United Way presents Vidor Children’s Fund provides self-esteem to students

Published 6:50 am Saturday, November 20, 2021

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By Dawn Burleigh

(Editor’s Note: This is part 11 of a 21-part series on the partners of United Way of Orange County.)

Vidor Children’s Fund provides school age children new shoes and clothes for those in Vidor.

“Back in a Vidor lawyer wanted every child starting school to have brand new clothes,” Gloria Frazier said. “We also provide gift cards for clothes and shoes.”

The organization, all volunteers, give their time to help children on that first day of school.

“It helps their self-esteem,” Frazier said.

People with poor self-esteem often rely on how they are doing in the present to determine how they feel about themselves. They need positive external experiences (e.g., compliments from friends) to counteract the negative feelings and thoughts that constantly plague them. Even then, the good feeling (such as from a good grade or compliment) is usually temporary, according to https://cmhc.utexas.edu/.

Healthy self-esteem is based on our ability to assess ourselves accurately and still be accepting of who we are. This means being able to acknowledge our strengths and weaknesses and at the same time recognize that we are worthy and worthwhile.

Frazier added that when the funds were available, they have helped with fees for doctor visits or dental.

“All the money from United Way goes right back to the program,” Frazier said. “Without the United Way we probably could not do this program.”

Low self-esteem can have devastating consequences. It can:

  • create anxiety, stress, loneliness, and increased likelihood of depression
  • cause problems with friendships and romantic relationships
  • seriously impair academic and job performance
  • lead to increased vulnerability to drug and alcohol abuse

Worst of all, these negative consequences themselves reinforce the negative self-image and can take a person into a downward spiral of lower and lower self-esteem and increasingly unproductive or even actively self-destructive behavior, according to cmhc.utexas.edu.

Confident children can grow up to become confident adults who are in better positions to reach their potential and find success.

Children with healthy self-esteem may be confident to try new things, feel good about themselves and feel better prepared for life’s challenges than youngsters with low self-esteem. Low self-esteem can lead to feelings of insecurity and doubt and encourage children to focus on the times they’ve failed rather than succeeded. The resource Kids Health also notes that low self-esteem may lead to kids being self-critical.

A student has enough to worry about on the first day of school without the added worry of not having a new outfit to start off the year on the right foot.

To make a donation to United Way of Orange County, visit https://www.uwoctx.org/civicrm/contribute/transact?reset=1&id=1