On July 4th, I decided to take action on something that had been tugging on my heart for several months: I decided to sponsor a child. Over the past 3 years, I have read several posts from other bloggers who sponsor children through Compassion International. This is a faith-based organization working to lift children out of poverty, rather than simply sustaining them through it.
Why I Chose Compassion
There are many organizations that offer ways to contribute financially to struggling families in developing countries. So why did I choose Compassion? Honestly, this was a tough call for me. I am a Christian, but I’m definitely on the liberal end of the spectrum in my faith. Compassion, as an organization, seems to be more conservative. Instruction on Christianity is a critical component of the program, and I wasn’t too sure how that sat with me. There are so many problematic ways for the Bible to be used; how sure could I be that the key message of Jesus’ radical love in action would be heard? It is a hard message to hear, and many churches don’t like to preach it.
Ultimately, I thought about my formative years, and how grateful I was to have a relationship with God, a home church, and a community of friends in my youth group. Learning to ask questions about faith from an early age (even if members of my church didn’t necessarily like those questions) was really transformational in my life. So I decided that the good outweighed the possible bad. AND…I researched the financial stability of Compassion and was very pleased to see that they operate very responsibly, with over 80% of funds raised going directly to the children. Additionally, if you send any extra monetary gifts to the child throughout the year, 100% of those gifts are given to the child and his/her family. That works for me!
Who We Sponsored
This is Vanessa. She is 6 months to the day older than Darah. She is one of two children in her family, and she lives with her mother and father in Burkina Faso. This is a land locked country in Northwest Africa (don’t feel bad if you don’t know where it is…I had to go look it up, myself!). Adults in her village, when they are able to find employment, earn an average of $10/month. We are sending $38/month for Vanessa’s education and care. Can you imagine the difference this is going to make in her life???
How We are Paying for It
We have committed to sponsoring Vanessa all the way through high school. When you work with Compassion, you are not bound by any such agreement, but the hope is that you will prayerfully consider making a long-term commitment. Sponsorship of Vanessa will cost us $456/year, and roughly $6,400 over the next 14 years (likely a bit more, as I’d imagine that monthly sponsorship costs will rise a bit over the years). We are a mostly one-income family, so the cost to sponsor a child isn’t negligible. However, it is doable, all thanks to this blog. I have been exploring new ways to monetize the site and my hope is that Stuff Parents Need can support Vanessa every single month.
How You Can Help
You can help my family support Vanessa in a few very simple ways, and in ways that won’t cost you any money at all (at least not any money that you weren’t going to spend, already!). Please consider shopping through my affiliate links. I earn a small percentage back on your purchases when you use my links, and that money, in turn, goes on to change a little girl’s life forever. Here’s a link to all of my affiliate partnerships. Thank you in advance for helping us make a difference!
How to Sponsor a Child
Perhaps you have been feeling the pull to sponsor a child, yourself. And in that case, let me encourage you to take the leap and do it! Compassion offers you the opportunity to search for children to assist in a variety of interesting ways, including searching by country, searching by days on the waiting list, by areas where children are most in danger of exploitation, and even by birthday if you want to find a child with the same birthday as yourself or a loved one.
If committing to $38/month is too great of a commitment, Compassion also accepts one time gifts. Every dollar helps in some way. Give whatever you are able with love, and I promise you that you will reap the benefits of that gift ten fold, while simultaneously providing great benefit to someone who could use some help and some love.
By this everyone will know you are my disciples, if you love one another.
Have you ever considered sponsoring a child? What are some of the causes that tug at your heart, and that you contribute to with your time and your gifts? I’d love to hear!