Dec 8, 2008

Are you stretched?

It's Christmastime, a time of year that most people associate with giving. I'll be posting some alternative giving ideas all month to keep you on your toes and to stretch that dollar as far as possible!

I've mentioned Compassion International a few times but I don't think I've really discussed my involvement with them. Over the past fourteen years (yep, it's really been THAT long!) I've been sponsoring children. I've sponsored with various organizations (World Vision, Christian Children's Fund, Children, Inc., Children International, and some other small ones) but, Compassion is the one I've stuck with all of these years (my friend Elizabeth introduced me to them). I currently sponsor several children with Compassion and one with World Vision (because I've sponsored her since they were only $15/month!). I can tell you all sorts of positive things about each org and I can tell you some things that I like best about each. When it comes down to it though, Compassion is the organization that wins in all levels. Their commitment to the children and families with whom they work, their donors, and their integrity is far and beyond other organizations.

While I love each of "my" children, I'm closest to Hilda and Clara Mae. Hilda is from Guatemala and Clara Mae is from the Philippines. I've sponsored them about four years. I also write to a child named Princy from India. She has another sponsor but they are unable to write to her so I do that part. I've been writing to her since 2003 and have received over 50 letters from her! Hilda, Clara Mae, and Princy are my best writers and always ask lots of questions. Clara Mae recently wrote to me by herself for the first time. It was really funny because she said something about how she imagined my face when I read that it was her writing the letter. I thought it was so sweet!

I'll write a post about each child later... If you've ever thought about sponsoring a child, do it! (Want to read about other people's experience with Compassion?) Don't wait until you have more money, it will never be the "right" time. Do it when you feel you're lead to do so (like, now!). :) And spare yourself the homework, I've already done it! Although, do be sure to research whatever organization you choose as there are a lot of things to consider. Email me if you wish! (By the way, most organizations have photos of children waiting for a sponsor and you can search for a child by age, country, gender, birth date, orphan status, HIV/AIDS affected status, and more!)

So if you think you're stretched on money, think about others in our world. As I'm completing day 1 of the challenge (I'll post about that separately), I've been reminded of how stretched I think I feel sometimes, when in reality, I know nothing of what it is really like to be stretched financially.

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"Sometimes I'd like to ask God why He allows poverty, famine, and injustice in the world when He could do something about it, but I'm afraid God would ask me the same question."
You don't change the world by trying to change the world; you change the world by changing yourself.
-Gerry Straub