About a year and a half ago, I decided to use my annual raise for the better: I decided to sponsor a child living in rural Bolivia who really needed my help.
Growing up, I don’t think I realize how privileged I was. To be fair, I was just a kid. I was quite naive. I knew I was lucky, and I was thankful for what I had, but I just didn’t quite “get it” fully. Obviously my life was not perfect, and I dealt with my fair share of issues throughout my childhood, including the loss of loved ones. However, by no means did I have a ‘rough’ childhood.
Eventually, a privileged child grew into a *somewhat* successful adult (…still TBD). With a college degree, I was able to fully support myself when I landed my first full-time job about a month after graduation, but I was living fairly modestly. After a couple years when I got a couple raises and felt I had enough disposable income, I knew I wanted to make a long-term commitment to give back, I just didn’t know how or what to do.
Oddly, the answer I was looking for came to me during the most random of times: an episode of The Bachelor.
I had been a fan of The Bachelor for a few years when I was watching an episode in which Britt Nilsson, contestant on Chris Soules’ season, was chatting to the camera about her sponsored children. I immediately stalked her Instagram online and found the organization that she works with to sponsor the children, called World Vision. That was it! I wanted to sponsor a child.
World Vision uses donations and sponsorship money to help provide support for clean water, education, and economic & agricultural development for children and communities in need all over the world. You can literally search through a database of children until you find one that pulls at your heartstrings. I found mine in a Spanish-speaking country (I minored in Spanish in college and lived in Spain for a while), and his first name is my real last name. I couldn’t connect with a little guy more. 🙂 Immediately, I was hooked.
In addition to my monthly donation, I can send my sponsored child gifts for his birthday, maps showing where I live, fun puzzles and games, letters and emails whenever I like. It feels nice knowing I am doing my part to help the world become a better place, and I hope I can provide just a little peace of mind and security to my sponsored child’s parents. Part of me would like to tell you that this is fulfilling, or brings me joy, but rather I just feel a calling or a need to help others – and this little guy connects with me in a way I didn’t know possible with a complete stranger. Honestly, it makes me feel like a fairy godmother or the Tooth Fairy or something!
In what ways do you challenges yourself to better the world or your community? To better yourself?