A couple of weeks ago a couple of young people knocked on my door with information about Children International. It’s one of the sponsorship programs where you can sponsor a child in poverty with a monthly donation to make sure their basic needs are met. You can choose to help kids in the U.S. or in pretty much any other country you prefer. We just signed up for the emergency list, meaning they assign us to the area that’s currently experiencing the most need. I have always wanted to be part of a program like this. I remember all throughout my childhood reading letters my mother and her child, Anil, would send to one another. We never had much, but my parents made a way to help a kid across the globe. Now that we are somewhat financially stable, I’m happy to join in the efforts to do the same.
We are still pretty broke in terms of middle class standards. I was surprised to find out the monthly income for the child’s family who we now sponsor is only 250 a month. On a frivolous month, we probably spend that much eating out. In the poverty-stricken areas of Columbia, that’s the norm. Anyways, I fell in love with this baby as soon as I saw him. Look at those eyes! He has that smile like Nathan gives when someone asks him to smile for the camera. It’s like he’s complying, but doesn’t know how to fake a smile (like I do lol). I wish I could give him a big hug. I’ll settle for knowing we’re helping give his family some relief from financial problems. I know from experience that having that kind of relief makes life happier for the whole family. You can enjoy each other more when you aren’t struggling to figure out how to pay the bills without getting into a worse situation. I hope the little that we’re giving goes a long way for him.
That being said, I’m not changing the world. I’m not helping an enemy. It’s true what the Bible says about helping a friend being way easier than helping an enemy. I’m not giving more than we can afford. I’m getting way more out of this than I’m putting in. I wanted to share this blog not to draw attention to the huge thing we’re doing, but to encourage you to do the small things that you can.
Moving to Miami was a dream that Nathan and I were able to realize only because Mei’s fathers took an extra interest in us. They mentored us and helped us move to Miami. We were doing okay in Crestview. We could have figured out a way to get to Miami on our own eventually. Thanks to my “baby daddies,” we were able to get down here a lot faster, and share the final months of our pregnancy together creating memories that will last a lifetime. Now I have them to thank in part for helping Nathan and I establish a wonderful, stable life here for our little family. It’s not only easy to pass that along, but it’s necessary. Not only as a Christian, but just as a decent human being.
Not everyone can afford to give money to charity (in my opinion). Sometimes all you can give is something of yourself. You can give extra belongings to your local thrift shop. You can donate your time and energy picking up trash at your local park. If you have a talent, you can share that through donating a painting. You can read to kids at an after school program.
My little sister donated a painting recently to an auction for children who have been maltreated. She ended up bringing in money to the local FFN that helped transport a missing (then found) child home. When we talked about it last week I told her, “I bet you didn’t expect to be helping a child get to a safe home when you were painting that night–probably at 3am on your bedroom floor in a heightened emotional state as is your typical artistic process.” She kind of laughed it off and said, “If I’d known that I would be painting all the time.” The thing is, you don’t know the impact you’re going to have when you do the things that are small for you. They could end up being huge for someone else. Or they could be small. Either way, a world full of “small wins” is a good thing. Think about it. Do something radical. Even if it is small. Do something. 🙂