Tuesday, February 12, 2008

In the Hope of Changing a Few More Lives - Part 2

This is a continuation of sponsor Bennett Scher's observations about his visit to his sponsored children in the Dominican Republic and about sponsorship in general.

Do you plan to continue your involvement in Ciro's life even though he's already graduated from our program? If so, what do you hope to see him accomplish?
Ciro is now a young man. I sponsored him for 7 years, and I have sent him to vocational school so he can hopefully get a better job and move up from there. I'm providing an item, the motor scooter, something that costs about 1/2 of the total annual family income and that he could never afford himself, as a tool for earning more income, and helping the family. Hopefully I've given his life a jumpstart and he will be able to make his way.

At this point, my main focus is his sister, Bernira, who is only 14, is a great student, and has a lot of potential. There is a chance that I might be able to send her to college as well, which only costs about $1000 a year in the Dominican Republic. I’ve donated for English classes, which she is taking, and if she expresses interest, the college thing is a viable option. I'm committed to staying with her as long as she is in the program, and longer, if she opts for continuing her education. Of course, if the family or Ciro are in dire need of something, I will do my best to help them with my own money or with other drives like the motorcycle fundraiser.

Tell me a little bit about your band…I own, lead, and play guitar in a 9-piece dance band called NIGHTSONG. We play exclusively at high-end corporate events and private functions, mainly in the larger hotels/facilities in the Greater Washington DC/Baltimore area. Hopefully one day we will be able to perform at a Children International fundraiser if the need ever arises!

Would you recommend sponsorship to others?
Yes, I would recommend it to anyone. The cost is minimal – less than 75 cents a day – so it’s a no-brainer. I've seen the way the organization works from the inside out. That $22 a month buys so much more than you could imagine...shoes, backpacks, school supplies, regular dental and medical checkups, access to a community center, library, and even if a child's sponsor stops sponsoring them, they stay in the program. You can write the children, visit them, send extra gifts that go directly to them, and so much more.

To sum up, I'd say that the program exceeded my expectations greatly, and the experience of visiting the children has been the most rewarding thing I've ever done. As much of a gift as it is for them to be helped by me, it's at least as much or more of a gift to me to be able to help them! I've already got a few friends interested in getting involved, and intend to share my story with everyone I meet, in the hope of changing a few more lives!


evergreen3 said...

Thanks for being there for your sponsored children. Visiting them makes a world of a difference in their lives. For $22 a month, CI does so much to help these children, including giving them the hope of escaping poverty.

Destenie said...

I couldn't agree more with this blog. $22 a month goes a long way!!