Scott, Cyndi and their four young boys love good matches of all kinds. They enjoy sports matches, especially those broadcast by Scott’s employer, ESPN. They love matching the birthdays of their sponsored Compassion children to their own young sons’ birthdays. And they love the benefit of matching gifts through Scott’s parent company, Disney, to the family’s Compassion donations.
As Scott says, the family is passionate about Compassion’s mission of releasing children from poverty in Jesus’ name.
“We’re all in. Compassion is the perfect match of our strong faith and commitment to helping others.”
The First Connection
The match with Compassion started more than 20 years ago when Scott was a student at Judson University in Elgin, Illinois. He attended a Compassion presentation on campus, and even though his college budget was tight, he decided to sponsor a girl from Tanzania.
When he and Cyndi married and started their family, they decided to sponsor additional children and create a special match for each child. The couple have four boys ages 18 months to 9 years old. When each son was old enough, Scott and Cyndi sponsored a child with that child’s exact birthday. “Our three older boys now have a Compassion sponsored child their same age, and we look forward to our youngest being matched with a sponsored child in the coming year,” says Cyndi.
The two older children share Bible verses with and write letters to their sponsored children while the younger boys send drawings and photos.
“It’s a wonderful, faith-filled connection for our boys and our sponsored children to share a common faith through very different life experiences,” she says.
The family started matching their donations to Compassion through Scott’s company last year and learned it was a very simple process.
“I was very pleased to learn that Disney would match my donations to Compassion,” says Scott. “To be able to double the value of our donation by simply completing a form is amazing.”
For Cyndi, matching their gifts also is living out God’s promise that he can do so much if we place our faith and trust in him. A favorite verse of hers that feels particularly fitting comes from Malachi:
“Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.”— Malachi 3:10, NIV
“There’s no telling how much God can do especially when we take advantage of every opportunity to make our gifts abundant,” says Cyndi. “With matching gifts, you’re multiplying what can be done, and it’s so very easy.”
The family donates to Compassion throughout the year, so they simplify the matching-gift process by waiting until year-end to submit a total of all of their gifts.
For example, the family enjoys shopping in the annual Compassion Gift Catalog to make additional donations. “We love that we can expand our giving by supporting programs such as skills training or purchasing livestock so a family can have sustainable income,” says Cyndi.
More Than a Hobby
Scott also turned a hobby of making cornhole boards into a small business and ministry by donating all profits to Compassion. “I was able to make a $2,000 donation to Compassion from my side business, and that donation was then doubled through a matching gift from my employer. It makes us wish we could do even more because the impact of the match becomes that much greater.”
Scott and Cyndi see their giving, along with the matched benefit from Scott’s employer, akin to the parable of the fishes and loaves.
“There is just so much that God is doing, and can do, with what we place in his hands,” Scott says.
If you are interested in learning more about matching gifts or finding out if your company offers a matching-gift benefit, visit Compassion’s matching gifts webpage.