This Is Where You Come In

This is Emilda Soriano. She’s 18 years old and attends Salem Student Center in Iloilo City, Philippines.

girl standing in front of student center

The student center she attends serves a community in which many of our families scavenge here.

two people standing near dump site

Child development specialists say that Emilda has the mental capacity of a 3-year-old. But this, and her environment, haven’t prevented her from qualifying to represent the Philippines in track and field at the 2011 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Athens, Greece.

girl preparing to run track

Regrettably, qualifying and going to Athens are two different things.

Emilda is currently training … hoping that something can be done so she can join the other 7,500 athletes who will be competing in the games.

She’s not able to make plans because activities like this can’t be funded by our Child Sponsorship Program. However, Compassion Philippines has submitted a proposal requesting additional assistance for Emilda.

This is where you come in. Let’s raise the money to send Emilda to Greece. The amount is just shy of $20,000.

Make a donation to allow Emilda to compete in the International Special Olympics. (UPDATE: Mar. 8, 2011 – 100 percent of the money has been raised.)

Assuming we can raise the money for Emilda, I plan to have at least one follow-up blog post about Emilda before the games begin and one after she’s raced. Depending on what the Philippines Country Office can support, there could be more, including video. That’s what I’m pushing for.

37 Comments |Add a comment

  1. Jenn L March 8, 2011

    I looked today and the thermometer is at the top! Fully funded! Praise the Lord!

  2. Mike Stephens March 7, 2011

    WOW! Almost there! Do we know the date of her race?

  3. Mike Stephens March 5, 2011


  4. Chris Giovagnoni March 2, 2011

    We’re at 63% of the goal. The Compassion Uganda office raised $1,100 for Emilda in their staff meeting the other day.

    1. Michelle March 2, 2011

      YAY Compassion Uganda!!!!! Way to go…. 🙂

  5. Mama of 2 Great Kids February 26, 2011

    Hi there! I recently blogged about this giving opportunity. I’m wondering if the online donation link is also for Canadian donors? Will a Canadian charitable tax receipt be issued? If not, is there a ways we can donate via the website? Thanks!

    1. Chris Giovagnoni March 1, 2011

      Donations made by credit card via the U.S. website will only generate a U.S. tax receipt at the end of the year. Compassion Canada says that they can only provide a tax receipt for contributions that come directly through their office. We’re not able to set up a donation page on Canada’s site for Emilda because of how donations are being tracked for this effort.

      1. Mama of 2 Great Kids March 1, 2011

        Thanks for the info, Chris.

    2. Chris Giovagnoni February 28, 2011

      I’m looking into this for you.

  6. Chris Giovagnoni February 24, 2011

    We’re still just shy of 50% of our goal.

  7. Mike Stephens February 21, 2011

    Almost 50%! At least Emilda has enough for her plane ticket!

  8. Michelle Rausch February 20, 2011

    Okay… I gave 20 bucks and now I’m going to go check that thermometer. Only thing is, I didn’t enter a code when I donated…… It already said something about the Olympic fund at the top? So I hope it is okay. If not…. I guess it just means I gotta donate again. 🙂

  9. Chris Giovagnoni February 18, 2011

    We’re at 32% of our goal – $6,467. Please continue to spread the word. Thanks.

  10. Lola February 17, 2011

    I am donating some money today for Emilda!

    1. Chris Giovagnoni February 17, 2011

      Wonderful! Thank you Lola.

      1. Beth February 18, 2011

        Lola – awesome!

        Chris, guess what? We’re 30% there today! $13,390 left to raise.

        I donated a couple of days ago and am waiting until my next paycheck to donate more. Tell your friends and family about this; I know that in Christ, nothing is impossible and Emilda certainly shows us that with her brave spirit and heart!

  11. Chris Giovagnoni February 16, 2011

    We’re at 12% of our goal – $2,361

  12. Mike Stephens February 15, 2011

    I gave $22 today ;)! Glad I remembered!

  13. Lisa February 15, 2011

    Instead of Compassion sending out a mailer or e-mail, perhaps those of us who are interested could commit to pasting the link in an email and sending it out to family, friends, our Bible study groups, church groups, or anyone else who might be interested in participating.

    1. JD February 15, 2011

      I love this idea! It could also be communicated as a Compassion Bloggers idea. I wrote a post yesterday, and saw a few other posts as well.

      1. Chris Giovagnoni February 15, 2011

        We’re sending an email to the Compassion Bloggers. It was supposed to go out last night, but the Internets was down. Hopefully, tonight.

        1. JD February 15, 2011

          Sweet! Thank you!

  14. Danae February 15, 2011

    I have a question:
    Are you planning on sending out a letter about Emilda for those sponsors who don’t check twitter or the website?

    1. Chris Giovagnoni February 15, 2011

      At this time we are not. We don’t do much fundraising via social media because we try to provide communication that is more relational. However, when I do see something like this I like to offer it to our fans and followers so they can help. On the other hand, sponsors and donors do get quite a number of requests for support via email and direct mail. We try to exercise restraint and not overwhelm them will all the needs that poverty tosses up at us.

  15. Chris Giovagnoni February 15, 2011

    Thank you for your generosity to Emilda yesterday. $1,921 has been raised.

  16. Mike Stephens February 14, 2011

    I’m going to drop $20 off at Compassion tomorrow 😉 just need about 999 more people to do the same 🙂 I look forward to seeing her race video winnig the Gold medal

    I Peter 5:7 “Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for YOU!”

  17. Lisa February 14, 2011

    This is a great opportunity for a Compassion kid! Count us in.

  18. James Lanchester February 14, 2011

    Come on sponsers, one less breakfast out, two less starbucks, or just plain decide to help. I challenge every person that reads this to donate just one dollar. I’m putting my money where my mouth is.

    1. kathy Davis February 14, 2011

      I totally agree

  19. hi i’m steph February 14, 2011

    Is there a dead line and can we send contributions with our monthly statement?
    We love the Special Olympics!

    1. Chris Giovagnoni February 14, 2011


      The only deadline is when we reach the $19,857 amount requested by the Compassion Philippines proposal. Hopefully, we’ll be able to do that quickly.

      There is a thermometer tracking our progress on this page; although, it’s not currently displaying properly. That’s being addressed and should be fixed soon.

      I’m also going to be giving updates about donations to let people know how things are going.

      You can send your contribution with your monthly statement, but please be sure to check the thermometer first. And be sure to include a note that you’re donating so that Emilda can go to the Special Olympics. Include this code for proper tracking – 96738.

      1. Heather February 14, 2011

        Please let us know when they fix the thermometer, many of us are watching it. Thanks!

        1. Chris Giovagnoni February 14, 2011

          It’s fixed. $737 has been raised so far.

  20. Heather February 14, 2011

    Happy Valentine’s Day Emilda! I hope with my help and many others we can send you to the Olympics!

  21. JD February 14, 2011

    Thank you for the opportunity to support Emilda, what a fantastic story… I am looking forward to hearing news of her victories in Greece (what an incredible and historic place to compete in the Special Olympics!) — she will get there!

    I didn’t purchase anything for Valentine’s Day — giving her the funds instead!

    1. Chris Giovagnoni February 14, 2011


      That’s fantastic! Thank you so much.

      1. JD February 14, 2011

        Thank you — can’t do this without the help of Compassion!

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