March 29, 2024

Child Impact International Moves to Southern Adventist University Campus

Charity seeks to empower vulnerable children through education in thirteen countries.

Marian Polanco, Southern Accent
Child Impact International has a new location on the campus of Southern Adventist University in Collegedale, Tennessee, United States. [Photo: Andrew Boggess]

Child Impact International moved to the campus of Southern Adventist University in Collegedale, Tennessee, United States, in November 2023, setting up a space for its operations during Thanksgiving break. Initially focused on Asia, when it began a few years ago as Asian Aid, the organization expanded its reach and changed its name to Child Impact International in 2017. Now it operates in 13 countries and has some kind of presence in several more, including regions in Asia and beyond.

Gabriela Garcia, marketing manager for Child Impact International and Southern Adventist University alum, discussed the move to Southern’s campus in an interview with the Accent. Previously located on Main Street, the organization sought increased visibility among students. The move to Fleming Plaza on the university campus allows the team to engage more effectively with students, providing internship opportunities, and fostering collaboration. 

“Here we can be seen by students and also have students become involved in the organization,” Garcia said. “We have a few students interning here; some even helped put together furniture.”

According to Garcia, Child Impact International’s mission revolves around empowering vulnerable children through education. Its daily operations involve donor communication, sponsorship programs, and rescue projects. The organization sponsors children in 18 schools across 13 countries. 

“Our main two things are rescue projects and sponsorship programs,” Garcia said. “We have several rescue projects supported by Operation Child Rescue. The whole purpose is to help kids who are victims of child trafficking. In Pakistan, we have a project dedicated to paying the debts of Pakistani families who have taken out a loan from a business owner…. Sometimes, debts could be $500, and they cannot pay them off.” 

ChildImpactBoggess 1
Sheri Gardner, office manager at Child Impact International, sits at the front desk of the organization’s new location in Fleming Plaza on Southern Adventist University’s campus. [Photo: Andrew Boggess]

Child Impact International operates or has established presence in the United States, Mexico, Colombia, Brazil, Zambia, Egypt, Austria, Pakistan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, India, Nepal, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Thailand, Philippines, and Papua New Guinea. In an undisclosed country, it also operates a secret project that helps prevent child marriages. 

While there are no internship positions currently open, Garcia said students can actively engage with the organization through the monthly giving program to Operation Child Rescue. The organization highlights donations, advocacy, and fundraising as ways students can contribute.

Other team members behind Child Impact International are Anne Binette, Jason Churchwell, and Sheri Gardner.

Binette, a Southern alum and a past public nurse, is the operations manager at Child Impact International. Her responsibilities include overseeing crucial aspects such as IT and sales databases. Binette ensures the smooth functioning of essential operations.

Churchwell oversees various projects and contributes to the organization’s efforts in a strategic capacity, working toward the execution of initiatives aimed at empowering vulnerable children.

Gardner, a Southern alum, is the office manager at Child Impact International. Her role involves managing inquiries related to youth in need, reflecting the organization’s commitment to providing assistance and support. 

The original version of this story was posted on Southern Accent. Child Impact International is an independent supporting ministry and is not operated by the corporate Seventh-day Adventist Church.