Shelley Callahan [Interview]

Hello Folks! Welcome Part II of our showcase on the brilliant Children Incorporated. Today we have a wonderful interview with the group’s Director of Development, the brilliant Shelley Callahan! She has some more information to tell us about Children Incorporated and more, and we are so honored that she is gracing our digital pages to tell us a bit about her work with this amazing organization.

So Folks, please enjoy these amazing words from the great Shelley Callahan!

Can you tell us about how Children Incorporated came to light? What inspired you to become a part of such a noble cause?

Our founder, Jeanne Clarke Wood, started Children Incorporated in 1964 out of her home after personally witnessing the deprivation of children in Guatemala. She began by simply writing letters to seek assistance for the 95 children she met on her travels, and today, thanks our supporters around the world, we now have work with nearly 300 projects in 23 countries and have served more than 300,000 children.

I started working with Children Incorporated in 2014 after having spent eight years working with a non-profit that I founded called Books on Wheels. Books on Wheels provided free books to children living in low-income neighborhoods around the United States. I traveled around in a school bus promoting literacy. It was amazing.  Around that time, I also go involved with a few international non-profits – one that ran a medical clinic in Haiti, and another that provide clean water solutions to indigenous populations around the globe. From those experiences, I grew to learn about the importance of giving back and working hard to give the poor a voice, and I knew I wanted to dedicate my life to working for an organization like Children Incorporated that did just that.

Can you share any examples of how Children Incorporated has impacted the lives and well being of children? Is there a particular event you can tell us about that people should know about?

We touch the lives of so many children every day! I just returned from a trip to visit our affiliated projects in Guatemala and met with many of our sponsored children there. Because of our work, kids from dangerous neighborhoods are getting an education in safe environments, and they are learning skills such as sewing, cooking, and computer repair that will help them get jobs when they graduate. Its more than just helping kids in the present – we work to ensure that children also have a chance at a brighter future.

I really love our On the Road blog series, where I have opportunity to share stories from children and families we support. It is incredible how we are able to help some of the most vulnerable people in the world by focusing on their individual needs – from providing them with food and clothes, to shelter and medical care, to mattresses to eyeglasses– the list just goes on and on.


What is the best way that folks can help your organization succeed? 

Children Incorporated provides for the needs of impoverished children through two primary approaches: our sponsorship program and our special funds. Sponsorship provides an underprivileged child with basic and education-related necessities such as food, clothing, healthcare, school supplies, and tuition payments.

This vital support allows kids to develop to their full potential – physically, emotionally, and socially. Sponsors positively impact the lives of the children they sponsor through the simple knowledge that someone cares about their well being. This gives children in need hope, which is powerful.

Individual, one-time donations to one of our many special funds support feeding programs, income-generating projects, health and education assistance programs, as well as critical projects like school expansions, medical clinic repairs, housing improvements, and more.

What was the last thing that made you smile?

Children Incorporated is located in Richmond, Virginia, and there is a great publication in our city called RVAMAG, which reports on all sorts of issues while also having fun. Today they posted a picture on their Instagram of a hedgehog pretending to be a pineapple, and it is quite literally the cutest thing I have ever seen.


Learn more about Children Incorporated at their website:


About rontrembathiii
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