Victor Jung is a committed philanthropist from New York City

Tag: Children Page 1 of 2

A History of the Children’s Heart Surgery Fund

The Children’s Heart Surgery Fund got its start thanks to a single visionary heart surgeon in 1988. Duncan Walker, a congenital cardiac surgeon in Leeds, realized that his facility was missing out on opportunities to save the lives of infants and children. Though there was new equipment available that could provide benefits, the Leeds hospitals could not afford to purchase these highly specified tools.

Therefore, Walker decided to set up a charity that would help fund pediatric cardiac surgery. The public immediately responded to this cause, and in just a year, enough money was raised to build a Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. Once Walker realized just how much the public cared about this important cause, he decided to continue running the charity even after the initial goal was met.

The Children’s Heart Surgery Fund continued to raise money for keeping the Leeds unit operational. This took on a whole new sense of urgency in 2011 when changes to legislation threatened to close the entire clinic. The issue arose after a scandal in the 1990s when several children died in the Bristol Royal Infirmary. Due to this problem, the government had decided to move all children’s heart surgeries to a few specialist clinics.

If this law was enacted, the Leeds unit would have to shut down. However, the Children’s Heart Surgery Fund launched the ‘Save Our Surgery’ campaign. With a petition of over 600,000 signatures and a massive demonstration, they generated national interest. When even this was not enough, the charity then used funds to start a legal action against the Department of Health. This ultimately proved successful in 2013, when a High Court judge ruled that the Leeds clinic deserved a more thorough analysis before closure.

In 2015, it was determined that the LGI actually did meet most of the national standards for pediatric heart surgery units, and the clinic was allowed to stay open. This whole saga showed just how successful the Children’s Heart Surgery Fund could be when the people of Leeds united for a cause. With pressure to continue meeting national standards, the charity has continued to run fundraising efforts. Recently, £500,000 was raised in a year to launch a revolutionary hybrid theatre that continues to help save lives.

Two little girls reading

5 Charities that are Promoting Children’s Literacy

If you’ve ever lent a hand to a charity in the global fight for literacy, you’ll be glad to know that literacy rates have risen in recent years. Literacy programs and charity organizations have a huge role in this!

However, literacy rates are still below par in many underdeveloped and developing countries. The following is a list of charities that are promoting children’s literacy across the globe by working day in and night out.

 

1. Reading is Fundamental

 

Ready is Fundamental is an organization that aims to fight the literacy crisis in the U.S. Committed to spreading the light of literacy among kids, the charity works with schools, book publishers, distributors, community centers, health facilities, and homeless shelters to provide needy children with books and other reading resources. 

They invite you to join hands in creating a completely literate nation and accept donations online as well as by mail or phone. 

 

2. Literacy for Incarcerated Teens

 

This New York-based organization focuses on an important population: youth. It strives to educate teens who are imprisoned and confined by creating libraries in juvenile prisons. This one-of-a-kind non-profit organization aspires to inspire teens to read and learn to become better human beings.

 

3. Everybody Wins!

 

Everybody Wins! is another non-profit charitable organization that utilizes an innovative shared reading experience approach to encourage children to read. they feature an interesting program called ‘Power Lunch’ where an adult mentor and a child pair up for a fun reading session. 

Since its inception in 1995, Everybody Wins! has donated approximately 200,000 books to kids in need and has supported 60,000 children on the fight against illiteracy. You can sign up for mentoring kids or simply donate books and money online to support their cause.

 

4. World Literacy Foundation 

 

The World Literacy Foundation aims to fight the 20% illiteracy rate in the world. It uses the power of research and advocacy to promote literacy in underdeveloped communities across the globe. 

Currently, they are working on eradicating illiteracy in 25 countries, including the U.S., Australia, Africa, and Latin America. To make your contribution, you can volunteer or donate money to the World Literacy Foundation or any one of the three organizations: North America, the UK, and Europe.

 

5. Milk and Bookies

 

Milk and Bookies is a non-profit organization that works to promote literacy and reading among children. Not only this, but it also aims to spread awareness regarding the importance of community work and giving.

This organization has an inspiring Leaders + Readers Program for student volunteers in Los Angeles. In addition to this, it also hosts a program called Book Raisers to motivate children to pick and donate books for other unfortunate kids who can’t afford them. 

You can donate money or books for the needy children or even host your own book drive in your community.

Thanks to the many charities that are promoting children’s literacy, the global literacy rate is improving. Nevertheless, a lot of work still needs to be done. You can do your part by donating money, books, or any reading resources that needy children don’t have access to or can’t afford. 

Teaching Children the Importance of Personal Finance

Victor Jung

Personal finance is one of the most important topics that children should learn about at a relatively young age. Giving children some teachings and practicals on the topic ensures that they grow with the right foundational knowledge. It also advances their strength in personal finance planning as they grow up.

According to the president of JumpStart Coalition, a children’s finance literacy group, parents should lead the way by starting conversations and incorporating finance lessons in everyday activities at home. Using a systematic approach when performing these lessons ensures that children can progressively grow their competency on the subject. Here are a few ideas on how to go about teaching your children the importance of personal finance.

Start with the importance of money

From the beginning, children should be taught how to identify and value money accordingly. Giving them a fundamental understanding and demonstration of financial value ensures that they can appreciate its importance whenever they see it. This can be done by showing them what exactly money can do for them and how it should be handled.

Spending vs. saving

Children also need to have sufficient knowledge on how to acquire money, how to save it, and how to spend it wisely. This can be perfectly demonstrated by asking your child to do a mild task and then ‘paying’ them a small salary. The essence of an allowance is to ensure that children understand that to get money, they have to do some work. It also reinforces the idea that money should be appreciated. Once they acquire money, you should then proceed to show them how to set a personal budget of prospected expenses, including setting aside some savings.

Setting a good example

There is perhaps no better way to teach children effectively than by serving as a good example. Using your life as a case study on how to handle money, how to budget, and how to save gives your children a reinforcement of ideas that are highly unlikely to be forgotten. Taking them on a trip to the grocery store, for example, demonstrates that they can set a clear budget to purchase only the necessary goods. From the change you get back after your trip, you can then teach them the value of setting aside some money for future use by tossing coins in a private piggy bank.

5 Ways You Can Support Migrant Children at the Border

Many young migrant children are currently enduring awful conditions at the United States border amidst heated discussions on our country’s immigration policies. The nightly news has well documented the overcrowding, unsanitary environments, and abuse these children are currently going through along with other family members. Some reports suggest minors are going weeks without access to enough food or even space to sleep.

Here’s what you can do to take action and help children who are struggling in detainment.

  1. Support Advocacy Organizations

Many advocacy organizations offer a wide array of services to immigrant children and families. These families often need costly legal representation that is otherwise unavailable to them as immigrants. Other advocacy organizations provide humanitarian aid and shelter for those without it.

Organizations like the ACLU and United We Dream seek to reform immigration laws at the national level. Each of these advocacy groups need monetary donations from volunteers to continue their efforts. If it is within your budget, aiding these organizations in their fight can be a tremendous help.

  1. Write Elected Officials

Putting pressure on your representative with petitions and signatures of people in your community can help tremendously. It shows our representatives in Congress that the current Southern border conditions are inhumane and unjust. Congress has voted to pass a $4.6 billion humanitarian aid bill for migrant children, which is a good start.

  1. Educate Yourself

If you live in an area with a large immigrant population, it would be wise to educate yourself. Staying up-to-date with the current immigration system is a complex order. You can show support for immigrants by opposing detention centers. Boost accurate information to increase exposure and be aware of Know Your Rights training centers in your area.

  1. Protest

Organizations like MoveOn, United We Dream, and Families Belong Together are organizing protests nationwide. You can find organization information for the latest efforts under the hashtag #CloseTheCamps on Twitter. These rallies are slated to continue until action is taken to address the issues at the border.

  1. Attend a Townhall

Many elected representatives will hold town hall sessions in their districts during the Congressional recess in August. Make plans to attend these and ask your representative what they plan to do about these conditions at the border. Making immigration reform a front and center issue for many representatives seeking re-election next year can be hugely beneficial in the fight to improve conditions at the border.

Charity is More Than Just Money for Children

With the decline in donations to charitable causes in recent years, the idea of engaging children in humanitarian acts in meaningful ways promises to provide adult donors in the future. Having been involved in charitable acts as children, these donors will understand what solutions can genuinely aid people, and they will contribute to making improvements in the conditions of peoples’ lives.

While many adults perceive charity as giving money, children’s perceptions of charity generally include social interaction and activities. Some of these acts involve children picking up litter, bringing food to seasonal festivals, dressing up for Children in Need, putting on red noses for Comic Relief, or donating their old toys for needy children. The list is endless.

Such engagement, if performed in a meaningful way, helps to foster altruism in children. In fact, since research suggests that children’s social orientations begin to form in their early years, helping children to become donors in the future by providing them experiences in which they become concerned about others is essential. Further research supports the conclusion that children who have charitable experiences before they are 10 years of age are twice as likely to be concerned about the welfare of others throughout their lifetimes than those who started when they were teenagers. Therefore, for charitable causes to succeed, it is vital that a child’s inherent socially-orientated behavior is fostered.

Equally important to the success of charitable organizations is the positive exploration of social and environmental issues. Acts of charity provide children the arena in which they can explore these issues in proactive ways. With the opportunities to acquire knowledge about the environment and their society and those of others, children can learn about the dangers to the air, land, and water. Also, when children are engaged in social and philanthropic activities, they are exposed to the inequalities of society. 

From such exposure, they can learn much to become responsible adults, having gained an understanding of citizenship and the importance of altruism. With this understanding also comes an increased motivation for giving to social causes in an effort to make improvements for people.

From their engagements in charitable activities in which they are exposed to people suffering deprivations, children gain the knowledge to know the importance of preserving clean air, clean water, and other natural resources. Interestingly, when they enter the conversation about climate change with their parents, studies in the United States have shown that these knowledgeable children have often contributed to a change in their parents’ attitudes about climate change. Indeed, knowledge fosters results.

How to Discuss Terminal Illness with Children

Most adults have an instinctive desire to protect children, both physically and emotionally. Their wish to guard against harm leads them to safeguard their environment, and do what they can to clear dangers and obstacles from their lives. Unfortunately, there are some things that simply can’t be avoided, regardless of a parent’s vigilance.

As death is a part of life, it stands to reason that sooner or later, children will have to face the impending death of a loved one. Talking to kids about terminal illness is hard, as being truthful about what it means is certain to bring pain to children. However, just like some of the other difficult parenting tasks (e.g. sleep training or leaving a child with a babysitter for the first time) it is a necessary part of raising healthy and independent future adults. Here are some tips for talking about terminal illness with children.

Normalize It

Death and dying are a natural part of life, and it is helpful to make children aware of that concept from an early age. Certainly, there is no shortage of children’s books and movies that reference death in some way or another. Having a conversation about it when it pertains to a fictional character (Bambi’s mother, for example) is a great way to talk about it before it becomes personal. When it does become personal for them, having that context that as painful as it is, it is normal, will help them make sense of it.

Tell them what they need to know

The amount of detail kids can absorb will vary by age and developmental level, but it is important to give children the information they need to understand what’s happening with their loved one. Research has indicated that children who have dealt with a parent with a terminal illness felt they were not given all of the information they needed, and that rather than protect them from stress, this created more anxiety for them.

Be honest

Be honest about what is likely to happen, and don’t be afraid to answer their questions with total honesty, even if that means saying “I don’t know.” Children need to be able to trust not only the information they are given, but the person giving it.

Sources:

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/joseph-nowinski-phd/parents-terminal-illness-_b_1187097.html

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/naturalwonderers/12-mistakes-parents-make-when-talking-to-kids-about-death-part-i/

The Best Programs for Children with Incarcerated Parents

When a prison or jail sentence breaks up a family, it’s hard on everyone, but it can be especially traumatic for younger children. They suddenly have to face the loss of a parent and, although the parent is still living, the family remains separated. For that reason, several organizations exist to help these children cope with the situation.

Angel Tree Program

This program is specifically geared towards making a holiday connection between children and their incarcerated parents. Angel Tree is a national organization that works with church volunteers in certain communities to purchase gifts and deliver them to children in the name of their incarcerated parents.

The Sesame Workshop

Sponsored by the children’s television show Sesame Street, this organization provides to the children and families of incarcerated individuals. The kits contain educational multimedia material, available in both English and Spanish. The materials are intended to help children and their caregivers deal with the incarceration of a parent.

SKIP, Inc

SKIP is an acronym for Saving Kids of Incarcerated Parents and has locations nationwide. The concept is to provide a circle of positive influences in the lives of children who have been affected by an incarcerated parent. All children in the program receive behavioral and educational encouragement. Teens can also participate in online support groups, where they can discuss the issues that affect them.

Assisting Families of Inmates

Founded in Virginia, this organization also seeks to help the children and families of incarcerated persons. How this program differs is that they assist children with prison visits, so they can keep in contact with their incarcerated parent. The organization also provides families with referrals and resources to help them adjust to the practical changes that the incarceration has created.

Children of Inmates

Similarly, Children of Inmates also strives to keep children connected to their incarcerated parents, though this organization is based in Florida. The program seeks to build stronger familial bonds for inmates and their children, helping them build positive memories throughout the term of their incarceration. Children of Inmates sponsors a number of programs designed to minimize the traumatic effect that the incarceration of a parent has on the children.

Hour Children

Located in Long Island City, this organization focuses on helping female inmates and formerly incarcerated women through practical services. The organization helps women adjust to life back in society and works towards keeping them together with their children. They help arrange housing, offer mentoring programs, and help the women find decent paying jobs within the community.

ForeverFamily

Based in Atlanta, this program reinforces the idea that family can be a source of strength and positive growth. Children are emotionally nurtured and assisted with their social and educational development. An after-school support group meets to allow older children an opportunity to discuss the issues they face in having a parent in prison. They find that it’s helpful to communicate with others who share the same problems and feelings.

The Jeff Gordon Children’s Foundation and Its $2 Million Donation

The Jeff Gordon Children’s Foundation has made a $2 million donation to Levine Children’s Hospital in Charlotte, North Carolina. The announcement was made by the Carolinas HealthCare System, which indicated the funds would be used for research and academic goals in cancer and other blood disorders while creating an endowed chair for the Gordon charity.

Carolinas HealthCare System CEO and President Gene Woods expressed gratitude for the gift and said the quality research and care at the hospital would bring the dream of a carefree life closer to reality for its young patients. He added that endowed chairs are vital for attracting and keeping brilliant staff, and that it was impossible to accomplish such a large task alone. The generosity of the Jeff Gordon Children’s Foundation and other donors makes it possible to keep science moving forward for the discovery of new treatment options.

Gordon, who is as well known for his racing career as his philanthropy, said that cancer is a leading cause of death in children, and the only way to combat that is through relentless research. He also said that nothing he dealt with on the racetrack is as challenging as cancer.

The Gordon charity named Javier Oesterheld, M.D., as the first endowed chair. Oesterheld is a director at the Torrence E. Hemby, Jr. Pediatric Hematology, Oncology and Blood and Marrow Transplant Center at Levine Hospital. During his tenure, the center took on 140 new patients and accepted nearly 15,000 visits for outpatient therapy and treatment. This made the center one of the busiest in the southeastern part of the United States.

The center focuses on using unique drug combinations along with experimental therapies for children and teens who have no other medical options to treat their cancer.

Oesterheld expressed his gratitude to the Gordon charity by saying the gift would enhance the commitment to research and bring the center closer to completing its new research laboratory, which is slated to open in 2018. This would be followed by clinical trials related to cancer and other blood diseases.

 
Cancer care for children will continue to be a growing need in the years to come, and the support from the Gordon charity and other organizations will provide the foundation for high-level research and treatment, which will be available to patients regardless of location. Visit www.jeffgordonchildrensfoundation.org to learn more about the charity and how to help children fighting cancer.

Teaching Your Children Cultural Acceptance

In spite of the fact that we are living in the 21st century, heartbreaking issues such as racism, bias, and cultural discrimination are still alive and very much pervasive throughout many communities across the United States.

Although it sometimes feels like an insurmountable feat, it is possible — though not easy — to diminish the reach and effects of racial injustice, inequality, and discrimination. However, it is important to note that this change does not begin on a large scale. Quite the contrary, the very root of eliminating such harmful behavior begins in your own home by establishing a standard of openness and acceptance with none other than your own family.

With this fact in mind, let us take a deeper look at how one can teach their child — or children — cultural acceptance.

Get out of your comfort zone. In spite of our integrated and diverse population, Americans still seem to gather together in homogenous — or seemingly homogenous — communities, as that is where they feel they best fit in.

However, in order to teach your children about the fundamentals of diversity and cultural acceptance, it is imperative that you take them to a new place and allow them to experience a different way of life. This could be achieved by bringing them on your next trip abroad, where they can try new foods, meet new people, and witness that the American culture is not the only one on this planet.

Or, if your children are still relatively young, you could easily take them to a museum that highlights a particular culture or group of people. Allow them to discover different artifacts, see the faces of people who look different than they do, and hear the stories that are rooted in another culture’s history.

Teach your children to celebrate others. Once your children have been exposed to cultures different than their own, it is imperative that you take the time to thoroughly answer the onslaught of questions they have likely generated. This process will improve their abilities to understand who others are in terms of race, family composition, and even physical ability — all while aiding them in confirming their own personal identities.

The most important point to drive home throughout this time is that others being different from oneself is not only totally acceptable, but ought to be respected and celebrated. This can be enforced not only through your words, but through supplemental children’s books as well.

People of certain races, abilities, and familial backgrounds may face obstacles that your children might not, so be sure to point that fact out and ensure they know that they could make life a little bit easier on someone else by treating them fairly and with kindness — no matter how the rest of the world may perceive them.

 
Remember their true role model(s). No matter how old your children are, there is nothing more influential in their lives than your presence and efforts. By keeping that fact in mind, you will ultimately hold yourself to a higher standard, as opposed to enforcing the age-old adage, “Do as I say, not as I do.”

Teaching Children to be Entrepreneurial

If your children begin to show signs early on of dedication and hard work, the field of entrepreneurship may be one of the most rewarding career paths they can take. Without pushing them to pursue something they aren’t interested in, gauge their reactions to new and exciting opportunities. There are many instances in which you can introduce entrepreneurial skills to your child, and doing so can instill a passion that will last a lifetime.

The title of “entrepreneur” can be confusing and somewhat vague in the eye’s of a child, and the idea of being an astronaut or firefighter is often much more alluring. However, phrasing the title as “someone who changes the world” usually gets their attention, and is only an exaggeration in the slightest.

In order to expose them to the world of entrepreneurship, don’t hesitate to take your children to work with you. Show them what your business does, how you go about your daily routine, and how you present yourself in a professional environment. Encourage them to ask you questions when they aren’t exactly sure what it is you’re doing. Explaining the ins and outs of entrepreneurship to them is a great form of education. While this is certainly not a strategy to implement every single day, it can give your child a glimpse into their potential future.

Allow them to be involved with entrepreneurial projects that you take part in. Not only will this teach them about the subject, but they’ll see that being an entrepreneur entails helping people as well; an innate characteristic that all children possess. With that said, raise them to see entrepreneurs as their real-life superheroes. While idolizing Superman and Batman at young age is perfectly acceptable, help them understand that the heroes that actually exist are those that help others, and how many entrepreneurs fit that title.

Make business conversations a regular part of your household, knowing when this topic is and isn’t appropriate. After all, being seen as just a business person rather than a parent in your child’s eyes can be extremely damaging to the relationship. But, you should be able to openly discuss your goings-ons at work, so long as they are appropriate for younger ears. Ask for their input when you are faced with a problem at your workplace, or when you’re starting a new project. Though you may not be expecting the greatest feedback, seeing the task from a new perspective could provide some surprisingly valuable advice, of which children have more than you think.

As mentioned, there certainly should be a line drawn between business and family time, but allowing your children to have some insight into your regular business practices can prove beneficial. Inspiring them to become an entrepreneur is as easy as showing them how much you enjoy your job, as well as explaining the hardships and difficulties, of course. Without forcing them to enter a field in which they have no interest, encourage them to develop positive daily habits, and show them just how rewarding entrepreneurship can be.

Page 1 of 2

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén