Sponsors, You Mean the World to Us!August 9, 2016 2:19 pm
Guest Blogger, Alyssa Doty, is JBFC’s Office Manager in the U.S. In addition to managing our donor database, she is also in charge of JBFC’s Sponsor a Child program. After more than a year and a half with JBFC, she is visiting our campus in Tanzania for the first time.
A few months ago I wrote a little about my experience working with our Sponsor a Child program from the administrative side. Up until this point I have worked on the Sponsor a Child program with more of an administrative viewpoint, never having met the JBFC girls and sponsored kids or most of you who sponsor our children.
This month I was able to experience the relationship side of Sponsor a Child when I visited our JBFC campus in Tanzania for the first time. I spent less than a day on campus before I could see what the sponsor a child program means to these girls. Words that we send out on paper in letters to our sponsors about their sponsored childcare, now come to life for me – “Your sponsorship means the world to your sponsored child.”
When I arrived on the JBFC campus, Ashli (JBFC’s COO in the US) introduced me to the girls as working in the U.S. office with her and helping to run the Sponsor a Child program. And when the girls came up to introduce themselves to me (with hugs and smiles) I knew that I had not taken my job seriously enough. Because one of the first things they asked about was their sponsor- “Do you know my sponsor? (as in have you met them)?” “Does my sponsor have children?” “Where does my sponsor live?”
And I had, for the most part, to say “I have no idea.” I pulled up from memory a few of the sponsor’s states (Can I use the excuse I had been traveling for almost 72 hours with very little sleep?). For the most part, however, I drew a blank. So I had to promise that the next day I would pull up my list and we could figure out where each of their sponsors are from.
However, many of the girls knew more about their sponsors than I did. Not just their names, but also any information their sponsors had written to them about themselves- like how many kids they have and what their kids do. Girls who had not received letters from their sponsors were sad, because they want to know about their sponsor’s lives.
In the first prayer time (a ritual they observe every night), they prayed for and gave thanks for their sponsors. I am one of the world’s worst criers – anything emotional starts the water works. And let me tell you, that prayer sent me over the edge. To these girls you, the sponsors, are not just a name on paper that they have to write to occasionally. You are people they care about, people they want to know more about.
So I know I’ve only been at JBFC for less than 24 hours, and I’m sure my list will grow to unmanageable proportions, but I have put the first two items on my to-do list for the future:
- While I’m here to learn as much as I can about each of these girls as individuals. This was on my list anyway. But I feel like it is even more important now, so that when I return to Tulsa I can help to convey to you the sponsors in some small way the personality and character and beauty of your sponsored child.
- When I return to Tulsa to learn as much about you the sponsor, so that next time I return to JBFC I can answer all of the girl’s questions.
My hope though, is that the next time I come they won’t have any questions about theirs sponsors, because you will have written to them and you will have answered their questions. The money you send helps us at JBFC to keep these girls fed, and educated and safe.
But YOU are what matters to these girls.
The fact that someone on the other side of the world who has never met them would care about them is HUGE. Showing how you care by sharing your life with them, not just your money, really will “mean the world to them.”
If you want to send a letter to your sponsored child(ren), please send it to:
If you want to become a part of this amazing family by sponsoring a child we currently have 3 kids who need to be sponsored at the scholarship level, and 3 JBFC girls who need residential sponsorship.
If you want to sponsor a child, you can contribute online here. When it asks if you would like to designate your donation, scroll to Sponsor a Child in the dropdown menu.
We currently don’t have any full sponsorships available, but are expecting more residential girls in the next few months. If you want to be put on a waiting list for full sponsorship, email Alyssa Doty at: email@example.com and we will reach out to you when we have more girls to sponsor at this level.
When you sponsor a child, we will send you a picture of your child with some biographical information on them. You can also expect to hear from your sponsored child quarterly. And, of course, always feel free to send them a letter or picture of your own.
Thank you to each and every one of you who already supports one of our children!
This post was written by Mainsprings