I know it’s been months again since I’ve written, and then I come through with a bomb like sponsoring a child (go big or go home right?), but I promise you it’s at least worth the read.
I hadn’t told many people about this, because it’s sort of a personal thing, but when I realized just how amazing it is for these kids, I knew I needed to share it with the world… the world being Facebook #2017.
That being said, three things on my bucket list are to sponsor a child (major life section), go on a mission trip (travel section) and learn Spanish (education section). I wasn’t really expecting any of those things to happen any time soon, until I found Compassion. No, I didn’t just find out how to handle my emotions, the organization is actually called Compassion.
There, they work with children from all over the world and help them find sponsors to cover their schooling, medical needs and recreational activities to help to get them out of poverty, abuse and other negative living situations.
I started the process by attending The Compassion Experience, a road show that quickly walks you through the day in their life and what they receive from the program. So, I asked my friend Tiffany (no not my split personality, but another 20-something girl with emotions) to come with me. She accepted and we took 30 minutes after work one day to go.
After you walk through, they don’t bombard or pressure you with sponsoring a child since the road show is more for awareness, unlike good ol’ Lebron and Matt Damon on Entourage.
But after going there and already knowing that I wanted to do this at some point in my life, I went straight to the website. On it, they let you sort by country, gender and several other factors. I solely went by who was on the waiting list the longest and in the worst community for possible abuse and exploitation to give them hope.
That’s where I found my little Ecuadorian princess, Greisy Gabriela. Don’t laugh…. In English it’s pronounced “Gracie”… Jerks.
Not only did I choose her because she was already 9 years old, at high risk of exploitation and had been waiting OVER A YEAR for someone to sponsor her, but we actually have a lot in common!
- Her birthday is in January
- She is tall
- She was raised by her mother
- She loves to dance
- And she loves using her creativity through art
As happy as I was that they let you do it online, it was a tad weird putting a child in my “shopping cart” and then checking out. But what followed was worth it. They send you a scrapbook to put any letters or pictures that they send you, they give you an online portal to write them letters and send pictures whenever you’d like, AND they give you quarterly updates on their educational performance, medical health and activities so that you know exactly where your money is going.
Now, this isn’t a quick bucket list check, as I’ll be sponsoring this child monthly for the next 10 years (again, go big or go home), but that will cover all of the above, allow me to be in contact with her regularly and opt in for a future mission trip to visit her. I can help her get through tough times financially, educationally and spiritually, while she opens my eyes to how these communities live day to day.
While $30-40 per month is a big commitment, I pushed myself to do it by thinking of everything I could EASILY cut back on to have zero impact on my financial stability, like:
- Stop being a fat kid and eating $10 sushi EVERY time ESPN offers it
- Stop getting my nails done regularly when you have a drawer full of perfectly good polish
- Buy three less alcoholic drinks per month, which in turn will be good for my dignity
… to name a few.
TO ADD TO YOUR BUCKET LIST: Sponsor a Child!
This child does not have to be internationally based, they also have programs like this in the U.S., but do your research!
For me, this one experience will lead me to doing two others that I have been waiting a long time for.
- Although they have a translator to communicate back and forth, I will now force myself to learn Spanish so that can communicate with her on my own. (Of course, years of education and a job couldn’t convince me to do that, but Greisy can)
- I have wanted to go on a mission trip since college, and now, once I learn Spanish, will head her way to visit so that she knows her new “angel from the U.S.” as they called it is a real person!
Now, get on it or at least tell someone else that you know who may be interested. Warning: The amount of children is extremely overwhelming, but again, I promise you it’s worth it. ❤
Just think… WWJD. Or better yet, WWMDD. What Would Matt Damon Do?