Thursday, May 14, 2009

Giving Back

We embarked on something brand new today and I am VERY excited to see where it will lead.
To be completely honest, I never once have wanted to sponsor a child. I had a mental block against it. I hate going to a concert and having 30 minutes eaten up with photos of children who steal your heart. I also had a mistrust of the companies. But, both my husband and I were feeling like we wanted to give in a different way. I guess we were a little unsure how but we had been thinking about. Then about 1 month ago my care group leader spoke at MOPS. Again, to be totally honest, I was like, "Oh great. Another sponsor a child thing." For me though, this day was totally different because I heard her story. They sponsored children based on their children's birthdays. She shared some stories about how they had started sponsoring a girl who was born on their daughter's birthday when the girls were 5. Those girls are now 13 and her family has been sponsoring her and corresponding with her for 8 years. She shared how it was impacting their family in so many ways. I started feeling this little inner niggle. I asked some questions because I had two big reasons why I never wanted to do this.
1. How do we KNOW the money is being spent on the child?
Compassion International is different than what I expected. 90% of all money goes directly to the children. 10% is salaries, advertising and overhead. That was impressive, but they go a step further. They have independent auditors and switch them regularly. (I am not sure but think they switch them every year or so). Very impressive and now that niggle was starting to wiggle some.
2. What had ALWAYS bothered me... Do the kids in the photos really need help? Do they seriously take their photo and NOT help them?
Answer: Yes, but not in the way you think. See, I had this image of them tracking down kids who look cute and needy. Here is what really happens... They register a child's family with the local center and take and post the kids pictures and once a sponsor had stepped up they know where to find the child to ensure they are getting the help they need. But most of the kids ARE currently receiving bible classes etc.
I was starting to feel excited at this point because all my questions were getting answered and I liked the answers. So we decided to do it.
Meanwhile I told my friend about it and she decided to sponsor a child for her boys and she told a friend who sponsored a child for her children!
So, on this rainy afternoon the girls and I logged onto the internet and sponsored two children of their choosing.
We have Ashly from Nicaragua and Vicky from Ghana. When you are ready to choose a child you can be SO picky! We decided to base on their birthdays. Each girl picked a child from their birth month and year. Essentially they are the exact same ages as our girls which will make it really neat to compare their lives.
I look so forward to getting our packet and having some pictures to share with everyone!

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