A few months ago, we saw a picture on Instagram that made us very excited (and yes, we do look when you tag us!). A sponsor named Kensi had posted a picture of herself holding a thank you note to a friend who sponsored a child through Release3. Her joy was evident, and we immediately thought, “That girl should tell her story!” Here’s Kensi’s Release3 story in her own words!
Since I became a sponsor nearly six years ago, I’ve shared the life of my sponsored child, Immaculate, with those I love. I even displayed a picture of her at my wedding to symbolize just how important she is to me.
I wanted to be a sponsor for years before I could commit financially. In high school and early college, I would look at all the pictures on Compassion’s Web site and pray for the children. I dreamed of the day when I could call one of them mine and feel the joy of a new beginning.
When my day finally came with my first steady job, I instantly fell in love with my ray-of-sunshine, Immaculate. As our letters to each other began, my heart was quickly warmed when she started to address me as “Mum” in her writing. I was completely honored for her to voluntarily give me such a loving title.
My relationship with Immaculate was not something I wanted to keep quiet. I wanted, no, needed, others to know about Compassion. I wanted them to hear of this amazing opportunity to not only change a child’s life but to spiritually and emotionally enrich their own lives.
And that’s what drew me to Release3. It was a way for me to reach out to others about my goal of getting children sponsored by simply being genuine and personal with those around me.
I shared profiles of three waiting children on my social media accounts throughout Release3. I posted their pictures along with their names, home countries, birthdays and activities. I wanted people to think of the actual lives involved not just a button on a computer screen.
I wanted them to visualize and connect with the need of these children.
A lifelong friend of mine, Stacy, gave me the most uplifting news during Release3. She shared with me that she officially became a sponsor of a sweet little girl named Felicite.
My eyes instantly swelled with tears. I snapped a picture with a “thank-you” sign and my very real expression of awe and gratitude. The truth is, my tears had so much within them.
I felt so many things. The biggest, next to excitement, was responsibility.
I am one life. I am stay-at-home mother, artist and a U.S. Coast Guard wife. I am not a well-known community figure, and I probably won’t ever have thousands of followers on my Instagram or Facebook accounts. I stumble in the spotlight!
Through this challenge, I felt what it meant to connect a sponsor to a child. It’s something I will always remember, and it’s something I hope to be a part of again.
We are the links between waiting children and their new sponsors. We cannot forget how powerful our words, actions and callings can be. May we never lessen or devalue our efforts, and may we keep fighting for the lives of children around the world.