World Vision. They are an amazing organization. Back then I loved all of the one time donation options they had. I was able to choose a gift to give with out any further financial commitment that wasnt plausible at the time for me.
-For example you can pay 25$ and provide a family with two chickens that ends up providing them with a lasting source of nutrition and income.
-For 75$ you can provide a goat that will nourish hungry children and families with milk, cheese, yogurt and also income.
-For 30$ You can give 5 ducks that will provide hundred of large protein-rich eggs all year long.
-For only 16$ you can give two soccer balls that will bring so much joy and healthy exercise to children.
-For 35$ you can give sexually exploited girls assistance in the form of medical care and food.
This organization is truly amazing and there are so so so many ways to help. Please check out the website and see if you there is any way you can help some one in need.
But my favorite part of World Vision is their sponsorship program. Im sure that there are many great programs out there but this one just spoke to me. For only 35$ a month you can absolutely change a childs life. It can provide children all over the world with clean water, nutritious food, health care, education and much more. You can choose which child you would like to sponsor. You can search by gender, age, location and more. There is also an option to choose to sponsor a HopeChild which is a child living in a community severely affected by AIDS. After selecting a child to sponsor you can write to them, send gifts and receive letters from them.
So I made the decision to finally do this. I have always worried about whether or not i could afford to do this so i looked at my money situation. I know that I end up spending 35 dollars a month on absolutely nothing. Like dinner when I treat a friend, a random grocery store stop to get "just something for dinner", or any time I walk into Target. So I made up my mind and realized i couldnt afford NOT to do this. There is such a pull in me to help and i decided to give into that pull.
After the decision was made I was eager and excited. But as I started my search I was suddenly overwhelmed and halted. How in the world would I choose which child to help. This is my problem a lot of times with my urge to volunteer and donate...I dont have a lot (time, money, etc) but I want to help so much! I was having such a hard time with the fact that while yes, i will be helping this child, the child on the next page will not be getting my help. I struggled with this for a couple hours and then realized that my hesitation isnt helping ANYONE. So the search continued.
Like I said there were many options for searching through the children and I was at a loss. But, i decided to go with my gut. For some reason, since my early teens, my heart has leaned towards Africa. There is just something that speaks right to my core about the issues in this particular place. And instead of questioning why here, why not the many other areas of the world that need so much help, I am now acting on that feeling, because again, hesitation, for whatever reason, isnt helping anyone. Something in me just knows I am supposed to focus a portion of my time there. So I narrowed my search to Africa and then further with the decision to help a HopeChild. I had no real preference of gender or age so I was simply sifting through photos and tiny stories. I was again overwhelmed, had no idea how I would choose and thought i might as well do a quick round of eeny meeny miny mo. Then I saw a little girl and thought she might be the one. There was something about the look in her eye that made me stop a little longer at her page. I thought, yes, she was who i would sponsor but for some reason hit the next button three more times and then it happened. I saw Ivan. A four year old boy from Uganda. A little boy with sad eyes, a beautiful face and a small scar on his forehead. My heart dropped and my whole body got goosebumps. Really. And I thought to myself, "ok, so THIS is how you know." I had it. I had him. This was who I was supposed to sponsor. This is why I hadnt sponsored in the past, my contribution was meant for this little boy.
As I read the tiny biography about this little boy I found out that he liked drawing, yay, he is creative like me. His favorite games are ball games, and i loved this cause as a kid i was a total tomboy and loved all sports. And then i read it, his birthdate, August 18th. Same as me. I got the goosebumps again and moved on to the sponsor page right then and there. There is an option to search by birthdate but i hadnt really thought about that much when i was searching, but when i saw that we shared the same birthday, (what are the chances) i knew it was meant to be. My heart still jumps a little and my arms cover with a blanket of goosebumps when I look at his picture. (yes, I know, not everyone will have quite the dramatic encounter that I did, but i really feel it was special and think it should be shared with hopes of inspiring others to take the time to help)
I am so glad that I have sponsored Ivan. I honestly dont even notice the money being gone every month, but have the satisfaction of knowing that I am helping out at least one little boy in need. But in reality, by helping one, you are helping so many more. Not just their family, but their community. You are spreading hope and who knows what that little person you are helping will grow to do. It is truly spreading love and it really is so easy! Please I urge you to take a moment and check out the website. If you are in a place where you can sponsor, please do! And if not, check out the one time donation options that you can do one month when you may have a little extra cash floating around. It is so easy for most of us and really can make a world of difference to some one else.