Mar 26 2013

How do you share CFCA with others?

CFCA volunteers

From left: CFCA volunteers Rafaela, Daniela and Luka Bradvica share CFCA with friends and family. How do you talk about your sponsorship?

Rather than spend a lot of money on advertising, CFCA relies on the enthusiasm of our volunteers and all the other sponsors who informally share what sponsorship means to them.

More than 7,000 volunteers have stepped forward to help spread the word about CFCA among their friends, families and communities.

What are your ways of sharing CFCA with others?

There are so many ways and opportunities to share the work of CFCA. Everyone uses a different approach based on their interests and talents. Thatís why we want to hear what works for you!

Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Here are a few ideas from volunteers to get us started:

  • Eleven-year-old Grace Castillo sells crocheted hair accessories she makes herself to raise funds for CFCA’s Hope for a Family program. At craft fairs, Grace shows those who stop by her table a picture of her sponsored friend, and she talks about how special he is to her family.
  • College Student Daniela Bradvica encourages students in Catholic schools to sponsor a child. She even helps them create classroom bulletin boards that feature the country of their sponsored friend.
  • Clement Ward hosted a movie night to show CFCA’s “Rise and Dream” documentary. He put announcements in church bulletins around town and developed fliers with information about CFCA, including our website.
  • Kristi Sands spreads the word about CFCA’s work through an email signature that appears at the bottom of every email she sends. The signature reads, “Won’t you please consider joining me in sponsoring a child?” and includes a link to her CFCA “My Outreach” page. She goes on to say, “I’ve been a sponsor since 1999, met my girls in Nicaragua in 2011, and have found the whole experience so worthwhile! Since I can’t sponsor them all myself, I’m looking for others who can help.”

Leave a comment and let us know how you share CFCA with others!

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Mar 21 2013

Family inspires CFCA staff member on awareness trip

Family in Costa Rica

Uriel, and Abdelino with their mother, Hilda, and father, Danilo.

By Leslie Hernandez, CFCA Sponsor Services

Leslie Hernandez works for CFCA as a bilingual communications liaison in Sponsor Services. Read Leslie’s story of hope as she helped a family in Costa Rica realize their dream of building a dignified home.

I participated in a Costa Rica awareness trip last July with CFCA, and the experience changed my life.

I met Abdelino and Uriel, two brothers sponsored through CFCA, and fell in love with their family.

This family lives in poverty and struggles against great odds, yet they are happy and humble people.

Abdelino and Uriel live with their mother, Hilda, and father, Danilo, in a remote village east of the capital, San Jose.

Residents in this region have little or no access to potable water, electricity or paved roads.

The main source of employment in this area is a banana plantation that only offers seasonal jobs. In Limon, bananas and plantain are one of the region’s top sources of income. However, the banana plantation only offers seasonal employment that is never promised and provides a very low pay. Read more

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Mar 15 2013

Helping families achieve self-sufficiency, part 2: Antipolo, Philippines

By Kristin Littrell, CFCA correspondent

 water hyacinth products

Beng in her storefront selling her water hyacinth products.

CFCA is not a one-size-fits-all organization. We rely on our field staffs to know the families in each community, to listen to their needs and hopes, and to provide a program that empowers them to build a path out of poverty.

In the second post in this three-part blog series, we give you a window into several CFCA communities, to gauge the success of the Hope for a Family sponsorship program.

Water still covers the path to the home of Kuya and Beng, parents of a sponsored child in the Philippines. The area has yet to dry out from monsoon rains that recently hit their community.

Kuya and Beng live with their family in a small home, made of bamboo and plywood, just 5 meters from the lake’s edge.

Like many in their small fishing village, they depend on the lake for their livelihood. Kuya owns a banca (a small fishing boat) and a fish cage.

But the fishing hasn’t been going so well lately.

Water hyacinth, a highly invasive aquatic plant, has hurt the local fishing business. The water hyacinth grows densely along the shore, making it difficult for fishing boats to navigate. The plant also prevents sunlight from entering the water, which reduces the food supply for the fish. Read more

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Mar 13 2013

Wishing for a well: Community gets clean water source

By Jordan Kimbrell, CFCA Sponsor Services

Oliver's village
A rural village, west of Antsirabe, Madagascar, is home to a small farming community.

Farming is one of the main sources of income in the Antsirabe region, and the members of this community rely on it.

families in Madagascar

In 2011, Dolores Reed from Paducah, Ky., who sponsors Olivier in this region of Madagascar, learned from an article that many people in the country don’t have easy access to clean water for drinking, cooking or watering the crops in seasons when rainfall is scarce.

She learned through CFCA that Olivier’s village lacked ready access to clean water. The community where he lives relied on streams, which also served as drinking water for the livestock.

“They didn’t have [good access to] water,” Dolores said. “We take water for granted.” Read more

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Mar 12 2013

Cristo Rey student learns importance of global citizenship

Dallas Parker

Dallas Parker, a Cristo Rey student and CFCA communications intern.

Our CFCA office participates in Cristo Rey Kansas City High School’s work-study program, where students work five days a month at a local company or organization. Dallas Parker, a Cristo Rey student and CFCA communications intern, describes her experience in our Kansas City office.

Working at CFCA has been a great experience for me. I am being exposed to many aspects of mass media and communications. My goal is to be well-rounded in those areas.

Right now, I am a junior at Cristo Rey and participate in its work-study program.

I have not always worked in the communications department at CFCA.

I began working with the child services department. There, I got to see firsthand the letters to sponsors from their sponsored children!

I thought that was the coolest thing ever. I even scanned photos of the actual children being sponsored all over the world, which were then put into the CFCA database.

As a communications intern at CFCA, I have learned a lot about myself. I believe working here has strengthened me spiritually and mentally. Read more

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Mar 8 2013

Trip to Kenya: ‘Becoming an instrument of peace’

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“Bob’s notes” are reports from CFCA President Bob Hentzen, who regularly accompanies awareness trip participants. You can see Bob’s full update on his Facebook page.

Heartfelt greetings from Kenya.

I am very grateful to the Kansas City awareness trip team and the staff in Kenya for all of their preparation for this journey.

Photo credits for this report go to Regina Mburu, CFCA communications liaison for Africa. Regina was with the group for the entire trip. Don’t miss her latest blog post, which features her reflection about her visit to Madagascar.

The estimated 2012 population in Kenya topped 43 million, with more than 3 million living in Nairobi, the capital and largest city. Read more

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Mar 5 2013

Lawrence, our brother: Blogger shares sponsorship experience

We’re delighted to share a guest post from Rachel Balducci about her CFCA sponsorship experience. Rachel describes herself first and foremost as a wife and mother. She and her husband, Paul, are the proud parents of five boys and one daughter.


Lawrence, the young man Rachel and her family sponsor.

I hate to admit this, but I usually sort of dread guest speakers at Mass. Especially if they speak at the end of Mass when, as is the case with four little boys, I am generally at my wits end.

That was my attitude years ago, as I sat and wrestled my four young sons. A visiting priest climbed up onto the lectern and as he began to speak, I whispered a prayer that my boys could behave for a few extra minutes. Never mind what the priest was about to say, I just wanted to not cause a scene.

Father was at our Mass that weekend to talk about a sponsorship program through Christian Foundation for Children and Aging (CFCA). And as he began to speak, something stirred within me, and my focus shifted from anxiety about my children’s behavior to what this priest was actually saying.

“We need to do this,” I whispered to my husband, seated at the other end of the pew. “I want to sponsor someone.”

In those few minutes that Father spoke, the Holy Spirit changed something inside me. I wanted to be a part of this. I wanted to help. Read more

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