Wednesday, December 3, 2008

On the 2nd Day of Christmas My Sponsor Gave to Me...

Two Leather Shoes

I love shoes, and I have a closet full of them to prove it. I bet if I really wanted to I could wear a different pair each day for a month. Winter boots, tennis shoes, leather Mary Jane heels, pointy-toed stilettos, Grecian-style sandals. My choices are endless.

Sponsored children love shoes too. But they usually only have a pair or two. And if it weren’t for their sponsors and Children International, they might not own any at all.

When we drive through impoverished neighborhoods, we often spot children running around barefoot, exposed to the rocky, dirt terrain of their neighborhoods. When you think about the fact that it’s not unusual to find raw sewage in these areas, it’s enough to make you cringe. It’s easy to understand how children can pick up parasites, which can lead to a host of health problems.

Then we visit Children International’s community centers and watch children being fitted for new shoes – a gift for their birthday, Christmas or Easter. These shoes are often sturdy leather footwear or athletic shoes that can be worn for school activities or at home. They are designed to stand up against wear and tear and offer their feet vital protection.

Luz FandiƱo from Barranquilla, Colombia tries on her new shoes.

I’m the first to admit that I take basic necessities like shoes for granted. But since I started sponsoring a child a few years ago, I’ve learned to appreciate everything I have, including my dozens of shoes.

Each morning as I select my pair of shoes for the day, I think of my sponsored child and am grateful he has shoes from Children International. Sponsorship benefits give him – and all the other children in our program – a foot up in the fight against poverty.

Posted on behalf of Erin Anderson.

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