Monday, April 23, 2007

Sow a Thought

After being a freelance writer in New York City for a couple years my wife and I decided to slow life down a little bit and move closer to family in Kansas City. Upon our return I had a conversation with an old friend who had recently returned from two years of Peace Corp service. He told me about Children International.

As a journalist I was intrigued and researched Children International’s writings, videos, slideshows and magazines. I liked the fact that their help was not conditional and stayed away from pity. It was authentic and respected the dignity, pride, self-respect and power of all the people they helped and wish to help. I was determined to become a part of their organization and as fate would have it a writer position became available.

I have been a writer at Children International for one month. Beyond a world map and a small zebra plant I have not been able to decorate my office much. In between stubborn sentences, I stare at the map. I gaze upon the regions where Children International works, EcuadorIndia…(my eyes scan east) the Philippines. I imagine children and their parents walking through the front door of a local Children International Community Center.

A field worker is there every day to listen and act. Housing assistance, nutritional rehabilitation, clothing, medical and education aid are available. A safety net that was never there before provides genuine piece of mind. I imagine our sponsors and their connections and affections for these far-flung people and places. I’m proud to be a part of this organization…this solution…this wonderful idea that works. Half the world is okay, and half the world could use a hand. If we all just help one person what a difference that would make.

Everyone here at Children International wants to work so hard and do such a good job that we no longer have a job. We want to accomplish this by giving a child a chance to maximize their potential on the earth. To invest in a child brimming with potential is a great gift for the world.

From the mailroom to the boardroom this place is a beehive of activity. I am in awe of the scope and scale of our work. Seventy-one years ago this place was just a thought. Because of this thought; and because of the sponsors; and because the efforts of the people who work in and have passed through this building, and because of our eighty-seven community centers throughout the world, over 300,000 desperately poor children will be helped this year.

What legacy will our thoughts leave seventy-one years from now?

To be able to help tell the Children International story is an honor. It’s empowering to know that my thoughts and my words can become actions and positively impact people’s lives.

Top: Our intrepid new writer on a past trip to Nepal.
Bottom: New Children International staff writer Kevin Fleming.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


Great blog. I read them every day. As new sponsor I've been bitten by the CI bug. Much like you, I've researched and probably read/watched every bit of information on the CI website.I just received my first letter from my child in the Philippines, and I have written back. Can't wait to hear from her again! I think about her and her family every day now. It's odd to feel a connection with someone you've never met personally, but a powerful reminder that we are all connected through our humanity and our hearts.

Thanks for sharing your story and for giving us a small glimpse behind the walls at headquarters. Keep doing what you're doing...and let all the staff there know that they are truly appreciated by so many of us who want to help. Thanks to CI for making it possible for me to touch a child's life.

A Kansas City friend