A poem can relay emotion and meaning in a very distinctive way, and in honor of National Poetry Month, we want to share with you the poetic words of an Unbound sponsored youth and the effect they had on her sponsor.
On a recent Unbound awareness trip to Kenya, sponsor Bridget Burpee was presented with a poem written just for her. Visiting her sponsored friend, Yvonne, for the second time in her eight years of sponsorship, Bridget was warmly welcomed in Nairobi by Yvonne and her mother, Lucy.
This trip was different from her first visit eight years before. Yvonne had just lost her father in a car accident when Bridget came to visit shortly after beginning the sponsorship. At that time, Yvonne and her mother, Lucy, were hesitant about this new person coming into their lives.
Massachusetts sponsor David Scarpello has gone on three Unbound awareness trips to Honduras since 2007. On his latest visit earlier this year, he decided to take his 13-year-old son, Nick. From his own previous experience, David knew the awareness trip could be a good learning tool.
“I wanted [Nick] to have an appreciation and better understanding of what growing up in poverty is,” David said. “I hoped it would give him a greater appreciation of what he has and the advantages he has growing up in the United States.”
Unbound awareness trips offer travelers the opportunity to meet the people they sponsor and see first-hand the impact our program has on individuals and communities. David started sponsoring in 2001, but it was the letter he received in 2007 from his sponsored friend Reyna that gave him the final push he needed to go on his first trip.
“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. Photo credits go to Ricardo Ajpuac, CFCA staff member in Guatemala.
Here’s wishing you every blessing in this special season to give thanks and begin anew.
Counting on God’s blessings, we look forward to a tranquil and relaxing journey. The coffee is red ripe on the trees. School is out, and children fill the mountain air with their giggles. Read more
For Erin Gaffaney, CFCA sponsorship runs in the family.
Erin learned about CFCA through her grandfather, Harold.
Over the years, Harold talked to his family about sponsorship and it stuck with them.
“Over time I think some of his children and grandchildren saw the example he was setting and we now sponsor kids or elderly people ourselves,” Erin said.
Erin, an elementary school music teacher, sponsors an elderly gentleman, Jose, in Guatemala. Sheís also using her musical talents to support CFCA’s work.
Erin collaborated with a friend to record a Christmas CD titled, “Prepare Him Room.” The duo will be donating proceeds to CFCA.
“It was never our intent to make this CD a money-making venture,” Erin said. “It thrilled me more to make a quality product knowing that what we were doing was really going to affect people’s lives.”
The musical team put on two CD release parties in their local area and had CFCA sponsorship folders displayed on tables during the live shows.
Erin said CFCA was on the top of her mind when she was thinking about where proceeds would be donated because she was getting ready to meet her sponsored friend on a CFCA awareness trip. She met Jose Dec. 28 at the CFCA center in Guatemala.
The group of sponsors participating in the trip includes her grandfather, mother and two sisters.
“It’s kind of turned out to become a generational thing,” she said, “which is really neat to see.”
Bob Meyer has volunteered at CFCA headquarters for the past seven years and is dedicated to helping fight poverty around the world.
In addition to volunteering, he’s using his writing talents to help families in poverty realize their dreams for a better life.
Inspired by his love of baseball and a desire to help others, Bob wrote and self-published a book, “Small Town Baseball Ö BIG LEAGUE DREAMS,” focusing on semi-pro baseball in eastern Iowa from the early 1900s to the present. Proceeds from the book are being donated to CFCA and another charity close to Bob’s heart.
Bob has sold more than 600 copies so far, and is planning to donate $1,500 from book sales to CFCA.
“It was the right thing to do,” he said.
Meyer first learned about CFCA sponsorship through a priest visiting his church.
Shortly after beginning their sponsorship of Jeferson in Guatemala, Bob and his wife, Ruth, decided to visit him on a CFCA trip. Read more
We’ve told you the stories and showed you the pictures, but it’s still hard to translate the actual joy experienced on a CFCA awareness trip.
Zena Weist is a digital marketing professional, blogger, mom, CFCA social media advisory board member and now a CFCA awareness trip traveler!
On Dec. 26, Zena will embark on a weeklong trip to Guatemala to meet her 18-year-old sponsored friend, Angelica.
This is Zena’s first trip to visit her sponsored friend, and she plans on sharing as much information as she can with us while she is there. Read more
By Mary and Douglas DeLong, CFCA sponsors
Our journey began 12 years ago when we sponsored a Chilean child through Christian Foundation for Children and Aging.
Little did we realize what a journey it would be, or the experiences we would have.
When we started sponsoring Jannier he was 2 years old, and his mother would write us letters.
As he got older, she would include drawings that he had colored. Once Jannier was able, he started writing the letters himself.
We would include pictures of our own family with our letters and, in turn, would receive pictures of him.
His pictures joined the other pictures of our family on the refrigerator, and our son and daughter called him their little brother in Chile.
Jannier and his mother, Miriam, became part of our extended family.
At the end of September my husband, Doug, and I traveled on CFCA’s trip to Valparaiso, Chile, to meet Jannier and his mother. Read more