This post originally appeared on blog.fh.org.
My wife Jennica and I sponsored our first child in a developing country in 2000, shortly after getting married. We went to a live VeggieTales show – yes, total theatre buffs – and there was a table during intermission with an opportunity to sponsor a child for around $30 a month. We didn’t have children at the time and wanted to support a community on the other side of the world.
After we started having children, we decided to sponsor a child for every baby, so we now have five kids and five children sponsored. With number six on the way, we’re going to sponsor another child soon. Over the years, we’ve discovered the impact these sponsored children have on us is far greater than the impact of our $32 per month in their community. We’d like to share 7 reasons why we sponsor children in developing nations and encourage you to consider sponsorship.
1. It Makes a Massive Difference
For $32 a month, we’re able to make a tremendous impact into the life a child and his or her community. Just think of the things $32 provides: access to education, preventative medicine and healthcare, opportunities for good food and clean water, disaster preparedness, and more. I’ve only been working at FH for a short period of time and I’m amazed at how far the sponsorship dollars go to impact a community.
2. It Impacts the Entire Community
As you can see, I’ve mentioned the impact the sponsorship has on the entire community. Yes, we sponsor a specific child, but the dollars go further than just impacting that one child, the dollars we invest are being used to impact the whole community so they have access to everything we mentioned in It Makes a Massive Difference. We love the fact that our donation is used to impact families and those around them.
3. It’s Only $32 a Month!
We’ve all heard the phrase, change a life for the cost of a cup of coffee a day. I’ll take a second and make an admission: I like Starbucks coffee. Not just Starbucks coffee, but specifically a white mocha. I don’t buy one every day, but I probably spend over $32 per month at Starbucks. How could I spend that much on coffee and not support a child’s community?
When we started sponsoring children, we looked at the money we spent on cell phones, cable TV, and other unnecessary expenditures and thought, if we can spend money on simple entertainment items, we can surely invest in the lives of children. With a family of 7, we spend around $40 at a fast service, casual restaurant for dinner. For less than the cost of dinner out, we’re able to support a child in so many ways.
4. It Teaches Your Children Valuable Lessons
Sponsorship provides an opportunity for our children to learn about other kids around the world and how they live. It provides a level of understanding and appreciation for what we have that cannot be taught with just words. It also provides a cultural understanding that helps them grow in maturity. Our 8 year old daughter Evie was learning about the cultures of foreign countries in AWANA and had to report back on some things she discovered. She found out that some of our sponsored children enjoy the delicacy of guinea pigs and learned a new lesson about appreciating other cultures!
5. It Brings Us Joy
We love to receive letters, photos, and artwork from our sponsored children. It feels good to know we’re having an impact on their lives and we get to experience the fruits of this impact. We’ve had a couple of kids graduate from child sponsorship and we’re excited to know we’ve made an impact in their lives.
6. You’re Changing the Life of One Child
Even though the dollars you send are being used to improve the life of the community, you are impacting the life of a child. We’re providing a little bit of hope into this child’s life – he knows someone cares about him. This hope has some value in his life and will make a bigger impact than we can imagine.
When we think of the staggering statistics about hunger and suffering in the world, it can be hard to imagine how to make an impact. We know we are making an impact one child at a time.
7. It Creates a Self Sustaining Community
One of the things that attracted me to the work that Food for the Hungry does is that the model is to create a self sustaining community. When a community invites FH to walk with them, FH creates a plan for creating a successful community and plan our exit strategy. FH doesn’t give food, we teach them how to raise crops and livestock. We educate the community in all aspects of living a sustainable life and leave the community better than when we started. Our family knows our sponsorship dollars are being used to create a community that will thrive on its own.
In the past decade, we’ve enjoyed knowing that we can make an impact in the lives of children. The impact those children have had on our family is immeasurable and we’re thankful for the opportunity to support those in need. We encourage you to sponsor a child and make an impact on their life.