from. Giving to Cherish Our Children International is an opportunity to give something back to the world we take so much from. Most of us only have to look back one or two generations to see where our grandparents or great grandparents could have been one of our vulnerable “Cherished Children”. Choosing to sponosor COCI is a sign that you have not forgotten where you came from and are grateful to your past.  See a video about some of the children we have provided for.

Reason #8: Tired of bad news? Are you tired of hearing about bad news, no hope, no future.  Create a brighter future for the vulnerable children of the world. Join Gracie!

Reason #7: Quick cure for depression. Feeling blue? It has been proven that one of the best remedies for depression is doing something for someone who is in a worse situation than you are.  It really is better to give rather than receive. Giving to vulnerable kids makes it extra special.

Reason #6: Be inspired. Ever dream of getting beyond yourself for something else.  Read Karen’s story: For as long as I can remember, I believed in helping those that are less fortunate – especially those who were too young to speak for themselves or be able to take action on their own. I was very fortunate to be raised in this giving environment. When growing up, my family took in foster kids who were removed from abusive situations. They were good kids who deserved a fair shot in life. They became part of my family. As I grew older and moved on with my journey in life, my parents continued to help the less fortunate.

For the past ten years, I have been employed in a position that allows me to remove children from these similar situations and greatly assist in bringing their abusers to face their crimes. I didn’t plan for my career to take me into this direction but along the way I felt a peace that it was meant to be. Six years ago, for the first time, my mother shared with me that she was just like one of the many children that I was helping. When she was abandoned as a child – someone stepped in to help her. A little assistance mixed with love goes a long way. Ever since then she has not stopped helping others in great need. As most of you know she passed away a little over two years ago. Near the end, when she was pretty ill, she was still making concrete plans on doing things for some of the less fortunate kids that she knew.

COCI provides assistance to children in need Internationally as well as here locally in the United States. Two weeks ago, I met several children in the Houston-area that are part of the Team COCI program. These children came from tragic backgrounds, some of them essentially homeless, and most of them have a majority of their family in prison. These children elected to be in this program because they have a dream inside of them like my mother did. They shared these dreams when I met them. They dream to be nothing like what their abusive parents and upbringing has taught them. They dream to never commit a crime. They all hear a voice inside telling them that they can be good people, that they can be a positive productive part of society, and they are all clinging onto a hope that someone will believe in them. They all focus on showing love as they have felt too much hurt in their very short lives. I want to help provide them an opportunity to take off in life.

So this year I found myself in a situation where I wsa able to act on two things that I love … triathlons and helping children. Team COCI magically put those two things together. When I am facing those tough moments, when I am hurting, when I am asking myself why am I doing this …. I will know … I am not only doing this to accomplish my dreams – I am doing it so the children can accomplish theirs.

On November 18, 2012, Karen completed her first Ironman in Tempe, Arizona and raised over $2000 for Cherish Our Children International.  The race took her just over 13 hours to complete.  These are her words “When I am facing those tough moments, when I am hurting, when I am asking myself why am I doing this …. I will know … I am not only doing this to accomplish my dreams – I am doing it so the children can accomplish theirs.”

Reason #5: We partner with others and have more to accomplish.  About three miles from the Pharr, Texas bridge that crosses into Mexico, there is a large community of poor Mexican people who live along a drainage canal. Some of them work for about $10 a day for American companies who have moved production to Mexico. The community is called La Calichera (bad clay dirt). Several years ago, Rev. Jeannie George first visited La Calichera looking for a place to “make a difference” in the lives of needy children. There was no running water, no electricity and only one small shed built of shipping flats and pieces of rusty tin where a few children met to have school. By “connecting” with the elected community leaders in La Calichera through a retired UCC minister, CoH Child of Hope ministry built a sturdy 13 x 20 foot tin roof one room building to serve as a school and a communityTogether with Cathedral of Hope and ROHI, we have supported the vision of creating Little Blue Schools in Reynosa, Mexico. Building by CofH began in Reynosa in 2002.  To date, twenty-two classrooms and two kitchens have been built and furnished.  Over 250 children attend grades K-6 at four different Little Blue Schools campuses.

Reason #4: A great way to commemorate love. Love is a much needed emotion in today’s world. COCI provides a great way to commemorate your love by donating to remember a loved one or pay tribute to someone who has made a difference in your life. What about commemorating that teacher or child that loved you? It is one of the best ways to show the world that you do indeed care about something.

Reason #3: Be a part of reaching out rather than taking in.  Story of Siniša from Belgrade, Serbia! Today I attended the funeral of Siniša, a boy of 14, he was diagnosed L-Downs Syndrome but he died of heart complications.

His father made a moving speech recounting a story from last summer. In his speech Siniša’s father recalled the basketball tournament organized every year under the auspices of COCI Serbia, and the fact that Siniša was so excited to play on that mach. For the first time he had a chance to compete with regular children. Siniša played like never before, the match was very dramatic, the result was a draw. In the last moment of the match, like in a movie, Siniša received the ball, advanced towards the opponent’s three point line when he was fouled…Free throws for Siniša, he felt like he was the center of the planet….it was way too important for Siniša not to miss this one….everybody was silent leaving time for Siniša to focus on this throw. Finally he let the ball fly, it hit the backboard, than balanced for few moments on the rim and finally entered into the basket….everybody cheered for Siniša! His team won! At the end of the match he was carried by his teammates and the audience cheered Siniša! Siniša! Siniša!….It was the best moment of his life, he was a HERO that day! The last words of Siniša to his parents were in fact the question related to this match; “Did you like the game? Did you like the way I played?” the next moment he died without waiting for the answer…

Reason #2:  We produce lasting results that we want to replicate. Please take a moment to read one of our cherished children’s stories. Growing up, I’d always thought that I had a story of shame and that my past was something I needed to keep under-wraps. Having both of my parents incarcerated was a difficult part of my life growing up. It caused me to be an introvert and pushed me to over compensate in other areas of my life to fill that void. Luckily for me, that area was education, and I had strong grandparents to influence that. Although my success in education was tremendous, it was not sufficient enough to fill that void in my life that I kept hidden from the public and my peers. Becoming a member of No More Victims (A signature program of COCI) changed my life in a way that I could not have even imagined.  The program taught me that I had a powerful story and it did not to be concealed, but voiced for the many other children like me. It was at that moment my membership in the program had gone from just the shy participant to a national figure that could garner support for the organization and get those supporters to carry the message of this to the places around the country that needed it most. If it were not for this amazing organization that sparked a flame in my passion for public service, I would not stand where I stand today, as a Truman Scholar, LSU Alum, mentor, advocate, and PhD student at Columbia – all because of their push to share my story with others. So thank you No More Victims and COCI, and I encourage all to support such a dynamic and life changing organization. With Regard, Devon Wade.

Reason #1: Because you can. The most important reason of all as to why you should donate to charity is because you can. It is often seen that the people who don’t have much are the ones who are willing to give away the most. It is the duty of the privileged to help those that are underprivileged as it is the only way that we can make our world a better place to live in not just for ourselves but also for the future generations that are to come. We hope you choose to sponsor Cherish Our Children International, don’t delay!

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