By Elizabeth Alex, community outreach and media relations director
As I grew up my mother never told me I should give.
She showed me.
Whether it was for church, at-risk children or a neighbor in need, my mom made giving a quiet priority.
I remember when I was 12 years old, a struggling young couple expecting a baby purchased a coffee table at my family’s garage sale. Even as a child, I was touched as I watched my mother gather up baby clothes and supplies from around the house for the mom-to-be.
“Just to help them out a little,” she said.
My mother never gave a reason for donating to good causes or helping others in need.
It was simply part of life growing up in our family.
So when I came home from college to find a framed photo of a little girl named Claudia holding a chicken, I wasn’t surprised.
My mom explained she and Daddy had sponsored Claudia. Through CFCA sponsorship they provided medical care, nutrition and help with her education.
In turn Claudia gave my mom years of joy with the photos and letters she sent about her life in Guatemala and the dreams she had for her future.
Claudia has long since graduated from the CFCA program. She was eager to get a job, as she explained to my mom, to help her own mother live a better life.
I had almost forgotten about the photo of the girl and the chicken when I came to work at CFCA last summer, but my mother reminded me.
Mom got out all of the photos she had lovingly kept of this special girl in her life.
She even had the hand-colored card Claudia sent to us one Christmas.
I now help tell the story of how CFCA is an encouraging voice and a helping hand to hundreds of thousands of people around the world who are finding their way out of poverty to healthy and productive lives.
All these years after spotting that photo of Claudia, I sponsor an elderly woman from Kenya named Nduta.
Giving is just a natural thing to do.
I learned that from my mother.