Our Sponsored Child

Bill and I made a decision several years ago not to have children. It’s not that we don’t like kids, we do, very much (especially Cory!) But I have some physical problems I didn’t want to pass on, plus joint pain that prevents me from kneeling on the floor to play with the kids and lift them. I didn’t feel I would be able to provide the attention I would want to give.

We have our two “kids” at home, Gizmo and Gobi, who, as my readers know, are parrots. I change “diapers” everyday, and they will never grow out of that! Pets go a long way as companions and many people have them as child substitutes. We have them because they are smart, amusing, and entertaining. But I digress…

One evening Bill and I were at home watching the video “About Schmidt”. This movie stars Jack Nicholson, and if you haven’t seen it, it’s about a retired man who has trouble coming to terms with his lonely life after his wife dies. He starts sponsoring a child in Africa and starts writing letters to the boy about his life. Of course, the letters are the narration of the movie and go into much detail about Schmidt’s life (pity the poor child who would actually read these letters!). After we watched the movie, we began thinking about the idea of sponsoring a child. Since we had none of our own, how wonderful it would be to know we are helping a child in a poverty-stricken land who could use a helping hand.

So we discovered a charity called Plan USA. We sponsor a child in Africa and every six months we get a progress report about her and some photos. We are able to send her letters (which are translated for her by staff members) and sometimes she sends us drawings she has made. We can also send emails to Plan and they forward them to the field office in the child’s area. It only costs $24.00 per month to help this child.

Apparently her favorite subject in school is Arabic and she wants to become a teacher. She also likes to “hang” with her girlfriends. She lives in a modest home with her extended family. At this time there are unfortunately no plumbing facilities in individual homes, so the people in the village use an open field when nature calls.

Pictures of our sponsored child as she grows…

The funds we send are used to build classrooms, provide immunizations and medical care, adult education and numerous other human services.

Here is a recently constructed classroom:

If you are interested in sponsoring a child, or just curious about the organization, check out this website:

www.planusa.org

We feel good about this charity and perhaps will sponsor another child in the future.

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5 Comments

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5 responses to “Our Sponsored Child

  1. That is really cool that you do that. Good for you guys!

  2. My sister does something like that for a kid in Mexico. My wife used to do it for someone here in the US as she believes there are plenty of kids here that need help first.

  3. seb

    That’s great that you are helping! Interesting what Manuel says about helping people here, there are many who do need it! But I think it’s great that you are helping a person, whether they are here or millions of miles away. I hope I can help people when I’m better, maybe give some time to a particular organization or a mentoring program or something like that.

  4. Hi Sonja!
    Great!!! I was touched. Your decision about child is from your heart ( and your husband). In Poland said: “Everyone child is our”.
    I read this on Deepak blog:
    “Please remember, no matter how small the deed it really does makes a difference.
    Make a difference today.
    Do something nice for someone else.
    It should be the spirit of Christmas.”
    You truly did the best!
    Happy New Year and
    may all your dreams come true.

  5. My feeling is that a child is a child, it doesn’t matter where in the world they are suffering. And the feedback I get from “my” child and the progress reports I get make me feel like I am truly helping the poorest of the poorest. Suffering knows no borders.

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