WHO WE ARE
Christian Relief Services Charities seeks to connect the vast resources of the developed
world with the ideas and labor of those who need help.
Christian Relief Services Charities works to support the efforts of its charitable affiliates to
answer urgent needs for housing, food, water and medical care around the world as well as
to support programs that address the long-term sustainability of communities locally and internationally.
Connecting those in need
with those who care!
Christian Relief Services Charities (CRSC) was founded over 35 years ago by Gene Krizek,
born with his dream of making a difference for the poor and suffering at home and around the
world — mindful of the biblical admonition that much is required from those who receive much.
Critical water and sewage problems on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota
prompted CRSC´s first work: delivering water, drilling wells, installing windmills and repairing
a sewage plant. Continuing on to address urgent needs for food, water, medicines and medical
supplies around the world, Christian Relief Services Charities has now grown through its many
affiliates to expand its reach into establishing vital development programs to address the long-term sustainability of communities for water, farming, housing, schools, orphanages, clinics and hospitals in underdeveloped areas across the United States and worldwide.
WHAT WE HAVE ACCOMPLISHED
Over the last 35 years, Christian Relief Services Charities affiliates delivered more than
$600 million in assistance through programs across 31 states in the U.S. and 63 countries
throughout Eastern Europe, Central and South America, the Caribbean and Africa. This work
has benefited hundreds of communities and thousands of people helping them to a better and
more self-sufficient life. We are also proud to have earned the Better Business Bureau´s Wise
Giving Alliance Charity Seal for meeting their rigorous standards for charitable accountability.
HOW WE ACHIEVE OUR CHARITABLE PROGRAM GOALS
Christian Relief Services Charities' affiliates provide help to those domestically and internationally by utilizing donations (that the affiliates raise, both cash and in-kind materials like medicines and food) in the most efficient and effective way possible. Without these generous donations, our affiliates would not be able to provide their programs with adequate resources, supplies and technical assistance. To acquire these resources, Christian Relief Services Charities works with its affiliates to provide the back-office administrative (everything from helping them keep up with the very necessary state registrations every year in order that they can fundraise, accounting, HR to IT help) support necessary to help them to procure donations and utilize the support of volunteers and partnerships with local non-governmental organizations in order to attain adequate funding to provide for their programs. (back to top)
HOW WE MEASURE PROGRESS TOWARD OUR CHARITABLE PROGRAM GOALS
Christian Relief Services Charities measures its performance every two years with a report to the board of directors. This biennial report is entitled the Performance and Effectiveness Assessment of CRSC and is in accordance with the Board Policy to have such a report and meets standard 7 of the Standards for Charitable Accountability of the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance (www.give.org).
Moreover, CRSC, through our affiliates, is in constant communication with all of our partners to ensure that together we are reaching our goals of self-sustainable programs. Staff members and volunteer board members travel internationally, as well as here in the United States, to the program sites to see firsthand the improvement and development of these programs and to report on their progress or lack thereof, and to make recommendations for future funding and support. The Charity’s affiliates also publish annual reports and daily updates to their websites to provide the public with real-time (and an annual summation) information to show how we’re doing. These can be found at our affiliate websites.
OUR AFFILIATE WEBSITES
OVERVIEW OF ACCOMPLISHMENTS IN 2016
Christian Relief Services Charities owns two housing complexes that provide 10 and 15 units of affordable housing to low and very low-income families located in Phoenix, Arizona, assisting approximately 75 people. In addition, CRSC provided administrative and technical support to provide clients with two years of transitional housing in 35 homes through a Community Funding Pool Grant. We also provided administrative and technical support for coordinated support services through a 1991 Housing and Urban Development McKinney Grant for permanent housing for the homeless and chronically mentally ill adults in three group homes that the organization owns, located in Fairfax County, Virginia which assisted approximately 206 individuals.
Christian Relief Services Charities also provided 1,865 units of affordable, transitional and permanent supportive housing and resident related services in Arizona, Kansas, Texas, and Virginia to very low-, low- and moderate-income persons, chronically mentally ill adults, homeless families, and individuals. (back to top)
NATIVE AMERICAN PROGRAMS
Christian Relief Services Charities’ affiliate Running Strong for American Indian Youth® (Running Strong) works with Native American youth and their families to bring hope and support for a better life. Running Strong provides food and other basic needs on the Pine Ridge and Cheyenne River Sioux Indian reservations in South Dakota, and Menominee Indian Reservation in Wisconsin as well as dozens of other partner organizations across the country. Native American children face some of the highest poverty rates in the nation; Ziebach County, on the Cheyenne River Sioux Indian Reservation, has the highest child poverty rate in the United States. Oglala Lakota County (formerly Shannon County) on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation leads the nation in food stamps. However, Running Strong is committed to ending the cycle of injustice by listening to these communities and providing them with self-sustaining, meaningful programs and supplies in accordance with their greatest needs. In 2019 alone, Running Strong donated $1,965,199.35 in in-kind materials such as blankets, school supplies, home gardening equipment, winter clothes, and hygiene supplies as well as direct donations of food.
Running Strong Distributions in 2020:
200,000 Pounds of Food
5,000 Backpacks for Elementary and Junior High Students
4,970 Pairs of Shoes
5,500 Snow Boots
3,698 Hat/Gloves/Scarf Kits
1,450 Adult Coats
3,580 Children Coats
6,275 Dental Kits
13,122 Bars of Soap
576 Gallons of Hand Sanitizer
The months following Christmas and New Year are some of the most financially challenging times for families across the country. To help stretch budgets during the winter months on the frigid Great Plains, Running Strong’s emergency Heat Match program ensures that families can have their propane tanks filled by matching their $100 contribution with $100 from Running Strong to meet the $200 minimum required for a propane company visit. This year, Running Strong matched just over 1,000 families thanks to the generosity of our supporters and hard work from our field staff. The Heat Match helps families not have to choose between a warm home in the winter or putting food on the table.
Running Strong recognizes that today’s Native youth are our future leaders, and despite the many challenges that Native American children and young people face, together we help them follow their dreams. To celebrate Billy’s 50th anniversary of his race and usher in a new generation of Indian Country leaders, Running Strong created the Dreamstarter™ program to do just that. Ten Native American youth and young adults under 30 are awarded grants of $10,000 each to help them achieve their dream in the areas such as Health and Wellness, Science and Education, and Arts and Culture. Dreamstarter projects have been just as varied as the Dreamstarter classes themselves, with dreams ranging from a Hupa language immersion camp and a comic book series about Navajo history to basketball camps for youth in foster care and pre-admissions workshops for aspiring Native dental students.
Access to water on Pine Ridge remains a challenge for many families who, despite there being a water service line running through the reservation, are unable to tap into the line because of the high cost and abandoned government supply programs. For some residents who may live as close as just 100 feet from the service line, the water simply passes them by as the cost to run a line to their home and tap into the main line is out of reach. Once well-drilling became infeasible due to the Oglala Aquifer water supply quality deteriorating, Running Strong undertook a pilot project to do water line hookups to the public Mni Wiconi Water Line on Pine Ridge. In 2016, Running Strong provided ten families with water line hookups, totaling $63,855. Also, we provided 20 water hydrants. At an average cost of $5,772 each, water line hookups are more cost effective than a well (which were averaging $15,000 -- $20,000 each) and do not have as many maintenance costs or danger of going dry while still giving the precious gift of water.
Running Strong continues its commitment to organic home gardening and food self-sufficiency by supporting the Medicine Root Gardening Program and the Slim Buttes Agricultural Program on Pine Ridge. Each program is designed to provide first-time home gardeners with the tools and knowledge they need to raise fruits and vegetables right in their own backyards, reducing the need to travel to the far and few between grocery stores on the reservation or neighboring towns. Having fresh fruit and vegetables readily available also supports families who can take their excess produce to local farmers markets, providing an extra source of income at a relatively low cost. In 2019 alone, the Medicine Root Gardening Program harvested over 20 tons of vegetables!
Our affiliate, Americans Helping Americans® provided food and other basic needs to families and individuals throughout Appalachia including Georgia, Kentucky, Tennessee, West Virginia and also in Arizona, District of Columbia, and Pennsylvania. Americans Helping Americans® provided grants to their partner organizations located in some of the economically hardest-hit communities in the country totaling more than $303,710 for a variety of different programs.
Through their home repair program, Americans Helping Americans® supported projects which repaired 108 homes in Georgia, Kentucky, Tennessee, and West Virginia. In many instances, the homeowners are elderly, living on meager fixed incomes with no resources to fix leaking roofs, rotted floors and porches or to build a handicap ramp, providing them the ability to enter and exit their home on their own and allowing them to continue to live there instead of being forced to move into a nursing home. The projects are completed through the joint effort of their grassroots partners which vet and organize the home repair projects, Americans Helping Americans® provides funding for materials such as shingles and lumber and groups from churches and schools who travel to the communities spending a week volunteering their time and labor to make the repairs.
Americans Helping Americans Distributions in 2019:
3,549 school supply kits for Elementary and Junior High Students
4,278 Summer Meals
2,728 New Coats
2,700 Bars of Soap
564 Pairs of Shoes
3,340 Dental Kits
27,317 individuals benefitted from food banks supported by Americans Helping Americans
More than 1,300 individuals benefited from the utility assistance program in Georgia, and Kentucky
In Appalachia, it’s not uncommon for children to show up for school in worn-out hand-me-down ill-fitting shoes. In Kentucky, 362 children benefited from the Barefeet Program in which children go to a shoe store and are able to pick out their very own shoes.
At Americans Helping Americans®, youth education ranks among the top of their list of priorities, both after school and during the summer months. In 2019, 346 young summer campers continued to learn, make new friends, and were ensured healthy meals in Georgia, Kentucky, Tennessee, and West Virginia. (back to top)
Bread and Water for Africa® works in eight countries. The following are the summary of the year 2020 activities:
Our Bread and Water for Africa® affiliate provided cash grants to healthcare-focused projects as well as medicines, medical equipment, medical supplies, hygiene items, and other relief items to non-governmental organizations with healthcare projects in Ethiopia, Kenya, Sierra Leone, and Cameroon which benefited more than 150,000 people annually.
Providing care for Africa’s most vulnerable – orphaned and abandoned children – has remained among their top priorities. In 2020, 56 orphaned and abandoned children live at the Lewa Children’s Home in Kenya and receive food, shelter, health care, and other basic needs, as well as an education at the affiliated Kipkeino Primary School and nearby high schools.
In Zambia, 68 orphaned and abandoned children live at the Kabwata Orphanage and Transit Centre, receiving food and shelter and having their educational needs met, providing them with hope for the future.
In Zimbabwe, 36 children supported by Lerato Children’s Home in Mutare, Zimbabwe, operated by Shinga Development Trust.
Food self-sufficiency is also critical, and Bread and Water for Africa® in 2020 continued supporting a fish farming program in Zambia, a poultry project, and farmers training program in Sierra Leone, and support for best practices in cattle feeding, calf rearing, milking, and milk hygiene, enabling local farmers in Kenya.
At Bread and Water for Africa®, we believe the future of the continent relies on a well-educated population. In 2020, more than 1,500 students received primary and secondary school educations; in Zimbabwe, Kenya, Cameroon, Chad, Sierra Leone and Zambia.
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