Like most families with young children, my husband and I don’t have a ton of disposable income. There are always diapers to buy, groceries to replace or the unexpected medical bill or home repair to cover. So with the little money we do have at our discretion, we make sure to use it wisely. Intentionally.
But there are so many choices. Even if you decide to donate some of that money to a charity or nonprofit — like we did — the opportunities to give can seem endless. There are environmental causes, animal shelters, homeless shelters, local sports teams, medical research societies, political groups …
How do you possibly choose?
At the end of the day, where you choose to give is a deeply personal decision. It’s a matter of looking at your life, priorities and passions to decide where you want to make an impact. What was right for us may not be right for you.
Still, sometimes it can be helpful to hear how others make decisions about charitable giving. Personally, my husband and I choose to sponsor a child with Compassion for two big reasons:
- We see how vulnerable our own kids can be, and we know that vulnerability is exacerbated by poverty — making children more likely to be exposed to violence, exploitation and neglect. Through sponsorship, we can help lessen some of that vulnerability in partnership with staff at a local church partner who take a personal interest in the life and well-being of our sponsored child.
- We enjoy having enough. Even though money can be tight, we don’t have to worry about putting food on the table each night, or being able to send our kids to school, or affording medical care when our kids are sick. We have enough to cover our basic needs — and we know that’s not always the case for families who live in poverty. If we can share some of our plenty, we want to.
Sponsors Share Their “Why”
Every other Compassion sponsor also has their own, individual reason why they chose child sponsorship over the many other deserving ways to help out there. Here are just a few of those reasons …
“I lost my father to lung cancer in 2011. After that enormous loss, I had this incredible desire to do something tangible to help someone in need. I saw child sponsorship as a way to honor his memory. It was exactly what I needed in my life. Little did I know what an incredible passion it would become and how much it would impact my life and my heart. I am so, so glad I took this journey.” — Emily
“I gave birth to my daughter in 1977. In 1978, I heard about Compassion. I was so grateful for my daughter and the fact that, although we did not have a lot of money, I could feed her and give her a home. I thought about all the mothers around the world who loved their child as much as I loved mine but could not give them these basic things. I knew I could come alongside one mother, somewhere, and help her provide for her precious child, so I sponsored a little girl. My daughter is now 43 and is a sponsor herself.” — Nina
“As a child, it meant the world to me to hear words of affirmation from an older spiritual mentor. Every child deserves to feel cherished and to hear that Jesus loves them. Thanks to sponsorship, my Compassion kids are getting that love and affirmation at their center and from my letters.” — Katie
“I sponsor because virtues like courage, steadfastness and inclusion is all worth bequeathing to the kind of world I wish for my grandchildren and their children yet unborn.” — Prince
“What I like most about sponsorship is that it’s personal and you get to actually know the person you’re helping, so you can see the impact you’re having on their life. I don’t have biological children, so I consider my sponsored children a part of my family. Many of them call me Sister or Auntie.” — Hannah
“I sponsor and correspond because it gives more purpose and meaning to my life. I am an introvert and naturally quiet person, but corresponding with these precious kiddos is a way I can share God’s love and his gift of salvation with children all over the world.” — Laura
As you can see, the reasons to sponsor a child are as individual as the sponsors themselves. With that in mind, I want to encourage you on your own journey of deciding how to give back to others in need. It doesn’t matter which cause or organization you choose — just as long as you feel like your contribution is making a real, lasting difference in the lives of others.
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I recently lost contact with my only grandchild who is eight years old and of Puerto Rican, Honduran and Cuban descent. My daughter and I had a major disagreement over the safety of her son although we had never bedore in our lives ever quarreled. Her boyfriend has created a dangerous situation in the household. I am forbidden to have any contact with them. I have been heartbroken because we were always very close and I have spent a lot of time with my grandchild and my daughter because she is a single mother. We both helped each other through some very difficult times. I miss my grandchild so much. He lives 700 miles from me. I was a teacher for most of my life. I wanted to teach him about so many things. One day I was looking at the photos of the children and decided to sponsor a child from Mexico or Central America. I saw this one small boy and something about him drew me to sponsor him. I want to be the voice of encouragement that I cannot be for my grandchild. I look at his photo everyday and think of him often. He gives me hope and I would like to give him hope in return.
Hi, Diana! Thank you for sharing your story and how you came to sponsor your sweet boy from Mexico! Thank you also for your using your gifts such as teaching to be an encouragement in his life! ? I am deeply sorry to hear of the separation and struggle you have experienced with your daughter and grandchild. I will be praying for God’s restoration and healing!
I wanted a family with at least 4 children. Unfortunately, my husband died young and I never remarried so that dream did not happen. I sponsor children so their parents can deal with the daily grind but I am still helping these kids to grow up as productive people who can dare to have goals and dreams. While two of my sponsored kids are in single digit ages – only God knows why he directed me to choose them – the ones I am most drawn to are the older teens that are so frequently overlooked. The Little Ones are always so adorable, but I feel the older ones need just as much – if not even more – love and support. They are old enough to understand how long they have been waiting for a sponsor and I can only imagine what it does to them mentally when others are sponsored and they still wait. Those are the ones that catch my attention every time, even if I know I will only have them for a couple of years. My first two have graduated but I still sponsor two olders and two youngers so now I have “my four kids” even if it is a different definition than I expected. Like everyone else, I wish I could do more!
Hi, Sandi! Thank you so much for sharing your story! We are very sorry to hear that your husband passed away and that you did not get the biological family you were hoping for. What a blessing that the Lord has used child sponsorship as a way for you to pour love and support into children. It is so sweet that He has created a different type of family for you! ? We so appreciate your care for your four current sponsor children, as well as the other two that have graduated. I know that you are making an incredible impact on all their lives! God bless you. ?
Thank you for sharing, the reasons given by the Sponsors are really personal and compassionate.
I chose one of the three children I sponsor in Ethiopia because she is without a father, who incidentally ran off with another woman, returned to the family home, infected his wife with AIDS, left again, and is now dead. I never knew my father because he left my mother when I was about 2 years old. When I met this child nearly three years ago and we were saying goodbye she threw her arms around me and said “Now you are my father.” This was the best moment of my ENTIRE life !