Apr 5 2011

Sponsorships are life-altering donations

We recently received this submission from MaryAnne Cullen, who sponsors many children and elderly people through CFCA’s Hope for a Family program. It was such a different, beautiful perspective on sponsorship that we wanted to share it with you!


Some of the children and youth sponsored by Mary Anne.

A few years ago, I received a startling telephone call from a representative from the National Bone Marrow Donor Program.

The caller unexpectedly revealed that I was a “potential” match for a 55-year-old woman with non-Hodgkinís lymphoma.

Further testing confirmed that I was the perfect match out of 6 million people in the registry ñ something akin to finding a needle in a haystack.

Shortly thereafter, my stem cells were on their way to a foreign country to be injected into an anonymous recipient.

I see similarities between being a stem cell donor and being a sponsor for a child or elderly person. In both cases, there is an overwhelming need for donors.

However, for the one person who received a bone marrow or stem cell donation, or for the one child or elderly person who has a sponsor, the donation can literally mean the difference between life and death.

I saw the children I sponsor in Costa Rica, Ecuador, Colombia and Guatemala and observed the poverty and desperation.

I can empathize with each child’s mother because I see that each one wants to provide more for her child, but is unable to because of circumstances beyond her control.

I witnessed the tangible benefits that a monthly sponsorship can bring to a child’s life ó food, education, clothing and gifts on birthdays and Christmas.

But each child receives not just material goods, but a sense of hope and the feeling someone truly loves them.

When you help even just one child through sponsorship, it can have a multiplying effect. That child may pursue a career as a teacher or nurse where he or she helps countless others.

Just as I will never meet the woman to whom I gave the stem cells, I may never meet some of the children or elderly whom I sponsor.

However, I know that through the letters exchanged and the monthly donations, each sponsorship forever changes a life.

0 thoughts on “Sponsorships are life-altering donations”

  1. Wow! It is truely amazing the help that we can extend to the far corners of the earth with technology connecting us in ways we could only dream about years ago. All we have to do is be aware of the growing opportunities, and open our hearts to those moments of grace. Thank you for sharing, Mary Anne! This is inspiring!

  2. Thank you, Mary Anne. My husband & I visited Costa Rica on a MAT in 2007. It was a life changing experience for us. We got to meet our sponsored child, and 3 others whom we now sponsor, too.

  3. What a beautiful reflection, Mary Anne. I remember you from the 2006 Costa Rica MAT. It was a pleasure getting to know you. I hope you are well.

    1. Hi Sheila! I always ask Bob about you. Several of my children have gone on to be sponosrs as well. I have been to Guatemala on a MAT as well as IST to Ecuador and Colombia. Hope to visit all my sponsored friends over the next 10 years!!God bless you!

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