Changing lives through sponsorship: A sponsor’s Awareness Trip reflection

Unbound awareness trips

From left: Julio, Flavia, Gabriella, Silvia, Bill and Elvia.

Bill Sheridan has been a sponsor for 18 years. He has enjoyed his many years as a sponsor and shared with us this reflection from his most recent Awareness Trip to Guatemala.

Nearly 18 years ago I became an Unbound sponsor. My first sponsored friend was a young girl from Guatemala. Now I sponsor two girls from Guatemala and a boy in Honduras.

Since then I have been on eight awareness trips. I recently returned from my latest trip to Guatemala, and as always, the highlight was the day I spent with my sponsored children.

Over the years I saw their fears of future limitations change into dreams of possibilities. Now Elvia, 14, wants to be a chef and Gabriela, 15, an accountant.

That Sunday I spent a few hours at their home along with their brother Julio, 16, their younger sister Silvia, 9, and their mother Flavia.

Elvia, the future chef, wanted to surprise me by cooking a dinner for me and her family. She was very excited. Her uncle and his children dropped by and joined us for dinner.

As Elvia prepared the meal, we all talked, laughed and discovered new things about each other. Julio is studying to be a mechanic and asked me a lot of questions about American cars of which I knew very little but did my best to answer.

Gabriella explained that the reason she wants to be an accountant is because of her love of math. Silvia just sat, smiled and charmed us all while Flavia looked on proudly.

Shortly after, Elvia served us a delicious chicken and rice dinner followed by a special desert she had created.

I am pleased to be a part of their family, though perhaps I should say I am blessed to be member of their family.

When I joined Unbound I was hoping to change one person’s life.

As it turned out, it was mine.

Want to change lives? Sponsor today!

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5 thoughts on “Changing lives through sponsorship: A sponsor’s Awareness Trip reflection

  1. Bill, thank you for sharing your experience. I have sponsored 2 girls in Guatemala, and now sponsor a Honduran girl named Wendy. I, too, hope to take an awareness trip in the future. Your good work is reflected in this beautiful family.

  2. Bill, Your commitment and faithfulness to the children you sponsor is a model for us all. Thank you for that, and for the friendship we’ve been enjoying over the years in Guatemala. Who could have predicted either of us would bring this focus to our lives?
    Blessings abound!

    Dick Reid
    Eugene, Oregon

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