It’s easy to get discouraged in these hard times. Every week seems to bring more bad news for children. This week we found out the 100 largest school districts had dramatic rises in child poverty, child homelessness, and the number of children needing free school meals.
But we never give up. CDF spent the year battling back budget cuts to protect programs that benefit children and families at the federal and state level. With your help, we will work tirelessly to continue our programs and campaigns to ensure all children a better 2012. Please take a moment to make a donation. Help us reach our ambitious goal of raising $200,000 by the end of the year.
Your 2010 donations helped ensure more children were served in 2011 by the CDF Freedom Schools® program in more locations than ever before. We continued to develop the next generation of leaders through our Young Adult Leadership Training and Beat the Odds® programs. Our innovative programs enrolling eligible, uninsured children in Medicaid were nationally recognized. We continued to aggressively raise awareness and sound the alarm bell about child poverty. Children only have one childhood, and it is right now. Our children are counting on you today to continue this work throughout 2012. Please do not give up, CDF needs your support now more than ever.
CDF: A Charity you can Trust
The Children's Defense Fund takes great pride in its financial efficiency and accountability. CDF is supported primarily by foundation and corporate grants and individual donations. Learn more with our 2010 Annual Report and make a donation today.
Good News: Medicaid and CHIP Work
States have made progress expanding health coverage to children and reducing the number of uninsured children by 1 million over the past three years! That’s really great news as we continue to see huge increases in the number of poor children during these tough times. A report released this week by our friends at the Georgetown Center on Children and Families (CCF), highlighted the reasons for this success.
Dianne and Carissa Malley present how Medicaid has helped keep Carissa healthy during a briefing on Capitol Hill co-hosted by CDF.
At briefings on Capitol Hill co-sponsored by CDF and endorsed by 40 children’s health organizations, Joan Alker, Co-Director of the CCF, discussed how states have expanded eligibility for, and simplified access to, the Medicaid program, which provides more than 36 million children with the comprehensive health coverage they need to survive and thrive.
One of those children, Carissa Malley, a 15-year-old girl with Downs syndrome, and her mother Dianne, joined us on Capitol Hill to share their experience with Medicaid. Dianne, once a college professor who has never been without private health coverage for her family, said they would be bankrupt without Medicaid. Carissa’s story and the good news about children’s health coverage highlighted in the report underscore the importance of maintaining and protecting Medicaid and CHIP.
CDF works at the national and state level to remove barriers to coverage and creates innovative, nationally recognized strategies to increase enrollment for eligible children. Learn more about Medicaid with CDF’s Fact Sheet and check-out how your state is faring in the new report from our good friends at CCF.
A Night to Remember: CDF Awards Scholarships
On November 15th, CDF’s national office held its annual Beat the Odds (BTO) Ceremony honoring five extraordinary high school seniors. In an emotional evening, the audience heard each student’s moving stories, and celebrated as they triumphantly took to the stage to accept their awards. Joining them on stage were many past BTO recipients who are now thriving in their new lives as college students and career professionals. These strong and successful young people are living proof that you can change the odds for any child by offering them support and encouragement. Listen to their stories by watching their videos and view a photo slideshow from the event.
CDF board member Malaak Compton-Rock presents the scholarship to Andrew Finein
CDF president Marian Wright Edelman with the 2011 Beat the Odds recipients in Washington, D.C.
CDF Board Chair Geoff Canada presents the scholarship to Thurman Anderson.
In addition to a scholarship, each honoree will receive a laptop computer, college counseling services, and guidance from CDF’s leadership development programs. With your support, CDF will continue to help tremendously deserving students such as these to beat the odds. Please join us for upcoming Beat the Odds events: Los Angeles on December 1st and New York on December 14th.
No Deal Is Better Than a Bad Deal
Just before Thanksgiving, the Supercommittee failed to meet the November 23rd deadline for proposing a comprehensive deficit reduction plan, so $1.2 trillion in automatic across-the-board cuts are now slated to go into effect on January 1, 2013. While we’re disappointed the Supercommittee process did not result in a balanced approach that protected and invested in children’s programs, we believe no deal is better for children than a bad deal. Given that many of the proposals would have gutted critical programs serving children and families, this may end up being the best outcome right now for children.
Extend Unemployment Benefits
Congress is back in Washington this week and is once again dealing with federal budget and deficit reduction issues. As Congress races to wrap up the spending bills to fund the federal government for fiscal year 2012, we will keep asking how proposals impact the programs that children and families need to survive and thrive. One immediate issue: Congress needs to extend unemployment benefits for families that need assistance. Call your members of Congress at (202) 224-3121 this week and tell them to extend benefits for the unemployed before the end of the year!
Safety Net Programs Lift Children Out of Poverty
On November 7th, the U.S. Census Bureau released its first report using the new Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM). The bureau designed the SPM to take care of some of the problems with the existing official poverty measure, such as geographic differences in prices, the effects of ‘in-kind’ benefits such as SNAP (food stamps), and the impact of taxes, medical expenses, and work-related expenses on income. Most prominently, the number and percent of children in poverty and extreme poverty are lower when using the SPM.
These apparent ‘declines’ in child poverty are due in large part to the impact of key federal programs such as the Earned Income Tax Credit, which reduced child poverty by 19 percent, and SNAP (food stamps), which reduced child poverty by 14 percent.
In no way does the SPM show that children are suffering less. Indeed, when using the SPM, a stunning 56.7 percent of children are poor or low-income (living in families with incomes up to 200 percent of the poverty line), compared to 43.9 percent using the official measure. Instead, these results point to the urgent need to support the safety net programs that help fulfill the basic needs of children even in dire economic times. The SPM is NOT replacing the official measure in terms of determining program eligibility, and we will continue to use the official measure for our work here at CDF.
Download additional information on the SPM, including the full report summarized.
Send Holiday Cards to Support Children
During this special season, CDF is offering you a simple way to make a difference in a child's life by purchasing holiday cards. Your support will not only help many vulnerable children but allow you to send a message of hope and peace to your friends and family. Choose from five colorful, child-themed cards from CDF. Please purchase your cards and make an additional contribution to help ensure all children a better 2012.
For Only $12 Purchase a Pack of 12 Colorful CDF Cards