Monday, December 3, 2007

Behind the Scenes: A Grateful Writer

Posted on behalf of Deron Denton.

In November, I celebrated my third year as a member of the Children International family. The fact that I was hired just before the holiday season gets in full gear strikes me as a meaningful coincidence.

People involved with charitable humanitarian work know well the axiom that giving is its own reward.

We hear about it all the time: sponsors tell us that the joy they receive from giving far exceeds the monetary amount they contribute. The lessons I learn from our supporters are only exceeded by the incredible generosity of the people I meet in the field.

Deron (far right) with other staff members as they prepared to visit the Dominican Republic

I don’t know if you remember, but I wrote here a number of months ago about our most recent trip to the Dominican Republic, where I had the opportunity to visit my own sponsored child. His family offered me eggs from their own hen – it was an act of generosity that brought tears to my eyes.

During that same trip, I also met a 12-year-old girl named Ferlenny, whose two younger siblings are sponsored. She spoke with us about participating in the Youth Program and volunteering for our organization even though she wasn’t receiving sponsorship benefits. Her reason for being involved was simple: “I love to help people.”

Another highlight of that trip was getting the opportunity to touch base with Michael Hidalgo, a youth who was on the verge of graduating from our program. We’d first met Michael the previous summer, as one of the representatives at the 2006 International Youth Conference. An intelligent and charismatic young man, Michael’s enthusiasm for spreading the word about Children International was contagious. (An article I wrote that has Michael as a focal point is going onto our website,, starting Tuesday.)

He led a group of youth (and us) through the streets of his neighborhood. Their goal was to raise awareness about both the benefits of sponsorship as well as the participation requirements (photos, letter-writing, etc.). Michael was full of hope for the future…a hope instilled in him as a result of his involvement with our organization. It is a hope that permeates the impoverished communities where your support does so much good.

This holiday season, I am grateful for the extended family I have become a part of…and for the incredible lessons of generosity, and hope they all – in different ways – continue to teach me.

1 comment:

Catherine said...

Dear Deron, Kelly, Kevin, Dolores, Jan, Franklin, Allysa, Brian A. and the so many others I've met at the CI office,

Thank you for all your work on our behalf (sponsors)...and on behalf of the children we sponsor. At this time of the year we often think about the blessings in our lives. It's great to have people like you reaching out to help so many, many children and families around the world. You are all a blessing to me and to my little girl in the Phillipines...I'm sure that many other folks like me are just as grateful for your dedication and willingness to keep us connected to the field!

Merry Christmas to each of you!


"ENCOURAGE - He who refreshes others will himself be refreshed."

Let's all continue to encourage one another in the humanitarian work ahead!