World Aids Day 2014: “A Walking Dead”

Vanitha heard a familiar song in a nearby house across the street. Alone in her own home, the aching mother was looking at her child breathing, slowly and with great difficulty. Barely fifteen years old, Vanitha had struggled for months to keep her HIV-infected child alive with local medicines. She had nightmares about this day. Her child was dying right in front of her eyes on her lap.

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Happy Thanksgiving To You and Yours

As we join around the table today with our loved ones, we want to say a sincere THANK YOU to you – for loving your sponsored kids, for having compassion and for being the best advocates for kids in poverty in the world.

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Why Giving Tuesday Matters

When I was a teenager, my mom and I used to go shopping on Black Friday. Well … she would shop. I would usually end up sprawled on the sidewalk in front of the mall, reading a book and waiting for her to finish buying gifts for our family. It should be noted, though, that my mom didn’t necessarily enjoy these dawn excursions with a whiny teen. She did it because she loved us, and she wanted Christmas to be special. Our family wasn’t wealthy, and she saved all year to buy those gifts — to demonstrate in a tangible way that she knew us, knew what we liked. And that she loved us. And even the malls couldn’t interfere with that mother’s heart.

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To Such As These

This is me. I have a name, but it is not easy to remember or pronounce and the person to whom it is attached to holds no real value. Or so people tell me. I am small. And the world around me is so big. I try to contain it in the folds of my hands. There are things I want.

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World Toilet Day: Well, This Is Awkward

I love awkward situations. What makes most people squirm makes me break out in a fit of laughter. I enjoy watching people react in uncomfortable situations and don’t mind entering awkward situations myself. At this point, you’re probably asking yourself two questions. How does this woman have any friends? Is she about to ask us something awkward?!? Both valid questions. And sure, now that you brought it up, here’s a potentially awkward question: How do you feel about toilets? That’s right. Toilets.

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4 Tips for Writing Your First Letter

You attended a concert a couple of weeks ago or maybe someone spoke at your church and your heart was moved to sponsor a child through Compassion. Yea! Congratulations! And then, just yesterday, you received a welcome packet for this new member of your family. As you look through it, you read the section titled “Write to Him” and you think, Wow! I can’t even remember the last time I wrote a letter, let alone sent a card to someone! What in the world am I supposed to write to this child?

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The Year I Gave Homework for Christmas

I’m a big reader. As a child, I had books hidden away everywhere — in the cushions of the couch, tucked under my brother’s car seat and stuffed into my pillowcase. So when I was about 10 years old, I decided I would buy every person in my family a book for Christmas. I pored over the Scholastic Books order form and found books for my parents, siblings, aunts, uncles and cousins. I wrapped them and carefully placed them under the tree. On Christmas Eve, when we exchange gifts with my extended family, I was so excited to watch everyone open their gifts. There was one problem, though. Not everybody likes to read.

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The Best Perspective on Setting Goals

I want to talk to you about goals. I think goals are powerful. You certainly need them to be successful in athletics or in academics. Goals are powerful because they can create the right conversation, spur the right imagination and give you direction to the right amount of scaling for what you’re trying to achieve.

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The Baby Elephant Rescuer

You’ve probably met Wass. Wass is the baby elephant who’s been in the news recently after he was rescued from a well in Northern Kenya. Unable to be reunited with his herd, he and two orphaned ostrich chicks were airlifted to safety by the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. Now meet Edwin. Edwin is the head elephant keeper at the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in Nairobi, Kenya. He’s also a Compassion graduate.

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Fear, Ebola and Me

“Are you sure you want to travel there right now? Couldn’t you get… Ebola?” My friend hesitantly asked me this question before my recent trip to Uganda, in Eastern Africa. I found a map and showed my well-meaning friend the actual distance from the epicenter of the Ebola outbreak to Uganda. It’s about 4500 miles, which is well over the distance from California to New York.

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