For those of you who know me well. I absolutely love giving gifts. I love organization and details. Well, this past week I had the best experience of my entire ministry career.
For the past 4 years, I have been a part of organizing the order of school supplies for our ChildCARE Plus sponsor children. I created this crazy database so we could order the supplies. You see each grade receives a list from their teachers of the supplies they need to buy for the new school year. Currently, we are in 3 different schools with over 240 sponsor children. The high school aged children buy their own supplies and we reimburse them, but for the younger children we buy the supplies for them. Without sharing too many boring admin details – that’s 3 different Grade 1 classes… Grade 2 classes… up to Grade 6.
The last 4 years our staff has organized each bag for each child (my parents just ‘happened’ to be here the past few years as well). Our entire office gets taken over for the week and we do our best to make a ‘boy bag’ or a ‘girl bag’. But in reality, when we handed them out a girl might have received a bag with monster truck notebooks and a boy with pink flowery notebooks.
This past year, God gave me a creative new idea to set up a ‘store’ for our sponsor children to come and pick out their own school supplies. The philosophy behind this was that instead of us giving away the bags like we usually do. The children would get to ‘shop’ and pick out their own things, and in doing so, this would make them feel empowered, valuable and special. And it was a HUGE SUCCESS!!!!
I loved seeing the joy on the children’s faces. I loved getting their hugs too! It also provided great opportunities for our team to talk with parents as they came with their children. I spoke with one father who was so grateful for our help. His son was recently sponsored so this was his first time receiving school supplies. The father told me that he thought that he would have to find more work to be able to buy the supplies his son needed. He was so grateful for our help. That made my day – and that is just one story of many.
We’ve calculated that it costs approximately $150-200 at the start of the school year. We provide all the needed school supplies, 1 set of everyday uniforms and a set for gym class, shoes, socks, under clothes and backpacks. $200!!! And that is just for 1 child.
Many of the families we work with earn about $5/day, if they can find work.
People often ask, does sponsorship make a difference? Yes. Yes it does.
Thank you to those who sponsor our kids in Honduras. Your $37/month made this possible. Your continued support allows the children to have hope for a brighter future. These smiles say it all.
Sometimes giving just looks different.
It doesn’t always have to be about ‘us’ doing it.
I loved this way of giving sooooo much!!!