Today we put our family plan of sponsoring a child through Save the Children into action. Rather than fill out an impersonal form online, I called the home office located close to our house to see if it would be possible to apply for the sponsorship in person. The woman I spoke to encouraged us to come in and view the offices, look at the pictures of children from around the world, and complete the forms.
When I hung up the phone, I thought the woman’s name sounded familiar. It turns out she is very good friends with my sister-in-law and works in the same department as she, Donor Services. Before we left, the four of us pooled our money; $10 from dog walking, $10 from tutoring and $10 from Greg’s spending money, and we set out for Westport.
Upon arriving, we asked for the woman I spoke with and we were introduced. She then introduced us to the Director of Donor Services, who ushered us into her office and helped us pick a child. We explained we wanted to support a child in the United States, rather than abroad. Since Grace has an affinity for the Gulf Region from all her hurricane research, we went with the Delta Region of the USA. Grace really wanted to sponsor a boy and Lilah would have preferred a girl. To avoid conflict, we chose “most in need” and up came a 9 year old boy who lives in Western Tennessee with his parents.
Through Save the Children, he participates in literacy program, athletic programs and programs about healthy living. We were given a website address where we can learn more about the Field Office and the programs that were described. In about 10 days we should receive an information packet and be able to begin corresponding with the boy and his family, through the field office.
This was such a treat and I am grateful to my sister-in-law for placing a quick phone call to advise her friend we were coming. My goal was to have the girls connect to this experience in a personal way. Rather than simply hand me $5 a month, and not be sure of where it was going and why, I wanted them to be involved in the process. I don’t think they will forget sitting in the Dirctor’s office, watching the computer screen log our information and receiving answers to their questions in person. Not many donors get such a personal experience from an agency!
It was a wonderful way to begin our relationship with both Save The Children and our sponsored child. I look forward to developing a relationship with both in the upcoming year!