Monday, February 25, 2008

Why I Sponsor

I thought I’d kick off this week by asking our readers to weigh in on sponsorship.

Child sponsorship is a unique proposition. It’s a situation where a “buyer” (the sponsor) buys a product he or she will never materially use. In fact, they pay money each month for benefits that someone else enjoys.

That doesn’t make a lot of sense in the business world…but it makes an awful lot of sense in the context of humanity.

My family and I sponsor a little girl in Guatemala. Now, I’d say we’re a pretty average American family – four kids (two of which are teenagers), a dog and a turtle. We live in a 1950s ranch-style home in a 1950s neighborhood in a bedroom community of Kansas City. Both of our cars are four years old.

We’re average, middle-class Americans. And in the eyes of the inhabitants of our sponsored child’s village, we’re fabulously wealthy.

Our sponsored child, Jessica

I don’t sponsor out of guilt. I’m thankful for everything I have – including the opportunity to make a lasting difference in the lives of a family in Guatemala. Because I am an average, middle-class American who works just like anyone else to make ends meet, I’m thankful that opportunity comes at such a reasonable price. And I’m pretty certain Jessica and her family are thankful, too.

How about you? What’s your story? What’s the single most outstanding sponsorship experience you could share with us? What makes you do it? We’d love to hear from you, so click on “Comments” below this story and share away.

Photo by Javier Cárcamo

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

I sponsor ....becoz...
in the harsh world in which we live... my sponsored kids at least have someone out there in the world tht cares for them....
becoz all my own kids only thru a lottery of where they were born, hve been given opportunity others will never see .... and for that im truly thnkful...
becoz the look on the kids faces whn i send them something special is priceless...
becoz...if i make a difference to just one child tht needs me ...... i will at least have made a difference in someones world....
and wht price does tht hold? ....;0))

Dana T said...

Simple. To make a lasting difference in this world. I have no children of my own, by choice, and instead choose to help 6 other children who would otherwise be lost in this world and by no fault of their own have barely a chance to become the adults they are capable of being. I know that even if i never meet my sponsored kids they will, until the day they die, remember me and be grateful for the things i provide them, and to know you will be remembered and thought fond of by a virtual stranger, is reward enough. Everyone deserves a chance at a reasonable life... these kids dont ask for much, not for video games, the newest electronic devices, the next hot cell phone.. they just want to be able to eat, and go to school, and stay warm and dry during a rainstorm.. how can i say no to that?

hopensms said...

I began sponsoring a child as a middle schooler because I wanted to help another child like myself. My mother let me do extra chores to earn money to sponsor my child. My Mom then decided to sponsor a child too. That child is now grown, aa am I, and I now sponsor a new child. I am a sponsor because I want to make a difference. I continue to sponsor because I like the connection I feel to my child and I can see the difference I am making in his life and his families life. I love the pictures that you are sent when you send a special needs gift. I have enough "stuff" around my house, but a picture of my sponsored child's joy as they receive a much needed present is priceless. That is the best gift I could ever receive. Thank you Children International!

evergreen3 said...

I sponsor because both of my children were adopted as infants from South Korea. They are both now adults and don't need my support as much. However, there are millions of children and families who do need things....better housing, more food and clothing, better education, things to give them the essentials in life so that they can hopefully get out of poverty when they become adults.

I live in an old neighborhood in Pittsburgh, my house is small and 105 years old. The mortgage is easy to manage and probably less than some people pay monthly in SUV payments. I drive a two year old car, but it is a sub compact so it is easy on gas, insurance and the payments are low. In 50 years it won't matter what kind of house I lived in or what kind of car I drove, but if I've helped some children get out of poverty, that will be more important than a bigger, newer house or car.

I try to give at least 10% of my income to help others, but last year I gave 15%, this year will probably be the same. I sponsor 8 children, and will add 2 more later this year. I've visited three of my sponsored children and hope to someday, before they turn 19, visit all of them. Besides the monthly fee, I try to give them a better life thru home improvements, or buying a house for them, thru giving them some of the little things that we may take for granted. Three of my sponsored children have received bicyles, three parents have been set up in home based businesses. Hopefully they will start to dream that they can escape poverty, and I will be there along the way to help make their dreams come true.

Betsemes said...

I sponsor because...... I don't know, any word I might type feels hollow, like I would be typing just for pride. So let me just say that I sponsor children because they exist.

Anonymous said...

i am proud of my sponsored kids thy fill me with pride,i take as many opportunities to sing their praises as i can get...
im as proud of thm as i am of my own kids...!!!!

Paula said...

I sponsor because while as an individual I can't end war, hunger, pain, cure disease, or do anything to bring about world peace...at least maybe I can try to bring some happiness & hope in some small measure to my family and also my two sponsored children. I can't change the world but maybe through my actions I can leave a little piece of this world in better shape than if I had done nothing.

Heather M said...

Sponsorship is such a fulfilling experience. I wish everyone knew that. It is something that you can't really explain well to someone else. When you are a sponsor, and you see the impact you are making in someone else's life, it makes your own life more complete. I, too, started sposoring as a middle class American. My husband and I were laid off at the same time last year. We have gone from middle class to lower middle class (maybe even lower class). However, we still are rich compared to our sponsored children. Through it all, I will never let them down. I look forward to their letters and pictures. They always cheer me up and give me a reason to smile.

Anonymous said...

I started sponsoring at 13 becuz I'v always wanted to make a difference in someones life that they will remember and I saw an ad for it on TV. Even though it is hard cuz to make the 22 a month cuz I'm 14 and can't get a job cuz of the legal working age being 16 I could not stop because I know how much my sponsored child needs and cares about me. I hope to meet her someday but even if I don't ill be satisfied to know I helped someone

Jan said...

I started sponsoring through CI because our late daughter Lora Beth, who died at 18 years old, always wanted me to do this. I didn't think I could afford it then, yet somehow I am doing it now... and after losing my own precious child, it gives me a sense of purpose, a reason to keep on getting up every day. I have had the privilege of meeting both of my sponsored girls last year, and whatever doubts I may have had (is it really making any difference? can CI really be trusted with my money?) completely disappeared. Not only that, but each of my girls realized just how important to me they truly are, that I would travel so far to meet them. But more than anything, it cemented in my heart the conviction that one person CAN make a difference in this world. Surely this is the kind of "works" on which the Lord smiles... being there for one another.