Connecting those in need
with those who care!
Christian Relief Services Charities (CRSC) was founded over 32 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.
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.
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)
AMERICAN INDIAN PROGRAMS
Christian Relief Services Charities’ affiliate American Indian Youth Running Strong® (Running Strong) works with American Indian youth and their families to bring hope and support for a better life. Running Strong provided food and other basic needs on the Pine Ridge and Cheyenne River Sioux Indian reservations in South Dakota, and Menominee Indian Reservation in Wisconsin. 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. It is hard for a child to succeed in school if they are hungry, cold or don’t have the school supplies they need. Running Strong donated $1,750,549 in in-kind as well as direct donations of food.
Running Strong Distributions in 2016:
200,000 pounds of food
5,450 Backpacks for Elementary and Junior High Students
1,320 Fleece Jackets
2,822 Pairs of Shoes
3,215 waterproof boots
1,717 Adult Coats
3,000 Children Coats
2,695 Dental Kits
18,270 Cans of Baby Formula
520 Hygiene Kits
4,280 Boxes of Laundry Detergent
To stretch dollars 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, at a minimum charge of $200, or don’t have their heat or electricity service disconnected on the coldest days of the year. The Heat Match program matches dollar-for-dollar up to $100 for families on the Pine Ridge and Cheyenne River Sioux Indian Reservation. On Pine Ridge, Running Strong provided $100 Heat Match grants for 1,000 families, totaling $100,000.
Running Strong recognizes that today’s Indian youth are our future leaders and despite the many challenges that Native American children and young people face, with a little help they can follow their dreams. Running Strong created the Dreamstater™ program to do just that. Ten Native American youth and young adults under 30 were awarded grants of $10,000 each to help them achieve their dream in the area of Arts and Culture. Running Strong initiated the Dreamstarter™ program in recognition of the 50th anniversary of National Spokesperson Billy Mills’ historic Olympic gold medal win in the 10,000-meter race at the 1964 Olympics. Dreamstarters’ projects such as to start powwow classes in which participants make their own regalia; a woman artist who wants to encourage other young artists to sell their artwork; a male photographer who is documenting Indian settlements on Long Island; a woman who is collecting Crow stories and plans on compiling them in a book in Crow and English; and, a teenage boy who is teaching other boys how to play a traditional stick game.
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. Running Strong undertook a pilot project to do water line hookups to the Mni Wiconi Water Line on Pine Ridge. For some residents, who may live as close as just over 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. 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. As with the wells, families will be eligible for a septic system drilled by the Indian Health Service if their home has indoor plumbing.
Running Strong continued its commitment to organic gardening and food self-sufficiency by supporting the Slim Buttes Agricultural Program and Can Wigmunke, Rainbow Tree, projects on Pine Ridge and the Cheyenne River Youth Project’s Winyan Toka Win (Leading Lady). Hundreds of families and thousands of children and adults benefit from the produce raised in the gardens which is otherwise difficult to get on the reservations. (back to top)
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 $370,000 for a variety of different programs.
Through their home repair program, Americans Helping Americans® supported projects which repaired 81 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 2016:
2,350 Backpacks for Elementary and Junior High Students
2,220 New Coats
2,550 Winter Hats and Scarves
1,824 Bars of Soap
350 Pairs of Shoes
720 Boxes of Dry Food
680 Boxes of Laundry Detergent
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, 473 children benefited from the Barefeet Program in which children go to a shoe store and are able to pick out their very own shoes. In addition, thousands of children throughout Appalachia received a pair of brand new shoes through in the in-kind distribution of shoes provided by Americans Helping Americans® by their grassroots partners.
At Americans Helping Americans,® youth education ranks among the top of their list of priorities, both after school and during the summer months. In 2016, youth that benefited from summer enrichment camps, vocational training, and after school programs: 474 in Georgia, 168 in Kentucky, 83 in Tennessee, 605 in West Virginia. (back to top)
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, Malawi, Sierra Leone, Zambia, and Zimbabwe which benefited 182,000 people in those countries.
Providing care for Africa’s most vulnerable – orphaned and abandoned children – has remained among their top priorities. In Kenya, 74 orphaned and abandoned children lived at the Lewa Children’s Home where they received food, shelter, health care and other basic needs, as well as an education at the affiliated Kipkeino Primary School. In Zambia, 93 orphaned and abandoned children lived at the Kabwata Orphanage and Transit Centre receiving food and shelter, and meeting their educational needs and providing them with hope for the future. In Zimbabwe, 207 children were fed regular meals through a feeding program operated by the Shinga Development Trust. Food self-sufficiency is also critical and Bread and Water for Africa® supported a fish farming program in Zambia which benefited 239 orphans, and a dairy program in Kenya trained 162 local farmers on best practices in cattle feeding, calf rearing, milking and milk hygiene, enabling them to significantly increase their milk production.
At Bread and Water for Africa® we believe the future of the continent relies on a well-educated population. In Sierra Leone, 1,006 students received primary and secondary school educations; in Kenya, 100 more children benefited from the construction of two additional classrooms at the Kebeneti Secondary School; In Zimbabwe, 35 students benefited through a school fee support program.
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WHAT WE HAVE ACCOMPLISHED
Over the last 29 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