Several weeks ago Teresa (a super cool reader of Loving Simple Living) contacted me and asked me to feature Christian Foundation for Children and Aging (CFCA) in my Simple Compassion section. We do feature lots of organizations that have to do with sponsoring children but I think they are all good, so I love to promote them all 🙂
I wanted to video interview Teresa so she could tell you about her experience, but she didn’t have a webcam so we have a written interview. I can tell you that the organization is great, but I don’t have experience with it. I want her to share it with you.
Teresa tell me a bit about yourself and your family
My family is just my husband, Darryl, and myself, Teresa. We’ve been married nearly 13 years. We live on a small farm in central Minnesota. My husband works in management at Polaris Industries. We have Hollyhock Farm Alpacas, a small business raising alpacas. I spin, knit, felt and dye the alpaca fiber into yarn and finished products which I sell at farmer’s markets, craft shows and online at http://hollyhockalpacas.com/shop/.
How did you first find CFCA?
We first heard of CFCA while attending church in a neighboring town. There was a visiting priest at that church talking about CFCA. We left the church without looking at the information available but at nearly the same time during the drive home my husband and I both started talking about sponsoring a child.
Who do you sponsor and how long have you been sponsoring?
We sponsor Pablo from Peru. We chose a child rather than an elderly person because we feel an education will help out for future generations, too. We chose Peru because that is the native land of alpacas and because I remember a little Spanish from my classes in high school. We started sponsoring him last year in November, 2011.
From your letters what have you learned about Pablo?
We’ve only gotten one letter from Pablo, so far. It takes a long time for letters to make their way as they are translated at a CFCA office. Pablo was 5 years old when he wrote the first letter. He told us about his Mother (even her age!) and his 3 siblings. His father abandoned the family and his mother works taking care of children. He likes drawing, painting, reading and playing with his cousins and friends. We were surprised to get a letter from Pablo’s Mother shortly after our letter from Pablo. Her gratefulness came through loud and clear in her letter. She was so excited to be able to buy school supplies and had hope that her son would grow up to be a good man!
How is his life different because of your sponsorship?
Pablo will be able to afford the uniforms and supplies that are required to attend school. We also sent a special donation in March for his sixth birthday. This was combine with other March birthday donations to have a party for all sponsored kids with March birthdays in Pablo’s village.
How is your life different because of your sponsorship?
We have Pablo’s picture and letter on the mantel. We talk about him and pray for him. Family and friends have seen his picture and we tell them about Pablo and CFCA.
Who could get involved with this organization and how would they do it?
Anyone can help CFCA. The easiest way to go the CFCA website – there are links for sponsoring a child, sponsoring an elderly person, or just making a donation. You can also check their blog. CFCA also has a facebook page – where they show pictures of children waiting for sponsorship. It is fun for kids to sponsor a child the same age or with the same birthday. CFCA also has Mission Awareness Trips where sponsors can get the opportunity to go to the home of their sponsored friend. This is a future dream of ours to go to Peru and meet Pablo when he is older and also see alpacas in their native land.
One funny story I would like to share.
My 12-year old nephew took a week-long summer course in Spanish and while visiting us, his Mother, my sister, asked if he could read Pablo’s letter. Of course, he couldn’t, but my sister teased him saying, ‘Well, this boy is only 5 and he can write in Spanish!’
Feel free to add anything else you would like. This is what I thought of. I always like to have the personal element. People know me…cause I always share about our family so I like people to feel like they can ‘get to know’ you on your guest post just a bit. (not just about the charity). Also the person difference it is making to Pablo and what he (or his mom) has said in letters. We all know the statistics of need and help, but what connects us to causes is the individual people 🙂
Thanks so much Teresa for sharing and for sponsoring! (wander over and check out the cool stuff she is doing on her site!)
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